A day with Doug…
The day after every Eagles game head coach Doug Pederson talks twice publicly. His first session is at 8 a.m. with 94WIP Sports Radio. Next is a 12:30 videoconference with the media.
The day began with Pederson saying the front office would not be involved with any decision regarding struggling quarterback Carson Wentz. If Wentz is to be benched it would come with “careful consideration” by the head coach only, not GM Howie Roseman.
Wentz, as you would expect, was a popular topic in the second session, and the pick-6 he threw came up. Not just the throw but the fact that Jalen Reagor was wide open right at the start, but Wentz either didn’t see him or came off the read too quickly.
Pederson said, and Wentz did as well in his postgame interview, that the blitzing CB Denzel Ward forced the pop-up throw that landed in the hands of Browns LB Sione Takitaki.
“Part of that protection, obviously the tight ends have to be aware of, especially on the nub side like that, to be aware of DBs coming off the edge,” said Pederson. “It's unfortunate that that happened, and we just missed. Saw him late and tried to get a hand on him, but by then it was too late. He hit Carson.”
As for Reagor being open, the coach said: “I do think that Carson did have an opportunity. I haven't spoken to Carson yet. I'll see him here in a little bit. Haven't had a chance to talk to him about that play. It appeared that he had Jalen, like right now off of the play fake, and possibly could have completed that pass before the hit.”
No doubt, Wentz will be asked about that play again on Wednesday.
There was more:
- Guard Nate Herbig has apparently been benched. It’s a very strange situation since Herbig did not seem to play that badly over the first eight games, all starts. He wasn’t active for Sunday’s game after not playing last week vs. the Giants due to what Pederson said was a hand issue in a week that had him listed with a finger injury.
Herbig was not listed on the injury report leading up to the Browns game.
“(Sua) Opeta has deserved the opportunity right now, and with Isaac (Seumalo) coming back, it was just we had all the offensive linemen available and we had to put a couple of guys down inactive for the game.
“Herbie is doing fine. He's doing well. Each week, he's competing for one of those backup spots right now, or potentially a starter spot if there is an injury each week.”
- Alshon Jeffery went from 18 snaps in his season debut last week to five against the Browns. He has been targeted twice and didn’t catch either one. In fact, against Cleveland he jumped too soon on a lobbed throw to him at the 3-yard line, allowing Ward to pick it off.
Talk about ruining momentum, the Eagles were in first-and-goal from the 10 after a 43-yard PI against Ward.
It was the second red-zone turnover of the day for the Eagles, with the first coming on Miles Sanders’ fumble from the 5-yard line.
Anyway, Jeffery’s presence on the roster has created a logjam for young receivers such as John Hightower and Quez Watkins. Hightower played one snap on Sunday and Watkins was inactive for the second time in three games.
“Right now, he is a part of the offense,” said Pederson about Jeffery. “He's a part of what we've done and the success we've had here. He is coming off injury, and we do have to get him in the game a little bit more. You know, that's, again, on me to get him in the football game, and also Hightower at the same time.
“So, you also knew that J.J (Arcega-Whiteside) was not available in this football game (after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list last week) and Quez was down, so Alshon was up and active for this game.”
The implication is that perhaps Jeffery will be inactive when Arcega-Whiteside comes off the COVID list, though that hardly seems likely given what the Eagles are paying him this season.
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