November 13, 2018
Appearing on Philly Sports Talk on NBC Philadelphia with Marc Farzetta and Amy Fadool on Monday, former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant had harsh words for Doug Pederson following the Birds' embarrassing loss at home Sunday night to the Dallas Cowboys.
"I think you have to put this on Doug," Avant said. "The reason I say you have to put this on Doug, is one, this team has shown that they’ve been undisciplined all year, leading the league in penalties for half the year. When it comes to reverses, screens, and misdirections, this (defense) goes for it every time, and that’s a lack of discipline. We’re offensive-based, with an offensive coach in Doug. We can’t generate points. This is basically on Doug.
"We know that there’s problems in the secondary. The D-line didn’t play well (Sunday) night, but listen, they can’t play well every game. You have to step up in certain areas.
"When you think about the Dallas trash talk, you think of all the things that we’re commenting on off the field, all the fights and stuff that are happening before the game, he’s losing control of this team, and it’s just true. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s just the truth. I don’t think that they’re respecting him the way they should respect their head coach.
"I saw them walk on Dak Prescott’s touchdown (Sunday) night. They were walking to the line of scrimmage while the Cowboys were hustling. Those are things that speak to the head coach, and that was a sad showing last night."
Avant is kind of all over the place there, and while his larger point is way off base, some of his smaller points are valid. For example, I went back and took a look at the Prescott touchdown Avant was referring to, and have to agree that the Cowboys were clearly hustling on the play more than the Eagles. This was too easy:
This was the Cowboys' hurry-up QB sneak TD near the end of the first half Sunday night. Eagles' DL doesn't show a whole lot of urgency getting lined up to stop this, and they get blown off the ball at the snap with ease: pic.twitter.com/XYdFcWqal4— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) November 13, 2018
Additionally, watching the game live (and this will likely be more evident when the All-22 is made available), there was a play on the Eagles' final drive in which Alshon Jeffery was jogging back to the line of scrimmage while Carson Wentz was trying to get everyone lined up to clock the football. It didn't cost the Eagles more than a second or two, but it's inexcusable nevertheless.
Still, to say that Pederson is "losing control of this team," seven months after he led them to a Super Bowl win, is absurd. Being around the locker room, it's clear that the players like and respect Pederson, but certainly, the effort the players are giving has to be better than what they showed at times on Sunday night.
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