Doug Pederson explains debatable decisions against Seahawks

Doug Pederson explains debatable decisions against Seahawks

SEATTLE — Doug Pederson should be pretty happy the Eagles are staying on the West Coast this week. 

He probably wouldn't want to be around to hear talk radio in Philly. 

The Eagles lost 24-10 to the Seahawks, and this week is going to feel a lot like 2016, with plenty of folks questioning the head coach's decisions. While it would be unfair to pin the loss on Pederson, Sunday night didn't seem like his best game (see Roob's observations)

Here's what he said about several important calls and plays: 

On punting with 18 seconds left in the first half
"We were prepared. We had discussed going for it in that situation. I think there was 18 seconds with a couple timeouts, a chance to go and possibly kick the field goal. It’s just the decision I made at the point because we were getting the ball again at the start of the second half. Flip the field a little bit, nice punt backed them up, but there was a time there that I considered going for it. I just didn’t want to give them a short field potentially with maybe 15 seconds, with timeouts, then they get three points instead of us."

On punting on 4th-and-1 from their own 47-yard line in the first quarter
"It was early in the game. I made the decision to punt the football, flip the field."

On the failed 4th-and-3 pitch play to Kenjon Barner in the fourth
"Fourth-and-3 is a great opportunity. We had them sort of back against the wall a little bit, a great opportunity. Felt that we were going to get the front coverage we expected, and we had a man-beater called. Offense just failed to execute on the play."

On the lost spot challenge in the third
"Nothing on the field, but upstairs felt like the challenge was legit. We felt like we had the line to gain. Sometimes those are tough, but at the same time we felt good, and with the information I got upstairs."

On not challenging the Russell Wilson lateral
"Real time, it looked fine. It looked legit. We didn’t get all the necessary looks. They hustled to the line, but at the same time, it looked good, and I trust the guys upstairs making those decisions and didn’t challenge that. I already challenged one in the half and lost that, so I didn’t want to risk another timeout."

Eagles might lose backup defensive back

USA Today Images

Eagles might lose backup defensive back

Jaylen Watkins' time in Philadelphia might just be coming to an end. 

The Eagles don't plan to tender Watkins, who is a restricted free agent, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Watkins, 26, played a decent role with the Eagles in 2017. He came into the summer as a safety, but when the team needed him at corner, he began to fill in there. He offered them a backup at multiple spots. 

So why won't the Eagles tender him? 

Well, if the Eagles did place a tender on Watkins, it would have been an original-round tender. He was drafted in the fourth round back in 2014. So teams could have negotiated with Watkins as a RFA but if the Eagles didn't match the offer sheet, they'd get back a fourth-round pick. Sounds great, except for one thing. 

The problem with the original-round tender is that it would bring back Watkins on a one-year deal worth just over $1.9 million. That's a projection after last year's number was just under $1.8 million. 

Watkins proved to be a valuable backup for the Eagles in 2017, but $1.9 million is probably just a little too pricey, especially as the Eagles are sitting around $9 million over the cap and have to trim that number down. 

And the Birds should have plenty of younger depth at corner in 2018. 

Not tendering Watkins doesn't necessarily mean he won't be back. What it does mean is he'll be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year starts on March 14. He will be able to negotiate with any team freely, but that will also include the Eagles, who might be willing to bring him back for a lesser price. 

Darren Sproles doesn't look ready to retire

USA Today Images

Darren Sproles doesn't look ready to retire

Darren Sproles seems well on his way to a full recovery.

Just five months after tearing his ACL and breaking his forearm, Sproles posted this video in his Instagram story.

The 12-year veteran back and return specialist has been saying that he's not quite ready to retire. 

"I don't have to play next year, but I'm leaning towards coming back," Sproles said back in December. "I can't end like this."

The Eagles will have an interesting decision to make regarding Sproles who will be a free agent this offseason along with veteran LeGarrette Blount. With Jay Ajayi locked in for 2018 and the emergence of undrafted back Corey Clement, the Super Bowl champions face some tough choices.