Doug Pederson Breaks Down Alshon Jeffery, Eagles' Other Free-agent Pickups

PHOENIX -- This offseason, the Eagles didn't hand out any long-term contracts to free agents.

Instead, they opted to bring in guys on one-, two- and three-year deals that left them with flexibility going into the future.

During the process of free agency, vice president of football operations Howie Rosman and vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas spoke to reporters.

Wednesday morning at the NFC coaches breakfast at the Biltmore Hotel in Arizona gave head coach Doug Pederson his first chance to talk about his new players, namely wideout Alshon Jeffery.

"He's a big target," Pederson said of Jeffery. "He's a veteran player, wealth of experience, a lot of games, excellent in route running, strong to the ball. For us, he brings some leadership into that room, and makes that room better. The experience is obviously a big factor in what we're doing, and he can lead by example. We have young guys, and this will give our young guys an ability to really watch a guy not only practice, but play, and create that competition that we talk about all the time."

Pederson, while talking about Jeffery, admired his size, route-running ability, explosiveness to the ball, his hands and his catch radius. Jeffery is the type of receiver the Eagles and Carson Wentz were so desperately lacking during 2016.

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While Jeffery has had down years in each of his last two seasons, he was once a top performer in the league and has an elite-type set of skills. His big body and catch radius should help Wentz greatly as the young quarterback enters his second pro season.

Jeffery will clearly be a big security blanket for Wentz in 2017, but Pederson was hesitant to single him out.

"He's a big part of that now," Pederson said when asked if a receiver like Jeffery was needed for Wentz to take the next step in his career. "But all of our guys will take that next step because they're in our system, they understand our offense, they understand how we're teaching it, they understand the whole dynamic of what we're trying to do. That's a big part of this."

In addition to Jeffery, the Eagles added four other players through free agency: WR Torrey Smith, OG Chance Warmack, DE Chris Long and CB Patrick Robinson.

What do each of those players bring to the team?

"Well, Chance Warmack gives us offensive line depth," Pederson said, "and fits into that room and challenge those guys just like any of the other positions. Looking forward to working with him.

"We just signed Chris Long. And again, Patrick Robinson, veteran players that can come in and compete. And again provide depth, provide competition, provide their own leadership from other teams. I think that's important, too, as players they're constantly looking at other teams, how this team does that, how this team does that, and I think it's good to have that diversity on their roster. But at the same time, how well do they fit into your scheme, into your system. These guys give us that quality depth you're looking for …

"Torrey's obviously, outside of the two receivers, those guys definitely again bring that expertise, bring that drive, that determination. The want-to, a lot of the times, leadership that way."

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