PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Alshon Jeffery. Torrey Smith. LeGarrette Blount. Ronald Darby. Tim Jernigan. Chris Long. Derek Barnett.
The Eagles have added a lot of talent pieces this offseason and have arguably improved at every position, on paper.
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Now, it’s time show it, and head coach Doug Pederson can’t wait. He says the feel is different.
“Number one, from a top down roster perspective I truly feel like we’re in a better position,” Pederson told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Tuesday. “We’ve acquired some talent, acquired some depth, and we’re in a better position. Last year at this time we were going in with a rookie quarterback and we had just made that decision over the Labor Day Weekend last year. So there was some indecision there. This year, going in with Carson having been through it a full season, myself being through it a full season, just learning from our experiences, growing together.
“It is different. The feel is different, the vibe is different, the confidence level is different. It’s much higher.”
The Eagles finished 7-9 in Pederson’s first season with a rookie quarterback in Carson Wentz, but were just 1-8 in games decided by seven points or less. The Eagles led the NFL in 27 fourth down conversion attempts last season, converting on 13 on them. That 48.1-percent conversion rate was just 17th in the NFL, a mark Pederson looks to improve on this season.
“Some of the decisions I made on fourth down, I focused on that,” said Pederson. “I looked hard at our fourth downs. I think we had 26 or 27 fourth downs last year, one of the top team’s in the NFL. And I look at that — and not so much the decision to go for it on fourth down — but maybe the play design, maybe the play call. I look at that and, ‘Did I put our guys in the best possible play in that situation?’ Whether we executed the play or was the play design right for that situation. I looked at that pretty hard and making sure I was doing right by that.”