By Annie Ross
Eagles coach Doug Pederson got right to the point at yesterday’s presser.
Because he didn’t have time to dawdle:
“You don’t have time to dwell on your past success. We’re in a groove and it’s tough. We have to guard against complacency and it’s my job to keep them grounded and keep them focused and come to work every day prepared.”
After a dominating 34-7 win over Arizona on Sunday, the Eagles (4-1) were back at work preparing for Cam Newton and the Panthers (4-1). They could be missing another important player.
Right tackle Lane Johnson suffered a concussion against the Cardinals and isn’t likely to be cleared in a couple of days. Two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has missed the past two games because of a calf injury so it’s uncertain whether he’ll be ready to go.
The Eagles have overcome several key injuries — top cornerback Ronald Darby hasn’t played since Week 1 and do-it-all back Darren Sproles went down for the season in Week 3.
“It doesn’t matter what happens with injury on our roster, the coaches do an outstanding job of getting that next guy ready and prepared to play,” Pederson said.
“Everybody aspires to be a good football team. But the way we’re doing it, with the amount of backup players in these first five weeks, is a testament to the coaching staff and the players in that dressing room and the resiliency that they have to never quit and finish.”
Carson Wentz had the best game of his young career against Arizona and new receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith have significantly improved the passing attack. LeGarrette Blount has bolstered the running game, giving the offense much-needed balance.
Blount has been part of two Super Bowl championship teams in New England over the previous three seasons. He knows what it takes to win and provides veteran experience and leadership.
“We have to forget about this one, it’s already in the books,” Blount said right after beating the Cardinals.
“We have to focus on Carolina, and make sure that we’re locked in. You have to be students of the game. You have to know how to study, you have to be able to work in the classroom, gather all of the information that you can with limited participation on the field.”