The Messenger

Posted: November 28th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 67 Comments »

The Eagles have a 10-1 record and they are blowing teams out at a record pace. Life is good and everyone can be happy. Doug Pederson should have nothing but good things to say about his players.

That’s not what we heard from Pederson on Monday.

“Unacceptable” is the way Pederson described his team’s four fumbles and 11 penalties from the win over the Bears. He talked about how winning can cover up mistakes. My favorite way of putting that is that winning is the great deodorant, making all the unpleasant stuff go away.

I was happy to hear Pederson be critical of his team. This is exactly the message they need. Every person in Philly or on social media will be singing the praises of the players. They need some humble pie. That’s not to say this team is cocky or complacent, but they are human.

These players need someone to remind them that blowing out the Bears won’t mean squat in January. You play good, clean football or you go home.

Pederson worried me in 2016, seemingly always praising his players. He used the word great way more than  you should when talking about a team that finished 7-9. I worried if Pederson had it in him to be hard on players and to understand what they needed to hear.

I’m not worried any more.

Pederson had an excellent press conference. He explained some of the things his team needed to clean up. He still praised them for their ability to play sloppy and win big, but he was more focused on their execution than just the result. That’s exactly what you want your team’s leader to think and say. That’s the perfect message.

Pederson talked about the value of the next two weeks, with games against the Seahawks and Rams having a playoff atmosphere. He knows this team is having a great year, but the goal is to win games in January and February. Blowing out mediocre opponents won’t be as valuable as being tested by good teams. Win or lose, those games can help you get ready for playoff football.

And you aren’t going to beat good teams with D-linemen constantly jumping offside or RBs putting the ball on the ground after getting loose for a 20 or 30-yard gain. You have to clean up mistakes and play better football.

This has been a breakout year for the Eagles and Carson Wentz. This has also been a breakout year for Pederson. The only thing keeping him from winning Coach of the Year is the phenomenal job done by Sean McVay in turning the Rams into contenders overnight.

Pederson has been great in a variety of ways. He’s gotten young players to develop and become key contributors. He has designed outstanding gameplans and has proven to be an excellent play-caller. Pederson has pushed all the right buttons from an emotional standpoint. He’s known when to praise his guys and when to push them.

Pederson has been good from a strategic and analytics standpoint. He has been aggressive all year, going for it on 4th down and embracing 2-point conversions. Pederson has consistently deferred getting the ball to the 2nd half and that strategy has worked very well. Multiple times this year the Eagles scored late in the 1st half and then on the opening possession of the 3rd quarter. That can have a big impact on the opposing team.

The Eagles are heading into the most challenging portion of the season, playing three straight road games and two of them on the west coast against playoff caliber teams. Pederson will need to do his best coaching of the year to keep the Eagles focused and playing good football.


There was a great moment at the press conference today.

So funny.


The Eagles are favored this Sunday. In Seattle.



67 Comments on “The Messenger”

  1. 1 anon said at 12:06 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    No Sherman, no Kam Chancellor, no run game, things lining up nicely

  2. 2 Howie Littlefinger said at 10:55 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    No Lee, no Zeke Elliot, No T smith, How will Carson do it with these all pros missing from the line up?

  3. 3 Masked Man said at 11:01 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Mostly just target Byron Maxwell.

    When in doubt, burn B-Max!

  4. 4 Mac said at 11:34 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    He’s going to have a hard time deciding where to throw the ball because everyone will be open.

  5. 5 Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard said at 12:29 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    This is team with a lot of veteran leadership on both sides of the ball. I wonder how Doug does with a team lacking Malcolm Jenkins or Jason Peters.

    Not knocking the guy (he’s really grown on me and appears to be an amazing dude), but he does seem to be a crappy public speaker and I wonder how a different team would react to the golly gee-ness of Doug.

  6. 6 Philadelphian said at 1:35 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Thomas Jefferson stuttered, but is still considered one of the greatest Americans of all time. It was once said that if there were presidential debates during Jefferson’s time, he never would have been elected president.

    As far as how Pederson would do without veteran leadership, I believe if a coach isn’t able to come up with a plan and convey it to veteran leadership those players will become his worst enemies because they will begin to question every move he makes.

  7. 7 ColorSgt said at 2:07 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    I think what we see in press conferences and what Doug is like in the locker room are two very different things.

  8. 8 Masked Man said at 3:05 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Chip Kelly had great press conferences though. Very engaging. Very well spoken and informative.

    Team was falling apart after a season and a half though. Roster gutted. Bad morale. He had Jason Peters and Malcolm Jenkins too. But he got a totally different result.

    Mr. Whiz Bang Rocket Science Football got fired from pro football twice in two years and is now back in college. Meanwhile Doug has 10 wins in 11 games and the players are dancing every week.

  9. 9 Howie Littlefinger said at 10:53 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Just to add one anecdotal tidbit: It always seemed like the players were unhappy even after wins. Murray and Sconces come to mind immediately in this regard. After they got rid of Djax I didn’t spend a penny on games or merchandise.

    I love how important winning is to this team and how they have fun doing it. Doug was on point about telling them “Have fun but get off the field before a penalty”. COTY for sure so far.

  10. 10 xeynon said at 9:53 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    (1) One of the veteran leaders you cite isn’t even around the team right now because he’s injured.

    (2) you don’t know what Doug says to the players behind closed doors; his demeanor in press conferences (criticism of which is overblown anyway) doesn’t mean much. Players seems to like and respect him.

    We can only judge Pederson by the team’s performance, which has been outstanding.

  11. 11 or____ said at 10:02 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Are you talking about Peters? He’s not on the field. But to say he’s not even around the team is 100% false. Home games he’s on the sidelines (it was shown on TV). Away games, he’s texting players and trainers with specific pointers for specific players based on in-game analysis of the opponents.

    That’s the exact opposite of “(not being) around the team”.

  12. 12 xeynon said at 11:19 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Okay, perhaps he’s “around” the team. But he’s not in a position where veteran leadership is going to help that much – he’s not in the locker room every day, he’s not out on the practice field, and he’s certainly not in the huddle on game days. As such, the impact his veteran presence has on the rest of the team is certainly reduced from what it was when he was healthy.

  13. 13 or____ said at 11:42 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Veteran leadership doesn’t help that much at the Novacare complex, on the sidelines, and in conversation with players during the game? I disagree 100%.

    “e’s not in the locker room every day, he’s not out on the practice field,”

    do you know those things?

  14. 14 xeynon said at 12:20 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    As far as I know it’s SOP for injured players not to spend that much time with the team. They have their own things to deal with (rehab, etc.), and the healthy players have to focus on game preparation. Injured players complain about how much they miss being around their teammates enough that it’s something of a cliche.

  15. 15 or____ said at 12:27 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    I agree about standard order of practice.

    But we are talking about JASON F-ING PETERS!


    No seriously, he’s not behaving like a standard injured player. There are multiple reports and direct visual evidence of what he’s doing and how that’s not the standard.

    You’re talking about what’s normal, and assumptions. I’m talking about what’s happening and evidence in this specific case.

    I believe that the team, the OL, and Jason Peters would agree with me on this, and not you.

    This is an outlier, special case, and this is all about the awesomeness that is Jason Peters and his commitment to be about the team and success.

  16. 16 or____ said at 9:59 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    “public speaking wins championships”!

    Wait, that sounds f-d up….

    Let’s focus on what matters.

  17. 17 Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard said at 2:30 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    I didn’t say that, or anything close to it.

  18. 18 or____ said at 3:17 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    “but he does seem to be a crappy public speaker”…

    That’s all I was referring to. I get that you weren’t suggesting it means everything – but my point is, it really means nothing. I’m tired of people talking about his public speaking one way or another – it’s pointless.

    No harm meant.

  19. 19 Mac said at 11:34 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    No need to be Koy about your new found bromance with Doug.

  20. 20 Gary Barnes said at 2:47 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Move over, Megan Fox…

  21. 21 Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard said at 12:11 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    ^ This was a pretty milquetoast comment, gang. Let’s not get too energized. But in the spirit of the combativeness I’m seeing below…

    I’d suggest that public speaking absolutely matters in a head coach. Though football teams are far more complicated than you see on TV, I think it’s reasonable to conclude from shows like Hard Knocks that most players will only hear from the coach for an extended period of time in a group setting.

    I do not think Doug’s a bad coach because he gives bad press conferences (and true enough we don’t know how he talks to the team, though his post-game speeches look a lot like how to he talks to the media). My point was more that Peters, Jenkins, and other vets can do a lot of communicating FOR Pederson. Without them, we would very likely know exactly how good Pederson is behind closed doors.

  22. 22 A_T_G said at 1:09 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    I think the post-game locker room speeches are counter examples to the issue you raise. The players are hanging on his every word and exploding over his compliments. The reactions are not those afforded a figurehead propped up by veteran players.

    Besides which, comparing the way Peters supports this coach to the way he objected to the previous one is a firm indicator that he is acting as a veteran leader because of Doug, not in spite of him.

  23. 23 Koy: The Legend of Neckbeard said at 2:30 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Fair, different perspective on those speeches. I’m no football coach, that’s for sure.

  24. 24 Jake and Elmo said at 12:30 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Eagles played the Skins tough. Scratch the Eagles game against the Skins, and they’re right in the thick of the playoff hunt with a winning record.

  25. 25 mtn_green said at 2:07 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Seahawks will be hard. We will see how well pedesersw. And Schwartz gameplan.

  26. 26 Insomniac said at 2:50 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    The upcoming weeks will tell us more about Doug. He was a tease last year and so far he’s giving us a show. He already has us on the right track but 15-1 or whatever record we have won’t matter in the playoffs. What will the finale be?

    Off topic: I’ve talked myself into starting Josh Gordon this week. Madman or genius?

  27. 27 or____ said at 3:29 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Totally depends on your situation. Gordon could (what Marcus hayes said) or bust. Might be worth a flyer

  28. 28 Insomniac said at 12:52 AM on November 29th, 2017:

    I’m committed, big balls Doug is rubbing off on me.

  29. 29 A_T_G said at 8:26 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    I have him too. I was trying to convince myself to sit him this week and watch to see what happens. Maybe I will actually follow through, maybe not.

  30. 30 Insomniac said at 12:51 AM on November 29th, 2017:

    I have no good flex option this week, so Gordon it is.

  31. 31 Always Hopeful said at 8:37 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Sunday night’s game will have a playoff atmosphere. We won’t beat the Seahawks with sloppy play, so Doug’s message is on point.

    Interesting watching highlights of the Seahawks game last year. Eagles weren’t a match for Seahawks. Now they are favored to win!?

    Seattle still has Bobby Wagner and pieces of a strong defense and Russell Wilson, the master of the broken play.

    I expect the Eagles to win if they bring the focus and intensity they brought to the Panthers game.

    This should be a very entertaining game.

    Can’t wait.

  32. 32 kajomo said at 1:57 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    I think focus and intensity are staples of this team. They may have gotten sloppy against a vastly inferior opponent, but the intensity and desire to bury them was clearly there

  33. 33 hrtak said at 8:46 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Please, please I want Eagles in 3rd season of All or Nothing 🙂

  34. 34 MattE said at 9:15 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Game vs Rams decides Coach of the Year…. the most tantalizing race in the league.

  35. 35 Bert's Bells said at 10:23 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    I’ve heard that commenting on games two weeks down the line will cause the team to lose focus.

  36. 36 MattE said at 10:32 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Coach of the Year should ultimately come down to a punt, pass, kick competition between the 4 finalists

  37. 37 Bert's Bells said at 10:38 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Or this (Dug in the leather)

  38. 38 ChoTime said at 10:07 PM on November 28th, 2017:


  39. 39 Forthebirds said at 9:42 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    I’m not expecting a blow out in Seattle, but definitely a win. I don’t see Seattle scoring enough points against our defense, to stay with Wentz and our offense. Yes, Wilson is kind of the X factor, but the Eagles are going to X out Seattles’ playoff hopes.

  40. 40 Masked Man said at 10:56 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Agreed. Feels like a ten point margin to me. Maybe 27-17 Eagles.

  41. 41 xmbk said at 10:54 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Crowd noise is going to be tough on Wentz’s audibles. Will be a great test.

  42. 42 Howie Littlefinger said at 10:57 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Probably only call two plays in the huddle and “Kill , Kill” will be the only real audibles.

    Kelce is the key to this game. If he does well at POA we will win. Seahawks are still a very physical team.

  43. 43 Masked Man said at 11:07 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    Just thinking about the next three weeks as a nice warm up to the Super Bowl tournament. A nice challenging three game stretch.


    After going on the West Coast trip, the Birds will have to return home, then hike it up the NJ Turnpike to the Meadowlands.

    One game at a time and all that, I know…

    But I think they can run the table here. If they do, then they can coast a bit to close the season with OAK and DAL at home.

    The Eagles will be a more “battle tested” team after this three game series. Go Eagles!

  44. 44 EagleOne1983 said at 11:34 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    One thing I like about this west coast stay, the team will get some practice at not practicing at home and staying in a hotel for a week.
    It will be similar to the week before the Super Bowl, where teams have to practice away from home and stay in a hotel all week.
    Doug getting in practice for EVERYTHING.

  45. 45 Masked Man said at 11:57 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    How convenient!

  46. 46 xeynon said at 11:20 AM on November 28th, 2017:

    The Eagles don’t need to be scared of the Seahawks or Rams. They need to be scared of the Eagles.

    Bring on the challenge. Win these two games and they likely coast to the #1 seed.

  47. 47 Ark87 said at 12:35 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Seattle has been a mess this year. Barely holding it together to stay relevant. Well, we can expect the very best version of Seattle we can imagine and maybe then some with us being 6 point favorites in their house. They’re one big dysfunctional family that can consolidate quickly when the nation puts an insult like that on them. We have their full attention, no more inner squabbles or excuses. They will bring it.

    This will be as challenging as any post season game unless I misread them completely.

  48. 48 sonofdman said at 12:38 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Definitely. The Seahawks are going to be playing the disrespect card big time this week and they will be pumped up and ready to play.

  49. 49 A_T_G said at 12:57 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    I agree completely…and I think it allows them to hold us off in the first quarter. Home field might stretch it into the second.

    By halftime, though, we will feel good about the pressure we are putting on them and it will quickly become obvious in the second half that the boulder is running downhill and they are powerless to stop it. Maybe not Dallas-level quitting, but resigned to their fate.

  50. 50 sonofdman said at 1:10 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    I hope you are right.

  51. 51 Ark87 said at 4:23 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    I kind of see the oposite, things should look fine for about 3 quarters, 4th quarter Wilson always makes you bite your nails. We need to put them away early and make no big mistakes that let them hang around. They are the team that looks kind of bad for most of the game but are somehow in it because of 1 crazy Wilson play and a big pick or special teams play. Then turn it on late. If we put the game away before then, get the crowd out of it, we will have a pleasant Sunday

  52. 52 or____ said at 4:33 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    glass, water, perspective…

  53. 53 kajomo said at 1:54 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Man are the fans that never watch Seattle play going to be mad. Clearly based on their record and ESPN highlights the Seahawks are the same team they were when competing for those SBs.

    I’ve been saying for week that a Seattle is a fraud. I follow them closely and we are a fantastic matchup against them. The cannot run the ball. We will make them one dimensional and contain Wilson.

    On defense they allow almost 4ypc and have allowed 9 rushing TDs. We will win up front and take the fight out of them.

    Frauds. Anyone who tells you otherwise is out of touch.

  54. 54 Mac said at 1:58 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Which team has the weakest oline?

    Washington’s messed up 2nd string oline

  55. 55 kajomo said at 2:46 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    weakest to strongest


    Seattle trades for Duane Brown and they have a solid center. Outside thatthey are complete liabilities. We will consistently play on their side of the LOS

  56. 56 Mac said at 4:25 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    I’ll confess to not really knowing much about Seattle, which is why I was looking for a comparison to some teams that are a bit more familiar. With the way seemingly everyone talks about Wilson’s ability to extend plays (which is another phrase for “the oline sucks”) and what I’ve seen here and there as a lack of investment in oline from Seattle during the draft… I was figuring it’s pretty bad, and I’m confident that we have a dline that’s ready to take advantage.

  57. 57 A_T_G said at 1:58 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Schwartz was asked in the presser if there is anything he would like to work on going forward, he said, “I would like to lose a little weight.” The reporters chuckled. Then he said, “No seriously though, I tend to put on weight as the season goes on and I would like to get better about that.”

  58. 58 Mac said at 1:59 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    The “finisher” mentality doesn’t bite you in the ass, but it can pad that ass.

  59. 59 ColorSgt said at 7:16 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    He’s no Rex.

  60. 60 Sean E said at 2:01 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Anyone going to Rams game? I’m surprised tickets are as expensive as they are. The Chargers game I could understand because it’s such a small stadium, but Rams tickets look like $300+ for decent seats

  61. 61 Spooonius said at 4:59 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    I’ll be there. A buddy of mine (Rams fan) won 4 tix in a school charity auction. In our group there will 3 Eagles fans and 1 Rams fan.

  62. 62 Gary Barnes said at 2:44 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Great post, Tommy. Completely agree that good leaders focus on process and make sure the team continues to strive for that perfect execution game. Expecting and, more importantly, enforcing high standards is vital to success.

    This team is ahead of schedule, but that does not mean they get extra slack or can make mistakes without accountability.

    This team has not won anything yet: no division titles, no HFA achievements, no playoff wins, no championship game wins and no SB wins. They have zero case for the benefit of the doubt – they have to earn everything they get like every other team.

    This year could be the time we finally end the franchise’s 57 year championship drought and nothing is more important than taking full advantage of the opportunity staring us in the face. One never knows what will happen next year or the year after that. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is promised. They have to earn it.

  63. 63 Always Hopeful said at 6:04 PM on November 29th, 2017:

    I know it’s been since 1960, but dang! Just to see the number of years (57) it’s crazy.

    Lots of entertaining teams , players and seasons since then. Lots of heartache and “what ifs” too.

    I was naive as a kid. I saw the Giants and Washington winning Super Bowls I just knew the Eagles would get one with Reggie and Randall.

    Oh well…nothing’s promised yet they have such a great opportunity this year to get it done.

    Go Birds!

  64. 64 DJH said at 4:05 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Oh geez. Wentz picture and article link on the Drudge Report.

  65. 65 sonofdman said at 4:17 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Giants benching Eli and starting Geno Smith this week. Wow!

  66. 66 Nailed It! said at 4:17 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Giants have become an even bigger dumpster fire with how they are handling the benching of Eli! HAHAHA they aren’t even going with the rookie they drafted! They are going with Geno! How is that in the long term interest of the team???

  67. 67 DJH said at 4:18 PM on November 28th, 2017:

    Draft pick order