Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was unenthusiastic of some of the comments Kamu Grugier-Hill made earlier this week, and he and quarterback Carson Wentz claimed they had great respect for the Dallas team they commanded will be facing each other on Sunday. Rivalry or not, bulletin board material or not, the match on Sunday should be full of energy as both teams fight for the NFC East and are looking for a way to the playoffs.
For the last time before Sunday's game, Pederson talked to the media and gave some injury updates and talked about the preparation and condition of the team.
The head coach had this to say:
Updates on injuries
- Jordan Hicks and Jalen Mills are both still a way of returning.
- Timmy Jernigan's back cramps are still there, so the team makes sure people calm down before putting them back on the field. Pederson said that they will have time Friday and Saturday to see where he is and to make that decision closer to the season. The head coach asked questions about the cramps associated with his back injury to medical staff.
- Jason Peters will retire for personal reasons on Friday, but Pederson said the veteran will play on Sunday.
Pederson was asked if the increase in screen views lately was due to a healthier offensive line or if this group had better chemistry than at the beginning of the season. The head coach admitted that it is a bit of both.
He further said that they view screens as an extension of the running game and that obviously there are other screens, but the offensive line is part of it. Pederson also pointed out that the screens often have more success when the run game is working.
The head coach also said that these are timings, and they are getting better week by week and they just have to keep going
For players with a lot of gaming experience
Pederson spoke a bit about the value of that many players in the squad who have experience in big games and rivalry games, especially compared to last season's group. He noted that these players are able to keep an eye on things for the youngsters – in both good and bad games – and they can motivate them for a full 60 minutes.
Commenting on Kamu's comments
Pederson said he did it Pull Kamu aside to talk to him about his comments, and emphasize that the Eagles organization and he personally have a lot of respect for the cowboys. He noted that the comments were unfortunate and he told the team that they do not have to motivate their opponent extra.
However, he did talk about how he does not really think bulletin board material. In fact, this is not true anymore as the constant influx of information that players receive through social media is becoming increasingly important. Pederson joked that they pinned the bulletin board the day they literally cut out articles, but nowadays there is just too much information available for which this matters.
Pederson said at the end of the day The boys know what this game is about and we are against them and they only have to do their job and play for 60 minutes.
Messaging to the Team This Week
The head coach does not like to give away too much and would rather keep these things locked up behind closed doors, but he said that he emphasized that she was in this last month of Season to play their best football.
Pederson found that he invited the boys to play so they would not regret leaving everything on the field. He admitted that the coach was speaking – as if to say that he should only play him once and do his job – this week.
In the rebound from the Saints game
Pederson said he had seen and heard his players react to this loss in New Orleans and was confident that they would do the work – so much extra that needed was – to be sure they were not playing so bad again. He also said he blamed the team leaders for not derailing the loss the entire season, but should use it as a point to jump off.
The head coach then talked about how much going on outside the Eagles Complex – citing forest fires and shootings – and that all these things are bigger than losing a game, and everything helps to put things in the right perspective to move. And although the players themselves may not be affected by some of these struggles, their relatives across the country may not be happy, but at the end of the day, many things are more important than a football game.
In connection with this, Pederson was asked if he had come into contact with Derek Barnett, whose older brother had died in a car accident earlier this week. He said he had a tragedy, and that's the thing he talks about. Barnett has returned with his family in Nashville as they deal with this devastating situation.
Following the lessons of the first game in Dallas
Pederson said that one of the main hits of the Cowboys' first meeting this year was they had to do better and defend themselves better in defense. He said they knew they would get a healthy dose of Ezekiel Elliott, and they needed to find a way to get him on the ground. Offensively, it emphasized that they have to start quickly. Overall, he said there were too many mistakes in this game.