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Doug Pederson Explains The Biggest Difference Entering Training Camp


On Monday at 8:50 a.m., head coach Doug Pederson walked onto the fields at the NovaCare Complex to join the Eagles' quarterbacks, rookies, and selected veterans for the first day of Training Camp. On a morning when the media members in attendance more than doubled the 34 Eagles players on the field, Pederson took to the podium following practice to provide updates on injuries and addressed questions surrounding rookies, quarterback Carson Wentz's development, and his own adjustment as a coach in Year 2.

On his initial impression of the rookies and their ability to recall information from the spring practices: "It's warm so the conditioning was actually pretty good from what I saw. Recall I thought was excellent today from the meeting last night carrying it to the field this morning. So I'm excited to see these guys the next couple of days for them to get in here and learn some more, one-on-one with the coaches and for those guys to teach and get these guys ready for when the vets come."

On the play of rookie WR Shelton Gibson: "He's coming along. He's by no means where he wants to be or where we want him to be, but he understands his role. He knows he has to really come in and compete for an opportunity and I'm excited about watching him and he's a speed guy so I'm looking forward to watching him use that speed."

On Jordan Hicks' hand injury: "He'll be limited to start camp. He's a veteran player, understands his role. I'm not going to rush him out there to try and keep reinjuring that thing, but at the same time he wants to go through our individuals our 7-on-7s and just limit him as he gets healthy."

On the health status of CB Ron Brooks: "He's cleared, he's healthy, and he's another one we're going to monitor each day again. That's not one I want to rush back out there, a veteran player, but at the same time he's right there in the mix. He's obviously our nickel defender, nickel corner and just has to make sure that he's 100 percent every day before we proceed any further with him."

On Beau Allen's recovery: "He's another one that we're going to continue to monitor. (We're) going to make sure he's 100 percent before we stick him back on the field. He has been conditioning and getting himself ready to go, but at the same time we're going to make sure that he's 100 percent healthy before we put him back out. I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's going to be Week 1 but at the same time it's day by day."

On the release of CB Dwayne Gratz and the depth at cornerback position: "It's a position that we continue to look even outside, as we do every position, but as you know we're going to continue to look and try to bring in guys if we can and create as much competition as we can. Obviously, it's a spot that we're going to keep an eye on throughout camp, but now it gives a couple of our younger guys ... to get in here and get valuable reps."

On WR Jordan Matthews' absence during the spring due to a knee injury: "I'm not concerned. I know Jordan's work ethic. I know the type of person and player that he is. We just got to stay on top of it. He's been rehabbing all spring all summer. He's been up here, and he was in and with the guys. Again, he's just another one we'll just monitor. We don't play a game for a long time so I'm not concerned."

On playoff expectations and comparison to the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl teams: "It has to come together, you got to have a coaching staff, and everybody has to jell. It takes more than talent. I think we have talented players on this roster. I don't want to put us in a box and say we can't do this or we can't do that, the season hasn't started yet. I'm excited about the guys we have - the new additions, the draft picks, the free agents. I think they've helped our roster. They've helped adding some talent around Carson.

"It was important to us this spring and we were able to do that and then just mixing all that together. ... We have to come out here every single day and work hard. I was on those teams in the 1990s and went to two Super Bowls back to back with the Packers and so I've seen what it takes and I just have to make sure we're doing those same things here to get us eventually to that game."

On the growth and development on QB Carson Wentz: "Carson and I, without getting into a bunch of our personal conversations, came in with the right frame of mind. Last year at this time, he played a ton of football in college: Senior Bowl, Combine, all the workouts, getting ready for camp, OTAs, the whole thing. He played a lot of football and never really had an offseason last year. But as he comes into this camp, he's refreshed, he's rejuvenated, he's eager, he's ready to go. He's got the best thing that ... going into Year 2 is that he played 16 games last year. That's the exciting thing about it; he's a year experienced now in this league. Those are things that we can build on and he's so excited for this season looking forward to the vets to get here."

On his comfort level in Year 2: "A lot like Carson, from the standpoint of last year and all of the offseason, was about establishing your staff and getting your staff hired, to putting in an offense, a defense, a special teams, and making sure the schedules are right, and learning your roster. You're just going and going and going. And in Year 2 with all of that being established, now it's about just managing that roster, and going out and finding guys that you can add to it, and creating the competition that we talk about. So it's exciting for me even going into Year 2, with a little more of that freshness and rejuvenation.

"That pressure, that load is off of me, that's established, and now we can really focus on the football. And it really frees me up to spend a lot more time with Schwartz on defense and learn and understand game plans that way and also with Dave Fipp on special teams."

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