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Doug Pederson on Carson Wentz’s status, moving tackles to guard, the Sixers, and more

Hear from Dougie P.

NFL: International Series-Philadelphia Eagles Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson spoke prior to the Philadelphia Eagles’ first rookie minicamp practice on Friday morning.

He didn’t have anything super interesting to say about the rookies themselves (especially since he hadn’t even seen them practice yet) but there were a few other topics of note from his press conference.

The latest on Carson Wentz

Wentz last spoke to reporters on April 15. At the time, he said his back is still healing. When asked if he’d be ready for OTAs, Wentz said: “That’s the goal, that’s the goal. But there’s really no timetable, no rush, but I feel good with the progression I’ve been on.”

Now here’s what Pederson said during a testy exchange today:

Q: What’s Wentz’s involvement been so far?

PEDERSON: His involvement? Not going to get too specific or detail a lot of the things, but he’s been working. Encouraged by his progress and where he’s at. And just looking forward to the next few weeks with him.

Q: When OTAs start in less than two weeks, will he be on the field?

PEDERSON: How does that pertain to rookie minicamp?

Q: It’s all about Carson, right?

PEDERSON: No, this is about the rookies that are in this weekend.

Q: So you won’t say if he’s going to be on the field?

PEDERSON: Not right now. Not until we get to that point. He’s on the field right now in Phase II. So, yeah.

Q: But it’s a different type of practice, different type of workout than OTAs.

PEDERSON: Yeah, we’ll address it when we get to OTAs.

If I had to guess, I don’t think Wentz will be fully participating in the Eagles’ first OTA practice on Tuesday, May 21. I think he might be limited in some capacity. If that’s the case, hopefully the Eagles are just being extra cautious with him.

Moving tackles to guard?

The Eagles have a need for some interior offensive line depth given that Brandon Brooks is recovering from an Achilles and Stefen Wisniewski’s 2019 option wasn’t picked up. The team could always re-sign Wis but they also might want to consider training one of their tackles to play at guard. BGN alumnus Jimmy Kempski asked Pederson about this topic on Friday:

Q: Is there any plan to start cross-training your backup offensive tackles at guard, like you’ve done before?

PEDERSON: Yeah, and listen, that’s part of our plan all along since I’ve been here, is we cross train a lot of guys. And that’s a big part of the success that we’ve had. Having a guy like Isaac [Seumalo], for instance. He’s played tackle, he’s played center, he’s obviously secure at guard right now. But yeah, we cross train guys and make sure we’re covered at all bases.

Q: What about specifically like Big V —

PEDERSON: I knew that’s where you were going.

Q: — are you going to start cross training him at guard as well?

PEDERSON: Listen, we’re always going to cross train those guys. Big V, obviously. Left tackle, right tackle, vice versa. He’s been able to do that. And we’re going to continue to do that with those guys.

Q: Does Andre Dillard fall into that category? Or how do you kind of approach him getting his feet wet?

PEDERSON: We’re trying to get his feet wet with the play book and get him moving around. So, at this time, we’re kind of going to keep him where he’s at and let him play there.

Q: What about Jordan Mailata? Is he somebody that could play guard? Do you envision his future still being at tackle?

PEDERSON: I mean, yeah, this is a guy that we can cross train and maybe we cross train him at both tackle spots. Left tackle, right tackle. He’s a second year now into our system and this will be a big offseason for him. He’s a big bodied guy. And I think he’s athletic enough. But we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes once we get into Phase III and obviously training camp, we’ll know more when the pads come on. We’re going to continue— especially the young players, having versatile linemen that can play multiple spots helps us.

So, for those wondering, Dillard playing at guard isn’t on the table.

It’s more possible we could see Halapoulivaati Vaitai and/or Jordan Mailata at guard. Still, that doesn’t seem super likely to me based on Doug’s answers here. It’s also just hard to envision the Eagles moving Mailata to a brand new position after he only first started playing football last summer.

Doug’s on the mend

Pederson said he’s 60% recovered from his Achilles surgery. He’s out of his boot but he did have a sleeve on his leg. Seems like Doug will be ready to run up and down the sideline by the time September gets here.

Trust The Process

Doug started his presser with the following line:

“How about those Sixers, right? Stay alive. Game 7. Love it.”

  1. Doug is such a dad.
  2. Go Sixers. Beat the Raptors in Toronto on Sunday night.

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