After having a chance to review the tape from Sunday’s embarrassing loss to Washington, Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Monday about the turnovers, receiver play, as well as gave some (not so great) injury updates.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
- Vinny Curry and Craig James are both “significant” injuries and are both expected to miss several weeks.
- Miles Sanders, Lane Johnson and Derek Barnett will be evaluated throughout the week this week and see where they are on Sunday. They are still day-to-day.
- Brandon Graham is in the concussion protocol.
On Carson Wentz and turnovers
After looking at the film, Pederson said that it confirmed that the interceptions were just missed throws. On the one before halftime, the coach said that it looked like the ball could have slipped a little bit coming out of Carson Wentz’s hand.
Pederson noted that those are things that are going to happen, especially when it’s warm. And, it’s just part of the game. He did say, however, that he is always going to maintain his aggressiveness in those types of situations.
He further explained that his thought was to get more points before the half and then start the third quarter with the ball — which is something they do often to sort of carry that momentum through halftime.
Pederson admitted that they have to keep teaching Wentz that it’s okay to throw the ball away or put it in the dirt when the situation calls for it, but there’s a fine line between being aggressive and being smart. Pederson said that he believes Wentz can learn how to better manage that fine line, and the coaches also have to coach better in those situations.
During the game, as things went off the rails, Pederson said that the communication between him and the QB was just about each play and each drive.
On the wide receivers
Pederson was asked about DeSean Jackson only taking a little more than 50 percent of offensive snaps, and the head coach said that they want to make sure he’s a guy that is healthy for them later in the season, so it was just about managing snaps. They are going to be smart with Jackson, but Pederson expects the WR’s snap counts to increase over the coming weeks.
As far as the rookie receivers, Jalen Reagor and John Hightower, Pederson was honest and said they “were just okay.” The head coach noted that you could see Reagor’s speed and explosiveness, and his ability to get behind coverage, but they have to continue working on his connection with Wentz.
Pederson also said that there’s a big difference between game speed and practice speed, and they have to do a better job of coaching game speed.
On the offensive line
“I thought Nate [Herbig] did well. It wasn’t perfect, but for his first start — he’s a smart guy, and he graded well. As of right now, as we move forward, we’re going to continue to work him at right guard.”
Pederson said that it was “unfortunate” that the media wasn’t able to fully view practice to see how the reps were being spread out between Herbig, Jack Driscoll, Matt Pryor and Jordan Mailata. As they got into game week, they were seeing who had the hot hands, and those were the guys who got the start on Sunday.
On what they can build off of Week 1
- Beginning and starting football games fast. The defense getting off the field early and the offense scoring early was something they were able to do — which they struggled with last season — and is something they can build on.
- The most production they had was in a tempo offense, which is something they want to do more of.
- Special teams highlighted some good, young players, including Rudy Ford. Pederson said Ford had a great performance on the punt team and was able to be disruptive.
- Also, Darius Slay did an “outstanding job” matching with Terry McLaurin, which was good to see from their new CB addition.
- Without the preseason, Pederson had a lot of questions heading into Week 1, but for the most part — having just three penalties, starting fast — he didn’t see those kinds of issues.
- Pederson admitted that he could have done some things differently with the play calling, but ultimately he does what is in the best interest of the football team, and they can’t have the turnovers or number of sacks, they can’t put the defense in short-field situations, etc...
- The Eagles players were in communication with the Football Team players, and Pederson spoke to Ron Rivera about their pregame plan — and Pederson said he thought it was executed well.