Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has been in a much better mood this week, and whether it’s because he doesn’t have to field a dozen question about Carson Wentz’s return, or because he has his QB back in the first place, let’s just say the coach is smiling wider these days.
The team is back at practice on Wednesday and there’s a lot of work to be done to not only get Wentz ready for his first game of the season, but to figure out what they are going to do with a banged up group of receivers and running backs.
Pederson spoke to the media ahead of taking the field to talk Colts prep and injury concerns moving forward.
On Carson Wentz’s return
Pederson was asked about Wentz’s preparation and the head coach talked about being excited to see how he’s progressed with this offseason’s work.
He also talked about the QB’s eventual first hit, and noted that “I hope it’s not a hard one” but that it gives confidence to the player who has been out for awhile. Having to get back up and see that you are ok goes a long way in getting back into the swing of things.
On Jordan Matthews coming back
Doug Pederson didn’t want to get into too many specifics about how Jordan Matthews will be used now that he’s been re-signed. He did say that Matthews “looked good in the workout, he’s healthy” and that they team is excited to get him back.
The head coach said they didn’t see any lingering hamstring issues during Matthew’s workout yesterday and the medical team didn’t have any concerns.
Pederson wouldn’t really talk about whether they’d put Matthews on the inside or outside, and said it’s challenging to give an answer since they so often move the guys around. He talked about Nelson Agholor being a big part of the offense in both spots, and has done a great job blocking in the run game too, so moving him around has been beneficial.
He also talked about Matthews’ familiarity with the coaching staff, offense, and quarterback — especially with the receiver only being gone one season. It’s just a matter of catching him up and getting him ready to go for Sunday.
Wentz had no impact on bringing Matthews back, but Pederson did say their friendship is a huge deal. He also lauded his leadership skills in the locker room and during practice.
On Colts prep
Pederson said he’s excited to see Frank Reich again this weekend, and he’s aware of some of the advantages the former Eagles OC might have on Sunday.
He noted however, that those advantages work both ways, and that they are seeing some familiar looks from the Colts’ offense, and their DC came from Dallas, so there’s some familiarity there too.
Pederson also talked a little about Andrew Luck, calling him an exciting quarterback to watch, and someone who looks like he’s getting stronger each week.
- Jay Ajayi is day-to-day and they will see where he’s at near the end of the week.
- Darren Sproles is also day-to-day, but is a bit of a longer situation than Ajayi.
- Alshon Jeffery is back to 11-on-11 this week which is a big first step.
- Mike Wallace isn’t for sure done for the season, but is definitely week-to-week.