He was the talk of training camp and that is why Eagles rookie running back Mile Sanders entered the season with high expectations. The Eagles coaches and players have lauded his intelligence, toughness and ability to make defenders miss. Things haven’t gone so well in the first two games for Sanders, who rushed for 28 yards on 10 carries Sunday in a 24-20 loss in Atlanta. Despite the slow start, the Eagles remain high on the second-round draft choice from Penn State.
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Adjusting to the NFL
During Monday’s press conference, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said his confidence has not wavered one bit with Sanders, despite the fact that he has rushed 21 times for 53 yards (2.5 average) in the first two games.
“I am really confident in Miles,” Pederson said. “I think the more opportunities he gets, he will get better.”
Sanders it must be remembered didn’t get to play regularly at Penn State until his junior season a year ago after backing up Saquon Barkley the first two years.
“He has missed some things a young running back [misses], he has missed a couple of holes,” Pederson said. “... He tried to bounce outside, but there were a couple of holding calls, which is going to happen.”
Case in point was the Eagles’ opening 32-27 win over the Washington Redskins. In the fourth quarter, Sanders had a 21-yard touchdown run nullified by a holding penalty.
That said, Pederson added that it is also on Sanders to improve.
“There are things he can get better,” Pederson said. “Our confidence in him is really high, extremely high, and we will continue to play him and get him the reps."
What you need to know about the Eagles
Two stand-up Eagles were receiver Nelson Agholor and tight end Zach Ertz. Both took the blame for Sunday’s loss in Atlanta, Paul Domowitch writes.
There were several reasons the Eagles fell to Atlanta. Domowitch lists five of them.
NBC had to scrap a Mount Rushmore best-of-the-Eagles feature during Sunday’s game, and Eagles radio announcer Merrill Reese didn’t enjoy the view from the broadcast booth. Rob Tornoe has the details.
Jeff McLane has 10 takeaways that we learned from the Eagles’ loss. Among the lessons is that the slow starts haven’t disappeared.
Once again, Agholor has to let go of the past, Mike Sielski writes.
Les Bowen has a comprehensive look back at Sunday’s loss, starting with the injury situation. It appears that defensive tackle Tim Jernigan might have the Eagles’ worst injury in the game.
Marcus Hayes ranks the Birds’ 6 biggest areas of concern.
From the mailbag
This is a good question. There is no doubt that Deion Jones hit Wentz. Not being sure of the answer to your question, we went to the NFL. An NFL spokesman sent this response back: “If a defender has already committed himself, and the contact is unavoidable, it is not a foul unless the defender makes forcible contact into the head or neck area of the runner with the helmet, shoulder, or forearm, or commits some other act that is unnecessary roughness.”