If Doug Pederson is feeling the heat, he’s not showing it. Call him “Poker Face Doug.”
The Eagles head coach was bombarded with questions about how he evaluates his coaching staff and what goes into making personnel decisions. It almost felt like a funeral or an end-of-season rap session.
It wasn’t. Pederson’s team still controls their own destiny and can win the NFC East by winning their next four games.
When one ill-informed reporter kept prodding Pederson about evaluating his staff and possibly losing the locker room, the coach let him have it.
“Is the season over?” Pederson said. “We do play a game on Monday night, but anyway …”
Pederson wasn’t trying to be prickly, but he was a bit agitated. The Eagles host the New York Giants on “Monday Night Football” at Lincoln Financial Field and there is plenty of season left. Save the evaluations and postering for February.
“I got to stay the course, be as transparent, be as honest as I can with the team,” Pederson told reporters. “Listen, guys we’re in that must-win situation right now. It’s as much on us as coaches as it is on players. We’re responsible for how players play. I hold myself and my coaching staff accountable.”
Doug Pederson Elaborates on Coaching Staff Changes
It’s no shocker to hear Doug Pederson take culpability for his team’s struggles. He comes from the Andy Reid coaching tree after all.
While the Eagles head coach has made it crystal clear that he won’t be making any coaching changes right now, he did hint at possible changes after the season.
Pederson provided in-depth analysis on how he evaluates his staff and even hinted that certain position coaches haven’t been doing their jobs. Again, it all starts with Pederson.
“I’m upfront with the coaches from Day 1, coming out of OTAs … Listen, your performance is based on your players and how they perform,” Pederson told reporters. “Obviously they can’t control injuries and all that … the time to address that stuff, it’s not now. It’s been addressed before. You look back when the season is over and you make those evaluations.”
The natural follow-up question to that statement is: Have you lost the locker room? The answer was a resounding no.
“Listen, we’re all disappointed and sick to our stomach,” Pederson said. “But we can all understand that we have done this to ourselves. And we’re ready to go back to work. I got to bring that energy, I got to bring that juice … yeah, these guys are with me. I can just sense and feel the energy of the group.”
Jordan Howard Still Not Cleared for Contact
There is some minor injury news, too. Jordan Howard has not been cleared for contact from the so-called “stinger” he suffered versus Chicago.
Howard’s shoulder isn’t healed after 32 days and the running back won’t do more than individual drills this week at practice. The bruising back was a key offseason acquisition and their leading rusher through nine weeks. In fact, Howard still leads them in rushing for 525 yards, just five yards ahead of rookie Miles Sanders.
“No change,” head coach Doug Pederson said of Howard. “Still not cleared for contact.”
Pederson wouldn’t commit to Howard’s shoulder ailment being a potentially season-ending injury. Reading between the lines, it sure sounds that way. Expect a heavy dose of Sanders again this week against the Giants.
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