Eagles

There's only one way for the Eagles to handle DeSean Jackson

There's only one way for the Eagles to handle DeSean Jackson

I do believe that DeSean Jackson’s social media posts came from a place of ignorance and not a place of hate. 

And that is important to remember.

But it doesn’t excuse what he did.

I’ve been to Auschwitz and Dachau, two of Hitler’s most notorious concentration camps. I’ve seen the horror that Hitler brought to the world. I’ve seen the shoes worn by thousands of the 7 million men, women and children murdered by the Nazis just for being Jewish. And I understand DeSean hasn’t experienced that.

But that’s no excuse. 

There is no excuse for anybody to post comments so filled with hate toward any group of people. 

There is no excuse for quoting comments attributed to Hitler.

We’re living in an age where we’re all trying to understand each other just a little bit more and understand our differences and break down the walls of bigotry and hatred.

And there’s simply no place on a football team for this kind of voice.

And I’ll be honest, DeSean’s “apology” showed a profound lack of understanding for why people are offended. It wasn’t an apology at all.  

“My thoughts were definitely not intended for anybody for any race to feel any type of way.”

OK … then explain exactly how they were intended? What were you trying to get across? Why did you post them? 

“When I posted what I posted I definitely didn’t mean it to the extent that you guys took it.”

Think about that for a second. The extent that you guys took it? Just exactly what extent were you hoping to offend people, DeSean? He’s essentially saying we’re all over-reacting to him posting social media messages quoting Hitler and avowed anti-semite and homophobe Louis Farrakhan? He’s saying we somehow misunderstood?

I don’t see a shred of genuine remorse in this “apology” and I don’t see any sign that he even remotely understands why he offended so many people in the first place or why his own boss called his actions “absolutely appalling.”

This is a half-hearted apology issued to appease his bosses in hopes that he won’t get suspended or cut. It comes across as an apology made because he was told to apologize.

About a month ago, DeSean spoke in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark about how proud he was of Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz for speaking out against racism and social injustice.

He spoke about how important it was for them to speak out even though they didn’t grow up in the inner city and don’t know what it’s like to be racially profiled.

DeSean needs to have that same sense of understanding of other cultures and other religions and other people that he saw in his teammates.

I’ve always loved watching DeSean play football, and I loved when the Eagles brought him back last year to finish his career where it started.  

But now? It’s clear the Eagles have to take some sort of strong action.

Does that mean a one-game suspension? A four-game suspension? Does that mean cut him and never let him back in the Linc and ban him from the Eagles Hall of Fame?

Honestly, I don’t know. 

But he simply can’t be allowed to put on an Eagles uniform again until he displays a true understanding of why his posts were so incredibly hateful and harmful. Not just to Jews but to all human beings who believe in equality, inclusion and diversity.

I don’t know if that will ever happen. I hope it does.

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Doug Pederson discusses positive COVID test, coaching layoff

Doug Pederson discusses positive COVID test, coaching layoff

Doug Pederson, speaking from quarantine at his South Jersey home, emphasized Monday that he believes the NovaCare Complex could not be any safer.

Pederson wouldn’t comment when asked specifically if he believes he contracted COVID-19 away from the Eagles’ South Philadelphia training complex, but it did sound that way.

“This is something I don’t necessarily want to comment on for myself or speculate on anyone else obviously,” Pederson said. “I’m just going to reiterate the fact that I feel very good about the safety of our building and the protocols that we have in place. That’s one thing I do know, and going through this has reinforced that for me at this time.”

The Eagles announced Sunday that Pederson tested positive for the virus. With training camp continuing in Philadelphia, Pederson remains separated from the team indefinitely.

Although quarterbacks coach Press Taylor was sent home because he had worked in close quarters with Pederson, there haven’t been any other reports of positive tests in the NovaCare.

Three veteran players, Lane Johnson, Nate Gerry and Jordan Mailata, went on the COVID reserve list before reporting to camp. Of those three, only Johnson is known to have contracted the virus.

“I’m very comfortable and confident that the protocols we have in place at the NovaCare are in the best interest of the football team and all those who enter the building,” Pederson said. “It still is a very safe environment. One of the things we all need to learn and what I need to learn taking away from this is that obviously we need to protect ourselves when we’re in the community, away from the building.”

Pederson said he’s in constant communication with his players, coaches and staff, and in that way this period is not unlike the spring, when Pederson led daily team activities through Zoom calls.

Pederson said he has no symptoms but is quarantining himself from his family members until he tests negative and is cleared to return to work.

“I’m feeling great,” he said Monday afternoon on a Zoom call. “Energy level is high, really no symptoms whatsoever. I’m very fortunate because this virus attacks (all) people a little bit differently.”

Although Pederson is able to run team meetings and meet with players virtually, he can’t be on the field, and starting Tuesday, teams are allowed to hold non-contact, non-padded walkthroughs.

Duce Staley, who holds the dual title of running backs coach and assistant head coach, is running these practices.

Staley, Pederson’s teammate here in 1999, has been on the Eagles’ coaching staff for 10 years.

“Duce being assistant head coach, he assumes my role, the day-to-day activities in the building,” Pederson said. “He and I talk every single morning, I give him sort of my thoughts on where I’m leading and what I’m thinking and then he carries that message forward. He’s done a great job so far and will continue to.”

But make no mistake about it … this is still Pederson’s team.

“One of the things I learned during the offseason is that I can still run the team virtually and that’s what I’ve been able to do today and yesterday, holding staff meetings, team meetings, things of that nature,” he said.

How long will Pederson be out?

It’s impossible to tell. 

“I’m not going to speculate on a timetable for me,” he said. “Treat it just like players. When I’m back I’m back.”

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Doug Pederson still confident about season after contracting COVID-19

Doug Pederson still confident about season after contracting COVID-19

Despite testing positive for COVID-19, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is still confident there will be a 2020 NFL season. 

The Eagles are already in an altered training camp and the beginning of the season is still scheduled for Sept. 13 in Washington. 

Pederson says things are still full-steam ahead: 

My confidence hasn’t changed at all. I’m extremely optimistic,” Pederson said on a Zoom call with reporters Monday afternoon. “I feel like we’re going to play. I’m confident that we’re going to play. 

“It’s unfortunate. 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. 

“I’m looking forward. 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.

Pederson, 52, informed his team that he tested positive on Sunday night. He is quarantining away from his family in his South Jersey home until he’s allowed to return to the NovaCare Complex. Pederson is asymptomatic and said he’s feeling great. He’ll continue to coach virtually and assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley will handle any in-person head coaching responsibilities. 

According to the NFL’s protocol, Pederson might not miss too much time. He will be allowed to return if either 10 days have passed since his first positive test or five days have passed and he tests negative twice at least 24 hours apart during those five days. The Eagles’ head physician must also sign off on Pederson’s return to the building. So he could theoretically be back at the NovaCare Complex later this week. 

Pederson on Monday noted that he’s lucky he contracted the virus now and not during the season. There’s a chance he might not miss any of the Eagles’ practices. 

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