Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson had a chance to review the film following Sunday night’s loss to the Cowboys, and spoke to the media on Monday about what he saw, the state of the team, and also why Sidney Jones didn’t play.
He wouldn’t address reports from Howard Eskin that the anonymous comments last week were made by Alshon Jeffery. Pederson said that was last week’s news, and also wouldn’t comment whether Eskin — as someone close to the team — made the claims because the Eagles wanted it out there.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On what the film showed
“About what I thought. Inconsistent, a little sloppy, and basically enough to coach off of, obviously, to get better at it, to fix. It’s not one guy, it’s not one unit, it’s a collective effort. So, that’s what we have to focus on this week, and get better.”
Later on, Pederson was asked about the deep pass to Nelson Agholor and whether he felt the receiver gave maximum effort to make the catch. He supported Agholor and said he did feel the effort was there, and noted that even in the Minnesota game, they’re just missing him by maybe a yard or two on those long balls.
On why Sidney Jones didn’t play
Pederson didn’t quite have a straight forward answer for why Jones didn’t get any defensive snaps. The head coach noted that Jalen Mills was back, and Rasul Douglas was on the other side, and that was the game plan going in.
It was then pointed out that when Mills came off the field, Craig James went in instead of Jones. Pederson just kept repeating, “That was the plan this week,” but did acknowledge that Jones was “fine” and “OK” and “good”. The head coach did pretty much everything in his power to avoid answering why they weren’t playing their 2017 second-round draft pick. Yikes.
On the outlook for this team
Pederson talked about being apart of the Kansas City team that started slow and went on to win 10 games in a row. He very much contends that they are still able to turn things around, and are just one game away from the top of the division with nine games left this season.
“Obviously, sense of urgency has to pick up, from the standpoint of each week becomes a little more important. But, we got the guys in the locker room, I got the coaches on this staff, to get it done. And that’s what we’re gonna do.”
He repeated again what he emphasized Sunday after the loss, and that it all starts with him as the head coach and his messaging to the team. Then it’ll be on the leaders in the locker room to keep things together — like they did when he was 1-5 with the Chiefs.
“And that’s the type of men we have, here in this locker room. They’re not gonna let one game define the season, or a couple games define our season. They’re gonna get better, learn from it, and that’s what we did back then. So, we’re going to carry that over to this year.”
Aside from a sense of urgency, players after the game were talking about holding each other accountable show up on time to meetings and practice. Pederson said that messaging starts with him, and he loves the fact that the players are talking that way after the loss.
“It shows that it means something to them, and it’s important to them.”
The head coach said it’s those little things that carry over, and — he’s not saying it’s happening here but, — things that would come with consequences in the work place. He used that as an example to mean that something little like being late can magnify in a game, such as not paying attention to their assignment, or alignments, or different things.
Pederson said he is happy with the talent that they have on the roster — and said as much on Sunday night too — but did say that he and Howie Roseman will look at all options ahead of the trade deadline.
On his message to Eagles fans
Pederson wanted to emphasize that they have nine games left, and it’s a one-game season. By no means are they pushing any panic buttons, and they’re just one game away from leading the division. If they win the NFC East at the end of the year, most likely you’re in the postseason.
He also pointed out that the things that are showing up on tape are fixable.
On the wide receiver group
“There’s some good and some not so good. It’s hard when your quarterback sometimes doesn’t necessarily have all the time to throw. He’s having to scramble and move around, and it gets you off rhythm, and gets you off schedule. So, that’s a part of it.
We are getting some guys open, and — it’s been documented already — we’ve got drops and different things like that this year. But, it’s still a group that we have a lot of confidence in, a lot of trust, a lot of faith in. We’ve had opportunities to complete balls down the field, we’ve missed. We missed last night in the game. We just gotta keep working, we can’t stop working, there’s a lot of football left.”
On the playcalling vs. Dallas
When the Eagles made it 14-7, they forced a punt and then Pederson called three straight runs plays. The head coach explained that his decisions were based on where they were on the field, knowing they had some early success on the ground with Jordan Howard, and the defense they were anticipating — and they got it, but Miles Sanders just missed the hole.
Pederson said that specific run was a play designed for Sanders, but sometimes those things happen with young players. He also noted that he did NOT consider going for it on 4th and 1 in that specific situation, being too far back.
- Pederson mentioned that most injured guys — DeSean Jackson, Jason Peters, etc... — likely won’t practice early in the week, but they are still rehabbing.
- Avonte Maddox is still in concussion protocol and still has some soreness.
- DT Hassan Ridgeway went down with two injuries against the Cowboys, but it was the second — an ankle injury — that the team is evaluating further on Monday.