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Doug Pederson: Darren Sproles is the Eagles’ lead RB right now

Sproles was the bell cow on Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Doug Pederson addressed the media Monday afternoon, following Sunday’s loss to the Giants. Here’s what he had to say:

Injury Updates

  • Allen Barbre still has a left hamstring strain, and Pederson said they will see where he’s at by the end of week.
  • Terrence Brooks, right hamstring strain suffered in game, is week to week.
  • Kamu Grugier-Hill, still has a right hamstring, and Pederson said he’s nursing that.
  • Nolan Carroll is fine.
  • Brent Celek (rib fracture) should be available on Sunday.
  • Taylor Hart is good, Pederson said.
  • Jordan Hicks suffered a mild ankle sprain, but is fine, Pederson said.
  • Bennie Logan will practice Wednesday, Pederson said.
  • Halapoulivaati Vaitai suffered a shin contusion, Pederson said, but should be fine.

On who the team’s lead running back is

roster move? — We felt comfortable going into the game with what we had, and offensively with Bryce we were good there, so we didn’t feel the need.

Is Sproles the lead back? -- “Right now, by stats, yeah, and what you’re seeing, I would say Darren is the No. 1 back right now. Ryan is still a big part, you saw the touchdown run he had yesterday, and Kenjon had a nice run, Wendell had a nice run, so it’s still a little bit of the running back by committee. Obviously we haven’t hung our hat on one guy, but we tend to lean a little more towards Darren Sproles. It’s hard to take him off the field right now.”

Could you be giving Sproles too heavy a workload? -- “It’s a lot. We talked about it coming out of the Dallas game. Just got to make sure we’re doing the right thing with Darren, just keeping him available, especially as the season wears on, keep him healthy and keep him going.”

Did you run the ball enough against the Giants? — “21 attempts, if you take Carson’s four out of it. Probably could’ve been a little more. Obviously, in each one of these games, you get yourself into a 14-nothing hole right away, and you feel like you’ve got to press and get it all back on one play. I did feel like we were effective in the run game, some of the things we did. We just — watching the tape this morning, we just missed on a couple of blocks and a couple assignment errors, and things we need to clean up this week.

“It’s a good question. I would love to run the ball more; I think it does help Carson, where you’re not putting everything, the whole game, let’s say, on his shoulders. and that’s a full... that’s a lot in the run game. We ask Carson to do lot in the run game, with RPO things, with the read options, making some checks there. So I think going forward, probably, yeah, probably should rely on the run just a little bit more.”

On Carson Wentz’s interceptions

“Those two picks early in the football game, obviously he had pressure on one and he was trying to throw to DGB, the second pick. The first one again just sailed high. He was out of the pocket which I felt he didn’t have to move, he could’ve stayed in the pocket and delivered the football.

He’s throwing picks early in games. Is there a trend there? — “I don’t think that’s the case. I go back to the Minnesota game, the two picks there.

“The ones yesterday, he had opportunities, whether the progression of the play, to go other places with the ball.”

What do you have to do to have him avoid those mistakes? — “Making sure he understands the whole contour of the play, and what the initial play is designed to do. What’s the coverage beater that it’s best against? And if it’s not that coverage, where do I go with the football? This is all part of the learning process he’s going through, and yesterday was that.”

How do you feel about the fourth down decisions you made yesterday?

“I still feel strong about those. I think the decisions to go for it just shows confidence and belief in the guys at that time. I felt like we were moving the ball and, again, at the end of the day when you look at it, we had more opportunities in this game. To me, in my opinion, it didn’t come down to those two plays. ... I still stick by what I did, and how I chose to go for it in those fourth downs.

On maybe wanting to use Wendell Smallwood more

“You get to that point where you definitely want to see it. It’s hard, because you’ve got Ryan sitting there, and Sproles we’ve given the ball to the last couple games. ... A lot of times, the temptation is, yeah, you do want to see your young players perform and put them in those situations, see what they can do.”

On Bryce Treggs’ role going forward

“I think that, obviously, he went into this game, he was very excited to play, obviously, his first time to be active. Made two big catches for us, obviously the explosive play down the field. I think you’ll see more of a role for him at least in the coming weeks.”

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