Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was a guest on The Rich Eisen Show today. Pederson touched on a number of topics, but here are a few highlights.
CARSON WENTZ’S RECOVERY STATUS
EISEN: So as we are sitting here, obviously we’re months from training camp. What is the plan with [Carson Wentz]? Do you plan on having him back, coach?
PEDERSON: [sighs] You know, we’re optimistic, obviously. I don’t want to put a time table on him. Obviously, he’s working extremely hard. He’s in the weight room, he’s getting his rehab done. He’s looking good but at the same time, I’m not going to rush him. You know, like we did with Sidney Jones [in 2017], I don’t want to put him out there if he’s not 100%. So, optimistic that, you know, that that could come to fruition. But again, we’ll be smart about it, and we’ll put him out there when he’s ready.
Despite a grim outlook from one orthopedic surgeon, media reports indicate that it’s “realistic” for the Eagles’ starting quarterback to play to start in Week 1. Wentz has also maintained that he hopes to be ready by then. That’s still nearly seven months away, so we’ll see how his ACL recovery continues to progress.
Eisen also asked Pederson about the silly notion that what Foles did diminishes Wentz’s accomplishments in 2017.
EISEN: It’s amazing how things happen. You go from one week you’re the MVP of the league, and five weeks later, because the backup wins it, you’re a system quarterback.
EISEN: I mean, it’s nuts, I think. But what do you tell people who say that about Carson Wentz because of what Nick Foles was able to do?
PEDERSON: Listen, Carson Wentz was the MVP talk of the league last year. I truly believe if he’s healthy, and I still feel strongly that we’re in the Super Bowl and winning the Super Bowl with Carson. And he’s the MVP. I just think that’s the way he played last year. He’s a big reason. He’s not the only reason, but he’s a big reason why we were, I believe, 11-2 at the time, playing the Rams, and won the NFC East. For me, being a former quarterback, to have two guys, and really three guys, you throw [Nate Sudfeld] in there, but you’re talking about Nick and Carson who you just don’t bat an eye with either one of these guys. The way they prepare, the way they study, their demeanor on the field, their leadership styles. It’s a blessing to have two veteran guys like that and have a Super Bowl MVP as your backup.
You’re damn right, Doug.
CONFIRMING THE MIKE GROH HIRE
Pederson confirmed the Eagles have promoted Mike Groh from wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator, as first reported on Tuesday.
EISEN: Is Mike Groh the replacement for Frank Reich?
PEDERSON: Yeah. Mike Groh is the replacement for Frank. I feel comfortable with him. Listen, I’ve got a great offensive staff. I’ve said this before, it’s a collaborative effort. Even when Frank was coordinator, it was a collaborative effort. John DeFilippo was a big part of what we did. Duce Staley was a big part. Jeff Stoutland [too]. So we’ve got guys that put game plans together and not one guy gets the credit. Mike has been promoted and I’m excited to see what he can do.
Here are four things you should know about the Eagles OC.
FAVORITE ICE CREAM TOPPINGS
We all know Dougie P loves his ice cream.
Happy Birthday, Coach Pederson! Go get yourself some ice cream.#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/uRvUstVeYm— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) January 31, 2018
Eisen pressed Pederson on what this video was all about. It turned into fantastic conversation. I think this was the longest answer Pederson had to any question.
EISEN: What’s with the ice cream? We noticed that also. That you would always break, I guess, what, the Saturday night meeting before a game? You would always offer ice cream to the players? What would you say, there’s ice cream in the back? What’s that all about?
PEDERSON: Well, you know, we have a team snack after the team meeting Saturday night at the hotel. There’s always desserts and things. It’s probably just the one time of the week that our players kind of get to eat junk food a little bit. And indulge in some of their cravings. I always have ice cream and we have pies and cookies and a lot of desserts and stuff.
So I just started coining a phrase. ‘Hey, I’ve got some — hey, we’ve got a highlight video to watch, and after, I’ve got some ice cream that’s kind of melting in the cafeteria over here. We’ve got to get to it. So let’s watch this video. We’ve got some ice cream melting, you know, let’s get ready and watch it.
So, it’s just something that kind of caught on throughout the year. Obviously, our video guys, they record those meetings and they put out that little spoof of me. I don’t know, 10, 12 clips I guess, of me saying that. It kind of caught fire.
I do love ice cream. It’s probably my favorite dessert. Vanilla is my favorite flavor. That’s what we have.
EISEN: OK. It’s odd that somebody calls— whose play sheet is so exotic that you just go straight vanilla, coach. I’ll be very honest with you.
PEDERSON: I go straight vanilla, you know. I’m kind of plain that way.
EISEN: No toppings? No nothing?
PEDERSON: That’s it.
EISEN: OK, straight up.
PEDERSON: Well, you know, I put a little bit of strawberry toppings, some whipped cream, some sprinkles. So.
EISEN: OK, there we go.
PEDERSON: Maybe a little bit. Yeah.
EISEN: A little Philly Special to that.
PEDERSON: Make a little sundae out of it. A little Philly special.
After the Eagles won the Super Bowl, I suggested on Twitter that Philadelphia ice cream shops name an ice cream flavor after Doug Pederson. That’s kind of hard to do, though, since he’s just a vanilla guy.
But now we know Pederson specifically likes vanilla ice cream with strawberry topping and sprinkles. (I’m a little sad he didn’t say jimmies, but I’ll get over it.)
Call it the Philly Special!
(Quick, before the Eagles trademark that.)
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