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Doug Pederson Says Entire Team Is Healthy As Washington Week Begins


On Saturday, the Eagles announced their initial 53-man roster for the 2017 regular season.

Head coach Doug Pederson spoke publicly for the first time Monday afternoon since the team's 53-man roster was announced on Saturday. Pederson addressed the running back position, where they decided to keep five backs on the roster but will only be suiting up three or four during gamedays. He also announced that the team will be taking more of a running back-by-committee approach with the lead back selection being strictly "game-plan specific" for the upcoming matchup.

"I don't want to just sit here and say, 'Darren (Sproles), you're obviously a third-down guy,' or 'Wendell (Smallwood), you're a first-, second- and third-down guy,' because you know we want to get all these guys involved in the game plan. I think it's important to what we do," Pederson stated.

"If LeGarrette (Blount) has the hot hand he continues to carry the ball. If it's Wendell, it's Wendell. I can't sit here and tell you exactly how many touches these guys are going to get but at the same time that when we put game plans together we're very mindful of not only the run game, but also the pass game with these guys as well."

Here's what else Pederson spoke about Monday:

• On the inactive and practice squad players: "I think with that bottom third on the roster, I think one thing that I'm going to implement this year is actually time spent after practice with those guys developing their talents. They likely won't get a bunch of reps with the offense or defense from a game plan standpoint. They get all the service team reps as you know but at the same time you want to make sure that you're maximizing their talents and also maximizing my younger coaches there on the staff. By developing those guys and spending time after practice for 10-12 minutes and just going through drill work specific to what we're doing offensively and defensively, so we don't let those guys just sort of drift by the way side.

• On the entire team roster: "I think we're in a better position roster-wise obviously going into this season than we were a year ago. Definitely, we had the quarterback situation a year ago and now that's behind us and we're full steam ahead so I'm excited about this week of practice."

• On what he's learned about Alshon Jeffery: "I tell you one thing, just his attention to detail. His focus, his drive feels like and seems like he's eager and ready to go. Kind of champing at the bit a little bit with my decision to kind of rest him during camp. You know he's obviously a big target. I spent the last couple of days watching his targets over the last couple of seasons. Just seeing how he runs routes and how he plays on gameday and it's exciting to watch him. He's a big, physical guy that we're excited to have on our team and really look forward to he and Carson (Wentz) connecting and doing some good things."

• On how many offensive linemen will be available for gamedays: "Seven."

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