The captain is back! Doug Pederson returns to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Everyone’s smiling at the NovaCare Complex, around the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ and in the Philadelphia Eagles‘ fan base. No disrespect to Duce Staley. He’s done a great job in Doug Pederson‘s absence, but you could just see the spirits of everyone lift as the captain returned to work on the second Wednesday of August.
It had been about ten days since Philly’s head coach tested positive for Coronavirus and was forced to quarantine at home. Fear not if you’re a ‘Birds’ fan though. Thanks to his recent sitdown with the Philly media, we’ve learned several things.
Here’s some of what’s been going on with these Philadelphia Eagles and a brief look at what to expect in the near future.
One, as Coach put it, he can ‘still run the team virtually’. Despite the hiccup, he watched practices at home and was able to communicate virtually with his team and coaches. Second, the entire playbook, both on offense and defense has been installed. Third, the plan for the rest of camp is a clear one, and no virus, not even one as life-altering as the one we’ve been studying over the past five months will change that.
Here’s a quote.
"Like I told my team last night, this virus, it holds no prejudices, right? It doesn’t matter. It can affect any one of us. I’m sure many of you have had family members or loved ones or people you know who have been affected by this virus. That part of it doesn’t matter. It’s just the fact that we’ve got to abide by the protocols that are in place. They’re in place for a reason, our safety. Our building is a great place to be. It is a safe place to be for our players and our coaches and all who are involved."
Coaches and players will continue to stress safety going forward. Here’s more.
"The coaches, we’re going to coach in either face shield or masks. That’s part of protocol… We want to definitely protect ourselves and protect our players that way. We can still coach from a distance and get our work done… Other than that, you’re not going to see a whole lot of wholesale changes, maybe the amount of people we have out there as far as ballboys, trainers and strength and conditioning staff, those numbers are way down from what we would have in a normal training camp situation. Other than that, there’s not a lot of wholesale changes that we’re going to make moving forward."
For the duration of what was about a 14-minute conversation, Doug seemed like his normal self. His voice hadn’t lost any power. He cracked jokes from time to time. He seemed to be just as enthusiastic as he normally is.
"I’m looking forward (to the season). It’s full-steam ahead for me. Obviously, I’m itching to get back in the building at some point and be around our players and get these guys ready for a season."
He returns at a nice time. We’re about a month away from Philly’s first regular-season game versus a familiar opponent, the Washington Football Team. August 12th also marks the beginning of another step in the preseason process which means, now that the dust clears and the smoke has settled, Coach Pederson will be able to coach the Eagles’ first practice of the Summer on the grass with his coaches and teammates. It looks like it’s business as usual at the Novacare Complex.