The Eagles have not even played a single preseason game yet, but that isn’t stopping head coach Doug Pederson from making it crystal clear he is confident in his roster.
Speaking Wednesday morning on SportsRadio 94WIP with Angelo Cataldi, Pederson was asked whether this is the most talented team he has had since coming to the Eagles.
“It is,” Pederson said without hesitation. "It is.”
As to why he feels this year’s group is the most talented he has had, Pederson highlighted the depth he feels the roster has as a result of so many injuries over the last two seasons.
“Not just the 11 defensive guys and the 11 offensive guys, it is the backup guys now. It is the guys that have played. The guys like Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones that are coming into their own. Even a guy like Tre Sullivan who got valuable time last year. I’m talking about these young guys that gives us depth, gives us competition,” Pederson said. “And then some of the free agents we’ve added, and of course the draft picks. You look at Andrew Dillard and what he has done, and sitting behind and watching Jason Peters everyday in practice. Then of course DeSean Jackson, Zach Brown — a linebacker who is going to give us depth at that spot. Malik Jackson, these guys — I just go on-and-on about some of these guys that are going to give us a lot of depth. We are deep at wide receiver this year.”
Pederson is correct — this team is loaded with talent.
Although it is still early, nearly every analyst from around the league has mentioned the Eagles when discussing the top rosters in the NFL. ESPN recently ranked them No. 2 overall, behind only the New Orleans Saints. Pro Football Focus listed their group of wide receivers, led by DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, as the best in the NFL. Quarterback Carson Wentz has been labeled an MVP candidate before Week 1 has even kicked off.
Before the Eagles worry about meeting these lofty expectations, however, they have to get through training camp and decide on their 53-man roster. Pederson said that getting down from 90 players to 53 won’t be easy because of how loaded he feels the roster is.
“There is going to be some tough decisions to make at the end of camp,” Pederson said.
Once camp ends, however, the pressure to win with this roster begins. Even with all of the talent they do have, the Eagles face a very tough NFC, and a schedule that could be a challenge in the first month.
When Cataldi joked with Pederson that he will be blamed if the season doesn’t go the way everyone expected, especially with the best roster he has ever coached, the head coach laughed.
“They fire coaches before players,” Pederson said.
You can check out the full audio of Pederson's interview below: