Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh spoke to the media on Wednesday about how they had to address play-calling with so many injuries against the Giants, as well as how some of the younger players are stepping up.
Here’s what the OC had to say:
On practice squad players
He was asked about the players on the practice squad and how they’re evaluated in terms of being a good choice to bring up to the main roster. Groh noted that they have eyes on all the guys, particularly the position coaches. The coaches get a chance to see what the young players can do when they are on scout team with the defense, and also in individual drills during the week.
On play-calling with injuries
“You gotta get creative, like the circumstances we had the other night. We anticipated, should we lose a guy at any of those spots, what was the alternate plan going to be. So, I think it’s a great credit to the coaching staff first of all, Carson Walch and Justin Peelle and Duce Staley, those guys coaching those positions and getting their players prepared for any kind of adverse position we might find ourselves in.
And then secondly, it’s a great credit to the players. To be able to have the mental flexibility to go out there and the physical versatility to be able to play the different spots and move those pieces around and go out there and perform at the level they did.
So it’s a great credit to everybody involved.”
On the running backs
Groh talked about how they are really lucky to have Jay Ajayi and have a lot of confidence in him and in his ability to run with the physical style that he brings. Ajayi has been sprinkled in and the OC also pointed out Miles Sanders and Boston Scott’s good games against the Giants.
“So we will continue to utilize all those guys and feel comfortable with all of them.”
He also said that he wasn’t surprised by the impact Boston Scott had on Monday, but he was excited to see it.
“He brought an energy, got out there and made people miss. Made some exciting, loud plays. Got the fans energized and excited, got his teammates excited. He really provided the spark and I think people fed off of that, I really do.”
Groh also mentioned that comparing Scott to Darren Sproles is fair because of their stature, but was hesitant to make the comparison with all the production Sproles has had over the years.
“I will say this: When Boston’s been given his opportunity, I think he’s maximized his opportunities. And usually when players do that, then they earn more opportunities and they get the chance to get the ball more and they see more playing time and then you can really put a body of work together.”
The OC went on later to say that Scott is a very instinctive player, and you can see from the way he runs the ball that he’s got good vision.
“Sometimes finding your way in between the line in the rushers and all that and maybe gets lost a little bit, too. But he has a really good feel for that. Spatial awareness. He’s not bumping into guys. But he’s gotten enough lateral quickness where he can easily sidestep somebody too. And he turned a couple of those into some really big plays. We had big hits on the screens the other night. That was important in the game as well.”
On Carson Wentz
Groh talked about Wentz getting comfortable in the game on Monday, and that they had to get into a rhythm. He noted that when they go the running game going, they started moving the ball and making first downs. Ultimately, everybody kind of found a rhythm and that help Wentz, as well.
The OC went on to say that Wentz has put together a couple of really strong performances and it speaks to his confident in the guys in the huddle. Even the new guys, like Boston Scott, Greg Ward and Josh Perkins, which speaks to them getting plugged in during their time with the team, rather than sitting idly on the sidelines.
He was also asked about whether he agreed with Doug Pederson’s assessment that it was one of Wentz’s best career games.
“I would expect he’s going to have a lot more of those for many, many years. And certainly, deserves a lot of credit for bringing his team home a winner. But as we talked about a bunch of these other guys it was a tremendous team effort. Not only by some of these individuals that we’ve talked about here on offense, but for our defense to play the way that they did, our special teams was outstanding.”
On Dallas Goedert
“I think Dallas is a real weapon at the point of attack. He’s got some hard matchups each and every week. Some of these are the most dynamic players on the defense that we’re asking him to block. He’s tremendously strong. He’s willing. He puts his face right on people. And he continues to get better and better with his technique.”
On the wide receivers
Groh talked about Greg Ward’s development over the years, and he noted that he watched Ward go from quarterback to wide receiver. The OC said that even when he was in Houston, you could see the skills of a receiver, but making the transition in position is a lot.
“t’s been a lot of fun to watch him develop and his confidence grow and to really kind of grow into his game and to figure out how he needs to play to be successful at that position. He had tremendous success at quarterback.
You don’t see too many guys be able to do that. And he’s put in a ton of time, a ton of work, and I’m excited for him and happy for him for him to be able to see the rewards of all that work.”
One other young player Groh was excited about was rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside, with the OC pointing out that he made a couple of really good plays against the Giants. JJAW has really come on and they’ve gotten good production out of him, especially as he gets more and more comfortable.
On Big V’s performance
“I think we ask a lot of V. He fills in at a bunch of spots in the line. And kind of an unsung hero, so to speak. And I thought he did really well holding up in there the other night when Lane [Johnson] went down. And he’s prepared at right tackle. He’s prepared at the guard spots. He’s prepared at left tackle. So he’s prepared to go in the game when his number’s called and we know that he’s played really good football for us and we anticipate that he’ll be able to continue to do that.
Guys got a lot of confidence in him. He’s got good strength. Understands exactly how we want it done. When he has the opportunity to go out there and practice for a full week knowing that he’s going to play I think for anybody, regardless what your job is, there’s a certain level of comfort in that as well.”