Highlights from Doug Pederson’s Christmas Eve videoconference…
The Eagles offensive line combination will be the same on Sunday for just the second time this year, with Matt Pryor expected to start at right tackle after some struggles there in last week’s loss against the Arizona Cardinals.
Brett Toth will serve as the backup tackle to both Jordan Mailata and Pryor.
“You just see the communication with these guys in practice and they're not having to learn and look over, and, (say), ‘Okay, there's Jack Driscoll to my right or Matt Pryor is now playing the left side or Mailata is back on the right side.’ It's having that stability, and that communication really goes a long way in how well these guys can play.
“And then, of course, they have to go and play on Sunday and play against another really good defensive line and a couple of really good defensive ends. And it's no small task. It's hard.
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"And yet the fact that they can be together and listen to (center Jason) Kelce and the communication that goes on. And the fact that they're getting reps at that position and that position only, just makes them that much better every time they get an opportunity to go play.”
Mailata was asked about having the unit together on Wednesday.
“It’s great to get just a consistent line together,” he said, “but even if we didn’t have a consistent line, we’d been doing it all year, so it wouldn’t be anything new or too strange for us, to be honest.
“Looking back at last week’s game, it’s kind of good that we have the same line going into this week. We can work on the corrections that we need to make as a unit. Not one person is going to win us the game. All five guys are going to have to be in (cohesion), so yeah.”
RETURN OF D-JACK?
Earlier in the week, the Eagles activated veteran WR DeSean Jackson into a 21-day window with the possibility that he could return from Injured Reserve.
Pederson was asked if there is a chance Jackson could play in Dallas or the following week against Washington.
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“He's getting close,” said the coach. “We activated it for that reason. We feel like he is close. He was able to get some snaps in (Wednesday) with the offense. And we'll integrate him more today and just see where he's at.
“It's the first time he's been able to do any kind of football activity with the team, more football maneuvers, running routes and blocking and things of that nature. So, we'll see how he is and see how he feels (Thursday), but we'll try to ramp him up today and keep him coming.”
Pederson likes the veteran presence that the veteran Alshon Jeffery has been to his young stable of pass-catchers.
The coach said Jeffery has been a mentor to players such as Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, John Hightower, and others. Even when Jeffery was going through his rehab after foot surgery, he played a behind-the-scenes role.
“He continues to do this, just talking to them and coaching them,” said Pederson. “And I guess another thing I've really appreciated about Alshon is that he's so unselfish. He doesn't have to have every ball thrown his way. He doesn't have to score all the touchdowns.
“…His value has been about mentoring and sort of coaching and teaching these young guys how to play this game.”
On the field, Jeffery has five catches for 93 yards (18.3 yards per catch) and one TD in six games since his return to the lineup.
“Obviously, he's healthier now,” said Pederson. “He's got his game legs back, and he's playing aggressive. And I just think he's in a really good spot right now, mentally and physically.”
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