Eagles

Carroll: Russell Wilson's game vs. Eagles one of his best ever

Carroll: Russell Wilson's game vs. Eagles one of his best ever

SEATTLE — You can watch all the film in the world. Study every play Russell Wilson has ever run. Prepare like you've never prepared.
 
And still not be ready for what you're going to get.
 
The Eagles got vintage Russell Wilson Sunday night, and they had no answer.
 
"He's a human joystick, man," Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said.
 
The human joystick ended the Eagles' nine-game winning streak Sunday at CenturyLink Field, giving nightmares to a secondary that over the last few months has been one of the best in football.
 
Wilson completed 20 of 31 passes for 227 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and ran for another 31 yards in the Seahawks' 24-10 win, but the numbers don't come close to representing just how brilliant the sixth-year pro was.
 
"I thought that Russell was spectacular," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
 
"I just thought that the stuff that he was able to create, it doesn’t really show up in the stats as much, but it was just an amazing night of football. That was fun to watch and I loved it.
 
“Russell was phenomenal tonight. I thought that was Russell showing you everything that he’s all about. From start to finish, from the first play of the game on. He was on it. He created. His execution was excellent. We didn’t turn the football over. Working the clock. Beautiful tempo. Decisions, checks. The whole night and the big plays were just coming out everywhere. 
 
"I really think that he had one of the best games that I’ve seen him play.”

Wilson has won more games than any quarterback in NFL history through six years, and he showed why Sunday night.
 
Every time the Eagles thought they had him wrapped up or pinned down, he escaped and made a play.
 
He's so unorthodox, so inventive, you literally have no idea what's next.
 
"It's very frustrating as a defensive back and a defense in general when a guy like that can extend those plays," Rodney McLeod said.
 
"It's very special and very unique in what he does. We tried to duplicate it as much as we could (in practice), but he made a lot of plays for that offense tonight.
 
"Some things we could do better. The penalties cost us, they extended drives, (we could) do a little better in coverage. But I think for the most part a lot of plays that you see are just him running around and making a play and giving his guys an opportunity to go up and make plays."
 
Wilson became only the fourth quarterback since 1985 with a passer rating over 118 and 30 or more rushing yards against the Eagles. But it wasn't so much the rushing yards that killed the Eagles as much as his mobility and creativity on the move.

"We shot ourselves in the foot," Jalen Mills said. "He made some plays, but at the same time, there were opportunities there that we left out there. A lot was on us. It wasn't anything he did. We just have to execute."

The six previous weeks? The Eagles had 13 interceptions and allowed just six touchdowns.
 
After facing the likes of Mitch Trubisky, Brock Osweiler and C.J. Beathard, the Eagles' secondary finally got tested, and the result wasn't pretty.
 
"It’s tough," safety Corey Graham said. "Heck of a player. He does a lot with his legs. Buys time to make plays. He’s a ballplayer, man.
 
"He’s scrambling, he’s buying time, he’s making guys miss, he’s spinning. Guys had him in certain situations and he just found ways to make plays. When it’s all said and done, he just made more plays than we did."
 
The ultimate Russell Wilson play came on a crucial fourth-quarter 3rd-and-8 with the Seahawks on their own 42-yard-line and leading by just seven.
 
Wilson ran six yards, then lateraled to Mike Davis, who ran 17 more yards for a huge first down. Four plays later, Wilson's third TD pass of the game restored the Seahawks' 14-point lead.
 
It was a play nobody else can make.
 
"Our DBs, we're taught to stay in coverage until he crosses the line of scrimmage," Jenkins said. "He crosses it and then option-pitches it out. Those are things you can’t really prepare for, and those are plays that make him special and a dangerous quarterback."
 
Carroll has been on the sideline for every game Wilson has ever played and still marvels at what he sees.
 
"The awareness, point guard, the whole thing," Carroll said. "Everything you’ve ever done in sports leads you to the moment to make that decision and then to do it and execute it like that? Basketball, baseball, football, everything he’s ever done.  It was an amazing play."
 
Wilson has faced the Eagles three times now and is 3-0 with six TD passes, no interceptions and a 104.9 passer rating.
 
Only Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Matt Cassel, Milt Plum and Bart Starr have a higher rating against the Eagles.
 
"We had a good game plan against it, but sometimes its better in person than it is on film," Graham said. "He was amazing today. He was better than us."

Where Doug Pederson's aggressiveness as a play caller comes from

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Where Doug Pederson's aggressiveness as a play caller comes from

We’ve always known Doug Pederson is a naturally aggressive play caller.

Pederson is a laid-back guy off the field but as aggressive as any coach in NFL history on the field.

But where does that come from? How did such a chill dude become such a fearless play caller?

Pederson spoke Tuesday morning about how the way he was raised as a kid in Bellingham, Washington, defined his personality as a coach.

“Growing up with my parents, my dad has some military background, he was in the Air Force, and the way he led our household and raised us as kids … I don’t want to say it was strict but it was a rigid household growing up, so I think I got a little bit of that from my dad,” he said during an appearance with Angelo Cataldi and the 94 WIP Morning Show.

“His aggressive nature in the way he coached us and the way we raised us to stand on our own two feet.

“And listen, I was never really touted as a top athlete, quarterback, whatever, whether I was going into college or coming out of college, so for me there was a little bit of built-up underdog mentality. So for me, that’s where a little bit of this stems from.

“I made up my mind two years ago that really going into this opportunity being a head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles or wherever it might be that you only get one chance and one opportunity to do this so I want to make sure I do it right.”

The Eagles led the NFL with 17 fourth-down conversions last season, and in his two years coaching the Eagles they’ve attempted eight more fourth downs than any other team (53 to the Packers’ 45).

And that doesn’t even include the postseason, where the Eagles were 3-for-3 last year on fourth down, including two of the most celebrated conversions in Super Bowl history.

Including the regular season and postseason, the Eagles’ 20 total fourth-down conversions last year are second-most since the NFL began tracking fourth downs in 1991 (the Jaguars had 22 in 2007).

“It’s calculated,” Pederson said. “It’s not on a whim. It’s not just gut feel. For me, it was trusting my players, trusting my coaches. Out here on this grass, out here on this practice field, putting our players in those situations so when I make the decision during a game there’s no hesitation.

“So when you see Nick Foles come to the sideline and suggest 'Philly Philly,' there’s no hesitation. That’s the play. That’s the one we need. That’s the spark that’s going to help us win this football game, and that’s the collaboration process that we talk about a lot.”

And when a fourth-down attempt fails?

You don’t second-guess yourself. You just put it in the hands of the defense and move on.

“You can’t,” he said. “You don’t. You can’t second guess. You can’t go, ‘Oh man, did I make the right decision?' If you do that, yeah, you’re probably going to be a 50-50 type of team.

“Listen, these decisions are not just fly by the seat of my pants. These are calculated. I listen to some of the analytics, some of the numbers we talk about during the week, the different situation and scenarios that pop up in games.

“These are things that we study and these are things that I study during the week so I can prepare not only myself for the call but I can prepare the team for that situation.”

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Doug Pederson believes 2018 Eagles are deeper than Super Bowl team

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Doug Pederson believes 2018 Eagles are deeper than Super Bowl team

The Eagles won a Super Bowl last season. And then they got better.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday morning he believes this year’s roster is actually deeper than the one that roared to the franchise's first championship in 57 years.

The Eagles suffered some key losses — Patrick Robinson, LeGarrette Blount, Torrey Smith, Trey Burton, Brent Celek and Mychal Kendricks — but they added guys like Michael Bennett, Mike Wallace and Dallas Goedert along with a huge cast of players who were hurt last year and are expected back healthy.

“I think on paper, if you look at the depth at each position, the depth that we have, it’s definitely the deepest roster in my three years here,” Pederson said Tuesday morning during an appearance with Angelo Cataldi and the 94 WIP Morning Show.

“That’s exciting. It’s real exciting. Because in this league, we’ve got to cut our roster down to 53 in a couple weeks, and the hardest thing is you’re going to have to cut good players and you’re probably going to have cut players that are going to end up on rosters somewhere else.

“But on paper? We’re still missing (injured) Timmy Jernigan, we’re still missing Brandon Graham, we’re still missing those guys, but on paper, it looks like a pretty good solid roster.”

Some other notes from Pederson’s 20-minute interview:

He continues to be vague about the return of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who hasn’t practiced this summer. He said no decision has been made on whether Jeffery will start the season on PUP or the 53-man roster

“He’s doing extremely well with his rehab, No. 1, and he’s doing everything he can to get himself ready and to get himself healthy. Can’t wait for the day we get him back.”

He said the final decision on whether Carson Wentz will start the opener against the Falcons in 23 days is up to his doctors

“This guy’s a competitor. He attacked it on the football field when he played and he’s also attacked his rehab. This is something you don’t see every single day, a guy this determined to make it back to the football field. He’s done extremely well. … He’s so determined to get himself back on the football field that I think a lot of the other injured guys are following suit.”

On moving on from the Super Bowl

“It’s one of those things where it’s great in the offseason, it was great to be patted on the back for what we accomplished for this city, for these fans, but right now, this world championship is for the fans. Let them enjoy it. We’ve got to focus on our 2018 season, get ready to go. Nothings going to be handed to us, we’re going to have to go get everything each and every week and that’s why these guys are out here busting their tail throughout this training camp.”

On his biggest concern three weeks before the season opener against the Falcons

“For me, just the health of the injured guys. Where are they Week 1? That to me is the biggest question going into the start of the season. I’m not concerned about the quarterbacks, we have two great quarterbacks, we’re comfortable there. And receiver, with the addition of Mike Wallace, that brings some depth to what we’re doing. But just the health of the injured guys. That to me is the biggest question going into the start of the season.”

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