Pederson Tries to Dodge the White Noise
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - When sitting down to write about the Eagles this morning, the choices were almost overwhelming and had little to do with football unless you consider the crises of confidence that both Nelson Agholor and Sidney Jones seem to be going through more about the gridiron than the sports psychologist.
Whether it's a jilted ex showing up with a baseball bat to find his perceived girlfriend at Fletcher Cox's South Jersey home, "Alshonymous," Malcolm Jenkins' invoking the ghost of Nick Foles, Lane Johnson bringing the Philly traffic to the forefront or even Chris Long taking to a podcast to defend the franchise quarterback, the current Philadelphia football landscape got me thinking about Bill Parcells and the advice the Hall of Fame coach gives to his ex-pupils who get the big chair in the NFL.
“Four or five things happen in pro football every day that you wish wouldn't happen," Parcells tells his acolytes. "If you can't handle those, you need to get another job.”
This week Pederson wished it was only four of five as he tries to put his team back on the right path after consecutive blowout losses in Minnesota and Dallas.
Things like the slow offensive starts or the talent on the Buffalo defense would actually be welcome respites for the head coach right now but the narrative involves U.S. Marshals, protection for the All-Pro defensive tackle, Josina Anderson's connections, a former QB who can't even play in Jacksonville, and getting his entire outfit to download the Waze app.
Those are just some of the ancillary details Pederson has had to deal with while trying to get his struggling team on the same page and stop a freefall that could end in irrelevancy.
"I think the biggest thing for me is every day we come to work, we've got to earn it every single day, the coach said before practice Wednesday. "Nothing's going to be handed to us and we gotta go to work and practice and prepare. Same way as coaches, we have to prepare like we've been doing. I think we have to maintain our trust in our process that we talk a lot about and how we go about that. Sometimes, I could look all around and try to find stuff but really the answers are right in the building."
And Pederson believes the players already have found some of those answers by getting angry about being used like road apples by the Vikings and Cowboys.
"This team is mad," Pederson surmised. "This team is upset and they're disappointed in how we've lost these last two games. They're embarrassed obviously from the other day which is good. It's not good that you lose but it's good that they're taking ownership of it. ... They're in a good spot. This is a resilient group and they are going to bounce back and respond positively."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen