Eagles' players are Doug Pederson fans - Daily News
The level of support voiced for Pederson in the locker room after a 7-9 rookie season is strong.
"I like everything he's done," defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. "He never overreacts to a lot of stuff, which is good. He's handled a lot of stuff. I think everybody on this team, every player's got his back, in every situation . . . Everybody loves him."
Tight end Zach Ertz called Pederson "a beast of a coach."
The players saw Pederson handle having original starting quarterback Sam Bradford traded eight days before the season started, and then that unexpected surge to 3-0. Later in the year, they saw him deal with a five-game losing streak. They saw the coach's stance when Josh Huff was dismissed after an arrest, how he handled the Lane Johnson suspension and the subsequent uncertainty on the offensive line.
From the start, Pederson wasn't selling the abstraction of "emotional intelligence" that owner Jeffrey Lurie referenced, he was selling the reality of it -- his background as a 12-year NFL quarterback, mostly of it as a backup, a guy who'd struggled through tough situations but who also knew what winning felt like. A guy who'd had to fight to keep his roster spot, who knew what it was like to be elevated, demoted, cut.
"He's earned the respect of everybody on this team," middle linebacker Jordan Hicks said. "I didn't know him at first, just like everybody else, but once you got to know him, once you understood who he was and his personality, and his story, you understand that he's a coach that really has the players' best interests at heart. Really, this team's best interests at heart.
Nigel Bradham expects to hear from NFL about two arrests - Philly Voice
In addition to facing consequences in court, Bradham could potentially face a suspension from the NFL.
"I’m pretty sure I’ll hear from them," Bradham acknowledged. "Both cases are still ongoing, so I think they’re just pretty much waiting until the cases are closed to determine what they’re going to do."
The Eagles entered the season thin at linebacker but were fortunate not to suffer any injuries to Bradham, Jordan Hicks, or Mychal Kendricks in 2016. In 2017, the Eagles would be wise to consider stocking up on linebacker depth to account for a potential loss of Bradham at some point.
Plenty of progress still needs to be made. As Wentz again demonstrated a couple of times Sunday, he has moments where poor decision-making and faulty mechanics slip in. The offseason will be largely about cleaning up those mechanical glitches and further educating him on the nuances of the NFL game.
The front office, meanwhile, will be busy trying to add some firepower around the young quarterback to give him a fighting chance. With many holes to fill and much development still needed out of the QB, some distance lies between the Eagles and the teams that have meaningful football ahead of them in the coming weeks.
But because of Wentz, the hope that they are carrying over has a little more substance to it this time.
"You have to be excited about the quarterback," defensive end Connor Barwin said. "You've got a franchise quarterback."
The Eagles' 2016 season: What was THAT all about? - Daily News
Maybe the biggest thing the team established is that Wentz seems to be what he was drafted to be, a quarterback the organization can build around. He became the first Eagles QB since Donovan McNabb to start all 16 games. He can work on being more accurate and less inclined to throw late into coverage, but he did pretty well with a really limited group of weapons and an offensive line that never quite settled down during Johnson’s absence.
“The last thing you want to be looking for is a quarterback,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “That’s a tough situation, because you’re either talking about drafting somebody, and then you’ve got to wait for that maturation process, or you’re talking about paying somebody … limiting what you can build around him. I think we’re happy to have our quarterback now, and that whole situation is settled – nobody’s looking at the quarterback situation, he’s not looking behind him. Now we’re just figuring out how we’re going to build around him.”
Jenkins spoke of “tough lessons learned” in a season that seemed to feature one established, veteran opposition quarterback after another, after another testing Jim Schwartz’s defense.
“Being a great team is not an easy thing. Sometimes it takes that laying down the foundation first. We’ll see what happens next year,” Jenkins said.