It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, but he and the rest of the team’s coaches and front office are in Indianapolis this week for the NFL Combine. Pederson spoke on Tuesday about what they’re looking at with prospects, explained some of the coaching changes made this offseason, and some other notes about current players.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On coaching changes
Pederson was asked about the firing of Mike Groh just one day after saying he wouldn’t be making a change. The head coach explained that he wasn’t clear in that communication, but he was still in his evaluation process when he made those comments.
“It was just a situation where I misspoke, and I apologize for that.”
He was asked point blank why Groh was fired, and Pederson said that there are sometimes during the course of the year/season where things just don’t work out.
“I’m constantly evaluating everybody, and my coaches know this coming into this business, into our organization, and I have to make tough decisions. We have to do it with the players, we have to do it with the coaching staff, and so I just made that move.”
Pederson also said that there was no input in the decision by owner Jeff Lurie — the head coach even said that one of the things he appreciates about Lurie and Howie Roseman, is that they give him complete control over the staff. He re-iterated that they, of course, are interested in the decisions and talk to him about (and want to meet) potential candidates, but ultimately the decisions rest with him.
He was later asked to explain the new coaching arrangement, particularly with separating the passing and run games with the system.
“For the last 4 years, I’ve had an offensive coordinator by position, and by title, and yet when it comes to game day decisions, game calls, I’m the one that’s calling the plays. So, the offensive coordinator doesn’t do that. I’ve thought long and hard about this — it’s why I took my time this offseason with these decisions.”
Pederson further explained that in order for Press Taylor to grow, he has to put more on his plate, but also wants to keep Taylor in the quarterbacks room.
By having specific people in charge of different aspects of the offense, it really adds a more collaborative approach to their game planning. The head coach also scoffed at the idea of giving up control over the play calling.
- Pederson said that they would have to see how things transpire this spring and in camp, but impending free agent QB Nate Sudfeld has put himself in a good position to be the No. 2 to Carson Wentz.
- Additionally, he said that he didn’t see any tension or issues between Wentz and Alshon Jeffery, and that the QB really stepped up in his leadership role this past season.
“There were no issues between those two.”
- Pederson said “Heck yeah!” when asked if he’d like to see impending free agent Jason Peters return in 2020.
- On what he wants to see from the wide receiver position, Pederson pointed to fewer injuries. But from a personnel standpoint, said all teams were looking for players with speed in the upcoming draft.
- The head coach last spoke with Jason Kelce during the end of the year physicals, and he said that the center is in a really good place — but, with every player, especially veterans, Pederson said he wants them to take some time away from the game, spend time with their families, before discussing whether they’ll be back.