Doug Pederson held his second press conference of the week this morning, addressing a topics such as Carson Wentz, his game plan, and wide receivers.
Fitting the Andy Reid style he was hired to replicate, he kicked it off with listing the injuries. Bryce Treggs has been ruled out, which was expected, and Vinny Curry, the only other Eagle on this week’s injury report, is still on track to play on Sunday. Pederson said he hopes to have Treggs available to practice next week, and that the team will go into Sunday’s game with only 52 players on the 53 man roster. Teams can only dress 46 players for a game, so being down a roster spot isn’t hurting the team. Because salaries are guaranteed for the season for players on the Week 1 53 man roster, leaving an open roster spot gives the Eagles some salary cap flexibility if they choose to add a veteran.
Will Jordan Matthews play on the outside?
“I expect Matthews to play both inside and outside. His size and skillset gives versatility.”
On Dorial Green-Beckham’s role this week
Pederson said that DGB (unlike OC Frank Reich yesterday he did not call him DGB), has been getting “small doses of the playbook”, focusing his practice time on certain routes and packages. Yesterday Reich talked specifically about DGB and the fade route, and Pederson later said today’s practice was focused on installing the red zone offense.
On Nelson Agholor’s progress
Pederson was complimentary of the 2nd year wideout, noting that “I've seen the improvement with Nelson through out camp” and that he has been putting in time on the JUGS machine.
Will Pederson use a running back by committee?
"Ryan [Mathews] goes in as 1, Darren [Sproles] is 2. Then you have Kenyon [Barner] and Wendell [Smallwood], both those guys are very valuable to what we're doing... we've got it set up so that we can call on any guy at any time.... going in Ryan is going to have the bulk of the load."
And will he use a fullback?
Pederson, like Reich yesterday, was asked about if he was planning on using a fullback. Reich said that they may use an OL or DL. Pederson was a little more specific. “We have experimented with number of guys.... we haven't used it a ton.... we're putting some guys in positions, whether it be an offensive lineman, you've seen Dillon Gordon back there.” Gordon is an undrafted free agent guard who is converting from playing tight end in college. Pederson also noted that the Eagles have FB Andrew Bonnet on the practice squad and are developing him.
On play calling communication
Early in the offseason Pederson wrongly explained that he could only have two out of the four radio channels [offensive staff, defensive staff, offensive play caller and defensive play caller] on his headset, and that he would chose to have the offensive staff and the defensive staff, leaving direction communication to the quarterback to be relayed from him to OC Frank Reich to the QB. But Pederson can have both staffs and the QB, and so he will now will call plays directly to the QB.
He was asked if he was still planning on using that system, and said "the communication hasn't changed. I love it... my finger is on the next play, I can get the call in relatively fast. That process has been really good."
On Carson Wentz
Yesterday Browns rookie DE Carl Nassib said the Browns will be looking to take advantage of what they feel is a slow release by Carson Wentz:
"He can run, he has good mobility, and he's got a good arm,'' said Nassib. "His release is a little slow, so we plan to take advantage of that.''
Pederson dismissed that critique of his QB. "We don't feel like it's a slow release. It can be long sometimes because he's such a tall guy” and compared Wentz’s release to Colin Kapernick’s.
He was also asked about how he’s adapted his playbook now that Wentz is the starter.
"It's funny because the offense that I brought is pretty similar to his abilities.... there hasn't been any shifting of gears or anything."
On what he expects the atmosphere to be like
“I think the Linc is going to be electric on Sunday. I'm excited. I can't wait.”