Philadelphia Eagles News

Doug Pederson Focused On Jets

Head coach Doug Pederson was precise and to the point when he met with the media on Sunday, giving efficient answers to questions about quarterback Carson Wentz and not looking past this week's game against the New York Jets.

"We're not into next week. We're into the Jets, so I'm not worried about that yet right now," said Pederson on which starters are expected to play Week 1. "We're still in Training Camp, so we're practicing today and getting guys ready for the game."

Pederson restated the point that Wentz has not yet been cleared for contact by doctors and that there's no timetable for when he will know who the Week 1 starting quarterback will be. Wentz is being evaluated each day, just like other recovering players such as offensive tackle Jason Peters and running back Darren Sproles.

"I'm not going to put myself in a box, I'm not going to put my quarterback in a box," Pederson said. "I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to go out on a limb and I'm not going to say that."

In addition to Wentz, Pederson also had no update on the status of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery who remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

With the fourth preseason game of 2018 set for Thursday at 7 p.m. (NBC Philadelphia, SportsRadio 94WIP) against the Jets, it's likely most starters will not play as they prepare for the regular-season opener. Pederson confirmed that quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who signed with the Eagles two weeks ago, will play in his first preseason game Thursday against his former team. Pederson believes there is a lot of value in the fourth preseason game.

"Preseason is a little different because it's tough to evaluate wins and losses, obviously," Pederson said. "You want to evaluate individual performance and then collectively as units - offense, defense, special teams. There were some really good individual efforts in the game, but at the same time, it's another great opportunity this week for a lot of young players to showcase their abilities one last time.

"And then I've just got to make sure that the guys that are going to play in the Atlanta game get some attention this week, as well," he added.

The Eagles lost their first three preseason games of the year, the most recent being a 5-0 score at the hands of the Cleveland Browns. While the first-team offense's performance was forgettable in what is known as the dress rehearsal game, Pederson saw positives after rewatching the game that he can work with going into Thursday.

"It actually wasn't bad at all," Pederson said. "The worst thing about it, obviously, were the turnovers and the missed opportunities, but we had some really good things in the game."

With the season opener against Atlanta on September 6 and each preseason game being on Thursdays, Pederson said the team's schedule has not changed, treating Thursdays as in-season Sundays.

Despite the question marks with the starters on offense, Pederson said that "urgency and attention to detail" in the locker room has improved as Week 1 approaches. He expects to learn more about the team's younger players in the final preseason game Thursday and to have the starters ready to go when the Eagles take on the Falcons to begin the regular season.

"We've just got to continue to keep working," Pederson said. "The way I structure practice this week is the so-called penciled-in guys will get some work. However, we're still evaluating some younger guys, and we still have one more preseason game to go before things really begin to heat up."

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