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10 Key Questions, 10 Answers From The Assistant Coaches


The assistant coaches met with the media for an hour on Saturday. Here's one pressing question from each of the interview sessions.

Chris Wilson: Is It Too Early To Think Of Derek Barnett As A Starter?

"Yeah, it is. It's Game 2. He's played against some solid competition, but to see him go against the ones day after day after day will be one of the critical factors. He's a rookie. He's got a lot of work ahead of him," said the defensive line coach.

"He's like most rookies. He's definitely taken steps forward. He's got a bit to go at this level. One thing that I had been pleased with is how coachable he is, how smart he is. He has really good football instincts. He's a good learner. He understands concepts. And that's going to benefit him. He's able to go on the field, play, and then he's able to receive good coaching.

"He enjoys football. He plays with great effort. It's one of the things that at this level I hope he never loses."

Dave Fipp: Has Caleb Sturgis Had A Good Summer?

"I think he's done a good job. His numbers aren't totally where we want them to be in these preseason games. He's missed some kicks that we'd like him to make, obviously," said the special teams coordinator.

"I do see progress and him trending upward and getting back into a good rhythm and groove which is what I'm looking for more than anything. I feel good about that. I will say in his defense, not that we would ever use it as an excuse, but in his defense, we've had two snappers, two holders and he's in a position where it's a rhythm position. You got to get in a groove and a rhythm, and repetitions count and matter."

Cory Undlin: What Will Happen At The Other Corner Positions?

"I like (Jalen Mills) outside right now. We obviously all know that he played inside last year," said the defensive backs coach. "As of right now, I like what he's done outside. He's got to continue with that progress over the next couple of weeks so we feel good about going to Washington in Week 1. Whether he's going to play nickel again, I can't say that or not. We'll just have to see what happens and who's here and how it works out.

"Pat Robinson is obviously still in the mix and Pat can play both sides. The number one thing for Jim and all of us is can you be trusted to execute the scheme. No matter how talented you are or what kind of player you are, you have to be trusted to go out and execute the defense on a snap-by-snap basis."

Jeff Stoutland: Will The Run Game Be Ready To Go For The Regular Season?

"Right now, the mission for us is to make sure that our players are taking the appropriate departure angle and surfacing the blocks the right way," the offensive line coach said. "If you do that, the rest of it is going to take care of itself. To me, that's more important than anything. I know that if we take care of business with those two things that the rest of them will take care of itself.

"We're not there yet. Not like we were last year doing some of the things. This is like getting on a spaceship and going to the moon. You got to program everything just right from the alignment of the defender to how wide is the linebacker to how low is the linebacker."

Ken Flajole: Will Mychal Kendricks Have A Bigger Role?

"He played well, happy for him. Happy to see him have that kind of production (against the Bills). He had a nice night and hopefully it will continue," the linebackers coach said.

"I think the familiarity with the scheme should help you progress a little bit with the ability to take the detail of our coaching and apply it to game situations so that it helps him become more productive. We're all taking a step in the right direction. Certainly, Myke's had a chance to make some nice plays the other night and I'm happy for him.

"Myke's always been a talented individual. Sometimes it just seems like it's your night. ... I've always seen those traits in him. Maybe more familiarity in our scheme has allowed him to embrace some of the details of what we're doing a little bit more and maybe that helps his production a little bit."

Duce Staley: Can LeGarrette Blount Be More Than A Short-Yardage Back?

"Yes, just overall you've seen his body of work. It's not just something I'm pulling out of a hat guessing," the running backs coach said.

"It goes back to what we're doing game-plan wise. We're trying to see what works. When you're in the lab and you're focusing on your team and you're trying to throw different things out there, and that's what we're doing. Different concepts. Everybody's got a thought in the room. We're just doing different things. If we were game-planning, things would be different of course, but we have not done that."

John DeFilippo: Was Adversity Good For The Offense Thursday Night?

"I think that shows the nature of how it is during the season. You're going to have some three-and-outs. Obviously, we want to limit them. We'd love to go out and score on the first drive of every game, but that's probably not going to happen in the real world, but it was good to see our guys come back and drive the ball. Unfortunately, we had the fumble there. It was good to see our guys come back and drive the ball down the field," the quarterbacks coach said.

"Carson (Wentz) has shown throughout OTAs and Training Camp that he's going to play well the majority of the time. Obviously, we try to be very, very good in the red zone and limit mistakes."

Mike Groh: Will Offense Take Advantage Of All Of Alshon Jeffery's Talents?

"Absolutely. Alshon's had a ton of production over the course of his career. We need to be able to utilize the talents that he brings to our offense and the skill set that he has. It's been fun to watch he and Carson start to get that rapport out on the field together," the wide receivers coach said.

"He's got elite-level ball skills. Any time you see him out here catch the football, you say that's what guys with great hands look like. He brings that presence to us. He's got great length. He can make contested catches. He certainly commands the attention of the defensive coordinators and the corners on the other side."

The Eagles faced the Bills in their preseason home opener, and took home a 20-16 win.

Justin Peelle: Can The Eagles Run Out Of Multiple TE Sets?

"It's important to run out of those formations because defenses don't know what you're going to do. I think we've made some progress," the tight ends coach said. "All three of those guys have gotten better at the line of scrimmage with their technique and their blocking, so it's been fun to see. It's refreshing because they don't mind doing it. They enjoy doing it. ... They're all in. They work at it during practice. A lot of times when I talk to them after games, they're more upset about missing a block than they are if they ran a bad route or something like that."

Tim Hauck: What Will Corey Graham's Role Be On Defense?

"There's nothing set in stone," the safeties coach said. "I'm enjoying evaluating him and watching him play and watching him come along. We're playing him in a lot of different spots. He's got value. He can play corner. He can play nickel. He can play safety. It's still an evaluation process."

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