Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Wednesday and went into the team’s draft process and evaluation procedures, as well as leaning on Howie Roseman and the scouting staff. He also talked about Jalen Reagor’s development and some of the reasons he’s proud of his staff and players this season.
Pederson mentioned that one of the things they need to discuss this offseason is the number of injuries and whether he needs to do things differently moving forward.
“I look back on it and I look at the injuries and that’s something we’ve got to talk about in the off-season. We’ve got to discuss that and see if I need to change up practice or if I need to maybe practice harder or be more physical in training camp. Whatever it is, those are all things that we can focus on beginning next week and the coming weeks.”
Here’s what else the head coach had to say:
On the draft process and his involvement
Pederson was asked about the pre-draft process with Jalen Hurts, and he talked about the QB being one of the top prospects in this last draft class. They did their due diligence, talked to regional scouts, talked to coaches, and had his assistant coaches evaluate and talk to him, and then Hurts became an intriguing option for them.
“As long as I’m the head coach here, we’re always going to evaluate the quarterback position, that’s not one position that is exempt from anything. If we’re not looking at that position, I feel like we’re not getting better, we’re not adding depth. You’ve seen us here over the course of my five years, how the backup quarterback has been very effective and that’s something I’m going to continue to do is evaluate the quarterback position. So that’s kind of how he became a Philadelphia Eagle, just where we were and adding that depth and adding competition and adding value to the position.”
As far as Pederson’s involvement with evaluating prospects, he wanted to be clear that their process is to lean on Howie Roseman and the scouting department. The head coach and his staff also evaluate players, but it’s a collaborative effort.
“Listen, by no means do I want to cross that line. My side is the football side, I want to coach football. That’s what I love to do, but at the same time I want to make sure my staff is doing the right things. We’re evaluating the players that can help us. That’s all I’m saying there. I don’t want to cross that line at all.”
On Jalen Reagor and the WR position
Pederson talked a little about the virtual offseason and how that’s affected young players’ development. He used Jalen Reagor as an example of a player who was thrown in Week 1 to learn on the fly, but when he went down and missed six weeks, he wasn’t then able to get into a groove until late in the season. Pederson said that they’re seeing now what they were hoping to have seen back in Week 3 and 4 from the rookie had he not been injured.
“So, yeah I think you look around the league and you do see some young players who are on some teams with some veteran players. They don’t have the amount of injuries that we have, they don’t have the offensive line injuries that we have or different things that are going on. I’m not speaking for every team, I don’t know that, but all that plays a part into the success that we have individually on the field and collectively as a football team.”
The head coach also took responsibility for some of the slow development and acknowledged that it all falls back on the coaches to prepare players, and maybe they have to scale back a little bit more rather than overload a player.
As far as the wide receiver position being more productive these past two weeks, Pederson credited finally seeing the fruits of their labor, and their hard word is paying off. He emphasized that scaling back as a staff and repeating plays, and practicing those plays in practice, gives guys an opportunity to be successful.
- Pederson was impressed by the players and the way they handled the pandemic, including all the testing, wearing masks, and social distancing.
- The head coach also tipped his hat to the assistant coaches for always preparing the next man up, especially in a season filled with so many injuries.
“Quite honestly, there has not been any quit in this team. You watch them play, they’re going to play hard for four quarters, and it doesn’t matter who’s out there.”
- He admitted that after watching the film from the Dallas loss, he felt like there were times when Jalen Hurts escaped the pocket a little too fast. But, Pederson noted that sometimes young players do that, and that’s an area they can coach him up and show him exactly where his eyes need to be and get him to trust the protection whether it’s a pressure look or not.