Pederson says he's enjoyed calling Eagles plays, might continue
Doug Pederson said Friday he has enjoyed his first season calling plays as a head coach. He didn't commit to keeping the playcalling responsibility, but he didn't sound like someone seriously contemplating handing it off for 2017, either.
"Obviously I'll evaluate that quite extensively here, these next coming weeks. I've enjoyed doing that," Pederson said. "From a game-management point, I don't think it's interfered with anything, from a decision standpoint. I'm getting also a lot of information from other coaches, guys in the box, so from crucial decisions, I feel like we've handled those well, I've handled those well.
"Are there calls I'd do differently? Sure, looking back, there's a few plays this year I'd take back, call a different play. I think that's part of the learning process for me, first year, going through it and making myself better in the future."
What, specifically, does he have in mind, given that Pederson and his coordinators have repeatedly noted that only a few plays separated the Eagles from a more successful season and possibly a playoff berth?
"Looking back, there were maybe some fourth-down situations that I'd call a different play. I still like the decision to go for it," which Pederson has done more than any other NFL coach. "I think back to the (first) Giants game, running Carson (Wentz, wide to the left side) in that situation, fourth and two, I'd probably call a different play. The decision to go for it, I think, was OK, the play design not so much."
Pederson said that on middle-distance third downs in general, he felt he could have run more. He said he also feels he could have taken shots to the end zone more often, once he got into opposition territory.
Pederson said the area where he has seen the most growth from Wentz is "the way he has been able to kind of spread the ball around to different positions. He's getting through his progressions better, not getting stuck, maybe, on a receiver. He's utilizing his backs, you're seeing that a little bit more, with tight ends underneath, things like that. Those are things you learn, once you really get comfortable with the offense and understand where guys are going to be. I think that's the thing that he's really taken really big strides here in these last couple weeks, of doing, and something we can build on this offseason."
Meanwhile, it sounds like Allen Barbre (hamstring), listed as "doubtful" won't start Sunday in the season finale against Dallas. Pederson said Stefen Wisniewski will start there if Barbre can't, but he said he'd like to get rookie Isaac Seumalo some snaps at guard, as well.