Eagles coach Doug Pederson: On opening day and his second-round rookie picks

Ed Kracz

The curtain rises on the NFL season in just a few days. In Philly, that means an NFC East tilt right out of the gate with the Washington Redskins visiting Lincoln Financial Field to play the Eagles.

The game will be televised by FOX with Kevin Burkhardt doing the play-by-play. Charles Davis is the analyst with Pam Oliver doing the sideline reporting.

“It’s exciting, it’s 1 o clock or wherever you’re at in the country, we’re playing, it’s just a different feel,” said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson on Wednesday morning. “It’s electric. It’s a little like a playoff-type atmosphere that first game. Emotions are running high, adrenaline is running high for players and coaches. It’s the excitement. It’s a new year. It’s finally here, football’s back, that type of mentality, so it’s a great feeling.”

The Eagles will open the season with at least two rookies expected to have a large role on game day: running back Miles Sanders and receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Both players were drafted in the second round.

VIDEO: Doug Pederson on NFL's opening day

“Reason why we had training camp and really mixed these guys in with the ones and got them comfortable with Carson for this reason,” said Pederson. “This is why you draft these guys. I don’t think you hold back. You plug them in and you go. They have to learn and there’s no better teacher than on game day.

“Just let them experience the emotion of the game, the feel of the game then go execute how they’re capable. They’re talented enough to be drafted where they were draft so we’re going to use them.”

Arcega-Whiteside, for one, can’t wait for his professional debut.

“It’s going to be exciting to go into the Linc and see it packed out and play my first game,” said JJAW. “At the end of the day, it’s just playing football and that’s something I’ve done for 18 years, since I was a little kid. Nothing changes, except it’s a bigger stage with different teammates. I’m confident we’ll go out there and do well because we’re playing with the best every day out there at practice. It’s no different except a lot of people watching.”