Doug Pederson met with reporters Tuesday afternoon to discuss the aftermath of the Eagles’ loss to the Packers. Here’s what he touched on:
- Ryan Mathews had a right knee MCL sprain. Pederson said he was day to day, and they’ll have more evaluation on him this week.
- Jordan Matthews had a right ankle sprain in the game, but everything came back negative. Pederson said he’ll be fine and will be good for the game against the Bengals on Sunday. He probably won’t practice on Wednesday.
- Halapoulivaati Vaitai is “still a ways away,” and is still week to week.
- Brandon Brooks, who was hospitalized on Monday with an illness, will be back in there this week according to Pederson. He said everything checked out fine.
- Marcus Smith left the game with a left shoulder contusion, but Pederson said he’ll be fine, and he’s just sore.
On Fletcher Cox’s waning production
On Cox’s recent struggles:
“I think he’s, he draws a lot of attention. He draws a lot of double teams, gets a lot of hands on him. He still is very, at times, disruptive and can be a force inside. It’s just, he’s mentally good, physically he’s good. It’s just a matter of the sheer determination and wanting to get the job done. He’s still a very capable defensive lineman for us, and we do expect, and I expect, a lot from guys like Fletcher, and he does as well.”
On Cox’s personal fouls:
“What I saw, and what the officials saw, is I think any time you strike the quarterback in the head or neck area, which is what they saw, then obviously the flag’s going to be thrown. Some of it ... I’m not going to slow his aggression down based on penalties. ... Then I need to sit down with him, and say, ‘Hey, Fletcher, let’s keep our hands down. Let’s not hit the quarterback. Let’s lower our target. Let’s do a lot of other things.’ Next thing you know, we’re going low and it’s a flag for hitting the quarterback at the knees. This game happens so fast that it’s hard sometimes when you’re in the heat of the moment. Was that a pass interference on Bryce Treggs? It’s bang-bang. Who knows? It’s those types of things that happen so fast in this game that I can’t ... all I can do is grab him and say, hey, we’ve got to be careful.”
On getting away from the run game in the loss
Why’d the Eagles not run very much?
“Well we started to get into what we call our Mock, or our tempo world, there a little bit. Mixed it up. Carson actually managed a couple situations for us where he got us from a couple passes to a couple runs, and vice versa, based on what they were doing defensively. You can always look back on a Monday or Tuesday and say we should’ve done this, or should’ve done that, but I think the way things were going in the game, and we didn’t have a ton of touches offensively, it was giving us the best opportunity to keep ourselves in the football game last night.
Couldn’t you have used the run to balance time of possession?
“I think that’s a possibility, yes. I think that’s a possibility in any football game. If you can do that against good offenses, I think you can control the clock. The thing that gets you is you’ve got to make sure your execution is pretty much flawless at the time so you can stay on the field. You can’t have penalties, obviously. You can’t have negative rushing plays, things like that. Things like that will hurt you.”
Wendell Smallwood was running well, right?
“He was having himself a pretty good day, and we were doing a good job in the run game, so yeah, looking back on it today, with different eyes, you could probably say that.”
How do you figure out how to run more in the future?
“I’m constantly monitoring the run-pass ratio during the football game. Constantly. And, you know, series starts, first down within a series, always monitoring that and asking upstairs, because they’re keeping track of it for me, and Frank and I are always dialoguing on the sidelines, so there’s ways we monitor that to keep ourselves as manageable as we can in those situations.”
On Nelson Agholor’s taking the day off
Will Agholor play on Sunday? Or is he sitting again?
“I’m not going to come out and say that today. I’m going to get through this week of practice again. Jordan will be okay with the ankle, and we’ve just got to see, again, where Nelson’s at, where his mind and head are at. He had a good week last week, so we’ll monitor that again.
What did he learn from Monday night?
“I just think he ... the biggest thing is just seeing the way the offense works, the way the game kind of unfolds, and how guys react in certain situations. And I wanted him to put himself in the game situations and see how he’d react, how he’d play, how he’d run that route. It’s a lot easier to do that, obviously, from a removed position, where you can see that big-picture and a little bit calmer eyes where the pressure and stress aren’t on you to perform. That’s what I hope he takes away from this and learns for down the road.”
On whether he’s okay with Jim Schwartz not talking after games
“Ultimately, I have to answer for it all. I’ll stand up here and take the heat. I’ll take the good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent. It doesn’t make me one way or the other. It’s not difference to me. It’s what I signed up for. I’m okay with that.”