10 Highlights from Doug Pederson’s most recent press conference
So, after all of the discussion, Coach Pederson wasn’t really interested in bringing back Jeremy Maclin after all.
Some of you may disagree with this sentiment, but bringing Jeremy Maclin back probably wasn’t a good idea anyway. Head coach Doug Pederson put the speculation about Maclin’s return to rest at his most recent press conference. He made it very clear that he’s satisfied with what this team has currently.
Sure, there was this feeling of nostalgia, and we all felt it when Maclin became available following his release from the Kansas City Chiefs. Some Philadelphia Eagles fans have had this idea about “getting the band back together” since DeSean Jackson was approaching the end of his contract with the Washington Redskins, but for now, there’s no interest from the organization.
That was one of the topics of discussion when Coach Pederson addressed the Philadelphia media early on June 8th. The decision not to bring Maclin back may have been the most talked about portion of what he said by some fans, but believe it or not, other things, like the guys who are actually on the team, were discussed as well.
Here are ten highlights from that presser:
1. LeGarrette Blount is at the top of the depth chart, but versatile running backs will get called upon frequently.
Though it hasn’t actually been stated, we’ve all figured out Blount’s getting the bulk of the carries right? Here’s something else we’re learning. Pederson is somewhat obsessed with guys on offense who can play dual roles. The more versatile the player, the more that player can expect to be given more reps. Case in point, Donnel Pumphrey and the growing interest around what’s being called the “PONY” offense.
2. Pederson isn’t as worried about Marcus Smith‘s absence as we are.
Who knows what Marcus Smith is thinking. We’d hate to venture into trying to guess, but it’s hard not to. Either he doesn’t realize his roster spot is in jeopardy, or he’s lost the will to compete. Whatever the reason, he hasn’t done himself any favors by being absent.
His head coach isn’t stressing his absence, and when asked what he feels about the voluntary nature of OTAs and Smith’s absence, Pederson simply replied “That’s it. It’s voluntary.”
Related Story: Marcus Smith probably won’t be an Eagle for much longer
3. How did the joint practice idea with the Miami Dolphins come about?
Dolphins head coach Adam Gase and Coach Pederson have had a good relationship over the past couple of years, and the Eagles play the Dolphins in week three of the preseason. The two coaches spoke, and they saw this as a nice idea. Both teams are set to scrimmage one another during practice this Summer, and honestly, this isn’t a bad idea at all.
4. LeGarrette Blount is a better receiver than we’ve been led to believe.
We’ve spent so much time discussing Blount’s size and rejoicing over the fact that the Eagles have someone who can actually pound the rock that we may have glossed over another aspect of Blount’s game. Apparently the big guy has some pretty decent hands as well, and the coaching staff hasn’t ruled out a swing pass or two in his direction. Just imagine a screen pass to Blount with Lane Johnson and Isaac Seumalo leading the way downfield.
5. There’s no reason to stress over Jordan Matthews.
According to Pederson, Matthews is fine, and he’s progressing nicely. At one point, he even stated if there was a regular season game looming, Matthews would be able to play. That pretty much sums that up, and that’s tremendous news for any Eagles fan.
6. There’s no “beef” in the wide receiver’s film room.
All of the guys on the current roster aren’t staying. We all know that, but through the process, they’ve been bonding in spite of the obvious competition. Guys are working together, sharing high fives and being a support to one another, and that’s great to see, especially at this time of year.
7. Rasul Douglas and Donnel Pumphrey are names you’re going to hear a lot
Even when the question isn’t directly related to either of these rookies, their names come up a lot. They’re constantly being used as reference points in the discussion, and yo can tell they’ve definitely caught the eye of their coaches and re-energized their teammates.
8. Alshon Jeffery is making a name for himself as a a red zone threat.
Jeffery, at six-foot-three, and he weighs in at around 216 pounds. He doesn’t possess the stockiest of frame, but he’s still a target nonetheless. He and Wentz are beginning to gel, and it appears their plans to mold him into one of the main red zone threats is going according to plan. That’s also good news.
9. Nathan Gerry is adjusting quite well to the position switch.
Gerry, a safety at the collegiate level, is making the transition to linebacker, and things are going well so far. He’s already comfortable playing close to the line, and from everything being stated about him so far, he’s picking up the nuances of the Jim Schwartz scheme quite nicely. There don’t seem to be any major complaints from the coaching staff to this point.
10. Expect Joe Walker to be ready to go at the beginning of the season.
Here’s one of the guys that most Eagles fans are curious and most excited about. Joe Walker‘s recovery is going according to plan. Much like Matthews, Pederson doesn’t want to rush him back onto the field just for the sake of having him on the field. His coaches have a pretty good grasp of what he can do physically, and like Pederson mentioned about Matthews, Walker would be ready to go if a game was on the horizon. It didn’t get discussed much, but that may be the biggest story coming out of this conversation.