Doug Pederson Addresses Eagles ‘Making Mistakes in Practices’

Doug Pederson

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 18: Head Coach Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles on the sidelines during a game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 18, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Eagles 48-7. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The buzz phrase this week in South Philly has been sloppy practices. Carson Wentz was accused of it and some defensive players admitted to it. Time to clean up the mistakes before it’s too late.

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham brought the gaffes up unprompted and declared guys needed to start “policing themselves.” On Friday, head coach Doug Pederson cleared the air on the issue. Yes, practices have been messy but that’s normal and expected. They just can’t linger and carry over into Sunday.

“I don’t mind guys making mistakes in practice. That’s where we need to make mistakes, right? But that’s where they have to stop,” Pederson told reporters, “and you can’t carry that mistake over into the football game. So that’s what the guys have done this week, and it’s been a good week.”

Pederson and the rest of the coaching staff wasn’t ignorant to the mistakes — pre-snap penalties have been especially frustrating — but he didn’t want to “beat them down” about it. He’s confident the players will get it fixed and saw an increased energy this week.

“I thought this week in practice, the energy has been extremely high, and the players know that how we practice is how we are going to play on game day,” Pederson said. “They know they have to clean some things up, and a lot of it has been addressed with the pre-snap penalties and things like that, and they’ve done a nice job on that. They’ve contained themselves a little bit.”

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Excited to Get Jordan Howard Back

It’s unclear what Jordan Howard’s role will be in the Eagles’ backfield. On first glance, the 224-pound thumper back should get some goal-line carries and help spell Miles Sanders.

Pederson praised Howard as a talented veteran who knows the system. Beyond that, the coach was non-committal on what his usage might be. He has to clear COVID-19 protocols first.

“Right now, just obviously got to get him cleared to get him back in the building and put him on practice squad, see where he’s at physically, see where he’s at mentally,” Pederson said. “I mean, he’s obviously a talented player who has helped us win some games here, and we’re excited to get him back. It adds depth, adds a little value. A veteran player obviously in that room.”

Isaac Seumalo Expected to Start

Meanwhile, the Eagles’ offensive line is getting close to full strength in a hurry. Starting left guard Isaac Seumalo has re-acclimated well after being activated to the 21-day practice window. He still needs to be added to the active roster.

Seumalo has practiced all week and should be out there on Sunday, although Pederson warned he still needed to get through Friday’s session without pain.

“Speaking of Isaac, Isaac has had a really good week of practice,” Pederson said. “I fully expect, anticipate him being active and being available for this game. Obviously today is a big day for him and us, but I would anticipate him being cleared and ready for this football game.”

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