Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters Monday, and after getting a chance to review the film from the Bengals tie, echoed his earlier sentiment about doing things differently at the end of overtime. He also gave some injury updates, and talked about the offensive game plan without some key contributors and so many young players.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
- Dallas Goedert suffered a lower body injury and it “appears he’s going to miss some time,” but it’s not something they have a time table for yet.
- Avonte Maddox is another one with a lower body injury, probably going to miss some time, as well.
- Jason Peters will be okay — he was playing 90-plus snaps in the humidity, and just suffered from some fatigue at the end of the game.
- DeSean Jackson is a little more day-to-day with a lower body injury, but they’re optimistic for Week 4’s matchup.
- Alshon Jeffery came out of last week’s practices good and they’re going to ramp things up for him throughout the week and see where he’s at this weekend.
Pederson noted that they play a physical game and these guys put their body’s at risk each week. As far as Goedert and Maddox, they both landed weird and those things are unfortunate, but they happen. He would not attribute the injuries they’ve had this season, and the past two, to anything other than being part of the game they all signed up to play.
On the punt for the tie
Pederson was on the radio Monday morning and admitted that he regrets punting at the end of overtime against the Bengals.
He reiterated that looking back at the decision, there were a couple of things that could’ve happened. If they went for it with 19 seconds on the clock, they could have made a big play or had defensive pass interference — but without any timeouts, if they had a completion in bounds, it would have been tough to hustle up there and kick the field goal.
If there were 5 to 7 seconds left on the clock, Pederson said the decision to go for it would have been easier. He noted that he felt comfortable with Jake Elliott kicking a 58-yard field goal — that’s what they talked about prior to overtime. Typically Elliott’s kick line is at 35 yards, but in these situations, they feel confident in stretching that out to the 40 yard line.
“Looking back, I probably would have elected to maybe go for it in that situation and try a ball down the field.”
On the offense and game planning
Pederson explained that right before the game, JJ Arcega-Whiteside also came up with a lower body injury, so they had to limit his snaps during the game.
“He’ll be fine though, he’s day-to-day. We should get him, hopefully, ready to go. But, he’s another one that was limited yesterday.”
Moving forward — with the injuries to Goedert, Jackson, and JJAW — they’ll have to come up with creative and unique ways to use all of their offensive players. Pederson pointed out that they’ve had to do this before at the end of last season, and they’ll have to do it again.
The head coach noted that the glaring thing through the first three weeks is that they aren’t winning the turnover ratio — they’re giving the ball away more than they are taking it away — and there were way too many penalties on Sunday against the Bengals.
“I thought we ran the ball effectively for the amount of times we ran it.”
Pederson said that Miles Sanders did a nice job, as did the running backs, and they have to find better ways to utilize the players they have — which includes looking at new formations and motions, and also to continue coaching up some of the young players.
He emphasized that some of those young guys are going to be the ones on the perimeter for them.
“Right now, we’re just not a very good football team. Or, as I said after the game, we’re not very smart. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot, we’re leaving touchdowns on the field offensively, and we’re just executing. And those are things we’re going to look really hard at this week.”
The head coach talked about maybe having to simplify things, or going up-tempo if needed — things they’ve had success with in the past.
Pederson was also asked about the offense getting away from the run later in the game. He said not to make excuses, but at the end of Week 2’s contest, Miles Sanders was battling fatigue — something the RB mentioned — and against the Bengals, Sanders was fighting through that at the end of the game, as well.
On Carson Wentz’s performance
Pederson said that there’s a couple of things that they can maybe do to help the quarterback, including playing fast which should help clear his mind a little — playing more up-tempo doesn’t give players time to think, but just react.
They’ll take a look at the game plan and make sure there aren’t too many moving parts or things that Wentz has to get them in and out of.
“I think you’re always learning, you’re always growing. I don’t think that anybody gets to the point where they’ve got things completely mastered, so to speak. Even some of the top quarterbacks would say that, they’re constantly getting better and if you’re not striving to get better, you’re going the other way.”
Pederson also echoed that they don’t want Wentz to feel like he has to put the weight of the offense on his shoulders, and that everyone has their role. One of the things they could maybe rely on more, however, is Wentz’s ability to escape the pocket — those big plays Sunday came from the QBs ability to extend plays.
- When asked about Jason Peters’ performance before leaving with an injury, Pederson said that he did some nice things, but there were some plays “he got edged a little bit.” Overall, the head coach said Peters played, “pretty well,” and he still plays at a high level, even in the run game.
- Pederson admitted he loves calling plays and it’s the exciting part of his job. He hasn’t thought about giving up that responsibility.
- Pederson said that players were just being players with some of the chippiness after plays. He noted that without crowd noise, you can better hear everything the opponent is saying, and can have a bit more of a back and forth.