It was revealed yesterday that Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson had been diagnosed with coronavirus. There has naturally been a lot of concern and speculation since then about both the Super Bowl-winning Coach and the team he’s preparing under such unique circumstances. He met with the media virtually on Monday to provide us with some important updates.
Pederson doesn’t have any symptoms
I also want everyone to know that I feel great, energy level is high. I really have no symptoms whatsoever, and I am very fortunate because I do know and understand that this virus attacks people a little bit differently. I have been in great communication, constant communication, not only with our medical team and doctors, but also my staff and the team itself.
This is probably the most important update. Doug Pederson isn’t dealing with symptoms right now and although that’s subject to change, it’s at least a promising sign. He also went on to say that he’ll be isolating away from his family until medically cleared to return to the NovaCare Complex, so it’s clear he’s taking this seriously.
One of the things I learned this offseason is I can still run the team virtually, and that’s what I have been able to do today, even yesterday, holding staff meetings, things of that nature, team meetings. I also want to reiterate the fact that I’m very comfortable and confident that the protocols that we have in place at NovaCare are for the best interest of the football team and all those that enter that building. It still is a very safe environment, and one of the things that we all need to learn and what I need to learn, taking away from this, is obviously we need to protect ourselves when we are in the community away from the building, continue to wash our hands, wear our mask, do the social distancing that medical teams and doctors have prescribed.
If ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, the positive here is absolutely the fact that Doug Pederson has been so forward-thinking this offseason when it comes to virtually running OTA’s. Another is simply that the team will be so hyper-aware of taking the correct actions to protect themselves from the virus that hopefully we won’t see many more, if any more cases.
The daily plan
I do everything I can virtually. I just finished up a bunch of player meetings, group meetings this morning already. Guys are getting ready for a walk-through on the field and yeah, [assistant head coach/running backs coach] Duce [Staley] being the assistant head coach, he just assumes my role, the day-to-day activities in the building.
So he and I talk every single morning. I give him, through communication with him, give him sort of my thoughts on where I’m leading and what I’m thinking, and then he carries that message forward. He’s done a great job so far and will continue that going forward.
This could be absolutely huge for Duce Staley. The assistant head coach seems almost destined to be poached at some stage, but this is a huge opportunity to step up and lead the entire team in Pederson’s absence.
Whether he’s able to put his own spin on it or simply carry on as normal, Staley will be looking to make the most of this very odd situation and add some more coaching experience under his belt.
It’s also a very familiar name for the players. The offensive coordinator role turned into a committee this year and if somebody like Rich Scangarello had taken the reins, there could well have been teething problems. This was a smart call, especially seeing as Pederson can still host meetings, not only reaffirming his condition to the team, but trying to keep things as normal as possible.
it’s never been about one guy or one group of guys. It’s been about everybody. This is no different. I’m fortunate that this is happening at this time of our season, our training camp at the beginning, and not necessarily say in October, November, where you could miss games. It’s a matter of just protecting each other and our goals don’t change. We’re going to continue to press forward one day at a time.
On that note, it’s not like the Eagles are strangers to ‘next man up’. It’s kind of become their identity over the past few years and this is no exception. Pederson seems intent on keeping that mentality exactly the same.
Well, obviously it’s typical training camp. We have curfew at 11:00 at the hotel. The days are filled. We’re on a 12-hour workday with the players, and there’s not a lot of time at the end of the day.
Once they leave the building, they are on their own and it’s up to me and my staff and our trainers and doctors to educate them on the protocols outside of the building.
This is just a great time for me to be — I think to be kind of an ambassador, to be a leader, to really educate our team on how to protect ourselves outside the building.
Another positive is that we may not see any Marlins or Lou Williams-level incidents when practices end because the players, again, are so hyper-aware of what’s going on since it’s right on their doorstep.
Hopefully, all of this passes soon and we can return to a sense of normality, but more than anything, I hope Doug Pederson makes a full recovery.
Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports