Doug Pederson Doubles Down on Eagles’ Aggressiveness: ‘Not Going to Sit on the Ball’

Doug Pederson

Getty Doug Pederson is prepared to go "full steam" ahead as the Eagles' coaching staff has been approved to return to work.

Doug Pederson won a Super Bowl by staying aggressive. He’s not going to get conservative now.

On Monday morning, the Eagles head coach was reviewing the film from Sunday’s 27-17 loss to Washington. It was a brutal game to re-watch but Pederson didn’t have too many regrets about his play-calling. The Eagles had a handful of plays that just didn’t break their way, something that’s always a possibility when you keep your foot on the gas. The offense kind of self-destructed.

“In this league, I do not care if it is 17-0 or 20-0, when you look around, 17 points in this league is not a win,” Pederson told SportsRadio 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi on Monday. “By no means am I going to sit on the ball and do any of that. I trust my guys, and I put my guys in the position to be successful. To score points on three out of your first four drives and defense to play the way they were playing, and then the offense to sort of just self-destruct in the second half, it’s disheartening.”

Two plays really stuck out to Pederson. Carson Wentz’s second interception early in the third quarter was a complete stare-down to rookie John Hightower. Philly was right around midfield, at the 45-yard line, when Jimmy Moreland jumped the route. Maybe the quarterback should have targeted a different receiver on that play.

“I trust my quarterback. Could he have made a better decision, and go somewhere differently with the football, sure,” Pederson said. “And this is where we have to look at the tape this morning and coach our players this way.”

The other costly mistake bugging Pederson was a late third-quarter sack by linebacker Jon Bostic on a crucial 4th-and-4. Why didn’t the Eagles punt the football there? After reviewing the tape, Pederson said he had a receiver open but Boston Scott missed a blocking assignment. Washington had eight sacks on the day.

“Sacks are not a quarterback-driven thing or an offensive line driven thing,” Pederson said. “It’s a lot of moving parts. We’ve got to do a better job. I’m going to do what I feel is the best interest of the football team and we cannot turn the ball over. We cannot have eight sacks.”

Pederson also addressed that uncharacteristic drop by Zach Ertz on the Eagles’ last-gasp drive. When the ball slipped through his fingertips on 4th-and-3, the game was essentially over with 4:35 left in the fourth quarter.

“Things like that, I even go back to the Alshon [Jeffery] drop in the postseason game a couple years ago,” Pederson said. “Listen, you just, again, you hate to see it happen. It’s part of the game. These are veteran players and you’ve just got to continue to encourage and continue to motivate.”

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Heated Argument Between Ertz and Eagles GM

There was a little drama prior to Sunday’s kickoff in Washington, too. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Zach Ertz and Eagles GM Howie Roseman got into a heated argument at practice earlier this week. The two sides had been negotiating a contract extension, but those talks stalled following a low-ball offer.

“Late after one practice this week, Zach Ertz and Howie Roseman got into it,” Rapoport said, via NFL.com. “A very heated discussion, I’m told. One that was witnessed by several players. An airing of grievances of sorts, with some of that frustration coming right out into the open.”

Ertz caused a stir last week when he revealed to reporters that he’s treating the 2020 season as his final one in Philly. His preference is to retire in a midnight green jersey but the feeling might not be mutual, per Ertz.

“I’ve said all along I want to be here for the long run,” Ertz said. “I don’t know for sure if that feeling is mutual. But I’m going to play this year like it is my last year and I’m going to leave everything I possibly have in the tank for this team, for this city, because that’s what this city deserves, and nothing less.”

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