Doug Pederson on Friday morning was aware of an anonymous quote from one of his players leaked to ESPN voicing frustration about the Eagles’ offense.
While Pederson said he had not addressed the team about the latest incident, nor has he confronted players he might suspect, the head coach was not pleased.
“Yeah, you don’t like to have anonymous guys,” Pederson said, “but at the same time, I hate to say it, but we’re kind of focused on the Cowboys right now.”
This isn’t the first time anonymous quotes have made their way out of the NovaCare Complex, so you’d understand why Pederson wouldn’t be thrilled about this. The report on Thursday came from the same ESPN reporter, Josina Anderson, who had a player tell her last season that the offense was over-targeting Zach Ertz.
This time, the criticism was a little stranger, basically saying Carson Wentz needs to check-down more often, meaning he needs to throw a short pass to a running back or tight end when there’s nothing open downfield.
That’s the exact opposite of what has seemingly been the Eagles’ offensive problem since Week 2 when DeSean Jackson went down.
“I’ve never heard that one before,” Pederson said, jokingly. “We’re not throwing it deep enough and now we’re not throwing it short enough. I don’t get it.”
Pederson also addressed the specific criticism in depth a little more:
I’ve seen them. I’ve seen them. And I’ll tell you this: For those of you who know football and watch football, a check-down is a part of the game. But what people sometimes don’t understand is you may lose your back in protection. He may get caught up in the wash of the protection, he may not get out. It is an aspect of something we teach, that when the throw is not there down the field and you have the availability of a back or of a tight end in that position, we will utilize it. There’s a lot of factors that go into that and it’s not all on the quarterback.
Part of the anonymous quote, as relayed by Anderson on ESPN, said the Eagles “need to make bleep simpler.”
Pederson on Friday was asked if he thought there was any validity to the offense’s being too complicated.
“I’m not a smart guy and I can figure out the offense,” Pederson said. “It’s not that complicated. It’s not that complicated.”
When asked if he's worried about a fracture in the team, Pederson noted that there’s so much negative stuff being thrown at players all the time, he tries to be a positive force. He thinks “that’s what they need to hear.”
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