By Patrick Del Gaone, Sports Talk Philly staff writer
After two days to contemplate the controversial decision, Eagles' coach Doug Pederson admits he shouldn't have challenged the Packers' two-yard completion late in the third quarter of Monday night's 27-13 loss.
"That second [challenge], I probably would've kept it," Pederson said. "The thing was too, where they were on the field. At that point, just trying to, hey, lets go second-and-ten over second-and-eight, try to keep them back just a little bit. I was trying to play all that in my head at the same time. That's part of going back to the process of self-evaluation, making those decisions, I'd probably hang onto that and keep it for a situation that didn't happen in the game."
Philadelphia will look to bounce back from Monday's disappointing loss when they take on the 3-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium this weekend. Marvin Lewis' Bengals have taken a giant step back in 2016, winning just one win of their last seven contests.
Pederson has yet to determine if wideout Nelson Agholor will be reactivated on Sunday after being sidelined against Green Bay, but the first-year coach did elaborate on the reasoning behind his decision to sit the 2015 first-round pick.
"Seeing the game differently, not having the pressure of performing," Pederson said. "On service team, we hold up a card that says run this offense or run this defense. Receivers run it, and sometimes they make great plays. You're scratching your head going, wow, that was a great route, great catch. So the connection there is, play like you're playing as if it were a service team rep, where you're not thinking, you're just going out and reacting to what the defense presents. It's easier said than done obviously, but that's how Nelson needs to attack this. Just play like you're playing the service team."
No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz's rookie season hasn't gone exactly as Pederson would've hoped. After a stellar first four outings, completing over 67 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns compared to just one interception, the former North Dakota State gunslinger has now been picked off six times in the last six games.
Despite a severe statistical regression, Pederson believes Wentz's throwing mechanics are ahead of the curve.
"He's definitely worked on [his mechanics]," Pederson said. "You saw early in the game, when he steps into throws, how accurate and how smooth the ball comes out of his hand. On [the interception], he had some pressure, it wasn't a clean rush but the fact that he had a bull rush in his face, so naturally you're gonna end up throwing high and off your back foot. It was a little bit of mechanics, but it was also the rush that made that ball go high."
"I definitely think [he's] in front of the curve. It's still a work in progress. If you fast-forward to this upcoming offseason, we'll get a chance to really work with him and focus more on his mechanics and obviously the details of that. He's working on it every day, and it's definitely improved. You saw it early in the game, and really throughout the game. We're still working on his eyes, progression of plays, understanding the offense. It's small strides, but it's going in the right direction."
You can watch the full press conference from Pederson below.