We’ve made it through the preseason and final roster cuts, and are now just days away from the reigning Super Bowl Champions kicking off their 2018 regular season. The Philadelphia Eagles will take the field on Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons, and head coach Doug Pederson spoke to the media before the team’s first game week practice on Sunday.
He talked about some of the tough decisions the team had to make to get the roster down to 53, and what they are looking for in their practice squad additions. As per usual, he wouldn’t give any info as to who the starting quarterback would be in Week 1 — even if there are already reports out there that we know.
Things got off to a really testy start with reporters opening up with a question about the quarterback situation, and Pederson snarled back that the media had put words in his mouth this past week so he was going to decline to answer any questions about it.
He went back and forth about who put words in his mouth and what was misrepresented, but the head coach was steadfast in wanting to avoid talking about anything.
“We’re trying to win a game,” Pederson noted, and said it didn’t make sense for him to announce any of his game plan.
He was then asked about the guys who were injured and didn’t get playing time in the preseason, but the head coach said he isn’t worried about rust, and that most of the guys have still participated in practice.
Pederson was pushed about whether he’s putting his quarterbacks in an awkward situation later in the week when they stand up in front of the media, and will face questions about the starters, but the head coach still wouldn’t budge on any information.
The topic shifted to taking the banner down and Pederson saying they are moving forward and get ready for this season. He mentioned everything is different, in a good way, but they are starting 0-0 and he’s excited for this team on Thursday night.
“It’s the nature of the business,” Pederson said about roster cuts, and specifically Steven Means. He mentioned how much the defender meant to the team, but ultimately it’s about building the best 53-man roster.
He was asked about whether the team has watched the playoff game against the Falcons to prepare for Thursday’s game. The head coach talked about how good Atlanta’s defense, but that he’s played them enough to get an idea of what they want to do schematically.
Pederson said in the first game they want to keep things as simple as possible. That’s how they’ll keep the emotions in check, and they can work through communicating with the coaches and working through any kinks with new staff — or staff in new roles.
On whether DeAndre Carter would be active on Thursday, to which Pederson quipped, “there’s always a chance” but did continue that he’ll get to move around a bit this week in practice and could see playing time early on.
Pederson said this is the second time this offseason that the starters will practice together, the game plan, which is exciting. He said the Falcons are a physical team, so they have to prepare to face that as best they can in the days leading up to the game.