Philadelphia Eagles News

Minicamp roll call: Doug Pederson praises how Eagles built bonds this offseason

Head coach Doug Pederson was proud to announce on Tuesday that the entire team was present for the minicamp that will conclude the team's offseason program.

"I think it's huge. It's a credit to these players. I know it's a short window at the end of the offseason," Pederson said. "It's huge for these guys to wrap up this offseason together. I think this is the most important part of the offseason, really. This is when your team is together at a crucial time. Again, it's short, but at the same time, it's where we begin to build and continue building the bonds and relationships that are going to carry us into the season."

Pederson values culture and chemistry which is why he canceled the team's final day of Organized Team Activities last Thursday and took the team bowling in South Philadelphia instead.

"It's important that we spend time together in a casual, relaxed, have-fun-type of atmosphere," Pederson said. "I think it's really important that we do that, coaches, players. For the four hours, it gives everybody a chance to really kind of get to know each other a little bit better. For teams that can do that and spend that kind of time, I think it benefits you down the road in December and January when you really need to lean on somebody and trust somebody out on the field."

This week marks the first time that the entire team is together since the end of last season. Pederson knows the on-field product will be far from finished, especially on offense.

"By no means are we in midseason form. There's still going to be some timing and things we have to continue to work on," Pederson said. "That's why we practice, and we get ready for camp. Just to have everybody here and in the huddle together, this is the first time that Big V (Halapoulivaati Vaitai) and Lane (Johnson) are going to work together on the right side and then Isaac (Seumalo) who has been here to start working with JP (Jason Peters). That's what this time is about, to build those bonds and just looking for guys to come out of it healthy."

Quarterback Carson Wentz has been with the team all offseason and officially signed his four-year contract extension just after the team meeting on Monday.

"I think that's probably the biggest thing is that lingering distraction. I don't have to stand up here and answer questions and answer questions over and over and over again," Pederson said about Wentz's deal. "I've said this all along, that he and I came in this league together, rookie quarterback and rookie head coach. We're sort of married to this deal too. I'm excited. It puts it behind him. He can focus on ball. We don't have that lingering distraction into Training Camp or into the regular season and we can just focus on football."

While injuries will keep some starters out of action this week, especially in the secondary where cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills and safety Rodney McLeod are sidelined, Pederson sees the young players taking advantage of the opportunity.

"I look at the guys who played at the end of the season, those guys were out there this spring. Those are the guys who are getting the reps right now and it's valuable," Pederson said. "Rasul Douglas is getting better. Sidney Jones is working himself back and getting a ton of reps. Cre'Von LeBlanc is out there. (Jeremiah) McKinnon, Tre Sullivan ... It's more of those guys maximizing their reps."

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