Three takeaways from Doug Pederson’s opening presser
Yesterday was the first day of Eagles training camp, which means football is officially back in the City of Brotherly Love. Coming off the franchise’s first Super Bowl win there is a different vibe surrounding the team. The fans are excited, filled with anticipation for the season to begin. After their first practice, Pederson addressed the media. There are three takeaways from the press conference that are important to point out.
1. Carson Wentz will NOT start on the PUP list…and it doesn’t seem like that was ever a possibility
During the press conference, the hot topic of conversation was Wentz and his progress. In days leading up to camp, reports said that Wentz might go into preseason on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Players who start preseason on the list cannot practice until cleared by the team’s medical staff. If kept on the list through the beginning of the season, he would not have been eligible for a return until week six. When asked about these reports, Pederson informed the media that he “[had] no idea where that came from.” Therefore, according to Coach, this was never a consideration for Wentz. This was the first of three takeaways that are important.
Pederson said he is not going to rush Wentz back or “get him out there sooner than he has to.” He also said he “want[s] to make sure that he’s 100 percent. He looked good today, and we’re just going to continue to progress”. Coach Pederson also discussed where Wentz is getting his reps in, whether it be with the first or second team. He said it is all dependant on the offensive line rotations and he is “not concerned” with the first, second, or third team.
Pederson also mentioned that the franchise QB looked “comfortable” during practice and “did some nice things”. Wentz’s goal is still Week one and it seems like he is progressing in a positive way.
— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) July 26, 2018
2. Although it isn’t Wentz, there are a few players on the PUP list
As I mentioned earlier, the PUP list is a tricky thing with lots of rules and stipulations. These players don’t count toward the 53-man active roster but do count toward the 90-man roster limit. Players placed on the list can attend team meetings and workout. Once cleared, they can return to the field. If they return to practice before being cleared, they must either be cut or be placed on IR. Players placed on the regular season PUP list are not allowed to practice or play in the first six weeks. After six weeks, there are three options: the player must return to practice within three weeks, the team must place the player on IR within three weeks, or the team must release the player within five weeks.
Although Wentz was not placed on the list, there are three Eagles players who were not as fortunate. Brandon Graham, Alshon Jeffery, and Chris Maragos were all placed on the list. All three of these guys are recovering from surgeries. Maragos suffered a torn PCL during a game against the Panthers last season. He is still recovering from surgery he had during the season. Graham underwent ankle surgery in the offseason to repair an injury he suffered late in the 2017 regular season. Jeffery is recovering from surgery that repaired a torn rotator cuff he suffered during last year’s training camp.
Several reports have said that rehab is going well for all of these guys and they hope to be ready for the season. Pederson said he’s “not going to put them on a timetable” because he doesn’t want to “put a box around guys…[they’re] taking it day by day and [they] want to make sure they’re 100% before [they] put them back on the field”.
3. No complacency as a result of the Super Bowl win
The last of the three takeaways from Pederson’s press conference has to do with the focus and drive of the team. One reporter asked Coach about the conditioning of the players and who was in really great shape. He said “quite honestly, all the guys…the way they attacked the conditioning test yesterday. It was impressive to see the guys come in and be ready. To me, that’s the first sign the guys are motivated and dedicated to have a good camp, you know, the way they approached yesterday.” The team is still hungry. They want to win another title. They’ve shown that they aren’t going to relax just because they won. They know this is no cake-walk.
Will they repeat?
The goal is obviously for the team to repeat, which is extremely hard to do. Pederson plans on combatting that difficulty by “focusing every single day. Can’t let anything slide”. If any team is poised for a repeat, it’s this one.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 26, 2018
PUP list rules provided by Sports Illustrated website
Featured Image: Dora Grande via Flickr