Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson spoke to the media on Wednesday, and said he expected both Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor to be full participants at practice. The head coach also talked about the receiver position in general, his message to Carson Wentz, and about preparing for the Dolphins.
Pederson also spoke a little about his time as a player in Miami, and playing behind Dan Marino and for Coach Shula — and joked that he learned to scuba dive down there too.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On the receiver position
Jordan Matthews was the guy on the outside the past two weeks, and now that he’s gone, Pederson mentioned that JJ Arcega-Whiteside has been cross-training at several positions and is the guy.
The head coach said that Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins can also play outside, and Greg Ward can play in the slot. Pederson also confirmed that Ward will still have a role in the offense, and that he’s earned it.
Pederson was asked what JJAW has done to earn a bigger role, and he pointed to the work the receiver has done at practice. He also noted that the rookie has taken the coaching from the classroom to the practice field, and did some nice things in last week’s game even without the ball — like route running, blocking, etc...
On his message to Carson Wentz
Pederson said that he just has to emphasize that sometimes — easier said than done — you have to let the offense work, and trust the guys around you on offense and even defense. Wentz doesn’t have to go out there searching for plays, but rather let things unfold naturally.
He also just wants to keep him focused and to quiet the noise from the outside, and just take things one play at a time.
It was pointed out that he’s said that a few times now about getting Wentz to slow down and to stop trying to force plays. Pederson said that this message is really for the whole offense, and he tells them all the time and everyday. He said it’s no different on defense or special teams, they need to let the game come to them and take it one play at a time.
Pederson agreed that part of it is having a quarterback like Wentz who likes to push the ball down the field, but with current personnel, they’re a little more limited to the shorter stuff. Last week, some of it was pass protection and some of it was issues with substitutions, also.
On the Dolphins
Pederson was asked about quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and how he keeps finding a job in the league.
“Lot of respect for what he’s done, for his career. Go back to last year when we faced him, Tampa Bay, he’s just a competitor. I love watching him play, he doesn’t care, he’s going to put the ball in tight windows and he’s going to lead, probably more, by example. Lot of respect for him — a lot like Josh McCown with us, these guys continue to play, and continue to play at a high level, and help their teams win.”
- As mentioned earlier, both Alshon jeffery and Nelson Agholor were expected to fully participate at Wednesday’s practice.
- Lane Johnson was cleared concussion protocol and was allowed to return to practice on Wednesday.
- Jordan Howard has still not been cleared for contact, and will still do individual work. Pederson did, however, say that he’s making progress and doesn’t anticipate it being a long term injury.