Doug Pederson addressed reporters Wednesday morning, the first day of practice for the Eagles ahead of Sunday’s afternoon primetime matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.
With the Eagles headed to Seattle for the first time in five years, and for the first time since the Russell Wilson Revolution spurred a sleeping fanbase into action, Pederson said he knows his team has to be ready for a hostile environment.
Seattle’s fanbase calls the crowd the team’s “12th man” because of how loud it gets at CenturyLink Stadium, and for good reason.
“This 12th man is real,” Pederson said. “The last time I was up there was with the Eagles a few years back, and it’s a loud place.”
Pederson actually grew up attending Seahawks home games as a Seattle fan, back when the Seahawks played in a dome. His family had season tickets and he remembers even back as a teenager the kind of noise Seahawks fans brought to home games.
“It’s a great fanbase up there, and as a kid growing up I was a part of it,” Pederson said. “I was a part of the Kingdome. My parents took me there, and I grew up doing that. I’ve experienced it firsthand from a fan’s perspective as a kid in high school.
“These fans, they’re passionate about it. They love it, they take pride in it. When we talk about it, they come out in droves again. A great place, a tough place to play, obviously. It’s a great atmosphere.”
In the win over the Falcons, the Eagles had a problematic four false starts at home, in front of a crowd designed to help them hear calls and signals. On the road, the Eagles are 1-4 this season.
Pederson acknowledged his young team has a ways to go to get ready for playing in an environment like that of Seatle.
“The point of emphasis this week is to be able to handle that [environment] and minimize those penalties,” Pederson said. “It’s critical, going into this stadium.”
The Eagles, Pederson said, will be practicing in the team’s bubble — an enclosed practice field — on Thursday and Friday to try and simulate a noisy environment.
On Russell Wilson coming out of college
I went to Wisconsin, worked him out, spent a day up there with him, and came away just saying, ‘This guy’s a special kid. He’s got it.’ He’s a pro’s pro, he knows how to work, he knows how to practice, he knows how to lead. The things you see on the field are also the things he does off the field. He’s a man of his word, integrity, all that kind of stuff. I came away feeling that if we didn’t have an opportunity to take him, someone was going to have a special player.
— Nolan Carroll is still in concussion protocol, and will not practice on Wednesday. If Carroll can’t play, C.J. Smith would be the team’s third CB, although Malcolm Jenkins would handle slot duty with Jalen Mills and Leodis McKelvin on the outside in three-WR packages.
— Jordan Matthews had back spasms flare up Tuesday, so he’s no-go Wednesday, but should be fine for the game.
— Allen Barbre is practicing Wednesday, and is the starter going forward.
— Still no practice for Terrence Brooks, who missed Sunday’s win over the Falcons.