Eagles

Doug Pederson remembers Andy Reid's bye week magic

usa-doug-pederson-andy-reid.jpg
USA Today Images

Doug Pederson remembers Andy Reid's bye week magic

This week, Doug Pederson is using one of the lessons he learned from Andy Reid. 

He's telling his players to get away. 

The Eagles are sitting at 8-1, the best record in the NFL, at the bye week. And Pederson is telling his players to take a break from football for the next week. 

"Get away from it, clear their minds," Pederson said Monday. "Understand that, yeah, we've started something special, but we want to make sure we finish it the right way."

While Pederson said he wants his players to get away from football, he wants them to stay in shape. That means lifting weights or doing conditioning work. Certainly, any player who stays in the area is welcome to head to the NovaCare Complex to work out or get treatment. 

Pederson said Reid was always "great" about giving his players and coaches some time off during the bye week. And it's hard to argue with Reid's post-bye-week success. Reid is 16-2 all-time coming off a bye week. The Eagles are 0-1 coming off the bye under Pederson. They lost in Week 5 to Detroit last season, but it was a game they should have won. 

The Eagles will have an extra week to prepare for the Cowboys, but Pederson doesn't want to overcomplicate things, either. 

"Keep it familiar with the guys," Pederson said. "You don't come out and recreate and do a lot of things that's not in your schemes. [Reid] was able to do that. I think just being able to refocus the guys was the biggest thing and keeping them on task and not changing a lot of stuff and letting the guys go play again." 

While players will be away from the facility all week, Pederson and his coaches will use some extra time to self scout. On Monday, they watched the film from the Broncos game and made some corrections. They'll use the next few days to go back and watch the first nine games to search for some strong tendencies they might have put on film. 

Later in the week, Pederson's coaches will have some time to spend with their families and rest up for the final seven games of the regular season before what he and the staff hope will be a long playoff run. 

Pederson was asked if it's important for his team to enjoy its success so far. After all, the Eagles have put together an extremely impressive first nine games. 

"We get four, five hours on a Sunday afternoon after a game to enjoy one, and then we're back in the office cranking on the next week," he said. "So I want the coaches and players to enjoy and to look back and reflect on what we've accomplished so far. As great as it is, we still have half a season and seven ballgames left. 

"We've got to come out and enjoy this time this week, reflect on what we've done, but we've got to come back ready to go next week. If you don't take care of business from here on out, it's all for nothing."

Eagles' Ronald Darby defends Buccaneers' Jameis Winston against groping allegations

ap-ronald-darby-jameis-winston.jpg
AP Images

Eagles' Ronald Darby defends Buccaneers' Jameis Winston against groping allegations

Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby on Sunday morning released a statement defending friend, former Florida State teammate and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston against allegations Winston inappropriately groped an Uber driver during a ride in Arizona in March 2016.

News of the allegations came to light early last week and the NFL is investigating the Uber driver's claims. Darby says he was in the backseat of the car with Winston on the night of the alleged groping.

"I felt the need to come forward and clarify some inaccurate accounts of the evening March 13, 2016 when myself, a friend and Jameis Winston took an Uber ride in Arizona," Darby said in Sunday's statement. "There were three of us in the car, not just one, as has been reported. Myself and Jameis were in the backseat. I am confident that nothing inappropriate in nature happened in the car that evening and Jameis did not have any physical contact with the Uber driver. The accusations are just not true."

Darby and Winston played together at FSU from 2012-2014 and formed a close bond. But it was during that time at FSU that Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, came into the limelight for a variety of wrong reasons.

While redshirting in 2012, he was detained by police causing property damage with a a BB gun. In April 2014, he was cited for shoplifting crab legs from a supermarket and subsequently suspended from the Seminoles' baseball team. He was suspended for a game against Clemson in September 2014 for shouting an inappropriate phrase in a cafeteria.  

But most notably, Winston was accused of sexually assaulting FSU student Erica Kinsman during an alleged December 2012 incident in his apartment. Winston was never charged by police in Tallahassee, where FSU is located, and the Florida state attorney's office also did not pursue criminal charges.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Darby was in Winston's apartment the night of the alleged sexual assault.

That case turned into a federal lawsuit that was eventually settled in December 2016.

Gunn on One: Lane Johnson on his family's love for the Cowboys

Gunn on One: Lane Johnson on his family's love for the Cowboys

Trench warfare will be watched closely in this Eagles-Cowboys matchup. Recently I stepped to the line of scrimmage to face right tackle Lane Johnson for the latest Gunn on One. Lane talked about going back home, who’s the best right tackle in the game, and his upcoming one on one matchup.

Gunn: You’re from Texas, so what’s it like to have family and friends who want to see you do well, but will be just as happy if the Cowboys beat the Eagles?

Johnson: That’s all I’ve been dealing with for five years, so there will be a little less tickets this year, that’s all I gotta say (laughter). If they want to root for the Cowboys, I have a little less seats for them in the stadium that day.

Gunn: Are you the best right tackle in the game today?

Johnson: I feel like I am, not arrogantly, but I try to put good stuff on tape. I try to have that wow factor in games.

Gunn: You get to face a guy named DeMarcus Lawrence who currently leads the NFL in sacks with 11.5. That’s more than he’s had in his previous three seasons in the league combined. When you look at him on film right now what jumps out about the way he’s playing at such a high level?

Johnson: I see a guy that’s pretty similar to me, a hungry guy. One thing that I think that has improved with him is his playing strength, and his hands. He’s really good with his hands. He’s a lot better than what he has been in the past. He’s been striking guys that are leaning or punching, trying to put their hands in his chest. He’s really good at separating himself, getting distance, and chopping hands. I have to be keyed in on every play.

You can see my extended conversation with Lane Sunday on Eagles PreGame Live between 6:30 and 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia.