No look­ing back now

Ea­gles coach Ped­er­son look­ing to flip the script in time for Thurs­day’s matchup with the un­beaten Pack­ers

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - Nick Fierro

PHILADEL­PHIA — Maybe when they’re fi­nally able to catch their breath af­ter this whirl­wind week of foot­ball, the Philadel­phia Ea­gles will rewind the tape of their 27-24 loss to Detroit on Sun­day and break down every lit­tle thing that went wrong. But these next few days are not the time for that, ac­cord­ing to coach Doug Ped­er­son, who showed up at his Mon­day press con­fer­ence with a day-old beard, as if to prove that point.

Hey, no time to shave, ei­ther.

His team takes off for Green Bay on Wed­nes­day, and there’s just so much to do to fig­ure out a way to keep from slip­ping to 1-3 at the quar­ter pole.

“We’ve been ac­tu­ally work­ing on Green Bay for a few days,” Ped­er­son said. “...As coaches, we’ve got to pre­pare the play­ers for Thurs­day night and I’ve got to flip the script.

“Now we can come back when we get some time and watch this game and make cor­rec­tions from that. But at the same time, gosh, we’ve got a game in a cou­ple days, so we’re right on to Green Bay.”

Losers of two straight, the Ea­gles face 3-0 Green Bay on Thurs­day. Such a quick turn­around might be a good thing if they weren’t so banged up.

Ped­er­son couldn’t even guar­an­tee that wide re­ceiver Al­shon Jef­fery (calf ) will be ready, and no­body be­lieves fel­low re­ceiver DeSean Jack­son

(ab­dom­i­nal strain) will play. Start­ing cor­ner­back Ron­ald Darby (ham­string) went down in the Detroit game, and his sta­tus is un­known.

Those are just the most re­cent in­juries. The Ea­gles be­gan the sea­son down two cor­ners (Jalen Mills and Cre’Von LeBlanc) and a line­backer (Kamu Grugier-Hill), then lost de­fen­sive tack­les Ma­lik Jack­son and Timmy Jerni­gan to foot in­juries in suc­ces­sive weeks, and they’re still with­out run­ning back Corey Cle­ment (shoul­der) in­def­i­nitely.

Short­handed on a short week against an un­beaten op­po­nent on na­tional TV.

Not the ideal sit­u­a­tion.

Like last week, Ped­er­son is again go­ing easy with the prac­tice sched­ule. The pads won’t come back on un­til they play again. In the mean­time, it’s walk­through city.

“It’s just with the short week, to have a nor­mal prac­tice sched­ule and go out and bang around is hard,” he said. “Guys are ex­tremely sore to­day and to­mor­row and then we leave on Wed­nes­day. So I’ll do a lot of walk­throughs, a lot of men­tal reps, things like that this week to pre­pare for Thurs­day.”

Ped­er­son has no other op­tion, given his team’s state of health.

He also had no other op­tion, when asked on Mon­day, but to agree that their backs-to-the­wall ex­pe­ri­ences of the pre­vi­ous two sea­sons will help them with what they’re up against now — whether he be­lieves it or not.

Last sea­son, the Ea­gles suf­fered a heart­break­ing OT loss in Dal­las to fall to 6-7 but ral­lied to stun the 11-2 Rams in L.A. It started a four-game win streak that ended in New Or­leans in the divisional play­offs.

“We can to­tally re­late to our cir­cum­stances the last cou­ple of sea­sons,” he said. “But the one thing I think that for me as the head coach that stands out in these last cou­ple of games are just the self-in­flict­ing wounds. The turnovers, the penal­ties, things that have cost us yards or cost us points in ob­vi­ously these two games. So if we just elim­i­nate that, take the in­jury aside, we have a chance to win both foot­ball games.

“We just make the plays that are, that kind of come our way, make those plays, then maybe we’re talk­ing a dif­fer­ent story. So I can draw a lit­tle bit on the in­jury front from the last cou­ple of sea­sons, but hon­estly, that’s not what’s keep­ing us from win­ning these two games.”

That last sen­tence couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. Of course in­juries are what have kept the Ea­gles from win­ning the last two games. There’s no­body on Earth who be­lieves they would have lost to the Falcons and Lions had they had Jack­son and Jef­fery on of­fense and Jerni­gan and Jack­son on de­fense.

But he had to say it with the cam­eras on and recorders rolling or risk sound­ing like a snivel­ing ex­cuse-maker who doesn’t be­lieve in his back­ups.

So this is where cul­ture comes in and the Ea­gles get to show their true makeup.

Can they re­ally talk them­selves into be­liev­ing that the next man up is just as good as the one who just went down?

“Tal­ent has never been enough to win in this league,” safety Mal­colm Jenkins said in an un­der­state­ment af­ter Sun­day’s loss. “Not that we don’t un­der­stand that, we just have to do it. … None of us thinks [the losses] have any­thing to do with tal­ent or the guys we have on the field. It’s just about small things, each and every per­son do­ing his job.”

If only it were that sim­ple.


Ea­gles head coach Doug Ped­er­son.

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