Last night, FOX delivered with matter-of-fact nonchalance a start-of-third-quarter report regarding strong comments from coach Doug Pederson on the performance of quarterback Nick Foles. After the game, Pederson pushed back on the perception that he expressed disappointment with the Super Bowl LII MVP.
“Not Nick,” Pederson said in response to a question about the report delivered by Erin Andrews of FOX. “Offensively. We had six possessions. We had two interceptions, two fumbles. We had a sack safety, and we had a turnover on downs. That’s an offensive performance, so I was displeased with what our first offense executed. . . . I’m disappointed in the offense. I don’t want to single out one player, so don’t put this all on Nick. I’m disappointed in the offense. It’s obviously not what you want in the third preseason week.”
As Andrews told it, Pederson did indeed single out Foles.
“It’s very disappointing,” Andrews claimed at the outset of the third quarter that Pederson said at halftime, specifically about Foles. “He was calm before the game, I thought he’d settled in.”
Pederson tempered his disappointment in the offense (and in Foles) by pointing out that preseason games entail a different level of planning and adjustment.
“He finished the season pretty well last year,” Pederson said regarding Foles. “We know who he is and what we need to do to get him ready to go, and again, we’re still pretty vanilla offensively. We haven’t done any of our [run-pass option] game. Those are all things that are part of his strengths, too, so we’ve got to make sure that when we put game plans together moving forward, that we’re utilizing his strengths too.”
Pederson added that they’re “still keeping things very vanilla and we still want to evaluate and make sure we have the right guys in the right spots.”
Even with those caveats, Pederson clearly isn’t happy with the starting offense.
“When you don’t score, you played the way you play on offense, and me being an offensive guy, I’m not very jovial in there,” Pederson said. “I’m not patting guys on the back. I praised the defense. I think the defense played lights out and played like they should. The offense just didn’t do enough obviously, and they understand it. I wanted to make sure they heard it from me. We just move on. We fix it and move on, and the season begins in a couple weeks.”
He’s right about that. For the Eagles, it begins in 13 days. And if starter Carson Wentz isn’t cleared to play, the Eagles will need to find a way to coax something more out of Foles than what they’ve gotten so far this preseason.