It’s been a few weeks since Doug Pederson was able to step up to the podium and talk about the positive things this team has done, but he was back smiling on Victory Monday.
The Eagles escaped their Sunday night matchup with few injuries, and everyone who was sidelined was able to get back on the field. Overall, it was a big success — especially compared to previous weeks.
Nick Foles played well enough to give Carson Wentz the rest that he and his back need, and the backup QB also was able to spread the ball around like they’ve needed to all season.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On the QB situation
Pederson opened by saying that Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback for the Eagles in Week 16 against the Texans, allowing Carson Wentz to have some additional rest on his back.
After the Cowboys game, Pederson met with Mike Groh and they tried to condense the offensive plan they had for the guys. He said they wanted to get back to the basics, and this was even before Carson Wentz was ruled out for the week. Pederson noted that making that change was conducive for any of the quarterbacks they have on roster.
He went on to say that those changes are a credit to Groh and were the reason for the success we saw against the Rams. Pederson continued to say that as they went through the week last week, they gave Foles the opportunity to say what he was (or not) comfortable with, but they didn’t have to change a whole lot heading into the matchup.
Pederson said coming out of Sunday’s win, it was a team effort — complete team effort.
The head coach talked about minimizing the pre-snap motions, but he said that keeping that to a minimum, especially in that kind of loud environment, was the best plan.
Later on, Pederson spoke about QB characteristics that lead to winners, and he noted that in Foles case (as a former basketball player), his primary objective is to distribute the ball. He also said that the ability to brush off something bad (or good) that happens in a game and maintain that balanced approach, is important. He was also sure to say that he thinks all the Eagles quarterbacks have that kind of demeanor.
The head coach said that Wentz would NOT go onto IR — based on some additional information they’ve gotten, and he’ll be listed as week-to-week. He wouldn’t say exactly what the new information was, but did say it was positive and favorable.
Pederson also said that it was tough for Wentz to once again be on the sideline, but as much of a competitor as he is, he’s still engages with the coaching staff and his teammates and is very supportive of the team where he can.
On the team’s success on Sunday
Pederson noted that he considers each win a team win, but that their backs are against the wall at this point — as they were last season when Foles took over — and they’re very aware of what needs to be done, as evidenced on Sunday. He talked about how all three phases came together for a really good performance against a tough opponent.
The head coach was asked what was different this week during practice, as the guys appeared more settled heading into the matchup. Pederson lauded their commitment to their process, and said he challenged the leaders to stay engaged and motivate the young players throughout the week, and to get ready for a long road trip.
He said as the week progressed, they were getting better each day, and he felt like the guys were back, and even Saturday’s walk-thru was one of the best they’ve had all season — he even said it was more of a “jog-thru” and that the guys were spirited and up-beat. Pederson noted that the team was excited about the opportunity to play the Rams.
Continuing down that line of questioning, Pederson was asked how important his role in getting the guys in the right state of mind for games. The head coach said it was “huge” and that part of his job is to make sure the team understands the goals still at hand and have the same vision as they move forward.
He said, the guys then have to go play, but that it’s his responsibility to keep everyone focused. Pederson also said that’s something he takes a lot of pride in, and while he may have shortcomings in other areas, there are moments where he takes things he’s found that light a spark within himself and shares them with the team.
The head coach also talked about how he’s been in his players’ shoes and can relate to them on a different level, and showing love and concern for the players goes a long way.
On Avonte Maddox
Pederson said he’s been a really consistent player for the team, and has even played in several positions for the Eagles, which tells the coach that he’s a highly intelligent guy who understands scheme. He noted that he’s a young player whose just going to get better, and Pederson was really excited for Maddox to get into the game and make those plays.
He continued to say that Maddox comes to work everyday and soaks up information from the veterans, and Pederson noted that Malcolm Jenkins and Corey Graham have been big helps as well.
Other injury updates
- Isaac Seumalo is getting better, and while he’s close, they’ll have to see where he’s at closer to the weekend.
- Jordan Hicks should be back at practice on Wednesday, but they’re hoping he’ll be back this week.
- Similarly with Timmy Jernigan, they’re hoping to get him back on the practice field this week and see where he’s at ahead of Sunday’s game.
- Sidney Jones is a bit more week-to-week than the other guys.