Eagles players have the day off tomorrow, but Doug Pederson had plenty to say about Friday’s practice and how Week 2 of training camp went. Carson Wentz wasn’t wearing his helmet for some of the team drills today, but, as has been the case since earlier this week, it’s all “part of the plan”.
Here’s what the head coach had to say on Friday.
On Carson Wentz and his participation
You get a sense that Pederson is juuuust about over answering questions about how the team is handling Carson getting back onto the field. He didn’t participate in some of the team drills on Friday — as expected based on both of their comments earlier in the week — but Pederson was still faced with reporters looking for more information.
They’ve repeatedly said this week that the “collaboration” wants to keep Wentz in a controlled environment, and Pederson explained that the individual drills — which the QB did participate in — is considered controled, but 11-on-11 drills are not.
The head coach was asked if Wentz has displayed any kind off disappointment for not being out there with his teammates, and Pederson didn’t mince words. The former player himself reflected on his back injury during his career, “it sucks; you’re not out there with your team. I get it.”
While it’s not great Wentz isn’t back to full speed, Pederson acknowledged this is a great opportunity for No. 3 QB Nate Sudfeld. The team is really excited to see what he can do during these upcoming preseason games, and Pederson alluded to this being a good chance for him to impress other teams — since the franchise starting QB is pretty much settled in Philly.
On the new helmet and kick-off rules
The team is still navigating some of the new NFL rules this season, including changes to the kick-off and flags for helmet hits. Pederson watched the Hall of Fame game on Thursday and noticed there weren’t a ton of huge returns.
He also watched all the penalties for the new “helmet rule” which is being somewhat mixed up with the defenseless player rule, but Pederson didn’t see anything called that didn’t make sense to him, so hopefully that means the players should have an easier time adjusting.
On missing and injured players
- Zach Ertz wasn’t at practice on Friday, but it was his scheduled rest day.
- Josh Sweat (lower back) and Richard Rodgers (upper body injury) are both expected to be ready for the first preseason game of the year, but with nagging issues, the team is bringing them back in slowly.
On the punter position
Pederson was asked about his confidence level in punter Cameron Johnston — out of Ohio State. Johnston was a UDFA last season, before being waived for Cody Parkey, but he had an impressive preseason in 2017 and the team brought him back following their Super Bowl win.
He has no competition currently on the roster, which has led some (cough BLG cough) to believe he might not end up on the final 53-man roster. Pederson seems to be comfortable with the Buckeye, though, saying:
“Extremely high. You watch him, he’ll have 4-5 really good kicks, there will be one occasional one that will go awry just a little bit. But that’s all part of his plan too, part of his progression with what we’re asking him to do.”
On Brian Dawkins
The head coach cannot wait for Dawkins’ Hall of Fame speech later on, and is so excited for what the honor means to Brian and his family, as well as what it means for the Eagles organization. I think it’s safe to say we are all looking forward to what we can assume will be a very energetic speech by the Philly legend.