The Eagles have a bit of a weird schedule with their Week 14 game coming on Monday night, but offensive coordinator Mike Groh spoke to the media on Wednesday about the offense against Miami and talked a bit about the release of WR Mack Holllins — who has since signed with the Dolphins.
Here’s what the OC had to say:
On the run game against Miami
Groh talked about running back Miles Sanders and how he played really well on Sunday and continues to improve every week.
“He saw the holes, picked his holes, was decisive, was able to break tackles, fall forward for two. Was pleased with what he did there.”
He also later was asked about Sanders and the biggest growth they’ve seen in the rookie rusher.
“I think he’s comfortable now in the schemes that we have and has gotten enough looks at them. Certainly there is no replacing the game experience, so to be able to get out there and run it in the games and see those plays develop, I think his growth there as a runner and his vision has been outstanding.
He’s made plays out of the backfield with his hands really from day one. So in terms of being able to do both, he’s been extremely productive and impactful in all or games.”
The OC was asked why then they kind of got away from the run game in the second half. He said there was no conscious decision to do that.
“Some of it was dictated by the circumstance of the game and I thought we had good production in both the run and the pass.”
He then emphasized that they didn’t make a decision to not run it against the Dolphins, and that it was in their thoughts and they’ll continue to utilize the run game. Groh admitted that in the fourth quarter they had to throw the ball a bit to catch up, and they had a three and out which limited their plays in the series.
Groh also said that having Jay Ajayi has been great, “Just like before when we had him. Extremely dependable, he’s upbeat, and he’s just ready when his number is called.”
On Carson Wentz
Groh reiterated what he mentioned that week about having a menu of plays each week they can go to with Carson Wentz moving the pocket.
“Those were effective plays and we got a lot of production out of those plays. Carson did a good job. The guys out there did a good job of executing the plays. Made some plays out of the pocket. So like I said, we have those available to us. Coach called them in the right spots. Credit to everybody.”
He also said that QB Wentz responded really well to one of the lesser games of his career, and noted that he’s a “true leader”. The OC elaborated that Wentz has attacked everything at practice this week and the way he approached everything all week stood out.
Groh was asked about Wentz’s completion percentage being down this year and what they’re doing to improve that.
“I think there are probably a number of factors that go into that. And fundamentally speaking and the fundamental discipline that is required to play every position, you got to always stay on top of those things. I think Carson has done a really good job. The pass protection on Sunday was outstanding. Had a lot of time to throw. Had a clean pocket really for the majority of the day. Had really good results.”
On the release of Mack Hollins
“I think in every season there are tough decisions that have to be made. I think it was a decision in terms of what’s in the best interest of the Philadelphia Eagles that can help us win right now. Beyond that, you have to ask Doug and Howie in terms of that stuff.”
Groh went on to say that he has a ton of respect for Hollins and everything that he invested during his time in Philly. He explained that there are a number of factors that go into a roster decision like that and he doesn’t want to speculate.
On the receivers
Groh talked about how JJ Arcega-Whiteside seemed to be in the right place at the right time for some of his plays the past two weeks, including his big catch for a touchdown on Sunday.
The OC also had good things to say about Alshon Jeffery, who had his best game (statistically) against Miami,
“He played well. Really played well. He and Carson were on the same page. Showed good energy. Attacked the football. Made some tough and contested plays as well. We moved him around. Those guys, they did a nice job, like you said.”
He acknowledged Jeffery’s size and ability with contested catches and said they want to take advantage of that as a vertical threat as well.