Road to Victory Posted November 3, 2020 Share Posted November 3, 2020 https://www.si.com/nfl/eagles/news/doug-pederson-firmly-behind-his-qb-will-work-players-during-bye-week Doug Pederson Firmly Behind his QB, Will Work Players During Bye Week Ed Kracz 5 hours ago PHILADELPHIA – The game wasn’t supposed to be this close, but so what if it was? Ever since injuries began to swallow big chunks of their roster early in the season, the Eagles have looked like a team that has tried to keep its head above water to stop from drowning until they can begin to get healthy. Good health is presumably on the other side of the bye, and injuries to cornerback Darius Slay and defensive tackle Malik Jackson aren’t that serious that forced them out of Sunday night's 23-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Doug Pederson said on Monday afternoon. The coach added that there were no significant injuries coming out of their second straight win that improved the Eagles' record to 3-4-1. As for the bye, COVID-19 protocols will require that players stay in place. No traveling to luxurious destinations for a few days and Pederson plans on keeping them busy midweek. After giving them off Tuesday for election day, Pederson will bring the players and coaches in on Wednesday for some film study. The team will be off Thursday through Sunday, which Pederson said is a good time for them to spend with their families. "I think with COVID and the fact that we have to test every day, it keeps our team here,” said the coach. "It keeps our team grounded right here in our city, and that's why it gives us a chance to really work (on) Wednesday and bring the guys back in and get some stuff done and look at some tape and self-scout and show them with calmer eyes. "We're not game-planning this week, yet we can go back and watch us and see where we need to improve, and also show them the good that came out of the first eight weeks. I think it’s important that we do that, and obviously, if there is a positive with the COVID, it’s the fact that we get to stick together as a team.” What could cause this team to sink in the second half of the season is the inconsistent play of quarterback Carson Wentz. Now in his fifth year, and still making rookie mistakes, the Eagles QB will be criticized for the next two weeks, until the Eagles play again on Nov. 15 when they travel to North Jersey to play a Giants team they beat by only one point nearly two weeks ago. Pederson is standing firmly behind his quarterback, with no thought to pulling the plug in-game on him or in the future. The coach compared the situation to Alex Smith in 2015 when Pederson was the OC under Andy Reid. The Kansas City Chiefs started 1-5, but Smith remained the starter. "Coach Reid and I made a decision not to bench Alex,” said Pederson. "He was our starter, and we're going to get it fixed, and we did. I think we won 11 straight after that. Not saying that we are going to win 11 straight here, but what I'm saying is, we are going to work through our issues. We are going to work through our problems.” There’s no need to pile on Wentz here. The fan base and a good portion of local and national media are doing a good job with that. His four turnovers against the Cowboys – a neatly divided two fumbles and two interceptions – are well documented. He knows he needs to do better. He says it all the time. Pederson does, too. "I’m not good enough,” said Wentz after throwing for just 123 yards against Dallas and leading an offense to just 15 points against a defense that had been allowing nearly 35 per game. "I’m pumped we got the win, but I’m going to have to watch the tape and I’m a little frustrated with how I played and how we’ve left some plays out there, left some points out there, and missed some big opportunities. I can be better. I know I will be.” Pederson thinks his QB will be more consistent when the lineup becomes more consistent and free of major injury. "You go back to 2017 in that championship run, and if you remember back a couple years ago, there was consistency and there was stability around our offense,” said Pederson. "We had the same three receivers. We had the same three tight ends. We had the same running backs. The offensive line was intact and so we had continuity and things were flowing. "With so many moving parts, offensively, right now with the number of injuries, so many guys are shuffling in and out of the lineup that it's hard to get continuity and rhythm and timing and flow. It makes it look really bad on the outside when, quite honestly, from - you probably don't believe it, but it's encouraging from our side that, yeah, one, we won the game, right? "We're a game and a half up in the NFC East. We have a chance to get healthy here at the bye. We have a chance next week against the Giants to hopefully get some more starters back and see what happens and correct some of the things that are going on.” Get the latest Eagles news by joining the community. Click "Follow" at the top right of the EagleMaven page. Mobile users click the notification bell. And please follow me on Twitter @kracze. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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