Notes and Quotes from Doug Pederson’s Monday Presser, with Context
It’s a pair of hamstring injuries for Rodney McLeod and Jaylen Watkins.
Head coach Doug Pederson described both players as “day-to-day” at his Monday press conference. The Eagles are waiting for test results and hope to have a full report by Wednesday.
Pederson’s presser was a bit longer this week and he took a number of questions mostly focused on playcalling and the Birds’ running game.
Is there anybody in your ear during a game telling you how many times you’ve run and passed the ball?
“Yea. We talk run/pass all the time, especially during the game, especially on (the start of a series) and when a first down is earned. A lot of times you get into the game and it starts to become situational and things change, as you know. But yea, I’ve got guys in my ear all the time.”
Context: Doesn’t matter what those people say if Pederson is the decision maker.
Was LeGarrette Blount supposed to be the third running back on Sunday?
“No. Listen, kind of like how we talked last week, we’ve got roles for all of the guys. LeGarrette has a role. (Darren) Sproles has a role. Wendell (Smallwood) has a role. We even had Corey (Clement) with a role, a little piece of the pie. A lot of times, when you’re in these games like this, and you struggle to run your core runs, it becomes hard. And then you put yourself in a 2nd and 12 or a 2nd and 13, or even (take) a first down sack, then it’s hard. Now you’re going uphill. Yesterday I believe we had seven third and 10+ (situations) again. Then there were another five third and sevens. That’s unacceptable. We can’t be in that many long yardage situations in these football games. We’ve gotta focus on the run game and get the run game fixed and have a great plan going forward and commit to that. It takes pressure off your quarterback as well.”
Doug said he gave up on run because run wasn't working on 1D. But Eagles did better vs KC running on 1D (5.0 yards/play) than throwing (4.8)
— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) September 18, 2017
Eagles run plays on 1st/10: 12, -2, 2, 6, 11, 8, 5, -2 (both negative plays were Smallwood) https://t.co/BGPhSWkPhk
— 𝐃𝐚𝐧 𝐑𝐨𝐜𝐡𝐞 (@RochesRWinners) September 18, 2017
Is this a week-to-week thing with Blount’s role and running back usage?
“Well this (Kansas City) front is a good front. They put six, they put seven, sometimes eight guys in the box, you know? They choke your tight ends, meaning that a guy is right over top of a tight end. It’s hard to find running lanes against a defense that way. With so much man coverage, the ability to shoot the ball downfield in the passing game, I felt like that was going to be our strength in this game. That was the area I focused on. My aggressive play calling was down the field and to attack down the field. By no means specifically was it a game plan designed for Darren. Everybody had a role in this game. We just didn’t get to that role at that particular time in the game.”
Context: Well, he’s not wrong. They didn’t have a ton of short yardage situations in this game. There was basically nothing in the first half, then a couple of 2nd and 2 situations came up in the third quarter. They didn’t use Blount for either of those plays. He finished with zero carries since his only rush was negated by a holding penalty.
Is Carson Wentz throwing it too much?
“(pause)… You know, and I’ve said this before, too, but you don’t ever want to throw the ball that many times. You want to have more of a balance, obviously. The run game is a part of that. At the same time, listen, you end up doing what the game dictates, late in the game. Do I want him to drop back that many times? No. But at the same time, I have to look at the whole picture of the whole pie. I thought our defense was playing great throughout the whole game, and focusing in on the run game should get that going and give us a better balance moving forward.”
Context: It was a 75% to 25% split in the pass/run ratio. On the third quarter touchdown drive, they ran it twice with success after calling a nifty draw/screen/short toss for Sproles. They got away from the run after that series for some reason.
On Isaac Seumalo’s struggles and the thought of going to someone else at guard
“Experienced backups are great to have, but I don’t want to push any panic buttons at this time. We’ve got to make sure that these guys understand our game plans. Kelce is obviously a veteran center. I love having him in there with his athleticism on the perimeter. Isaac’s really done an outstanding job in (having) a short time to start last year and this year in a position of versatility. We’ll evaluate the whole thing. It’s not just one guy. If you want to point the finger, you can point it at me. I’m part of the pie, too. We’ll keep evaluating it.”
Context: No, it’s not just one guy, but they did have Allen Barbre available at left guard and parted ways with him during the preseason. Seumalo gave up four sacks in this game and could make way for Stefan Wisniewski next week.
Pederson: Isaac Seumalo will sometimes drop head, late off snap. All fixable. #Eagles
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) September 18, 2017
What about you? Do you evaluate yourself?
“I watched the game on my iPad coming back. I have to be critical of myself. I have to see if I’m putting my team in a good situation by play call and the decisions I make during the game. I feel like, too, that I’m still learning a little bit. At the same time, I had a great feeling in the way Alshon (Jeffery) was playing, and some great throws down the field to (Zach) Ertz yesterday, Torrey (Smith) made a great play in the second half. I just felt like putting the ball in their hands at that time was the right thing to do.”
Context: Doug took this question and turned it into a “part two” answer on his play calling.
On Kareem Hunt’s touchdown run
“It was a draw play. Give them credit, it was a well-blocked play. It’s something we have to take a look at. You’ve got to be able to shed the blocks and make the play, you know? It was a great play by them. That’s really all I can say.”
You gotta believe Rodney Mcleod makes this. Corey Graham has to come up big here. pic.twitter.com/xz1SQd8H3f
— Gayle Saunders (@EagleSessions) September 17, 2017
Why put Donnel Pumphrey on injured reserve?
Pederson: “Because of his injury. It’s a tear.”
reporter: Would that have been a season-ending injury otherwise?
Context: Pederson says the injury took place on a running play in practice last week. Pumphrey was the Eagles’ fourth-round draft pick.
Are your running backs good enough to run the offense you want?
Context: It sounded like a follow-up attempt was cut off by another reporter. I couldn’t tell who asked the question.
Did you talk to Blount after the game?
“No, I didn’t. I was talking to you guys.”
Context: None needed!