INDIANAPOLIS - Eagles coach Doug Pederson said the decision to fire wide receivers coach Greg Lewis was a "tough one to make" but that it was the right move for the organization. The Eagles hired veteran wide receivers coach Mike Groh to replace Lewis.

Pederson, who has not spoken publicly since Week 17, addressed his staff change for the first time Wednesday.

"I sat down and had a great conversation with [Groh] and we really hit it off," Pederson said. "Some of his expertise, some of the players he's coached, past experience, and a lot of recommendations, too, from around the league . . . made him a great candidate for us."

Pederson did not discuss why Lewis was fired, but he acknowledged that the Eagles need more production from their wide receivers. Howie Roseman, the Eagles' executive vice president of football operation, said player development is a major emphasis for the team.

The Eagles also blocked quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo from interviewing for the New York Jets' offensive coordinator job. The Inquirer reported that it was owner Jeffrey Lurie's decision. Roseman said at the Senior Bowl that all coaching staff decisions are Pederson's.

"It's hard to let good coaches go. DeFillippo has a good relationship with Carson [Wentz], myself," Pederson said. "He is a great coach in the NFL, and I felt strongly about keeping him in Carson's second year – especially the development, the growth process and keeping it in tact. That was the decision behind that."

Peters' status

Roseman would not confirm whether the Eagles had talks about restructuring left tackle Jason Peters' contract, but he echoed his comments from the end of the season that the Eagles wanted Peters back in 2017.

"Jason Peters, we believe is a first-ballot Hall of Famer," Roseman said. "He's a huge player for us, has been on and off the field, and has done everything right."

Pederson was successful in managing Peters during the week last season. Peters played 97 percent of the snaps as a 34-year old last season.

"He's such a valuable player of our team," Pederson said, "and that's where he's going to stay."

No tag

The franchise tag deadline passed on Wednesday, and the Eagles did not use a tag. Their top pending free agent is defensive tackle Bennie Logan, who might be too expensive for the Eagles to retain even though Roseman praised the former third-round pick on Wednesday.

If Logan leaves, backup Beau Allen could take on a bigger role.

"We're excited about Beau," Roseman said. "Beau's ability to not only be powerful in the run game, but his athleticism to work edges, he's got pass-rush moves. He, with even an increased opportunity, we think will be an even better player and contributor to our team."


The Kansas City Chiefs released four-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles this week, and Pederson said the Eagles would evaluate him. Pederson was Charles' offensive coordinator with the Chiefs.

"I've got history with him in Kansas City for three years, I think he's a tremendous running back," Pederson said. "It's something we'll evaluate now We'll grade him just like we do every free agent and every person that's released and see where they fit into our offense."

Charles, 30, has played only eight games during the last two seasons because of injury. But he has five 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and a career average of 5.5 yards per carry.

Extra points

Pederson confirmed that veteran running back Darren Sproles plans on playing next season. Sproles is under contract with the Eagles and is expected back. . . . Pederson will continue to call offensive plays in 2017. "I'm fully confident in doing it again," Pederson said. "I felt good doing it this year and I'm going to continue to do that."