Wentz, Pederson Spend Start of Buffalo Week Putting Out Fires
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The preparation for a game which might define the rest of the season for the reeling Eagles had to take a backseat for one more day as Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz were forced to put out the ancillary fires that have been breaking out around the Novacare Complex far too often in recent days.
For the head coach that meant fending off questions about the ugly personal incident at the South Jersey home of Fletcher Cox last week and for the quarterback it meant addressing anonymous quotes to Josina Anderson, some of which took veiled shots at the face of the franchise himself.
“We have all had conversations and everything,” Wentz said before practice on Wednesday. “Everyone is good and everyone is going forward on the same page.”
Wentz admitted that airing out organizational laundry through the media isn't the way the Eagles wanted to do business but insisted any grievances from his perspective will stay private.
"You guys can have all the interest you want, but internally. we're going to keep that stuff tight and keep it tight going forward, for sure," Wentz said. "...We don't like those things happening. It's concerning. So we handle it internally, and we move on."
Wentz also claimed there are no issues between himself and Alshon Jeffery, who was "outed" by Philadelphia-area radio personality Howard Eskin as the player behind the quote disparaging Wentz, something both Jeffery denied while Anderson claimed Eskin has no knowledge of her sources in the Philadelphia locker room.
The anonymous quote regarding Wentz last week didn't sound like it came from a receiver and intimated the QB needed to check the ball down more, at least the third time in a calendar year that there have been anonymous players taking aim at their on-field leader.
Wentz insisted the outside noise wasn't affecting his play after coming off his worst performance of the year in a 37-10 setback to Dallas.
"That isn’t the way we like to do things — through the media like that. We aren’t going to resolve it through the media either," Wentz said. "But no, that doesn’t factor into my decision making [on the field] or anything.”
As for Pederson, he deferred to local police when it came to handling an incident where a Delaware County man was arrested after allegedly trying to break into Cox's home with a baseball bat.
“The police are handling it,” Pederson said. “It's a personal issue, so I'm out of it.”
Corbyn Nyemah attempted to enter Cox’s Mullica Hill, N.J., residence by throwing rocks at the front door in an attempt to find his ex-girlfriend, who is staying at the house, 6abc TV reported. There is also a surveillance video from the home that shows Nyemah attempting to enter Cox's garage with a baseball bat.
Ultimately the Eagles star retrieved a shotgun he owns and called police to report a man attempting to enter his home. Nyemah, a former college tight end at East Stroudsburg, was ultimately chased to the Commodore Barry Bridge before police begged off and ultimately called in the US Marshals, who caught up with the suspect later in Port Richmond.
Nyemah posted bail, according to court records for the charges leveled at him which included burglary, two counts of criminal mischief and resisting arrest.
The situation was a scary one as 6abc also reported Nyemah sent his ex-girlfriend a photo of a firearm after he was being pursued by police and a temporary restraining order has already been granted for the woman.
The incident took place after midnight on Oct. 15 and Cox was absent was practice the next day with the Eagles labeling the issue an "illness" which could put them in hot water with the league, something Pederson tried to fend off by saying Cox was indeed sick as well.
“Unrelated,” Pederson said when asked about Cox's illness. “It was unrelated to [the incident].”
The Eagles arguably should have used a "personal" designation instead as multiple reporters were already aware of an incident involving Cox behind the scenes but were unable to obtain the police records.
Pederson was also asked about any security measures the team has in place for its players and if things have changed in that regard when it comes to Cox.
"As far as a security issue, we look into it, and obviously, the police get involved and really, from that standpoint, I can't do anything other than hear the results of the investigation or what comes out of that,” Pederson said. “Obviously, we do our best to protect our players here on premise. But obviously, they have personal lives, and we all have personal lives and things are going to come up, and so we do the best we can to educate our players and try to protect them the best we can.”
Cox fended off the issue the best way he could at his locker after practice.
"I'm only hear to talk about football," the defensive tackle said. "I'm not discussing my personal life. If you've got anything interesting to talk about the Buffalo Bills, I'll talk about it."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen