Pederson Pushes Past Latest Anonymous Shots
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Far too many times over the past couple of years there has been too much chirping about Carson Wentz in the Eagles locker room.
The latest offender was revealed Thursday by ESPN's Josina Anderson, who had had a direct pipeline to the disaffected at the NovaCare Complex.
"With the team being 3-3, an Eagles source also talked to me about how they feel like that offense is functioning," Anderson said on ESPN's NFL Live on Thursday before quoting her: "'We need to make s#$% simpler. Sometimes we need to just handle what is manageable. Even Peyton Manning knew when to check it down.'"
Speaking Friday before practice Doug Pederson admitted he's aware of the latest veiled shot at quarterback Wentz and his offense.
"I've seen them," Pederson admitted when asked about the comments. "I'll tell you this: for those of you that know football and watch football, a check down is a part of the game but what people sometimes don't understand is you may lose your back in protection, he may get caught up in the wash of the protection, he might not get out and so it is an aspect of something we teach that when the throw is not there down the field and you have the availability of a back or tight end in that position we will utilize it so there's a lot of factors that go into that and it's not on the quarterback."
Although Anderson has had a well-documented relationship with one offensive player that always has too many connecting the dots, the inartful nature of the accusation points more to the defensive side of the football.
Think about it? What receiver is the history of the game wants more check downs? And what offensive player doesn't know Peyton Manning is the standard when it comes to knowing what to do with the football, not the lowest common denominator. Meanwhile, a certain defensive player was released earlier in the week and could have an ax to grind against the organization.
Either way, while the anonymous nature of the quote is troubling to the coach his focus remains elsewhere with a battle for first place in the NFC East looming.
"You don't like to have anonymous guys but at the same time we are kinds focused on the Dallas Cowboys right now," Pederson insisted.
As to whether he has to simplify things Pederson took the folksy route when asked by 973espn.com if he believes that criticism is valid.
"I'm not a smart guy and I can figure out the offense," Pederson joked. "It's not that complicated. Listen it's a tough sport. I've gotta have the right play. Hopefully at the right time against the right defense. I'm asking 11 guys to execute that play and we trust those guys to make the right decisions. If there is complexity in that -- yeah, there's complexity in that because you're going against 11 guys that are really, really good and trying to execute that one play."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen