Head coach Doug Pederson is back on-site with the Eagles after being cleared to return and he spoke to the media on Wednesday about the team’s training camp schedule, how practices will look, and how he was able to coach remotely.
On training camp
Pederson said that he had a chance to go through the schedule for the padded portion, and he typically has 2 days of a controlled, live practice, and he’s going to stick to that — even without the preseason. He’s keeping it to a very similar schedule as in a regular year, and has 8 or 9 padded practices scheduled ahead of Week 1.
Today began Phase 2 of training camp with everybody, but Pederson said they aren’t really behind their typical schedule. The past two weeks they’ve already installed the offense and defense and they’re working on situational football even though it’s just been in walk-throughs. They’ve also already been on the grass with rookies this past week, so they aren’t playing catch-up, and are just missing some of the live practices they would typically have had — but, they have everything in place if they had to play a game tomorrow.
Pederson pointed out that one of the changes without a preseason is that there are actually fewer days off, and it’s a bit more of a fluid schedule. So, he’s confident they’ll get the answers they need from the non-starters with some of the back-to-back practices they have planned.
They have to make sure that the starters get enough reps, but Pederson will still get some of the other guys on the roster to rotate in with the first team during practice. Those reps are the equivalent to game reps for some of those bubble guys, so it’s important that they still work those in.
He noted that practices won’t look a lot different aside from the coaching wearing masks, and maybe fewer people on the sidelines.
On being out with COVID
“I, obviously, didn’t want to miss any time if I didn’t have to, but I stayed engaged virtually with the team.”
He was still able to watch the practices and still run the team and practices from home. The offseason was good practice for him to be able to work remotely, but he was chomping at the bit to get back with the team.
- He said that he spoke with linebacker Jatavis Brown about his retirement, and he supports and respects that decision, because if his heart isn’t in it, it’s a disservice to all involved. But, Pederson said that he is still excited about the LB corps — a young, energetic group — and that’s why he and Howie Roseman didn’t bring in more at the position this offseason.
- Pederson said that Greg Ward will be one of the veterans and leaders in the WR room, along with DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. Going into this season, Ward is “in the starting mix” for them, and he just needs to get better every day.