It remains to be seen whether Doug Pederson can Philadelphia Eagles starting in Week 14, it won’t be lack for trying.down the stretch, but if he doesn’t ignite the 2019
Multiple Eagles players told reporters Thursday that Pederson has already held a fully padded practice in preparation for Monday night’s NFC East matchup with the New York Giants. A day earlier, on Wednesday, according to longtime defensive end Brandon Graham, the head coach used a team meeting to challenge some of the club’s veteran leaders.
Typically, as Pro Bowl lineman Brandon Brooks explained to the media, the Eagles use only jerseys and helmets at Wednesday practices — par for the course for most NFL teams. They also hadn’t gone with a fully padded practice since the team’s bye week in early November. But Pederson, Brooks said, wanted to make it clear that it’s now or never for Philadelphia, which fell to 5-7 and missed an opportunity to tie the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the East with a 37-31 loss to the 3-9 Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
“It kind of set the tone, like, this isn’t a cakewalk,” Brooks said of Thursday’s practice, adding that players were required to wear pads for the entirety of the session. “There’s a sense of urgency that needs to happen … By putting the pads on, you know, he set the tone.”
This isn’t the first time Pederson has used a late-season padded practice in an attempt to jump-start his team. In 2017, prior to the Eagles’ first playoff game during their Super Bowl LII run, the coach granted a request by team leaders to practice in full pads after Philly rested starters in Week 17 and seemingly closed the year without much intensity.