PHILADELPHIA ( — Back before training camp began Doug Pederson sat down for a wide-ranging discussion with local reporters.

While discussing his offense and the quarterback's role in it, asked the Eagles coach about one of his core beliefs as a play caller: "Let the offense work for you."

“The more I think about that statement, ‘let the offense work,’ there’s some truth to that," Pederson said back in July before pivoting at least a bit acknowledging Carson Wentz's off-schedule abilities.

"Obviously, take the par, take the par, take the par, if the birdie’s there, you take the birdie," the coach explained. "But I think more than that, I think is also you’ve got to have the mentality of, we’re going to dictate to our opponent. We’re going to stay aggressive with our opponent.

"And through that is understanding the structure of the defense and where the ball should go. That just comes through repetition, through practice, through film study, through time. And those are all things that gives a young quarterback growth. This is why we have ‘coach’ on our hat. We can teach and show progression, the good, the bad. But more so, being able to dictate to the defense than just running the offense or managing the offense is a little bit more passive than sort of attacking the defense.”

That opponent is real now with NFC East rival Washington on the schedule Sunday and Pederson was again preaching about letting the scheme itself do some of the heavy lifting for Wentz and his host of playmakers.

"My message to him and really to the team is, let the offense work for you, let the team work for you. Don't feel like you have to do things yourself," Pederson explained. "That's the thing, going back to all the toys that we have, you just got to let those guys work. Same on defense. Let the defense, let the scheme sometimes take over where you don't feel like you have to do everything yourself.

"Make the plays when they come to you. Don't go searching for them, right? That's when you get out of alignment, that's when you miss an assignment, you line up wrong. When they come, you make them."

Wentz is known for his aggressiveness as a player, though, and noted that pushing the envelope is a tight rope.

“It’s always a fine line,” the QB1 said. “I’ve looked at that quite a bit. It’s one of those things that ever since I came into the league, I always viewed myself as an aggressive style player. That’s something that’s never going to change. It’s just knowing that fine line."

The line can work both ways and the trick is tapping into the DNA of what makes Wentz great while eliminating some of the recklessness, decisions that often come in split seconds on game day.

"At the end of the day you're making split-second decisions so you gotta make a decision and live with it," Wentz said. "A lot of it is just your instincts taking over and experience plays a role, just knowing your offense like the back of your hand and just knowing where every checkdown is, every outlet is."


-Jordan Mailata (back), Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee) and Nate Sudfeld (wrist) weren't practicing as expected and will be inactive on Sunday. KGH and Sudfeld were working on a side field.

-The other iffy Eagles in the so-called "rehab club" were all practicing, including Fletcher Cox (foot), Derek Barnett (shoulder), Nigel Bradham (toe), Ronald Darby (knee) and Brandon Brooks (Achilles).

-My reading the tea leaves moment from the 15 minutes the media gets to see of the first Eagles regular-season practice as that Alex Ellis was one of the wing-backs on the field-goal protection unit. That could be an indication that he will be elevated to the main roster later in the week.

-According to Albert Breer of The, the Eagles offered the Los Angeles Chargers Jordan Howard and a swap of mid-round picks for Melvin Gordon, with the Chargers also eating some of Gordon's salary. In other words, not a serious offer but a typical Howie Roseman move which is why you always hear the Eagles name in these rumors.

"Anyone who is available at any level whether they’re on the waiver wire or whether they’re available via trade, I promise we look into," Roseman said on cutdown day.

The bigger part of that story is that there may be some smoke to the fire of the Eagles believing rookie Miles Sanders can handle a large role early in the season, something bolstered by the media relations department moving Sanders away from kick returns and replacing him with Corey Clement as the KR1 on the depth chart.

-Redskins coach Jay Gruden on DeSean Jackson when asked if D-Jax has to be targeted to have an impact: "No he doesn't but he has to be targeted if you want him to like you or not. I mean hell, he can get pretty frustrated at times with me but I love DeSean, he made out team better."

 -John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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