Doug Pederson spent much of his day-after news conference Monday dealing with the issue of effort, with how the Eagles competed in a 32-14 loss to a stuggling Cincinnati Bengals team.
Several times, Pederson stood up for his players, saying at one point that he "didn't see any quit in the guys," and that their dejection afterward showed him how much they cared. But finally, near the end of the 19-minute session, Pederson conceded that "not everybody" played hard. He indicated he will speak with his team leadership council about not giving in to frustration.
"That's the accountability that I talk about," Pederson said. "You know, I hold coaches accountable for that. I hold myself accountable for that, because it all starts with me, and I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go. But at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. You know, this is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league -- I mean, there's some teams that are better than others, obviously -- but for the most part, anything can happen each weekend."
Then, as Eagles public relations ended the session, Pederson was asked if he feels the way to deal with that is through compassion or "tough love."
"I think it's both. I think it's both. I think there's a level of that tough love. There's got to be that accountability that I was talking about. You know, I implore and I challenge the leaders of the football team to stand up and really not only hold themselves (accountable) but the rest of the team. Listen, it's not a panic move or anything like that, but just, 'Hey, let's just make sure we're doing things right.' Everybody just do things right, do their jobs, do their assignments, you know, and good things are going to happen."
Earlier, Pederson said he wants to talk to tight end Zach Ertz about the play that has drawn the most ire from fans - Ertz's apparent dance away from a potential block on linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was chasing Carson Wentz toward the sideline on the Eagles' second series.
"It was a situation, I think, where it might have been ... (Wentz) was heading towards out-of-bounds, and I think (Ertz) just pulled off at that point. That's all I can say at that, but I'm definitely going to ask him why," Pederson said.
Pederson, a rookie head coach, was asked about whether he feels support from Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman as the season crumbles into seven losses in the last nine games.
"I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week, and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things, and every week it's very positive. I just don't think, personally, you can base a guy's career on one season," Pederson said. "I think you've got to give it time to develop. We have a rookie quarterback. We've got to have time to develop this quarterback. It just doesn't happen overnight. So by no means have they expressed anything (negative) to me, and it's been positive and very supportive."