Good Day for Doug

Posted: August 5th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 14 Comments »

One of the things that got Chip Kelly fired is that he failed to connect with his players. Jeffrey Lurie hired Doug Pederson, in part, because he felt Pederson had the “emotional intelligence” the team needed in a new coach. I think you could see that on display Friday.

Alshon Jeffery missed another day of practice. Pederson said he was healthy enough to play, but Pederson gave him the day off to keep him rested. Jeffery has only been with the team for a few months, but Pederson is already comfortable with him. He has seen what Jeffery can do and is trying to be smart. Why push a proven veteran to practice when there isn’t much to gain from it? Spare his body the wear and tear. There are still four preseason games and another month of practice.

Chris Long got the day off. He wasn’t hurt, but Pederson will rest veterans from time to time. Today was Long’s turn to stand and watch.

Pederson is trying to be smart about how he uses his players. Last season he gave Jason Peters a lot of rest and that brought out the best in JP. Pederson is a former player and was in the league a long time. He understands from the player’s perspective how the grind of Training Camp can wear a veteran down. You have to balance the need for players to practice with not needing to push proven veterans the same way you might a rookie or young guy trying to improve his game. What is the point in treating Marcus Johnson and Alshon Jeffery like they’re the same guy?

Players get worn down by the heat and physicality of Training Camp. They also can get worn down by the monotony. You’re practicing the same plays against the same guys on the same field over and over and over. Anything a coach can do to break that up is a good thing. Pederson has embraced mixing in practices at The Linc. He will have joint practices against the Dolphins in a couple of weeks.

Pederson also found a way to bring some fun to practice on Friday.

Pederson made some bets with the players and one of them involved Fletcher Cox and JP catching punts. Both guys were able to pull the feat off and that generated a lot of excitement from their teammates.

There was also something with kicker Caleb Sturgis. Pederson had the team gather around him and shout while he tried to hit long kicks. That’s not quite as fun as watching the big fellas field punts.

Anything a coach can do to keep his players interested and engaged during camp is a good thing. Pederson won’t be mistaken for Bill Walsh anytime soon, but Friday was a good example of how he is helping this team.

*****

Friday was a light practice. Here are links to the notes.

Fran Duffy and Chris McPherson

Jimmy Bama

Jeff McLane

Brandon Lee Gowton

Dave Zangaro

*****

My notes from the #3 preseason game last year.

CJ Smith – Came into the game in the early 2nd Qtr. The coaches wanted to see him play with starters and against starters. Smith had a good game. Had tight coverage of Hilton on 4th/inches throw. Ball was off target, but Smith might have been able to play the ball if there was a good throw. Gave up several completions, but the ball was always in front of him and he tackled well. Plays smart. Doesn’t get beat deep. Takes good angles. Aggressive when the situation calls for it. Making a strong push for a roster spot. Looks natural, instinctive and confident. 7 solo tackles in the game.

And some more thoughts on Smith from last September.

C.J. Smith is another UDFA (like Paul Turner) that surprised me with how well he played. Smith got some good pub during TC, but really got my attention when he picked off the pass in the end zone at the end of the Bucs game. That was an impressive play for a rookie in his first game. He only got better from there. And the Eagles wisely gave him more time and let him play against better competition.

The argument for Smith is that he has good ball skills and showed good coverage instincts. A big part of being a good corner is being smart and knowing what’s going on in front of you. Smith tackled pretty well and carried himself like a veteran. He absolutely looked like he belonged out there. Smith kept plays in front of him and got to the ball quickly. I don’t remember him giving up any big plays.

The downside for Smith is that he did give up a lot of underneath catches. You’d like him to be a bit quicker so he could break on the ball and make more plays. He did have 5 PDs, but that is with a lot of throws coming his way.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing him play next week.

_


  • Flyin

    As the years go by… I try to emotionally detach myself (somewhat… I still follow every fucking thing) from the Eagles during the offseason due to the grind true fans deal with in a disappointing season.Yet again I find myself full of optimism as this season is just around the corner… cautiously.

    Let’s go Birds!!!

    • Rob Jarratt

      I am definitely in your (training) camp, Flyin. Every year is a reset for me. I may have differing expectations, but I’m always looking forward to the coming season.

  • Flyin

    And to the commenters over at BGN complaining about Peters and Cox fielding punts… grow a pair… (cuss filled rant).

  • Dan in Philly

    Back in the first training camp when everyone (including me) was high on Chipper, I remember reading a little about the science around his training and thought to myself that the players might feel a little like lab rats. I don’t know if that’s exactly how they felt but they certainly showed over his tenure they didn’t feel like valued human beings.

    • ChoTime

      There was something rather BF Skinner about Kelly’s approach to football players. However, many people thrive in authoritarian, structured regimes, such as military lifers or college players in some programs. I tend to think the issues with his personality, though, are overblown. To me, the bottom line was he got rid of way too much talent and failed to adjust the tactics that initially worked but eventually got figured out. Once the team began to fail on the football field, the coach’s likeability and the rigor of the practices becomes more of an issue. Now the narrative has swung to his personality, whereas the nuts and bolts of talent and tactics were probably the true reason for his decline.

  • kajomo

    There is zero upside with P Robinson right now. Why not give CJ Smith his shot? We as fans always complain that we don’t get steals like an AJ Bouye or Josh Norman, yet we never want to give our late round/UDFA guys a chance. I still think we should look for outside help, but unless it proves to be a clear upgrade I’d rather see CJ and Jalen as our starters.

  • RC5000

    I say hell no…he is 30, been struggling for a while and we can carry cap room over to next year.

    https://twitter.com/kracze/status/893847145433976832

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/08/05/sean-smith-relegated-to-second-string-with-raiders/

    therealraider says:
    August 5, 2017 at 10:35 am
    I dont know what is up with this guy. He played well for K.C .. Ever since he came back to Cali, He has sucked. He’s getting toasted by our second string WRs also. Read a report yesterday that said he may not make the team.

  • RC5000

    lol Miami interested in Foles or dude named Eagles?

    https://twitter.com/ShandelRich/status/893858275376148480

  • A_T_G

    Hicks and Ertz just started following Patrick Robinson on Twitter today.

    Casual friends making plans to stay in touch as their paths diverge?

    • Ryan Rambo

      LMAO!!

  • Ryan Rambo

    Browns signed WR Rasheed Bailey.
    Bailey was out of the league after getting waived from the Eagles in May. He’ll give the Browns training camp depth

  • Ryan Rambo

    The Dolphins are “close to a deal” with retired QB Jay Cutler.
    The sides are working out a “small gap” in money. Cutler was reportedly leaning toward retirement, but it sounds like the Dolphins upped their offer. He’ll be reunited with Adam Gase in Miami assuming the deal gets done. Cutler’s signing would mean Ryan Tannehill (knee) is done for the year.

    • HawaiianEagle

      Maybe Romo will make a triumphant return to the NFL…