Doug Pederson, the Eagles head coach, smiled with one more day before having to speak to reporters when he climbed onto the podium on Thursday.
He talked a bit about injuries and the progress of their rehabilitation process, then turned his attention to Washington and admitted that he thought Monday night's game would be an atmosphere playoffs.
This is what the head coach had to say before Thursday's practice:
Jalen Mills, Avonte Maddox and Jordan Hicks are probably the furthest off the list of injured players, but Mills and Maddox are a little closer than Hicks.
The other guys, like Sidney Jones – including Darren Sproles – had to have work in training on Thursday. They are always considered day by day, so they will mix them up a bit but do not want to send them back either.
Pederson was asked about it being the last year before Sproles retired and what it meant for the back half to return to the field. The head coach pointed out that the veteran rider wanted to be on the field so much and that it would be nice to find him a job in training on Thursday, even if his ability is limited. Pederson went on to say that no matter what happens after this season, Sproles is a great competitor and a leader for the team.
Later, Pederson was asked about Mack Hollins and Mike Wallace, and the head coach said they were doing well but were not yet ready to come back from the IR. He said they still had some time, but they had not made a decision yet – even though his face did not seem encouraged.
Pederson was also asked to bring back Richard Rodgers and what it meant for the 3-TE sets, and the head coach said nothing was against Josh Perkins, but Rodgers is proposing a bigger body and, with Dallas Goedert, open some receptions. options for Zach Ertz.
On the Washington game
Pederson was interviewed about Adrian Peterson and the head coach said he was a passionate and veteran player to watch. He went on to say that Peterson was a very aggressive runner, and he was giving Washington a racing game that they had to defend, but that's impressive, he's still playing at a high level.
He was asked what he expected from the crowd at a must-attend event on Monday night, and Pederson said he was hoping and hoping for a big crowd and winning. He went on to say that "our audience has been great all season, whether we are at home or on the road", and that Monday's game will have an electric atmosphere.
Pederson went on to say that the players were fueling fans' energy and they were just going to try to do the job. He even went so far as to say that it would be a playoff atmosphere, with both teams still fighting for it.
Later, Pederson was asked about Nate Sudfeld and the former Washington player's ability to help the players prepare for Monday's game. He noted that Sudfeld can help a bit from a defensive point of view and what they tend to do schematically.
On the strength of OL / DL last week
Pederson said it was encouraging to see the offensive and defensive lines leading their win in their win in Week 12 against the Giants.
He went on to say that they always insisted on controlling the line of scrimmage and / or stopping the first leg and that it was good to see the defensive line take over in the second half of the game.
Offensively, he said the rest of the guys were gaining ground as the game progressed.
Later, Pederson was asked about Brandon Graham's bag diving this season, but the head coach said he was one of the guys who needed to recover from his injury. He went on to say that it had taken Graham a few games to get himself comfortable and regain his confidence, and that he was more productive at this point in the season – and disruptive in the pocket – even if it was not the case. t showing on the statistics line.
On the lack of deep passes
The head coach was asked what he attributed to the lack of deep balls this season compared to the rest of the league and the Eagles' production last season. Pederson pointed out that the first thing to consider is protection, because the quarterback needs time to look ahead.
He went on to say that he was trying to build one at least once a quarter and that it was a good way to support the advocates so that they did not see as many boxes. 7 or 8 players and open the game of the race. . But he said that they continue to work and will try to take more shots on the ground.
Pederson followed up and said that he did not think that the lack of in-depth production was due to something wise staff – whether it was losing Mike Wallace or the performance of the healthy receivers – and putting more emphasis on execution and protection.
On the racing game
RB coach Duce Staley said Wednesday that his team was still using the reverse approach by committee, which Pederson repeated. He added that they will have to see where Sproles is at the end of the week, but Josh Adams has a hot hand right now.
As he said in the past, the head coach did not fail to congratulate Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood for their contribution to the task forces, and even noted that their roles are more important from a game plan perspective. .
Pederson said Josh Adams would come in as a starter – and admitted there was no reason to hide it – and continue to mingle with others.
Later, the head coach noted that Adams was making great strides in the three areas he needed, including: the protection, reception and management of football. Pederson said that he was getting better and better in each of them and that the more Adams was integrated, the more comfortable and explosive he was.
On Carson Wentz
Pederson was questioned about Carson Wentz playing with his legs and the head coach said he needed more of this type of games, especially on the third try.
He added that Wentz's injury did not change his game plan in terms of getting out of pocket to move the chains, but rather that the opportunities were not there as often as this season.
There has been a lot of speculation lately that Wentz is still working to get back from his injury, and it's not 100%, as evidenced by the fact that he had not made a full step of the leg left. Pederson said it's not something he's seen since the quarterback.