Following the loss to the Lions on Sunday afternoon, head coach Doug Pederson spoke to the media about some of their failures, what they need to improve on, and what kind of pressure they’re under coming up on a short week.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On the loss to Detroit
Pederson noted that he wouldn’t take back any of his play calls. They understood what Detroit was doing, taking Zach Ertz out of the game and then having one-on-one’s across the board. The head coach chalked it up to good defense by the Lions and a good learning opportunity for the Eagles players.
He talked about how this is not a defining moment for their season, and that they have a good group of guys.
“But, we have to get some things fixed. We know that. And, we’re working on a short week this week.”
Pederson was asked about the Eagles pass rush, and having another game where the defense isn’t getting to the quarterback. He said that they’ll need to look into that, generating a pass rush with “4, 5, 6, whatever it is”.
He did note that they had some opportunities to make plays on the ball down the field and didn’t do it.
“But, listen, there’s enough to go around in this football game. Offense, untimely penalties, fumbles, drive killers on offense that kept us from scoring. Kick-off return for a touchdown. Defense not getting off the field on third down.”
Pederson said there’s not just one thing to point to from this loss.
Regarding the kick-off return, the head coach said that he needs to review the tape to see exactly what went wrong, but in the moment it appeared that guys didn’t get off their blocks and the ball bounced outside, leading to the touchdown
Later on, he was asked about the dropped passes and what he attributed them to. Pederson said that it could be a few different things, including a player and their focus — needing to concentrate all the way through to the catch and tuck. Or, if it’s a contested catch, they need to be “strong to the ball”.
But, Pederson admitted that against the Lions, the drops were probably more focus related than anything else.
On Miles Sanders
Pederson was asked about the two fumbles on one drive by Sanders, and whether he talked to the rookie running back afterward.
“We just told him we have a lot of confidence in him, still got a lot of trust in him, and kept him out there.”
The head coach explained that keeping a player out there is the only way to show that they have trust and confidence in them, and he felt that Sanders rebounded pretty well in the second half. Pederson also noted that Sanders’ kick-off returns were good, and it was a learning moment for the young player.
“In games like this, we know we have to take care of the ball.”
Later, Pederson was asked about the no-call SUPER obvious face mask against the running back, and whether the officials gave him any sort of explanation. He said that he wouldn’t get into that, but on the field it appeared “it MIGHT have been a face mask” and then talked about how it’s hard to see in real time and they’ll have to look at the tape.
On having to fight from behind
Pederson was asked about having to come back from behind each of the past three weeks, and how that weighs on the team.
“We would love to be ahead, but we have a lot of confidence in our offense to be able to put us back in a position to win these games. And, we were there again the last two weeks, we’ve had opportunity.
Just got to look at everything. We have trust in our players. Defense had some nice stops late in this game, obviously, we had the blocked field goal for an opportunity there. So, ya a lot of trust in our guys, and we just have to execute a little better.”
On Carson Wentz
The head coach did say that quarterback Carson Wentz played well. They did some things this week and allowed him to make some more calls at the line of scrimmage, and Wentz managed that “extremely well”.
“Played well, played tough. Made some great throws.”
On facing Green Bay on a short week
Pederson has said that every game is important, but he was asked if there’s any extra pressure heading into Thursday night’s matchup against the Packers.
“We’re in a situation where we’ve dropped two of these NFC games back-to-back, and then we’re going on the road again to another tough road environment.”
But, the head coach said that they are excited about the opportunity and are looking forward to the contest.