PEDERSON'S HEADACHES JUST KEEP COMING
Eagles head coach is in a tough spot already after two starting offensive linemen go down for the season and one of their replacements reportedly wants a pay raise to help the team
Eagles brought in veteran OT Cordy Glenn for a visit on Friday September 4. Glenn, 30, has played in 97 career games with 95 starts. for the Bills and the Bengals.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has had to deal with a pandemic that, like every other coach in the NFL, has seriously cut into the amount of time he has to form his roster, install changes in the offense and defense and get his game plans together for each opponent on his roster.
Pederson has had to deal with getting quarantined for nearly two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19 just as training cam was set to open.
The fifth-year head coach has lost two of the five starters from his decorated offensive line. One of his top offseason acquisitions, WR Marquise Goodwin, opted out over coronavirus concerns related to his newborn daughter.
Pederson recently saw his first-round draft pick, wide receiver Jalen Reagor, suffer a shoulder injury that may keep the player, who was the buzz of training camp out, of the season opener against Washington on September 13.
What else could go wrong? Plenty.
When All Pro right guard Brandon Books went down for the season with an Achilles tear, The Birds brought back future Hall of Fame tackle Jason Peters to take over for Brooks even though he had never played the guard position before.
Then second-year offensive lineman Andre Dillard, slated to start at left tackle, Peters’ old spot, went down for the season with a biceps injury. That’s when the trouble started.
It has been reported that back in 2012 Back in 2012, when Jason Peters suffered a torn Achilles in a non-football injury, the Eagles legally docked Peters for a hefty $3.25 million. It was their right to do so stated in the CBA.
It was business, nothing personal.
So when the Eagles wanted to move Peters back to the left tackle spot, arguably the most important spot on the offensive line, the 38-year old reminded the Birds front office that his demand for more money wasn’t personal, just business.
Pederson was asked during a recent video conference about reports Peters wants a pay raise to slide from right guard to left tackle. Pederson was asked to confirm the reports and whether If it gets to the point where you ask a player to change positions and they refused, will that undermine his authority?
“First of all, I don't understand where some of these reports are coming from,” He said. “Jason Peters for us has done an outstanding job at right guard. He's comfortable at right guard. We have some options at left tackle that we're working through over there.”
“It doesn't undermine anything,” He said. “The fact that Jason has really embraced a new role for him, he's done it well. He's playing at a high level in what we've asked him to do there and he's comfortable. As you guys know, it's hard to disrupt too many positions with that offensive line. We've got a few more days here before we really get into regular season week to find out who that left tackle will be. But got some options over there.”
As a follow up, Pederson was asked of he was confident that if he asked Peters to play left tackle, would he comply?
Pederson appeared to do an imitation of Cameron Johnston with his answer.
“To me that would be a private conversation,” he said. “One between me and Jason. I probably wouldn't reveal that to you guys.”
Pederson was asked who indeed, is now practicing at left tackle getting ready for Washington, who have five first round picks rushing the quarterback.
"Over there today, Matt Pryor will begin the work over there,” the coach replied. “Jordan Mailata will be getting some work over there. (2020 fourth round pick Jack) Driscoll is working some right side as well. So, we're going to continue that rotation.”
With just over a week before the season opener, Pederson is earning his dinner again. *
Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii