The Eagles have remained steadfast in their dedication to allowing the running game to set up the pass in three home games this year, and will continue to do so this weekend against the red-hot Atlanta Falcons.
Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson took to the podium inside the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday morning prior to his team taking the practice field. After consecutive road losses, a return to the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field should bring about solace for Pederson’s team when they take on 6-3 Atlanta.
Thus far, Philly is 3-0 at “The Linc”, winning by an average of 20 points per game on their home field.
“I think your run game becomes a little more important in games like this,” Pederson said. “Atlanta’s offense is one of the top offenses in the National Football League, and they’re playing extremely well. So anytime you can sort of play keep away, and time of possession and things like that, [it] can help you. Does it work out like that all the time? No. But those are things that as we put our game plans together and the personnel, we take into consideration.”
Something will have to give on Sunday afternoon. Matt Ryan leads a prolific Falcons’ offense that averages just under 34 points per game (1st in NFL) into a stadium where Jim Schwartz’s defense has been vicious against opposing offenses, yielding a minuscule 23 total points in three games.
“Matt [Ryan]’s done an outstanding job the whole season,” Pederson said. “The way he’s allowing the game itself to come to him and let things unfold. They may not start out fast, but they gain that momentum as the game goes on. They’re making play after play and it just shows up on film. Matt’s extremely smart and he’s understanding matchups. He’s not always having to look for Julio [Jones]. He’s got other weapons on offense that he’s utilizing, and that’s what’s making that team so explosive right now.”
With Philadelphia's active roster still at 52 players following the release of Josh Huff last Thursday, the first-year head coach was asked why the team is still one man short.
“We’ve got some guys we’re evaluating on the practice squad,” Pederson said. “Paul Turner, Aaron Grymes, we don’t have to make a move right now. There’s no hurry.”
While his response seemed to indicate that the team would promote a roster squad player, he later confirmed that the team will also consider pursuing free agent options.
You can watch the full press conference from Pederson below.