Head coach Doug Pederson is fresh off a big win, and a little luck, and the Eagles are now playoff bound. The players, staff, and front office have been celebrating ever since they learned their fate, and are back on their underdog business as they prepare to face the team that ultimately pushed them into the postseason.
Pederson spoke to the media on Victory Monday and named Nick Foles the starting quarterback against the Bears. He also talked about preparing for the Bears and a little bit about the Andy Reid coaching tree.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback for the Eagles on Sunday against the Bears, and Pederson said that Foles is feeling good. The team is doing a walk-thru on Wednesday, and they’ll have to evaluate whether they have to regulate him and his bruised ribs throughout the week.
He’s talked about his practice schedule a lot over the past few weeks and gives the guys a little more rest, especially this time of the season. Pederson noted that by taking mental reps during the walk-thru, the players who are trying to heal can still participate, versus live reps.
Pederson was then asked about Carson Wentz, and the head coach said that he doesn’t have any additional updates on the quarterback at this time. Later on he said that they weren’t expecting him to practice this week.
He also would only say that Foles is the quarterback for this week, and wouldn’t talk hypotheticals about who would start if they keep winning. Pederson said they would wait to see if they win and the re-evaluate next Monday.
When asked if all those things mean that Nate Sudfeld was the No. 2 QB for Sunday, Pederson said “as of right now”. The head coach also said he anticipates the same type of reps for both Sudfeld and Foles this week.
On preparing for the Bears
Pederson talked about a lot of lessons that they can take from their tough road game against the Rams a couple weeks ago, and apply them to Sunday’s matchup. He noted that going into a hostile environment to face a team that is good in all three phases will be a challenge.
He also noted that Chicago’s defense has really staked a claim, is creating turnovers and are really getting after the quarterback. But having to go into L.A. to face the Rams defense was a good learning experience.
Pederson was asked if they could draw from last season’s playoff run, and the head coach said there are certainly some similarities, but also some differences. The biggest difference he noted was that they have to go on the road for their first postseason game. He went on to say that having guys who have been through it, and who understand the urgency of the must-win situation, can definitely help.
Later on he noted that it’s helpful as they prepare for the game, that they know Chicago’s coaching staff, especially as a team the Eagles don’t play often. Pederson said that they did play them last year, and defensively it’s similar, and that they are familiar with Matt Nagy from their game against the Chiefs last season too.
On the Andy Reid coaching tree
Pederson said that Reid instills in his assistants that they need to have a drive in order to succeed and have a work ethic that leads to success. He went on to say that players and coaches need to spend time studying their opponents and one of the things Reid does well is to prepare his assistant’s to teach.
Pederson said both Sidney Jones and Mike Wallace have a chance to play on Sunday, and that Wallace will probably continue individual drills this week and Jones is a little more day-to-day, but there’s hope — although it’s a long shot.