Eagles head coach Doug Pederson mentioned earlier in the week that it’s not yet time to hit the panic button on this team and this season, but that everyone from the top of the organization down needed to refocus and be more efficient moving forward.
Ahead of Wednesday’s practice, Pederson spoke to reporters again and talked about not making personnel moves and gave some injury updates, as well as talked about preparing to host the Vikings in Week 5.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On personnel decisions
Pederson was asked if the team had re-evaluated the roster in the days since the game and whether they were making any personnel moves. The head coach rambled off quite a few “coach speak” terms — talking about how the sky isn’t falling, they’re still 2-2 and control their own destiny... yadda, yadda, yadda — before saying they are comfortable with the guys they have in the locker room and have confidence in each of the players on the team.
He was asked about Jim Schwartz saying on Tuesday that he’s sticking with Jalen Mills, and Pederson supported his defensive coordinator and pointed out that he doesn’t really add much input on that side of the ball. Schwartz is the expert and he leaves those decisions up to him, but that they do talk during practice and even during games about certain situations and schemes.
On Vikings prep
Pederson was asked how it may be more challenging to go up against former assistants — like the other week with Frank Reich, and now John DeFilippo. The head coach echoed what he said in week’s past, that it mostly affects their use of certain terminology and hand signals that he might know.
He did go on to say that there are some familiarizes now in what the Vikings are doing offensively, but that is good for the Eagles defense to see. Pederson also noted that it’s a home game, which will help them cut down on some of the signals and verbiage as well.
He was asked how the Vikings defense differs from the last time they played them, and Pederson noted that structurally and schematically they’re the same.
“It’s an aggressive defense.”
He went on to laud the backers for Minnesota, and said he has a lot of respect for their safeties, who are aggressive down-hill guys. The head coach also noted that they have a lot of guys who can get after the passer.
He pointed to the biggest change from January would be upfront on the defensive line. Pederson also noted that if their stud DE ended up missing another game — seemingly referring to Everson Griffen who has been out several weeks with a personal, mental health matter — that could change some things as well.
Carson Wentz didn’t play in the most recent game against the Vikings, so while he’s still working on getting up to game speed, he’ll need to be diligent in his preparation for Sunday.
Pederson said that Wentz is doing some good things, and we have to remember this is only his Week 3 for the season, and that the coaching staff is working to coach up some of those areas he needs to improve.
The head coach also isn’t overlooking Kirk Cousins, and pointed out that he’s had some really good performances against the Eagles when he was with Washington. Pederson noted that Cousins has a lot of explosive options on offense and Philly will need to bring the pass rush. He continued that they’ll have to try and keep Cousins in the pocket because he’s a better scrambler than people think and finds ways to extend plays.
Running back Darren Sproles is still day-to-day. The team will keep monitoring him throughout the week before deciding whether he’ll play on Sunday.
Similarly, Corey Clement is being held out as a precaution, not due to any re-injuring of the quad, and he’s another guy the team will be monitoring throughout the week.
Jason Peters still has some lingering flair ups with his quad injury, but he’s getting treatment on it everyday and he’s fighting through it. Pederson pointed out you may be able to see some of that on tape, but the head coach said Peters has been playing well.
Pederson said Timmy Jernigan is “doing well, he’s making progress” but wouldn’t go on to give any sort of concrete answer about him returning to the field. He’s a guy they are continuing to monitor and just want to focus on him getting healthy. [BLG Note: Doesn’t seem like a good sign that Pederson couldn’t say for sure if Jernigan will play this year.]
Later in the press conference Pederson was asked if getting some of the injured players back would help them be more effective in situational football, and the head coach agreed. He noted that winning those situations is the difference between winning and losing, and they need to have a bigger focus on improving in that area.