Eagles take a break: Doug Pederson gives players the full week off | Early Birds
What did Doug Pederson tell his players about the bye week?
Good morning, Eagles fans. This is a Tuesday edition of Early Birds, and the Eagles will likely be quiet this week. That's because the players are off until next Monday.
Pederson rewarded his players by giving them the full week off, and he wants them to get away. He doesn't want them to lose their conditioning, but he wants them to clear their minds. "The best thing is to get away and rest," Pederson said. "Just down time. Still want them to sort of seek some sort of physical activity, whether they lift or condition during the off week. The guys that are around can come into the facility and work out, get treatment, and make sure that they're ready for next week and the next seven games. So get away from it, clear their mind, [and] understand that, yeah, we've started something special and we want to make sure that we finish it the right way."
The coaching staff met Monday to watch the Broncos game and go over the corrections. Then they will self-scout and self-evaluate during the next few days. That includes making sure there are no strong tendencies that teams can pick up about the Eagles, such as what plays they run out of formation or personnel. They'll evaluate their schemes during this time, too. Later in the week, Pederson will give the coaches time away to spend with their families.
Check out the playing time distribution from the Eagles-Broncos game. You'll notice the split at running back snaps: Corey Clement led the way with 28 (41 percent); Jay Ajayi took 17 (25 percent); LeGarrette Blount was next with 16 (23 percent); Wendell Smallwood had six (9 percent); and Kenjon Barner took two (3 percent). Smallwood might be inactive when the Eagles return from the bye. Pederson said the Eagles only played all five running backs because Zach Ertz was out. Ajayi's playing time should increase after the bye.
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From the mailbag
The NFL has a schedule rotation. The Eagles play the three other NFC East teams twice each. They play all four teams in one other NFC division each season and all four teams in one AFC division each season. And then the remaining two games are the two NFC teams in the remaining divisions that finished in the same spot in the standings as the Eagles. The location of the game is based on the annual schedule rotation. The Eagles played the Seahawks last season because both teams finished second in their divisions in 2015. This season, the Eagles are playing every team in the NFC West. It's in Seattle because the Seahawks visited the Eagles in 2014, which was the last season they played all the NFC West teams.