Eagles coach Doug Pederson isn’t concerned even a little bit about the absence of several key veterans from his team’s spring practices, which began their third and final week on Monday.
“I think it’s great for the young guys…the offseason and this time of year is designed really for the younger player, the guy you want to develop and grow into your system and see where they’re at,” said Pederson prior to Monday’s practice. “This is the time we can really go hands-on with them and teach and coach and put them on film and correct. It’s exciting for them, the young guys, because those are the guys who end up, as what happened last year, end up playing for you, so now we can develop them.”
Next week would be a different story if players such as Malcolm Jenkins, Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, and Alshon Jeffery aren’t in attendance because that is when the team will conduct a three-day mandatory camp beginning June 11.
“The guys that aren’t here, they’re veteran players, they’re guys that have played a ton of football for us, that helped us win a championship a couple years ago, so I’m not concerned really with these guys not being here,” said Pederson. “Obviously next week is a different set of circumstances because it is the only mandatory portion of our offseason.
“The guys that are here have been working extremely hard and we’re building that chemistry right now, kind of laying the foundation right now with the guys we have and we’ll carry it over next week and into training camp.”
Pederson said that Carson Wentz and DeSean Jackson have been doing a great job building that chemistry.
The coach also singled out a few others for having strong springs, including Nelson Agholor, Dallas Goedert, Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones, and Rasul Douglas.
“Avonte Maddox is looking really good,” said Pederson. “I think Sidney Jones is playing with the absence of Jalen (Mills) and (Ronald) Darby right now, just playing with confidence and playing with great ability and skill; the player that we drafted.
“And then even Rasul Douglas is another one who has had a really good spring. I think all these guys have benefitted. They’re younger players that have benefitted from playing in regular season games and even postseason games. That’s valuable experience.”