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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 Miles Sanders runs with the football against the Atlanta Falcons.
YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Miles Sanders runs with the football against the Atlanta Falcons.

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."

Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor drops a crucial pass in the fourth quarter against the Falcons.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor drops a crucial pass in the fourth quarter against the Falcons.

What you need to know about the Eagles

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.”