Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke to the media on Wednesday, and talked about activating Mike Wallace from IR and why they activated cornerback Josh Hawkins. The team is doing a walk-thru on Wednesday instead of a full-go practice, in similar fashion to their work schedule last week.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On personnel moves
Pederson said Mike Wallace will be involved in the walk-thru Wednesday, but they need to see him on the field, running around a bit, to see where he’s at. He did consider the WR still day-to-day and will re-evaluate later in the week.
The head coach was asked what they saw in Josh Hawkins to promote him over others from the practice squad, and Pederson said that he’s a smart guy, has speed and has played. He noted that it’s a good opportunity for Hawkins to show the team what he’s got, and that making a move at this point in the season to evaluate a younger guy makes sense.
Later, Pederson was asked about Darren Sproles and whether they’d welcome him back if he wanted to play for another year. The head coach said that Sproles is a leader, and mentor to other players, and would be a great addition to next year’s squad.
On Carson Wentz’s role
Pederson said things are easier for the quarterback this time around at least from a mobility standpoint, where he’s able to be involved on the sideline and during practice. He continued to say that Wentz has been very positive and has been every bit of a leader you’d expect him to be in that position.
The head coach admitted that it has to be rough for Wentz not to be able to get on the field, but that he’s doing everything he can to support Nick Foles and help the team in other ways.
Later on, Pederson talked about how being sidelined for a second season was challenging for Wentz but that they just keep the lines of communication open. He said that he doesn’t need to go out of his way to reassure Wentz, but that he does think it’s important for him to know that he’s the guy and the one they went out and drafted.
Pederson said he thinks that Timmy Jernigan is past having another setback, noting that Jernigan has felt good the past couple of days, but that they’ll see where he’s at again today and tomorrow. If he’s doing well, he’s optimistic that Jernigan can have a bigger workload on Sunday.
The head coach wouldn’t talked about Jordan Hicks’ role with the organization past Week 17, and said he’d worry about the roster in the spring, but did say that he was an important part of what they’ve done the past couple of years. Pederson said that the plan for Hicks last week was to ease him into the lineup, and he’ll play again on Sunday.
On Big V and J.P.
Pederson admitted he thought there were some highs and lows with Big V, noting he had a tough task against Jadeveon Clowney last week. The head coach said Big V has been kind of an anchor on the offensive line with all the shifts they made throughout the season, but there were some issues early on but Pederson thinks he settled down some as the game went on.
On what the left tackle position will look like against Washington, Pederson said they aren’t sure yet, because they’ll have to see how Jason Peters is doing. The head coach said that Peters has been feeling good, but they’d like to see how he’s doing after today’s walk-thru before making that decision — although he did say they expect him to be in the lineup.
Later on, Pederson was asked about Peters being injured so often this season, and he admitted there was maybe a bit of frustration for Peters that he hasn’t been fully healthy, but when he’s been on the field he’s been good and he battles through it.
On Nick Foles
Pederson said that his ability to stay and take the hits he has the past two weeks, and not only still connect on the play, but then to also return for the next play and keep driving. He said that it not only shows his teammates that he’s a fighter, but also sometimes motivates them to step up and try and protect the QB better.
The head coach said that willingness to take a big hit in order to make a play was something he saw in Foles even back when he was watching his college film. Pederson talked about a particular game against USC that Foles took a beating throughout the game, but kept coming back for more.
Pederson also talked about Foles’ success with deep passes, and noted that the QB puts a little more air under the ball and gives the receiver an opportunity to make a play.
On his Christmas gift
“Actually, my boys surprised me. I love to bow hunt and they surprised me with a new bow, so I’m fired up about that.”