During the Eagles’ mandatory minicamp this week, we are blessed to hear from head coach Doug Pederson three days in a row. Heading into Day 2 of practice, the team had perfect attendance on Day 1 — including Michael Bennett and Darren Sproles — and Carson Wentz continued to get more reps during 7-on-7 drills.
Pederson spoke to the media on Wednesday to talk about what he’s seen so far from the guys, and what their plan is for the remainder of minicamp.
On the offensive line
Pederson said he wasn’t surprised that Jason Peters decided to come back in 2018, noting that Peters isn’t the type of player who wants to go out due to injury. The veteran o-lineman wants to prove he’s stronger and better than ever, and “he’s done that this offseason”. Pederson continued, “he can go out on his time”.
With Peters back in the lineup for the Eagles, Pederson was asked about whether Lane Johnson would stay at right tackle, or if they’d move him around a little bit. The head coach doted on how good the situation in Philly is with so much depth between Peters, Johnson and Big V. Pederson acknowledged “it’s hard to say” what might happen with Johnson, but did admit that if they do make an adjustment to where guys line up, it will be a permanent one.
This led to a follow-up about what happens to Big V once Peters gets back into the starting lineup. Pederson lauded Coach Jeff Stoutland’s penchant for not only teaching the starters, but also teaching the young guys how to be starters.
“One of the things in V’s case, he’s played a lot of games in his first two years,” Pederson noted. “He’s a starting caliber tackle [...] on both sides.”
It’s a good problem to have, and at this point you could assume that all three will rotate throughout minicamp and training camp, with the coaching staff having a tough choice to make once the season gets underway.
Pederson was also asked about Stoutland’s legendary ability to recall things for even 20 years ago. While the head coach wasn’t blessed with the same memory capabilities, he did quip that “it’s fun to hear some of his stories he comes up with” and that Stoutland is a valuable asset to the players, especially with his experience at both the college and professional levels.
On rookie TE Dallas Goedert
Doug Pederson had a lot of good things to say about the 2018 draft pick, including that’s got “great hands” and is a “great target”. He’s made some plays in the redzone during OTAs and now training camp, which is a good sign for an Eagles’ tight end.
Goedert’s atheleticism “just pops” and he’s been getting a lot better in his route running, in part due to spending time just watching and learning from Zach Ertz and Richard Rodgers. Pederson acknowledged though, “For tight ends in our system it’s a different story when the pads come on,” and that we’ll get a true sense of Goedert’s physicality when that happens.
“He’s a young player. Everyday is a new day. He’s learning as he goes.”
Pederson sees an opportunity to use Goedert in more two-tight end sets, with the head coach admitting “I do see us leaning a little bit that way” and noting that these guys are so athletic and talented, that they could be considered wide receivers, just a little bit more physical and aggressive.
On Carson Wentz’s timetable
Pederson continues to refer to the team’s medical staff when asked about the progress of Wentz’s knee rehab, and he reiterated that any sort of benchmarks they have set for the QB are out of the coach’s control. It’s just a matter of steady progressions throughout camp.
- Pederson was asked about a drill that involves throwing tennis balls at the QB’s feet. The head coach noted that it simulates a rush, and gets the players used to that feeling of having someone near your feet, sliding out of the way, and trying not to drop your eyes.
- The head coach admitted the Eagles need to be better on special teams, but with some of the acquisitions through free agency and the draft, they’ve set themselves up to improve.
- The Eagles will NOT be holding any joint practices this season, as Pederson noted, “because”. He did go on to elaborate that some of that has to do with injuries and wanting a more controlled environment for those players, and that sometimes schedules just don’t allow them to take place.
- On Coach Brewer, Pederson noted his attention to detail and lauded Brewer’s penchant for being a teacher. “He’s a teacher first,” the head coach said. “he brings that energy we talk about, guys gravitate to him.”
Watch Doug Pederson’s press conference
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LIVE FROM EAGLES HC DOUG PEDERSON’S PRESS CONFERENCEPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, June 13, 2018