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The 4 best new quotes from Pederson

Eliot Shorr-Parks
July 18, 2019 - 7:40 am

One week from today the Eagles will be holding their first practice of training camp, the unofficial beginning of the 2019 season. 

In a recent sit-down with reporters, head coach Doug Pederson spoke for close to an hour on a wide-range of subjects, including quarterback Carson Wentz, the expectations for the 2019 season and how talented his roster is. 

Here are four of the best (and most important) quotes from Pederson’s sitdown:

Training camp competition:

“You think about defensive back, with some of the new additions we got there. And plus the guys that played last year for us that are out there. Receiver, I think is another deep, deep group of guys that can play, and we've seen that. You know, we've seen that this offseason, this spring. You know, tight end is a deep group, offensive line is a deep group, D-line is deep. And I'm including the guys that are injured, you know, the Darbys, the Mills, the Rodney McLeods, those guys, when I say this. But, you know, again, it's good now and it's got to be great in training camp because as we know, things can happen, and you're going to probably need those guys somewhere along the way.”

Takeaway: Pederson mentioning defensive back first is noteworthy, and backs up what we all knew going into camp — the battle at cornerback is going to be intense, especially once Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby are healthy. The difference between cornerback and the other positions that Pederson mentioned — defensive line, offensive line and receiver — is that the Eagles are deep at cornerback with talented players. The depth at the other three positions are filled with question marks and unproven players. One thing Pederson mentioned again and again, however, is that injuries can happen, something his team has found out all-to often the last two seasons. The message? Don’t expect a trade from this team at cornerback unless they are blown away with an offer. 

Soft Tissue injuries:

“I think the one takeaway, talking to our medical team, talking to our nutritionist, talking to our strength and conditioning guys, is dedicating more time to soft tissue type injuries, their foam rollers, or doing more stretching, core, things like that that have kept our guys a little more healthy on the football field. And those are the things that we can continue to educate our players on. And as coaches and staff, as we get more data on the soft tissue injuries, it’s just going to help us be more prepared and help our players down the road. And think that it does go back to nutrition. It does go back to hydration. It does go back to rest. All the things the players should be doing to try to help reduce as many of these as we can.”

Takeaway: The Eagles have had plenty of issues with soft-tissue injuries over the last two seasons. It is clear Pederson and the Eagles are taking the problem seriously and have a plan in place for 2019 to hopefully prevent their players from being so susceptible to soft-tissue injuries. Whether it works remains to be seen. 

Relationship with Howie Roseman:

“I was hired to be the head football coach, not the general manager. I was hired to teach football. Howie (Roseman) was hired to do the job that he does…I think they can co-exist and they have to co-exist. There has to be great communication and great dialog between those departments _ coaching and scouting. That’s the one thing, when I was here in ’16, that’s not my expertise. I can sit here and watch tape and write a report, and say this guy can do this, this, and this. And until we get him in the building and coach him up, you just don’t know. You lean on so much on our scouting department. With Howie, that’s probably the biggest thing, communication. It’s been transparent. It’s been open…We don’t have to agree on every player, right? But we can have constructive conversations and talk openly about certain guys and how well they can fit our system. For me, that’s just not the avenue that I want to go down as a coach. I’m a part of it. And I want my coaching staff to be a part of it. But I want to coach. I want Howie to bring the players in, and give us the talent that we can go and develop, and win games.”

Takeaway: Pederson is with the Eagles because of the blowup between former head coach Chip Kelly and Roseman, leading to Kelly being fired and Pederson being hired. Pederson’s quote is a very good look at why his relationship with Roseman has worked. The head coach has no interest in taking over the personnel department, something head coaches (especially with the resume Pederson now has) around the league often try to do. Pederson stressed later in the interview that he is not a “yes man”, but Pederson’s desire to simply coach the players and not get involved in the personnel side of things is great news for the long-term success of this team, as it should allow him and Roseman to continue to co-exist. 

The impact of Jim Schwartz:

“He’s been tremendous for me. To have someone with his experience, his background, being a former head coach in this league, to really – especially probably my first two years – really have the defense under control from the standpoint of managing that, where I can spend time implementing the offense and teaching the offense. I’ve been able to bounce a lot of ideas, whether it be a training camp practice or offseason practice, or a travel schedule, or asking about a defensive philosophy or concepts, anything of that nature where he and I had the connection that way. Being able to spend more time this offseason, last offseason, last season – being able to spend more time myself – over on the defensive side, just hearing the dialogue and conversation, he’s very detailed. Which I am, too, which is a plus. It’s been very easy from me from the standpoint of I don’t really have to be too concerned with the defensive side because I know it’s well-handled.”

Takeaway: Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has certainly been under attack from fans at times throughout his first three years with the team, but there is no question the team doesn’t have the success it has had without him. Pederson is absolutely correct — having essentially another head coach on the defensive side of the ball has been huge for him. Pederson can basically forget about the defense, allowing him to focus on the offense. Although Pederson is slowly — likely very slowly — becoming involved in the defense, chances are as long as Schwartz is here, Pederson will be able to solely focus on the offense and the Eagles are much better off for it. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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