COSTA MESA, Calif. – Head coach Doug Pederson addressed the media on Wednesday at the team's California hotel and provided some updates. Here are the highlights of what he said.
- Tight end Zach Ertz remains in the concussion protocol, although he has been able to attend meetings. "The sense is he's doing well," Pederson said. "I don't want to get into too many details about it. He's still in the protocol." Ertz will be monitored throughout the week.
- Linebacker Joe Walker, who missed Sunday's game in Seattle with a neck (stinger) injury, went through the team's walkthrough on Wednesday and took part in practice.
- Were the Eagles celebrating too much during that nine-game winning streak? Did they lose their edge? On Tuesday defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said there is a "fine line" between having fun and losing focus. Pederson responded Wednesday. "Yeah, I agree with that statement. And listen, I'm also big about, the guys need to have fun at practice. You don't want to make it so they are not. But at the same time, when they are in the drill, when they are executing a play or a defense, a special teams, they need to be focused and they need to be paying attention to their assignments and it's business as usual.
"But listen, I want them to still fly around and have fun out there just like you said, and there is a fine line between how far you can go. But we've still got to get our work done and stay focused." Pederson said he did not think the Eagles had shown signs of losing focus at work, just to be clear.
- Pederson, following up on comments he made after Sunday's loss and then again on Monday about the team performing better in practice, said he isn't going to make any significant changes in practice this week. "I don't think you make wholesale changes. Again, as I mentioned Monday, I don't change just to change. I don't change the structure at practice and all that. But listen, the players know, they understand. If they play well, they know; if they play poorly, they know. And it's just my job to make sure that we stay the course. Everything's still right in front of us. Everything is in our control and that's what I want our team to understand."
- Sunday marks the first time the 2016 No. 1 draft pick (Jared Goff) plays the No. 2 pick (Carson Wentz) and Pederson sees similarities with both quarterbacks making progress. "Well, you see a lot of the same characteristics in the two quarterbacks. Obviously size, strength, athleticism. Both have great IQ, football intelligence. And athletic guys in both quarterbacks.
"I think, too, in both cases, it just comes down to having really good coaching around each quarterback, each young quarterback, and you can see the growth that Jared's made over the course of the past year. And obviously it's a direct relationship to the run game and the offensive line staying intact, and playing great defense and special teams. So all of that is something that they have benefitted this season, and Jared has done a nice job with that and obviously he's being coached well."
- How has the transition gone from training in Philadelphia to being in California? "I'll tell you, it's been pretty seamless," Pederson said. "I've got to credit our IT staff, our video department, our training and medical staff, our equipment staff, and everybody that even came out to set the hotel up and set up Angel Stadium. It's been seamless. Gracious for the Angels for allowing us to practice there, and our grounds crew have done an amazing job over there when you see it today, with putting some sod down in the infield and just a great job. It's been seamless. The transition's been really good. Offices are great. Players are really adjusting well. It feels like NovaCare."
- After scoring only 10 points in Sunday's loss to Seattle, the offense is looking, of course, to get into a rhythm early against the Rams. Pederson says that starts in practice, actually. "Coaches have really got to teach the game plan. We've got to get detailed there in the meetings. We've got to show them all the looks that we expect from the Rams obviously, and we've just got to take it to the field," Pederson said. "It starts with this walkthrough coming up here in a little while and it carries over in practice. We've just got to take it one day at a time and keep working."
Eagles rookies visited the Orange County Ronald McDonald House and helped honor former Eagles tight end Fred Hill.