Doug Pederson responds to report of anonymous Eagles player criticizing offense
At least one member of the Philadelphia Eagles is frustrated with the way things have been going for the team offensively this season, but head coach Doug Pederson is a bit puzzled by the specific complaint that surfaced this week.
In an appearance on “NFL Live” Thursday afternoon, ESPN’s Josina Anderson said an anonymous Eagles player vented his frustrations to her about the team’s offense, noting that it needs to be simplified and Carson Wentz has to know when to hit his checkdowns.
“One of the things that they said is: ‘We need to make bleep simpler. Sometimes you just need to handle what is manageable.’ They said: ‘Even Peyton Manning knew when to check it down,'” Anderson revealed, according to Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation.
Pederson was asked about that quote on Friday, and he told reporters it is the first time he has ever heard of a player complaining that the ball needs to be checked down more. He also said his offense is not all that complicated.
Doug Pederson said this is the first time he’s heard anyone complain that there should be MORE check downs. (As said in the anonymous ESPN report). #Eagles
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) October 18, 2019
Pederson: I’ve seen the comments. Check down might not be there. Lotta factors, not on QB. You don’t like to have anonymous guys. I’m not a smart guy and I can figure out the offense. It’s not that complicated.
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) October 18, 2019
As Anderson noted during the ESPN broadcast, Wentz has completed just 38 percent of his passes when throwing the ball 15 yards or further downfield. He also has three interceptions on those throws, which is tied for third most in the NFL. In contrast, Wentz has nine touchdowns and zero interceptions on passes that travel 10 yards or fewer downfield.
The Eagles are 3-3 and have been inconsistent through the early part of the season, but they rank ninth in the NFL with 26.8 points per game. While they’re just 20th with 349.3 total yards per game, the results haven’t exactly been awful.
Of course, Wentz is no stranger to criticism from unnamed sources within the Eagles organization. Pederson is probably more annoyed that stories like that keep coming out than he is with the actual complaint.