The drama surrounding the Eagles reached fever pitch Thursday following rumors of “anonymous sources” leaking insider information to the media.
The noise started with harsh criticisms of the front office, then jumped on quarterback Carson Wentz for not properly running the offense. It was a bizarre day and uncharacteristic for the usually tight-sealed Eagles’ locker room. On Friday, head coach Doug Pederson addressed the reports and delivered an update on the temperature of his team as they prepare for the Dallas Cowboys.
“You don’t like to have anonymous guys,” Pederson told reporters. “At the same time, I hate to say it, but we’re kind of focused on the Cowboys right now.”
When pressed about the details of what those anonymous guys reportedly were saying, Pederson attempted to explain the nuances of his offense while defining what exactly goes into making a “check down.” One of the complaints about Wentz was that he has been holding onto the football too long and looking for the home run down the field, rather than dumping it off to the open receiver. The coach made it clear that the issues were “not on the quarterback.”
“For those of you that know football and watch football, a check down is a part of the game, but what people sometimes don’t understand is you may lose your [running] back in protection,” Pederson told reporters. “He may get caught up in the wash of the protection. He may not get out.
“So it is an aspect of something we teach that when the throw is not there down the field and if you have the availability of a [running] back or tight end in that position, we will utilize it.”
Is the Eagles’ Offense Too Complex?
One trendy reason to blame for the Eagles’ recent struggles on offense has been the system. Some have claimed that maybe it is too complex, loaded with overly perplexing terminology and complicated reads. Head coach Doug Pederson dispelled that myth by joking that he wasn’t “a smart guy” and even he could figure it out. Pederson also put the ultimate onus on him since it’s his job to “teach and get our guys prepared.”
“I’m not a smart guy and I can figure out the offense. It’s not that complicated,” Pederson told reporters. “Listen, it’s a tough sport. It is a tough sport. I have to have the right play hopefully at the right time against the right defense, and I’m asking 11 guys to execute that play. We trust those guys to make the right decisions.”
Pederson added that he has not addressed the “anonymous sources” with his team, and he doesn’t plan to conduct an investigation to find out who the mole is. A few early reports had suggested it might be a disgruntled wide receiver, with Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor being listed as suspects.
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