The Eagles were back at the NovaCare Complex on Monday for the start of the team’s mandatory minicamp, and head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Tuesday about the importance of attendance and how bonds are being built early on.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
Pederson said that he saw Jenkins on Monday and again Tuesday morning and that the safety is in good spirits and is expected to participate. He later said that the offseason program is voluntary and Jenkins never specifically said he was holding out — while also pointing out several other team veterans that didn’t attend (Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Alshon Jeffery), and that they all understand what it takes to get ready.
The head coach also confirmed that everybody on the roster is in attendance.
“I think it’s huge. Listen, it’s a credit to these players. I know it’s a short window here at the end of the offseason. Starting yesterday really its a four-day, four days with these three right here. But it’s huge for these guys to wrap up this offseason together. I think this is the most important part of the offseason.”
He emphasized that he knows it’s a short window, but it’s when they really start to solidify those bonds with each other.
It’s important for him as a coach too for everyone to be at practice and to be able to address everyone at the same time and see all their faces. Even though not all the guys will practice, just having them in the building this week will help carry over into training camp later in the summer.
Pederson later said that they by no means have everything in place yet for the season, but having everyone there gives them an opportunity to play around with different pairings, including this being the first time Big V and Lane Johnson will work together on the right side, and Isaac Seumalo and Jason Peters building bonds as well.
On the Carson Wentz deal
Pederson was asked how much having the new extension in place with Wentz will benefit the QB and the team. He agreed that the biggest thing is that they won’t have any sort of distractions lingering on the backend, and Pederson not having to answer the same questions “over and over and over again”.
“I’m excited for Carson, obviously, and his family. I’m also excited for the Eagles organization, that we were able to extend him. I’ve said this all along, that he and I came into this league together — rookie quarterback and rookie head coach — we’re sort of married to this deal, too.”
Pederson admitted he is still going to hold rookie running back Miles Sanders back this week, and it hurts that he isn’t getting the physical rep, but the head coach doesn’t want to risk Sanders getting any more injured. They’ll wait until camp to get him out there, but he’s taking mental reps in the meantime and running back coach Duce Staley is drilling him in the RB room.
Linebacker Paul Worrilow practiced early on this offseason but then was held back, and Pederson said he’s another guy they are just monitoring, but he was out there for the walk-thru portion of practice on Tuesday.
Jason Peters came back “in great shape” and looks good. Pederson said he spoke with him yesterday, and they play to take care of him as they’ve done in the past — noting that Coach Stoutland does a great job of making sure he gets the reps he needs to be ready for the regular season.
Pederson said Brandon Brooks is doing really well, but it’s hard to say at this point whether they expect him to be ready or miss any part of the regular season.
Pederson agreed that he could envision DeSean Jackson returning punts once the regular season gets underway. The head coach called the veteran receiver electric and a dynamic player and there are times when you need that boost that he provides.
Last week, the head coach cancelled the final OTA practice and he talked about how he thinks it’s important for the team to spend time together away from the field as well and have some fun together. He said those bonding moments really are important in December and January when they really need to lean on each other for the final push.