Doug Pederson bringing in Eagles during bye week for extra work day originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Eagles are officially on their bye week, which would normally give players the chance to take a trip or head to their respective homes across the country.
Not this year.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, players and coaches will be required to stay local because of daily testing at the NovaCare Complex. And Doug Pederson is taking advantage of it.
Even after a win over the Cowboys to stay in first place in the NFC East on Sunday night, Pederson realizes the Eagles (3-4-1) have plenty of work to do.
So he’s bringing in the entire team on Wednesday.
“I will give players and coaches some time at the end of the week to relax and sort of get away and spend time with their families like we normally do,” Pederson said. “We're going to bring the players in on Wednesday. Want to work with the players. And we've got to get better. This is the time where we can look at the first eight games and really self-scout and evaluate and find ways to improve all three areas of our team. It's also a chance to get some guys healthy and prepare.
“So that's what we are going to do. We are going to spend Wednesday with the guys. Obviously [Tuesday] is election day, so they are going to be out of the building. Coaches are going to work from home [Tuesday], and it's a workday, but work from home tomorrow and get back in here on Wednesday with the players.”
Good for Doug.
Pederson is known as a players coach but getting an extra day of work out of his players — and also making them realize there’s a lot of work to be done — seems like a good idea. Remember, Pederson in recent seasons has had a lot of success knowing which buttons to push on his team. He generally knows how to get the most out of them.
This decision, to me, kind of seems like the decisions he’ll make late in the season to either ramp up or down practice sessions based on how the team is feeling physically. Pederson has earned enough equity that players won’t question his decision and the Eagles will probably make Wednesday a valuable day in the film room.
“The season, it's a marathon. It's long, right? It's not a sprint,” Pederson said. “You don't sprint to the finish. Are we where we want to be? Yeah, we're first place in the NFC East, but at 3-4-1, it could easily be the other way, right? It could be 4-3-1 or 5-3 or whatever it could be. But there's a lot of positive that we see as coaches on the inside that give us the encouragement and the opportunity to get better as a team.”
I don’t like when coaches point at their team’s record and say, “Hey, if a few things went our way, our record could be ___.” Because, sure, the Eagles could have pulled out a couple other close games but they also could have lost a couple close games they won.
Ultimately, this team is in first place but hasn’t played like a first-place team. Despite all that, the Eagles find themselves in a pretty good position and trying to self-scout during the bye week seems like a logical decision.