Pederson sees Steelers game as gut check
Doug Pederson knows his 2-0 Eagles will face their toughest test this Sunday when the Steelers come to Lincoln Financial Field.
PHILADELPHIA >> Two unbeatens with super-sized quarterbacks playing for the Keystone State championship.
The excitement is real, and it’s growing for Doug Pederson as he preps the Eagles to play the Steelers Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
“This will be a good test for us,” Pederson said. “This will be a great opportunity for our players to go against a fine football team. The Steelers have great tradition, great history. They are a good football team. Coach Mike Tomlin does a great job of getting those guys ready to play.”
The Steelers have outscored Washington and the Bengals, 62-32. With Le’Veon Bell suspended, running back DeAngelo Williams leads the league with 237 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger has thrown six TDs and three interceptions. He’s been sacked twice. Antonio Brown has 12 receptions for 165 yards and two TDs.
The Eagles outscored the Browns and the Bears, 58-24. Carson Wentz has three TDs and no interceptions. Running back Ryan Mathews is tied for the NFL lead with three TDs.
“It’s still early in the season,” Pederson said. “Does it make or break your season? No, it doesn’t. But at the same time, it’s a good benchmark for us in our success of the year.”
••• Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had a little fun on a conference call when asked by a Philly-based reporter how he develops the culture.
“You figure it out bro. I’m not going to peel back the curtain,” Tomlin said. “There are certain core beliefs we believe in around here that is the basis of our culture building. It’s how we go about our business. It’s our business model if you will. It’s like asking KFC what’s in the herbs and spices.”
••• Zach Ertz, Leodis McKelvin, Mychal Kendricks and Isaac Seumalo didn’t practice Wednesday.
Ertz (ribs) and McKelvin (hamstring) sat out last week and are week-to-week, according to head coach Doug Pederson. Kendricks strained a quad and suffered a broken nose in the Monday night win over the Bears.
Seumalo, the rookie third-round pick, still hasn’t gotten the strength back in the pectoral muscle he hurt, Pederson said. He’s not been active for the Eagles (2-0), who entertain the Steelers Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
“We want to just kind of give him this week and just sort of monitor that and give him all the treatment he can,” Pederson said. “Get him through the bye and we’ll see where he’s at after that.”
Seumalo, however, remains in the mix to start at left guard with Allen Barbre moving to right tackle if and when Lane Johnson begins serving a 10-game suspension for PEDs. ••• NOTES >> In addition to Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz, two other pairings of first-year head coach and rookie quarterback have started 2-0 in the Super Bowl era. They would be John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco in 2008 in Baltimore and Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez in 2009 with the Jets . ... The Eagles signed cornerback JaCorey Shepherd to the practice squad. … They also released guard Darrell Greene from the practice squad. … Listed on the injury report yet fully practicing with the Eagles were defensive end Vinny Curry (knee), safety Malcolm Jenkins (foot) and safeties Chris Maragos (elbow) and Jaylen Watkins (knee).
Eagles running back Ryan Mathews, seen here against the Chicago Bears Monday night, is tied for the NFL lead in rushing touchdowns with three.