Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Tuesday before practice, and talked about the left tackle position and Jason Peters role on the offensive line, as well as what he’s seeing from the offensive skill positions.
Pederson said that as of today he wasn’t concerned that any of the players listed as day-to-day with injuries would actually miss the Week 1 opener. He noted, however, that things can change, but right now he isn’t concerned.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Jason Peters and the LT position
The head coach was asked if reports were true that Peters wanted a pay increase if he’s moved back to left tackle. Pederson wouldn’t address the notion that they’ve asked him to move to left tackle or that he asked for more money.
“Jason Peters for us, has done an outstanding job at right guard. He’s comfortable at right guard, and we have some options at left tackle that we’re working through over there.”
He reiterated that Peters is good and comfortable at right guard, and that it’s hard to disrupt too many positions along the offensive line, and they have a few more days to find out who the left tackle will be.
Later, Pederson was asked if they would consider moving Lane Johnson from right to left tackle, but he pointed out that you’d just have the same three options — Matt Pryor, Jordan Mailata, and Jack Driscoll — on the right side instead. It’s important to them as a team to keep guys in their spots and focus on one position, as much as possible.
Pryor is set to take the left tackle reps in Tuesday’s practice, and the head coach said he wasn’t concerned with his struggles in the team’s scrimmage on Sunday. Pryor hasn’t had much experience at left tackle — he’s mostly been used at right guard and right tackle — and his performance on Sunday is an example of why they don’t just move guys around.
As a follow-up to that, Pederson was asked why they aren’t then putting the Hall of Fame left tackle that they have on the roster back into that role and let Pryor stay on the right side. The head coach tried to explain that Peters has solidified his role at right guard and has his timing down with Johnson and Jason Kelce and that it’s too close to the season to make those changes.
On the running backs
Pederson said he’s been “pleased” with the running backs during camp. Miles Sanders is still day-to-day and working his way back to the field, Boston Scott has been a bright spot and has picked up where he left off last season, and Corey Clement “has worked really hard to bounce back from the injuries he’s had” and looks good and strong. He also said the three young running backs have been doing a really good job and the scrimmages have given them an opportunity to show what they can do.
On Carson Wentz
“Obviously, what Carson is working through right now is nothing major, just minor and day-to-day, and it’s actually a good time — this week — to rest.”
Pederson also pointed out that if they were playing a Thursday night preseason game this week, he wouldn’t be playing anyway — which he noted was true of most the starters.
On the wide receivers
With rookie Jalen Reagor week-to-week, Pederson said that he’s confident with JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who has game experience and has worked well with Wentz this year. Also, John Hightower has had a good camp, but as a rookie, doesn’t have game experience.
Pederson said “there’s always a chance” with regard to Alshon Jeffery and whether he’d be able to return to the field in September, but he doesn’t want to put a timetable on things. Jeffery is working extremely hard, and he wants to practice and wants to play in games — but, it’s a long season and they want to make sure his return will be longterm.
“I mean, there’s always a chance. I’m not going to put a timetable on Alshon. I want to make sure he’s obviously 100% or 105%, if that’s such a thing, before we put him out there. He’s working extremely hard. He wants to be out there. He wants to practice and play in games. But at the same time, we know it’s a long season. We’ve got some guys that we need to make sure that are healthy for the entire season, not just the beginning of the year.”
Later, he talked about Reagor’s development as a rookie, and Pederson said that he was impressed with how much he carried over from the virtual offseason to the practice field. And then, he also has a competitive drive that showed during practice, as well as his explosiveness and speed.