Matthews Explains Benefits Of Offensive Changes

Jordan Matthews praises the approach of the Eagles' new coaching staff.

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

It’s easy to pile on Chip Kelly now that he’s gone, and it’s even easier for players to praise their new head coach, but Jordan Matthews explained to reporters on Tuesday after practice why, exactly, he and his teammates have taken to Doug Pederson and the changes he’s made on offense.

“The biggest thing I’ve noticed that I think a lot of people don’t take into account that was different from last year is when you’re trying to go fast a lot, the snap count isn’t a huge factor. When you’re in this type of offense, the cadence has to be a strength of ours,” Matthews said. “We have to be able to go up there and be able to deceive defenses, get them in what they’re going to do and then put ourselves in the best position to make plays.”

Matthews and his teammates also laud their new coaches’ approach in practice. While they all insist they don’t want to compare Pederson to Kelly, players universally approve of how on-field activities are now structured. They like how they can go slower and receive instruction and corrections in between plays, rather than waiting until after practice when their repetitions are done for the day to address their mistakes.

“I don’t like getting into what’s better or worse or anything like that, but I will say being able to do that is always a positive,” Matthews said. “Being able to get coaching in between plays so you can go out with a fresh mind next time to go out and execute is always good. That way, you’re learning on two hands — you’re learning on the field and also when we get in to the film room later. Like I said, I don’t like getting into what’s better or worse or anything like that, but I can definitely say it’s a huge positive for us.

“In this situation when we huddle up, Sam is going to be able to bring us in and be like, ‘Hey, remember what happened last time? Don’t do that. Fix it.’ But when it’s speed, speed, speed, you’re going to practice how you play. You just got to keep going and then don’t worry about the last play.”

One of the more hands-on coaches in OTAs appears to be receivers coach Greg Lewis, who quickly earned his players’ respect because of his own NFL career.

“(Lewis) played, and so when a guy comes to you and is like, ‘Look, I’ve done this before. What you just did sucked. I’m going to tell you how to make it better.’ It definitely means something to you,” Matthews said. “He also comes from the perspective of, ‘Look, I understand. I understand sometimes when a guy is in press, you want to cut the route short, but we can’t.’ In that instance, you’re like, ‘This guy knows what I’ve been through. He knows how it is to play in Philadelphia. He understands the pressure. He understands the expectation.’

“Now you want to go out there and go make plays for him. Same way with Coach Pederson; same exact way. We all feel like we’re in this as a family. We know they’ve gone through it; they’ve gone through the same things that we went through as players, so it’s that much more incentive to go out there and make plays for them.”