Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Monday about some of the roster changes made over the past few days, and getting ready for their season opener against Washington. Pederson confirmed that Carson Wentz is back from the injured list and ready to go, and talked about how they prepare for a lot of new faces in Week 1.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Washington prep
Pederson talked a little about how it’s challenging to game plan for a team with a new coaching staff, especially in Week 1. They don’t know yet if things are going to be Ron Rivera influenced, or Jack Del Rio influenced, or how that will be split between offense and defense. He said it’s not really until game day that they’ll find out how Washington will attack.
The head coach said it’s a talented group up front on defense with a lot of first round draft picks, and not just on the line but linebackers too. The Eagles have their work cut out for them to prepare for the front seven, and they know that they’ll rotate guys and keep them fresh.
As far as Chase Young, they have to look at his college tape to get a feel for him as a pass rusher and edge setter, and then make adjustments as they go. They don’t know what side he’ll be on, but they have to play and execute and do the best they can against a guy like that.
On the offensive line
The head coach confirmed that Jason Peters will be starting at left tackle for the Eagles in Week 1. Pederson didn’t want to talk much about Cordy Glenn, who he did say came in and worked out well, but then made the Peters announcement.
“Jason Peters came into my office this morning, and he’s going to side over to left tackle.”
He went on to say that’s just the kind of guy Peters is, and he’s willing to make sacrifices for the team. Pederson also said it was valuable experience for Peters to get those reps at right guard, and he did a great job at the position.
They’ll still need to get Peters caught up, even though he feels comfortable, they’ll need to get him back into the swing of things. At right guard, Matt Pryor is an option, and they also have some even younger options like Nate Herbig and Jack Driscoll.
On the WRs
Pederson said that DeSean Jackson feels good and healthy, and getting him back in the offense gives them an explosive option.
“Obviously, a veteran player, who can still play, and play at a high level. That’s a really good thing for our offense to have him back in the lineup.”
And then, with the rest of the group, the head coach mentioned that JJ Arcega-Whiteside has experience, and Greg Ward played in some big games for them last year. Rookie John Hightower had a good camp, and earned the roster spot, according to the head coach.
Pederson also noted that with the new practice squad rules, they do have some more flexibility there on game days.
- Pederson spoke a little about re-signing Josh McCown to the practice squad, and he mentioned that with the new practice squad rules and being in a pandemic, they wanted to bring him back — especially since he’s familiar with their team and offense.
- He said that Jason Huntley was someone that the Eagles scouted and were interested in out of college, and was on their draft board. Pederson said that they are excited to get him in the rotation, and he’s joining a really talented running back room.
- The head coach also said that it’s exciting to get back to some type of normal, even if there are no fans in the stands, it’s game week and it’s gives them and fans something to look forward to.