Eagles training camp is in full swing and Doug Pederson spoke to the media on Thursday about how it’s been going, which young guys have stood out to him the past few days, and where Jalen Hurts is at developmentally.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On training camp schedule
He’s hoping to have their first live practice on Friday, and while they’re evaluating everyone on the roster, there are some younger players that they want to see in game situations. At this point, they would have had two preseasons games normally, and they need to get some answers on some of the young guys.
Pederson won’t speak in depth about any of the injured players, but said he isn’t worried about them being longterm issues. He mentioned that they make a lot of plans in their preparation due to the limited time to get everybody ready, and he has to be smart in how they practice, but they know injuries are going to happen — especially early in camp, which is what they’re seeing a little bit now. The head coach noted that they do have planned maintenance days for players to keep them healthy and fresh.
The head coach later emphasized what he mentioned earlier in the week, that they have to balance getting the starters ready for Week 1 and evaluating and developing the young guys. He said they have to do right by both groups.
On young standouts
Pederson said that there have been several young guys that have stood out through the first three padded practices, including Jalen Reagor (WR), Quez Watkins (WR), John Hightower (WR), Jack Driscoll (OT), and Michael Jacquet (CB).
He noted that Watkins and Hightower are improving everyday, and Jacquet has done some nice things for them at corner. Driscoll has been put in positions to go against guys like Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat, and he’s done a nice job there.
The head coach later elaborated on Driscoll and how he’s currently taking reps at tackle, but is a guy they can move inside to guard, if needed. He has the position versatility that they like, but right now they’re keeping him at tackle as Nate Herbig and Jason Peters get some of the reps at guard.
Pederson also lauded Driscoll as a “very athletic guy” who is a smart player and details his work. The rookie takes great notes, asks great questions in the meetings, and then that carries over onto the field. He’s a young player, but they already see the traits in him that he’ll be a very good offensive lineman in the NFL.
On Jalen Hurts
“The way he’s picked up our offense, and handled the situations we’ve put him in, in practice, he’s done a nice job there.
He’s still got some learning to do, obviously, but nothing’s too big for Jalen. He’s obviously played in some big-time games in college, he’s been in a number of offenses in his career — whether it’s been in Oklahoma, Alabama, places he’s been — and he’s done a nice job understanding. Now it’s just a matter of detailing that work and applying it to what he sees defensively when he gets an opportunity.
Obviously, the skillset is there. You can see him with his legs, the ability to escape the pocket — things he did in college — and throws a good ball, and all those things.”
- Nate Sudfeld is the No. 2 guy behind Carson Wentz, but Jalen Hurts is still learning and has done some good things in camp. Pederson said Sudfeld has come in and done everything they asked him to do from a backup position, and he’s executing the offense when he’s on the field. They still have to put him in game-like situations, and every position is being evaluated, but “right now” Sudfeld is No. 2.
- Pederson said that JJ Arcega-Whiteside came into camp in the right frame of mind, and had an entire offseason to work and he had a chance to get stronger and detail his work. The second-year players has missed a couple days, but he’s going to get back on the field and work with Wentz again. He’s using the experiences he got last year to improve.
- He likes the running back room and where they’re all at — including Anthony Killens who is splitting time between running back and wide recevier. Pederson doesn’t have concern about Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Corey Clement, and they’ve all played in big games and can handle the pressure.
- Jordan Mailata has had some setbacks physically throughout his career, but Pederson said they can see the retention of information the past two seasons, and he’s still a big guy who can move well. While they had to go a bit slower with him since football was relatively new, now going into his third year, Mailata has to understand it’s go time.