Doug Pederson Clarifies Why Jay Ajayi Was Frustrated

Jay Ajayi was frustrated on Sunday night after the Eagles' 31-3 win over the Bears. 

He was frustrated about fumbling. 

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After Ajayi's somber mood in the Eagles' locker room was taken as frustration over playing time and carries on Eagles Postgame Live, head coach Doug Pederson was asked on Monday if he sensed any frustration coming from Ajayi. 

"Not with Jay at all. Not at all," Pederson said on Monday afternoon. "Had a chance to speak with him this morning. He's fine. He's so excited to be here, obviously. He's on a winning football team. ... He was frustrated from the standpoint that he had a chance to score and lost the ball. ... Any running back is gonna be frustrated. We put the ball on the ground a little bit too much yesterday. He's fine. He's excited to be here and ready to work this week."

Ajayi had just five carries in Sunday's game and was actually in negative yardage before breaking off a 30-yarder in the fourth quarter. At the tail end of the run, he fumbled the ball into the end zone, where Nelson Agholor recovered it. 

Ajayi's short interview with reporters on Sunday started with a couple questions about the fumble. After the play happened, Ajayi was visibly upset, laying facemask down on the grass. 

During the less-than-two-minute interview, Ajayi three times used a variation of saying he just runs what the coach calls. When asked if he was OK with the work he's been getting, Ajayi said, "I just run the plays that coaches call. I'm happy we're winning. Let's keep it going."

When asked if he was trying to do too much Sunday rather than pick up simple gains, Ajayi flatly replied: "Nope."

The abrupt interview and likely the tone was perceived as displeasure on Eagles Postgame Live by our Ray Didinger, who said Ajayi should "shut up and tote the ball."

"He's obviously miffed," Didinger said. "I don't know if it's the questioning about the fact that he's getting out in the open and getting run down from behind, he probably doesn't like hearing that.

"But if he's got an issue with the touches, hey chief, this team was winning before you got here. It's nice to have you here, we're glad to have you in the clubhouse, you're a nice addition, but they were doing pretty good before you got to town.

"So I would say just shut up and tote the ball."

Former Eagles linebacker and current Postgame Live analyst Seth Joyner agreed with the main point but not necessarily the phrasing.

"Ray said miffed. He ain't miffed, he's pissed. He's pissed," Joyner said of Ajayi. "I've seen that look before and when you come in and they ask you can you do it all, yeah I can run, I can catch, I can block. And all of the sudden you get five carries in a game and your nostrils are flaring like that, he's pissed, he ain't miffed, I promise you that."

Ajayi responded to a tweet of the video - just the "shut up and tote the ball" portion - with the word "CLOWNS" and three clown emojis.

In three games since joining the Eagles, Ajayi has 20 carries for 194 yards and a touchdown. He's the first Eagles running back to have a 30-plus yard carry in three straight games in at least the last three decades

When asked why he stuck with LeGarrette Blount on Sunday, Pederson cited the style of the Bears' defense. He thought Blount's downhill style was better suited for that game.

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