While there were plenty of things to be excited about — Dallas Goedert’s first career TD, and Wentz taking a few hits and getting back up — there were a long list of things that the team will need to work on as they begin to prepare for the Titans in Week 4.
Pederson spoke to the media on Victory Monday, and here’s what he had to say:
Alshon Jeffery still hasn’t been cleared for contact yet, but they are going to look at him more this week and the head coach should have more information for the media on Wednesday.
He said both Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles are day-to-day, but Pederson expects both to be available to practice this week — barring any setbacks, of course. We still have to wait and see about their status for Sunday’s Titans game.
He said he has an idea of the personnel on offense, but that they still don’t have a good idea of what the identity of this group is yet. With so many players still out with injuries and players like Wentz and Jason Peters not getting much of a preseason, Pederson said they are still trying to get a sense of what they have collectively on offense.
Pederson said this kind of uncertainty is a bit odd, but it gives the defense and special teams an opportunity to step up early in the year, and then once the offense gets going later on, things start firing on all cylinders.
On Carson Wentz’s return
Pederson talked about Wentz’s preparation through his rehab has helped him and helped him develop as a leader. He talked about Wentz being such a competitor and studying hard, and while yesterday’s game wasn’t perfect, Pederson noted “there wasn’t really a big drop that people had expected”.
He said that Sunday’s game was a good matchup for Wentz to get back on the field, but looking at the big picture, the QBs time on the sideline has definitely helped.
Pederson says Wentz continues to grow in the situational aspects of the game, and that he brings such a competitive impact to the team’s offense — pointing out some of the QBs scrambles and third-down plays from Sunday.
On protecting the QB
Pederson talked about the five sack on Carson Wentz on Sunday, and the head coach pointed out three causes: 1) offensive line gets beat, 2) QB hangs on to the ball or tries to scramble, and 3) flat out coverage.
It was a little bit of all three of those. He pointed to a couple situations in which Wentz should have thrown the ball away, but Pederson said they are all correctable mistakes and small things that they can easily work on.
On the win over the Colts
He was asked about Jalen Mills performance the past few weeks, and Pederson noted that he’s been playing extremely well. He did point out that Mills needs to be more aware of his off-hand, but that he’s physical and tough and always in position to make a play.
Pederson continued to talk about how with any player, especially young players, there is a need to move on after a missed opportunity. He said that Mills has that ability, whether it’s a flag or a missed tackle, the cornerback is able to focus on what’s next.
Over on offense, Pederson was asked why Shelton Gibson hasn’t gotten more play time — especially with Mike Wallace being out. The head coach said he didn’t want to give away too much scheme-wise, but that yesterday they felt more comfortable going with some of their 12- and 13-personnel groupings.
Pederson said that’s just how the game unfolded, but that Gibson is another young player who is continuing to grow and get better with the offense. They did have a package of plays ready for him against the Colts, they just weren’t able to use them.
The head coach also was very happy with the young running backs on Sunday, particularly Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood. He specifically pointed out these they are both core special team players, and for them to turn around and also play on offense is tough to do, but they both did a great job.
Doug didn’t, however, offer up his opinion on what I am considering the absolutely terrifying reveal of Gritty, the new mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Seriously, this thing is going to haunt my dreams.)