Let’s get it back to the Eagles.
Is Sunday’s game a must win?
I’m only half joking…
The good news is that the injury situation looks a little bit better, with head ball coach Doug Pederson saying today he’s “optimistic” that both Miles Sanders and Derek Barnett will play at home against the Rams. He also confirmed that Nate Herbig will start again at right guard.
Doug was a little snippy in today’s media session, or maybe snippy isn’t the right word. He was a little crabby. Perhaps “irascible” is the right word, but anyway, he seemed like a guy who didn’t want to do his fourth media availability since the Washington loss and just wanted to get back to the sideline to call plays and coach a football team. I don’t blame him one bit.
But this resulted first in a non-answer to a perfectly legitimate question, based off a strange response we got to a question on Wednesday about rolling out Carson Wentz more often.
Eagles PR transcribed this exchange:
Q. At the end of Wednesday’s press conference, we didn’t get a chance to follow up, but you were asked about QB Carson Wentz rolling out and you said the reason you didn’t do more of it was because of the lack of success on first down. Is that the case and the obvious follow-up to that is can you roll him out on first down, too? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: That is a great question. Yes.
Q. So what happened on Sunday? Why didn’t you guys do that? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: We hit Dallas (Goedert) like fourth play of the game down to the five-yard line, and play-action pass and we have a lot of — I guess looking back on it, you could always second guess yourself, I guess. Something I’ve got to do a better job of and be more conscious of it.
“I’ve got to a better job,” makes me laugh out loud. Give it a few more bad losses and Doug will transform entirely into Andy Reid and just start giving the media more canned quotes than he already does.
This was the other goofy exchange from Friday:
Q. Washington had a lot of success blitzing against you guys last week and I think there’s an obvious leap to maybe that was connected to having an inexperienced offensive line. Is that what you expect from the Rams this week? I know it’s only been one game, but how is their defense different than it was under former Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips? (Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: Can I ask you a question?
Q. You want me to give away the game plan again? (Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: No. How do you — and this is probably — I’m getting probably off the subject, but when you see teams that blitz and you always imply that it’s an offensive line issue, where does that come from?
Q. Well, I’m not saying that is the case but I’m saying that’s — (Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: That was the question. That was the question you asked. You specifically pinned it on the offensive line. That’s all I’m asking.
Q. I’m saying that I think the leap from people is because you have an inexperienced offensive line that defenses blitzed. You can tell me that’s not the case. Maybe it was on the running back. Maybe it was on the quarterback. (Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: I will tell you that. Some of it is on the quarterback. Some of it is on the running backs. Tight ends are in protection. So it’s hard to honestly answer the question and because teams — for instance, Jim Schwartz, right. Take Jim Schwartz, not a big blitz guy, right. You guys obviously criticize him openly about not blitzing enough. Well you’ve got to be careful because if you are going up against a team that’s say a Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and you want to start blitzing him, you have to be able to hold up on the back end, otherwise you’re going to get gashed. That’s part of this process, too.
I would say that in-game, yeah, if a team is struggling to pick up protections and pick up blitzes, I would expect for that offense to see more in-game pressures, right. That just makes sense with what we do.
But each week as coaches game planned, D-Coordinators are different. Some blitz. Some don’t. And you know, but we still have to be prepared for anything and everything, and prepare our players that way.
So you know, the mistakes we made in the protection last week were a little bit of everybody. It was the backs, the receivers, the tight ends and the quarterback. Everybody had a hand in not only sacks, but the protection, as well.
And this is a good point. The breakdowns were pretty bad in week one, and when you go back and watch the film you see the running backs blowing quite a lot of protection. Doug even came out and specifically pinned the blame on Boston Scott (without naming him) on the disastrous 4th and 4 sack, when the Eagles tried to go for it from the Washington 45 and ended up turning the ball over on downs, in their own half of the field.
No to dismiss Bo’s original question, because he’s right that the offensive line was also culpable, but maybe Doug was just sort of annoyed by the “obvious leap” comment.
Here’s the video:
Watch live as Head Coach Doug Pederson speaks with the media. https://t.co/77C90vdkol
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 18, 2020
Full injury list –
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 18, 2020