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Doug Pederson: We've Got To Get The Run Game Fixed


The Eagles were back to business on Monday, as head coach Doug Pederson addressed the media following Sunday's loss to the Chiefs.

The run game has been a prevailing issue at the onset of the season for the Eagles' offense. The running backs had just 13 carries yesterday for 52 yards against Kansas City. LeGarrette Blount had zero carries with Darren Sproles earning the bulk of the reps. Regardless, the lack of a run game has put the offense in difficult situations late in drives. Pederson credited the Chiefs' front but still emphasized the team needs more production from the backfield.

"Yesterday, we had seven third-and-10 pluses again. Then there were another five third-and-7s. That's unacceptable. We can't be in that many long-yardage situations in these football games. So we've got to focus on the run game and we've got to get the run game fixed," Pederson said. "We have to have a great plan going and commit to that. It just takes pressure off your quarterbacks as well.

"You don't want to throw the ball that many times. You want to have more of a balance obviously. The run game is a part of that ... Do I want him to drop back that many times? No. But at the same time, I have to look at the whole picture, the whole pie."

From an injury standpoint, safety Rodney McLeod (hamstring) and cornerback Jaylen Watkins (hamstring) went down in the first half of Sunday's action. Neither would return to the game. Pederson is waiting to hear more from team doctors.

Here's what else Pederson shared on Monday:

On whether he thinks the team is work in progress:
"You do take away the fact that we do have some young players still playing. Isaac's (Seumalo) one of them, Carson's one of them. Wendell's (Smallwood) one of them. Jalen Mills on defense is one of them. We have some young guys that are playing a lot of football, which down the road is going to pay off for us."

"But at the same time as coaches we're also very critical and want to make sure that these guys are coached up and playing right and doing the right things. For the most part they are. Are players going to get beat in this league? Yes. That's a good defensive front and again we'll evaluate this week in practice as we go. But as of right now we're not going to make any changes and we're going to keep going."

On Wentz's interception:
"Lot of times quite honestly our offensive line does an outstanding job stopping the rush. Then they just stand and time their jumps. Bennie (Chiefs defensive tackle Bennie Logan) did that yesterday and tipped the one pass. The other one (Wentz) had pressure and it glanced off of a player's helmet and that one you can fix. That one's fixable. That's just a matter of understanding a little bit more of the situation and understanding what type of throw and trying to get a little higher release. Those are all learning experiences for him moving forward."

On whether he feels the running back by committee is predictable:
"That's something we look at every Monday. Going into the next week, we look at our personnel groups on offense. Frank (offensive coordinator Frank Reich) does a great job with the staff going through that. When (Brent) Celek's on the field, or Zach's (Ertz) on the field or Trey Burton's on the field or Big V (Halapoulivaati Vaitai) is on the field. Things of that nature. Or Sproles (and) all the runners."

"We make sure that formationally we know we're mixing it up run pass and screen, play pass as well. Something we look at hard each and every Monday. Not only from the first two games combined but moving forward that we don't have that many tendencies."

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