“It didn't take long - the time between the end of Monday's loss to Green Bay and when Doug Pederson arrived at the podium to explain it - for the rookie head coach to switch perceptibly from the present tense to the future tense when talking about his team.
"Are we there yet? No. Are we heading in the right direction? Yes," Pederson said. "Again, it may not show up right now in wins and losses, but I see that potential.”
With that, the pivot has been accomplished — or, at least, attempted. In the big picture, that it seems a week or two early is besides the point. Conventional wisdom says that a coach plays for now and preaches for now until the mathematicians say that now doesn’t matter anymore, and the Eagles aren’t quite there yet. So Pederson is early here. But he is also accurate.
That doesn’t mean that Fletcher Cox won’t continue to hear about his pass-rushing drought, and his penalties, or that the receivers won’t be in a permanent state of castigation, or that the cornerbacks won’t continue to be a major concern, or that the coach himself won’t have his on-his-feet/heat-of-the-moment decisions continue to be questioned. It’s just an acknowledgment of what everyone has known all year (except for those three weeks of Kool-Aid consumption in September).
They aren’t ready,
We always knew they weren’t ready.
And now the coach is saying it out loud. And if they manage to win a couple of games, starting in Cincinnati, and get back into the wild-card race, the coach will say that he never pivoted at all. Because that’s what coaches do.
Bob Brookover sounds a warning even as Pederson directs our eyes to the future. That is, the Eagles aren’t as young as you think.
Zach Berman writes that the Eagles’ swoon since their 3-0 start has coincided with a drop in scoring.
Jeff McLane asks this question: Would the Eagles have been better off giving rookie quarterback Carson Wentz a few weeks to watch, as the Rams did with No. 2 pick Jared Goff, rather than immediately throwing the No. 2 pick into the fire?
Les Bowen remembers the Eagles’ last visit to Cincinnati. You might recall the story of a starting quarterback who didn’t know that an NFL game could end in a tie.
Paul Domowitch talks to Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo, who says the numbers be damned and Wentz is doing just fine, not regressing at all.