Aside from the X's and O's, Doug Pederson trusts that the leadership from his players in the locker room and the culture that he's helped establish will welcome in new running back Jay Ajayi. The Eagles are embracing a player who Pederson believes fits the very mold of this team. After having an up-close look at Ajayi during the joint practices in Training Camp, the Pro Bowl selection should have no trouble fitting into the success Philadelphia has enjoyed this season.
"In this business, nobody's perfect, even coaches," Pederson said on Wednesday morning. "We're getting a really good person off the football field as well as on. This is where the leadership of the football team, when I talk about ownership of the team, this is where when you bring guys in at the midway point of the season like we've done. This is where they embrace those guys.
"We've established a culture on how we do things around here and so I implore those guys to just embrace it, bring him in. I've had a conversation with him and we've got to be open and honest and say, 'Hey this is how we do things around here.' Welcome him in and get him up to speed."
Getting Ajayi caught up will take time and Pederson wouldn't speculate whether Ajayi would be ready by the time the Broncos come to Philadelphia on Sunday. The coaching staff will do the best they can to get Ajayi at least a few plays that he's comfortable with. Until Ajayi finds his way in the system, Pederson would not guess on how the addition will affect the reps among the other running backs.
Pederson announced LeGarrette Blount will remain the team's starting back for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, he expects the rest of the room to embrace the competition that adding another player like Ajayi brings.
"This guy is a tough powerful runner, first thing. And he's got great vision. He's a got a great first step, quick back inside behind tackles and guards. One guy doesn't necessarily bring him down all the time," Pederson said. "You have to go back a little bit to watch him really run routes and see that he's very capable of being a route runner out of the backfield and brings a very aggressive run demeanor to our offense."