Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters before practice on Friday, and announced that Jamon Brown will get the start at right guard this week, why they’re confident in Jack Driscoll when Lane Johnson has to sit, and a bit about the Ravens.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On the OL and injuries
Pederson confirmed that Matt Pryor has come down with an illness, so they’re following all the illness protocols with him, and he will miss Sunday’s game. Jamon Brown will start at right guard in Pryor’s place.
The head coach explained what he’s seen from Brown since joining the Eagles.
“One of the things, he’s played and started in this league. You go back and watch some of his tape, he’s done some things well. He’s been with us for a couple of weeks, and as you guys know whenever we get a new player, it’s about catching them up to speed on our playbook. He’s done a nice job. He’s a smart guy. He’s aggressive coming off the ball. He fits in really well. And he had a good day yesterday and he’ll have another one today when we get to practice and get ready to play.”
Pederson acknowledged that Lane Johnson is still working through his injury and hasn’t practiced this week. They have Jack Driscoll ready to go since Johnson isn’t available on Sunday. The head coach had a lot of good things to say about Driscoll, including that he’s all about business — something you like to see in a young player.
He was also asked about Driscoll having his MBA and how that kind of intelligence can factor into football.
“It factors in a lot because they’re able to process movement, right? They’re able to think on their feet, and that’s what you like to see, not only pre-snap but post-snap, and that’s something that Jack can do and how he can change direction just because of what the defense — he can anticipate. Those are all things — when you talk about being smart, it’s not so much just knowing the plays, it’s also anticipating what they see post-snap, when the defense moves and how to take the initial line call and then apply it to the post-snap.”
Other injury updates
Darius Slay was able to participate in practice yesterday, and he was medically cleared by an independent party, so “he’s good to go.”
DeSean Jackson had a really good day on Thursday, and they’ll get him back at practice Friday and see how he’s feeling. If he’s doing well, there’s a possibility he’ll play Sunday. UPDATE: He’s officially been ruled out.
Pederson noted, that in Alshon Jeffery’s case, they just incorporated him back in practice this week, and he’s someone else that they need to make sure feels good. Jeffery was taking scout team reps this week, and they want to see where he’s at with the offense before making a decision about him playing. UPDATE: Jeffery is also out.
On the Ravens’ defense
“As far as game planning, you’ve got to go execute and you’ve got to execute the play called. As far as them and creating turnovers, one, they know how to put pressure on the quarterback so the quarterback is sometimes forced to make bad decisions or put the ball — be a little bit less accurate, and so they get interceptions on the back end.
And I think one of the things they do probably better than anyone in the league is they know how to tackle or punch out the football. You saw it last week, and Marlon Humphrey is one of the best in the league at doing that, and that’s something that we’ve coached our players up this week, we’ve shown them tape on that. But listen, until you’re out there doing it, it’s just a matter of just understanding and putting our players, trying to — even getting our look squads this week to try to simulate that a little bit in practice. But they’re really good at it. They’re really good at getting the ball out, tackling the football, punching at the football, disrupting timing in the passing game, and that’s why they’ve been able to create turnovers.”
Pederson reminisced about the early days with Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh being with the Eagles as special teams coordinator under Andy Reid. He said that Harbaugh always had an aggressive mindset, and his special teams have always been detailed and really prepared — something that has carried over to his team in Baltimore.
He was also asked about Ravens’ tight end Mark Andrews, and what makes him difficult for defense’s to stop.
“He’s such an athletic guy, he’s big, he’s physical, and they’ve been able to just create space. Lamar is dynamic and so there’s a lot of attention, obviously, on him, when he gets rolling. Sometimes the tight end is just left really just wide open, dropped coverage and things of that nature.
Teams like this you’ve got to remain disciplined on defense. You’ve got to trust your eyes. You’ve got to trust your instincts, trust what you have been taught during the week as far as the game plan goes, and just lock into that and hopefully you can at least limit the amount of exposure or the touches with guys like that.”