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Quotes: Head Coach Doug Pederson

Posted Sep 12, 2016

COACH PEDERSON: Just want to update you [on] a couple of injuries from yesterday's game. First one is [CB] Leodis McKelvin, he's got a left hamstring strain. It's going to be week-to-week with him, so we'll monitor that. Then [TE] Zach Ertz has [an injury] -- it's on his left shoulder. It’s a first rib displacement, and he's also week-to-week. So those two are in that situation. Everybody else; [TE] Trey Burton, [DE] Vinny [Curry], [RB] Ryan Mathews, [G] Isaac [Seumalo], [WR] Bryce Treggs, [DT] Fletcher [Cox], [WR] Jordan [Matthews], those guys are all good and will practice this week.

Q. When you say week-to-week, is that different from day-to-day?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, it's a little bit longer, obviously. It is day-to-day, but it's more of that week. We've got to kind of get them through the week to see where they are at by game time coming up Monday.

Q. Displacement means it’s broken, right?

COACH PEDERSON: No, a displacement is not a broken bone at all. It just means that the rib has displaced itself underneath the collarbone, but it's not a fracture or a broken bone.

Q. Do you anticipate having to make a roster move to add a cornerback?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, it's something we're going to address today with Howie [Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman] and make a decision there. We've got [CB] CJ Smith, as well, right now on the practice squad that could obviously come up. But we'll see where we're at. We'll talk to Jim [Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz] and look at it further. We've got a couple days this week, so it's good that we've got a little time.

Q. Are you confident that TE Trey Burton will be okay with TE Zach Ertz down?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, it was a game time decision yesterday with Trey. And felt in his best interest and where we were as a team, [to] just rest him yesterday. And then again, he's got a couple good days here now to get ready. But I feel comfortable and confident that Trey will be ready to go.

Q. What do you think was QB Carson Wentz's best play yesterday?

COACH PEDERSON: He had several. Obviously that first touchdown pass was tremendous, making that throw. It was great to see him throw the ball down the field a couple times to Jordan [WR Jordan Matthews] and also to Nelson [WR Nelson Agholor]. That play really sparked us there. But two throws that kind of stick out; one to Jordan Matthews. It was a quick slant pattern to his left, [Wentz] just made a tight window throw. And then, of course, the fourth and four play to Zach [TE Zach Ertz] was a big time throw with them rushing six guys with five to block. So it was a big time throw yesterday.

Q. It’s probably not fair to ask if former Eagles QB Sam Bradford would be able to make those throws if he were still here, but do you see the throws you just mentioned as throws that only a few select quarterbacks can make?

COACH PEDERSON: No, I think every quarterback in the National Football League can make those throws. It's just the recognition and how fast you can recognize number one, the protection, and then the leverage of the defender on our receiver; on Zach at the time. It's something that we've worked quite a bit actually with those guys, even against our defense through training camp. So it's just a great play, great play at the right time and credit those two guys for making it.

Q. Doug, you were balanced in your play-calling. Did you want to go in the game that way? Did you push it even though it looked like the Browns had an extra guy in the box trying to force Wentz to do something?  What kind of payoff was it?

COACH PEDERSON: We felt going in, I felt going in that we would have the ability to run the football, and I didn't want to overload Carson. I knew he had 37 attempts. That's quite a few. You try to keep it 30-ish if you can. Obviously you are not monitoring that during the game, but I think it's a credit to our guys, the balance was there. We had to throw it when we needed to throw it. We made some great plays down the field. The running game was really -- I mean, 133 yards, at the same time it was very close to even being better than that. Some things we've got to clean up there and detail that, and then just get better this week. Again, we've got the extra day and a chance for the guys to come in and watch this film, make the corrections and get ready for Chicago.

Q. A lot of Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz' philosophy is creating pressure without having to blitz and without stealing from somewhere else on the field. It looked like it was a successful day for that yesterday. How much does that aid, in terms of your coverage?

COACH PEDERSON: It just helps the back end so much when you can affect the quarterback's eyes with four guys and make him get off of his launch point in the pocket. I thought that as the day kind of went on, as the game wore on, I think we got better and better in the pass rush area. Our guys on the back end, it forced RGIII [Browns QB Robert Griffin III] to make a couple of behind-the-receiver-type throws. Of course, the interception that Rodney [S Rodney McLeod] got was that; [LB] Jordan Hicks got a hand on the ball. It's great. It allows your defense to really make more plays that way. Credit to -- and then the rotation, too. You are seeing a D-line that's rotating every few plays, so it keeps those guys fresh.

Q. You guys had the highest time of possession of anybody in the league on Sunday. Was that a concerted effort? What is your philosophy when it comes to ball control?

COACH PEDERSON: Again, I think sometimes you have to -- you never go into a football game saying, ‘Hey, we've got to have the ball 30 minutes.’ I don't think you ever do that. Sometimes it's just the way it works. We had some pretty long drives out there, which we stayed on the field a little bit by penalty; defensive penalties kept us on the field; making some third downs kept us on the field. And then your run game: I'm telling you the run game really helps in keeping your offense on the football field by keeping yourself in third-and-more-manageable, shorter situations that we had in the game. When you look away and come away and look at [39] minutes of ball control, that's great. I mean, you should and hopefully you win the football game. It would be sad to be here today and say you had [39] minutes of football and you lost. That would be the negative to that.

Q. With Carson, obviously he took some shots and while you like that he's tough and he stands in there and he's trying to make a play, is that going to be an ongoing conversation with him?

COACH PEDERSON: Obviously the one on the fourth-down play, [he] took a shot there; they rushed an extra guy with five protectors. There are a couple other situations where it’s just going to come down to the more he plays and the more he recognizes defense to be able to shift the protection to pick up some of the other plays. And then again, listen, the offensive line did a heck of a job. Every now and then they are going to get beat. That's just the nature of the game and you're going to take a shot, which happened once yesterday as well. But the more he plays and the more he gets comfortable in what he's seeing, the better he's going to become in recognizing the pressures. The other thing, too, is you set up plays with personnel in formations during the game so you could get a good idea how they are going to defend a certain formation, and then it just comes down to recognition and recall for him. Again, the more he plays, the better he'll get there.

Q. With fourth-down decisions like the fourth-and-four yesterday, are you going based on stats and probabilities or are you trusting your intuition?

COACH PEDERSON: It's both. I got to trust the guys, too. Where we were at the 40 yard-line, fourth-and-four, to me … It was a five-point game at the time. I felt like we were moving the ball and right there, if you punt … You are outside of field-goal range, so you can't kick the field goal. If you punt the ball, the chances of it going in the end zone and having a touchback, comes back out. You are only, what are you gaining? About 15 yards. And if you don't make it, okay, the defense is playing well, they get the ball at the 40-yard line and let's go play. So, I just felt comfortable with the guys and the way we were moving the ball and just [had] a great trust in the guys to make that decision.

Q. You weren't going up tempo, but you were still getting out of the huddle pretty quickly. What are the advantages of giving Carson a lot of time at the line?

COACH PEDERSON: It's tremendous for us to get the play into him quickly, get to the line of scrimmage. Because we do a lot of kill package plays and it just gives him time at the line to see what he's seeing defensively and then put us in the right play. So, it's on me to get the play in. It's obviously something that I pride myself in, because I know being in that position having more time at the line is very beneficial. So, it's my job to get the play into him.

Q. How did you feel calling your first game -- well, besides the preseason?

COACH PEDERSON: It felt good. I felt like we were in a pretty good rhythm and obviously to score on the opening possession was huge and then, again, the run game helps that. I felt good. I felt comfortable with what we were [doing], the information that I was receiving from the coaches upstairs and what we were seeing on the sidelines and just the communication was good. And believe me, it's not all about just me calling the plays. I'm getting a lot of information from Coach Stout [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] on the run game and the runs he likes. We're just piecing that all together and trying to make this thing work.

Q. How do you think CB Jalen Mills looked yesterday? Will he get an opportunity with CB Leodis McKelvin possibly being out?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, I thought he played well, coming in there and filling in for Leo. There's a good chance that he gets more work obviously this week. Very comfortable with what he has done so far through training camp. Again, he's another one of those young players that we have that will just get better with more reps.

Q. With Carson, he has to stay in there knowing that the hit is coming and take that. Was he better at that than maybe some people thought yesterday?

COACH PEDERSON: I tell you, obviously watching the tape this morning and going back and watching the guys, for him to have that kind of poise in the pocket for his first start and really only having about four series throughout the entire training camp, you just can't teach that. And the patience that he had to let receivers come open. I remember that one third-down play, he hit [WR] Jordan [Matthews] on a backside dagger route, it just hung in there, hung in there, and it was a nice, tight window throw. Those are the things you see from more veteran type quarterbacks, where young guys tend to want to scramble in those situations. But the poise was tremendous, and that's just who he is and [I] look forward to another opportunity to work with him again this week.

Q. How did the Ertz injury happen?

COACH PEDERSON: Happened in the first quarter on their [Cleveland] sideline. He caught a pass. It wasn't the one-handed catch, but he caught a ball kind of left-to-right, and he turned up the sideline right on the boundary and went to protect himself and right on the sideline, lowered the shoulder and took a direct blow on his left shoulder.

Q. Did you know that he was playing through that?

COACH PEDERSON: Right away when he came off after that series, [Eagles director of sports medicine/head athletic trainer Chris] Peduzzi came and said, ‘Hey, he's got a left shoulder strain.’ We could tell that at the time. But as had game wore on, I didn't know obviously anything was more serious than that.

Q. Is that an injury he can play through or does he have to be cleared before he can play again?

COACH PEDERSON: Probably going to have to be cleared. It's a dangerous situation with a displaced bone. You are talking up around the neck and head area, so any type of blow again could do further damage to that. That's why it's a week-to-week deal to see how it heals and recovers.

Q. When did you start working G/T Matt Tobin? Was that after TE Trey Burton's injury, or have you used him before as emergency third tight end?

COACH PEDERSON: The only time we've used him in a tight end situation is short yardage goal line situations as a third tight end. On Friday last week, he was able to get some reps at that spot and again, a credit to him and how he got himself ready to play in that position, because it's a little bit different for him. He did a great job for us. That's something that we will continue to look at from a package standpoint down the road.

Q. Now that you've slept on it, what was your first game as an NFL head coach like?

COACH PEDERSON: It was great. It was great. Standing there holding the flag [the American Flag] and just kind of looking around the stadium and soaking everything in, was a great feeling for me. To stand there and see the people -- what a great crowd we had. And I was calm. Yeah, I had the internal butterflies like probably every coach and player in the National Football League has on any given game. It was calm. I was excited and I was ready to watch our guys perform. I was excited for Carson, to see him play. And as the game unfolded, obviously it made it nice to go down and get seven points on the first drive. Then you kind of settle into the game. For me, after that, you start showing a little more emotion because you are so close on a few plays. You want so badly for the guys to do well. But overall, felt really good and pleased with their performance. But from my standpoint, I was pretty calm.

Q. RB Ryan Mathews didn't have a super high rushing average, but he kept the chains moving. Can you talk about your philosophy of sticking with the run even if it's not getting a big number of yards and how important that is?

COACH PEDERSON: Again, it aids in everything you do offensively. He's such a powerful back. A lot of times, those runs are up inside the tackle-box area and we had a couple chances just off tackle to make some big gains. Kenjon [RB Kenjon Barner] made a couple of nice runs. Darren [RB Darren Sproles] made a couple nice runs. But to keep feeding a guy like Ryan, he's so powerful and punishing that [at some point] it's going to take a toll defensively. I think the hard thing for any play caller is to stay patient with the run game. Sometimes you abandon it too soon when things aren't going so well. If you don't keep throwing, as they say, mud against the wall, eventually something is going to stick. You’ve just got to keep hammering away and chiseling away, and eventually something's going to give and it just opens up the rest of the gameplan.

Q. A couple of your defensive players said they think the tackling can be cleaned up a little as you guys move forward. They said they thought there were some yards that leaked out that didn’t have to happen. Did you see that as well?

COACH PEDERSON: I did. I did. It's the first game of the regular season, so these guys are playing 60 minutes. Angles are a little bit different; the speed is obviously different than training camp and preseason games. Other than that, definitely have to clean up some of the tackling, but it all comes down to angles and the type of lanes that they take in order to make those tackles.

Q. Do you have confidence in rookie G Isaac Seumalo at left guard if you have to move G/T Allen Barbre over to right tackle? And if so, why wasn’t Seumalo dressed yesterday?

COACH PEDERSON: Again, with [Seumalo’s] injury, we're day-to-day with him. He's real close to coming back and so we felt good with Wiz [C/G Stefen Wisniewski] and Tobin [G/T Matt Tobin].

Q. How did DT Beau Allen do when he played fullback in yesterday’s game?

COACH PEDERSON: He had fun out there. [laughing] He came off after we scored and he said that he didn't realize that the defense was going to cut [block] him. I said, ‘Dude, you are a big guy running through there against a little DB [defensive back], where do you expect him to go?’ He had fun out there. Obviously you saw his athleticism and how well he comes off the ball. He's obviously a former full back, so we gave him an opportunity.

Q. What is the message to Wentz one day after the debut he just had?

COACH PEDERSON: My message to Carson? Obviously, enjoy it. This business is short-lived. You get a chance to watch the film and make the corrections, and then we're right on to the next opponent. It's a different set of circumstances. It's like every one of our golf games in here: one day you shoot 75 and the next day you shoot 85. You just have to take each game in stride. [This week is] another set of circumstances: it's a Monday night game coming up [in a] national spotlight. It’s a road game; noise, the whole thing. So enjoy this one, but we’ve got to come to work ready to play again.

Q. Ertz had a couple big plays for you guys after he sustained the injury, including that fourth-down conversion. What were your thoughts when you found out the degree to which he was hurt?

COACH PEDERSON: It just shows the toughness; the physical toughness that he has. Once we found out the extent of the injury, for him to play through it -- again, it's a credit to him to be able to fight through and battle through and keep himself available for the game.

Q. What was your reasoning for keeping all four running backs active for yesterday’s game? Was it because RB Wendell Smallwood contributes on special teams?

COACH PEDERSON: Numbers, yeah. Numbers and [with] Wendell on kick returns and his availability there. Then he got a couple of snaps offensively, too.

Q. As the game unfolded, as you talked to Carson on the sideline, based on what he was telling you that he saw, how much did that help you?

COACH PEDERSON: Quite a bit. I'm always listening to the players, whether the offensive line is telling me we need to keep running the football, we got these guys or the quarterback, in this case Carson, is seeing something defensively. It's great to kind of take all that information in. And as I mentioned after the game, I'm sitting there constantly with those cards, coming up with another set of plays, putting another drive together and taking all that information in and just absorbing and exhausting the game plan, whether we go back and execute plays we've already called or find something new that's on the plan that they haven't seen. It's great to get all that information. One thing about Carson, too, is he sees the field well. And for him to have that kind of dialogue in his first game, I think, just shows the type of kid that he is and the way he prepares himself.

Q. In LB Mychal Kendricks’ case, he played 37 percent of the snaps. That's a lot of nickel on the field. Is that how you plan on using him this year?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, that's exactly how right now that he's going to be used, yeah.

Q. You used four running backs and you used all your receivers, obviously. What is the importance of having depth at the skill position spots? It seemed like you were rotating quickly.

COACH PEDERSON: It's important. If these guys, if we have 19 or 20 guys up offensively every week, you want to use them all, whether it be offense or special teams. Having four [running] backs obviously can take a little heat off of maybe Darren Sproles, taking a lot of carries. You still want him to get his touches. Same thing with Ryan [Mathews]. Kenjon [Barner] came in there and had some explosive runs. It's something when you look at the entire roster on game day, everybody has got to contribute, and again that's kind of what I told the team after the game. This was a team effort, team win and everybody contributed and that's what it takes to win in the National Football League.

Q. What determines the snaps at those skill positions?

COACH PEDERSON: Usually by personnel and how we rotate and how we want to get certain guys in certain positions. Sometimes in our 11 personnel, it was [WR] Jordan [Matthews] in the slot and sometimes it was [WR] Josh Huff in the slot. So it just depends on the play that's called at the time and who we want in the game.

Q. How much do you rely on having Kendricks in a limited role like that?

COACH PEDERSON: Mychal Kendricks? Limited role? When teams are playing a lot of that 11, what we call zebra personnel, we keep [LB] Jordan [Hicks] and [LB] Nigel [Bradham] on the field. As good an athlete as Mychal is, it's just unfortunate that we have to take one guy off. Right now he's the guy that -- he's the odd man out and he ends up coming off the field.

Q. There was a stretch of series that obviously wasn't successful when you got into Cleveland territory. Was it the calls that you were making? Was it Carson or the players not doing a good enough job? Or was it Cleveland?

COACH PEDERSON: You know, we came out, obviously after the touchdown, we kind of spit and sputtered there a little bit. False start, you know, didn't execute quite the way we should have. Then second quarter, boom, we hit Jordan and we're down inside the 10-yard line on great throw and catch there. Then the next play, it was really -- the play was there, the play was there. It's something that the guys when they see it, they are going to go, ‘Oh my goodness.’ It's one of those deals. We had a hat for a hat, and Ryan actually turned it up inside, he followed [C Jason] Kelce. It's just those things now, when you get into these games, things are little bit faster and they just got to see it. The next time they are in that position, they will make that play. Carson on the incomplete to Jordan, in the right side of the end zone there, it's just one of those things where the progression took him left, but then his eyes weren't back to Jordan fast enough. He didn't see the leverage. Just one of those, he sailed it high. Those are all teachable, very correctible moments. That's what these guys will see and move on.

Q. How much of a weapon is P Donnie Jones at this point with his ability to flip the field?

COACH PEDERSON: It's tremendous to have a guy like Donnie Jones. You saw it yesterday. I think early in the season and really all season long, any time you can trade field position and make a team drive 90 yards plus, makes it really hard on them. And he did a good job for us yesterday.
COACH PEDERSON: Just want to update you [on] a couple of injuries from yesterday's game. First one is [CB] Leodis McKelvin, he's got a left hamstring strain. It's going to be week-to-week with him, so we'll monitor that. Then [TE] Zach Ertz has [an injury] -- it's on his left shoulder. It’s a first rib displacement, and he's also week-to-week. So those two are in that situation. Everybody else; [TE] Trey Burton, [DE] Vinny [Curry], [RB] Ryan Mathews, [G] Isaac [Seumalo], [WR] Bryce Treggs, [DT] Fletcher [Cox], [WR] Jordan [Matthews], those guys are all good and will practice this week.

Q. When you say week-to-week, is that different from day-to-day?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, it's a little bit longer, obviously. It is day-to-day, but it's more of that week. We've got to kind of get them through the week to see where they are at by game time coming up Monday.

Q. Displacement means it’s broken, right?

COACH PEDERSON: No, a displacement is not a broken bone at all. It just means that the rib has displaced itself underneath the collarbone, but it's not a fracture or a broken bone.

Q. Do you anticipate having to make a roster move to add a cornerback?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, it's something we're going to address today with Howie [Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman] and make a decision there. We've got [CB] CJ Smith, as well, right now on the practice squad that could obviously come up. But we'll see where we're at. We'll talk to Jim [Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz] and look at it further. We've got a couple days this week, so it's good that we've got a little time.

Q. Are you confident that TE Trey Burton will be okay with TE Zach Ertz down?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, it was a game time decision yesterday with Trey. And felt in his best interest and where we were as a team, [to] just rest him yesterday. And then again, he's got a couple good days here now to get ready. But I feel comfortable and confident that Trey will be ready to go.

Q. What do you think was QB Carson Wentz's best play yesterday?

COACH PEDERSON: He had several. Obviously that first touchdown pass was tremendous, making that throw. It was great to see him throw the ball down the field a couple times to Jordan [WR Jordan Matthews] and also to Nelson [WR Nelson Agholor]. That play really sparked us there. But two throws that kind of stick out; one to Jordan Matthews. It was a quick slant pattern to his left, [Wentz] just made a tight window throw. And then, of course, the fourth and four play to Zach [TE Zach Ertz] was a big time throw with them rushing six guys with five to block. So it was a big time throw yesterday.

Q. It’s probably not fair to ask if former Eagles QB Sam Bradford would be able to make those throws if he were still here, but do you see the throws you just mentioned as throws that only a few select quarterbacks can make?

COACH PEDERSON: No, I think every quarterback in the National Football League can make those throws. It's just the recognition and how fast you can recognize number one, the protection, and then the leverage of the defender on our receiver; on Zach at the time. It's something that we've worked quite a bit actually with those guys, even against our defense through training camp. So it's just a great play, great play at the right time and credit those two guys for making it.

Q. Doug, you were balanced in your play-calling. Did you want to go in the game that way? Did you push it even though it looked like the Browns had an extra guy in the box trying to force Wentz to do something?  What kind of payoff was it?

COACH PEDERSON: We felt going in, I felt going in that we would have the ability to run the football, and I didn't want to overload Carson. I knew he had 37 attempts. That's quite a few. You try to keep it 30-ish if you can. Obviously you are not monitoring that during the game, but I think it's a credit to our guys, the balance was there. We had to throw it when we needed to throw it. We made some great plays down the field. The running game was really -- I mean, 133 yards, at the same time it was very close to even being better than that. Some things we've got to clean up there and detail that, and then just get better this week. Again, we've got the extra day and a chance for the guys to come in and watch this film, make the corrections and get ready for Chicago.

Q. A lot of Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz' philosophy is creating pressure without having to blitz and without stealing from somewhere else on the field. It looked like it was a successful day for that yesterday. How much does that aid, in terms of your coverage?

COACH PEDERSON: It just helps the back end so much when you can affect the quarterback's eyes with four guys and make him get off of his launch point in the pocket. I thought that as the day kind of went on, as the game wore on, I think we got better and better in the pass rush area. Our guys on the back end, it forced RGIII [Browns QB Robert Griffin III] to make a couple of behind-the-receiver-type throws. Of course, the interception that Rodney [S Rodney McLeod] got was that; [LB] Jordan Hicks got a hand on the ball. It's great. It allows your defense to really make more plays that way. Credit to -- and then the rotation, too. You are seeing a D-line that's rotating every few plays, so it keeps those guys fresh.

Q. You guys had the highest time of possession of anybody in the league on Sunday. Was that a concerted effort? What is your philosophy when it comes to ball control?

COACH PEDERSON: Again, I think sometimes you have to -- you never go into a football game saying, ‘Hey, we've got to have the ball 30 minutes.’ I don't think you ever do that. Sometimes it's just the way it works. We had some pretty long drives out there, which we stayed on the field a little bit by penalty; defensive penalties kept us on the field; making some third downs kept us on the field. And then your run game: I'm telling you the run game really helps in keeping your offense on the football field by keeping yourself in third-and-more-manageable, shorter situations that we had in the game. When you look away and come away and look at [39] minutes of ball control, that's great. I mean, you should and hopefully you win the football game. It would be sad to be here today and say you had [39] minutes of football and you lost. That would be the negative to that.

Q. With Carson, obviously he took some shots and while you like that he's tough and he stands in there and he's trying to make a play, is that going to be an ongoing conversation with him?

COACH PEDERSON: Obviously the one on the fourth-down play, [he] took a shot there; they rushed an extra guy with five protectors. There are a couple other situations where it’s just going to come down to the more he plays and the more he recognizes defense to be able to shift the protection to pick up some of the other plays. And then again, listen, the offensive line did a heck of a job. Every now and then they are going to get beat. That's just the nature of the game and you're going to take a shot, which happened once yesterday as well. But the more he plays and the more he gets comfortable in what he's seeing, the better he's going to become in recognizing the pressures. The other thing, too, is you set up plays with personnel in formations during the game so you could get a good idea how they are going to defend a certain formation, and then it just comes down to recognition and recall for him. Again, the more he plays, the better he'll get there.

Q. With fourth-down decisions like the fourth-and-four yesterday, are you going based on stats and probabilities or are you trusting your intuition?

COACH PEDERSON: It's both. I got to trust the guys, too. Where we were at the 40 yard-line, fourth-and-four, to me … It was a five-point game at the time. I felt like we were moving the ball and right there, if you punt … You are outside of field-goal range, so you can't kick the field goal. If you punt the ball, the chances of it going in the end zone and having a touchback, comes back out. You are only, what are you gaining? About 15 yards. And if you don't make it, okay, the defense is playing well, they get the ball at the 40-yard line and let's go play. So, I just felt comfortable with the guys and the way we were moving the ball and just [had] a great trust in the guys to make that decision.

Q. You weren't going up tempo, but you were still getting out of the huddle pretty quickly. What are the advantages of giving Carson a lot of time at the line?

COACH PEDERSON: It's tremendous for us to get the play into him quickly, get to the line of scrimmage. Because we do a lot of kill package plays and it just gives him time at the line to see what he's seeing defensively and then put us in the right play. So, it's on me to get the play in. It's obviously something that I pride myself in, because I know being in that position having more time at the line is very beneficial. So, it's my job to get the play into him.

Q. How did you feel calling your first game -- well, besides the preseason?

COACH PEDERSON: It felt good. I felt like we were in a pretty good rhythm and obviously to score on the opening possession was huge and then, again, the run game helps that. I felt good. I felt comfortable with what we were [doing], the information that I was receiving from the coaches upstairs and what we were seeing on the sidelines and just the communication was good. And believe me, it's not all about just me calling the plays. I'm getting a lot of information from Coach Stout [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] on the run game and the runs he likes. We're just piecing that all together and trying to make this thing work.

Q. How do you think CB Jalen Mills looked yesterday? Will he get an opportunity with CB Leodis McKelvin possibly being out?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, I thought he played well, coming in there and filling in for Leo. There's a good chance that he gets more work obviously this week. Very comfortable with what he has done so far through training camp. Again, he's another one of those young players that we have that will just get better with more reps.

Q. With Carson, he has to stay in there knowing that the hit is coming and take that. Was he better at that than maybe some people thought yesterday?

COACH PEDERSON: I tell you, obviously watching the tape this morning and going back and watching the guys, for him to have that kind of poise in the pocket for his first start and really only having about four series throughout the entire training camp, you just can't teach that. And the patience that he had to let receivers come open. I remember that one third-down play, he hit [WR] Jordan [Matthews] on a backside dagger route, it just hung in there, hung in there, and it was a nice, tight window throw. Those are the things you see from more veteran type quarterbacks, where young guys tend to want to scramble in those situations. But the poise was tremendous, and that's just who he is and [I] look forward to another opportunity to work with him again this week.

Q. How did the Ertz injury happen?

COACH PEDERSON: Happened in the first quarter on their [Cleveland] sideline. He caught a pass. It wasn't the one-handed catch, but he caught a ball kind of left-to-right, and he turned up the sideline right on the boundary and went to protect himself and right on the sideline, lowered the shoulder and took a direct blow on his left shoulder.

Q. Did you know that he was playing through that?

COACH PEDERSON: Right away when he came off after that series, [Eagles director of sports medicine/head athletic trainer Chris] Peduzzi came and said, ‘Hey, he's got a left shoulder strain.’ We could tell that at the time. But as had game wore on, I didn't know obviously anything was more serious than that.

Q. Is that an injury he can play through or does he have to be cleared before he can play again?

COACH PEDERSON: Probably going to have to be cleared. It's a dangerous situation with a displaced bone. You are talking up around the neck and head area, so any type of blow again could do further damage to that. That's why it's a week-to-week deal to see how it heals and recovers.

Q. When did you start working G/T Matt Tobin? Was that after TE Trey Burton's injury, or have you used him before as emergency third tight end?

COACH PEDERSON: The only time we've used him in a tight end situation is short yardage goal line situations as a third tight end. On Friday last week, he was able to get some reps at that spot and again, a credit to him and how he got himself ready to play in that position, because it's a little bit different for him. He did a great job for us. That's something that we will continue to look at from a package standpoint down the road.

Q. Now that you've slept on it, what was your first game as an NFL head coach like?

COACH PEDERSON: It was great. It was great. Standing there holding the flag [the American Flag] and just kind of looking around the stadium and soaking everything in, was a great feeling for me. To stand there and see the people -- what a great crowd we had. And I was calm. Yeah, I had the internal butterflies like probably every coach and player in the National Football League has on any given game. It was calm. I was excited and I was ready to watch our guys perform. I was excited for Carson, to see him play. And as the game unfolded, obviously it made it nice to go down and get seven points on the first drive. Then you kind of settle into the game. For me, after that, you start showing a little more emotion because you are so close on a few plays. You want so badly for the guys to do well. But overall, felt really good and pleased with their performance. But from my standpoint, I was pretty calm.

Q. RB Ryan Mathews didn't have a super high rushing average, but he kept the chains moving. Can you talk about your philosophy of sticking with the run even if it's not getting a big number of yards and how important that is?

COACH PEDERSON: Again, it aids in everything you do offensively. He's such a powerful back. A lot of times, those runs are up inside the tackle-box area and we had a couple chances just off tackle to make some big gains. Kenjon [RB Kenjon Barner] made a couple of nice runs. Darren [RB Darren Sproles] made a couple nice runs. But to keep feeding a guy like Ryan, he's so powerful and punishing that [at some point] it's going to take a toll defensively. I think the hard thing for any play caller is to stay patient with the run game. Sometimes you abandon it too soon when things aren't going so well. If you don't keep throwing, as they say, mud against the wall, eventually something is going to stick. You’ve just got to keep hammering away and chiseling away, and eventually something's going to give and it just opens up the rest of the gameplan.

Q. A couple of your defensive players said they think the tackling can be cleaned up a little as you guys move forward. They said they thought there were some yards that leaked out that didn’t have to happen. Did you see that as well?

COACH PEDERSON: I did. I did. It's the first game of the regular season, so these guys are playing 60 minutes. Angles are a little bit different; the speed is obviously different than training camp and preseason games. Other than that, definitely have to clean up some of the tackling, but it all comes down to angles and the type of lanes that they take in order to make those tackles.

Q. Do you have confidence in rookie G Isaac Seumalo at left guard if you have to move G/T Allen Barbre over to right tackle? And if so, why wasn’t Seumalo dressed yesterday?

COACH PEDERSON: Again, with [Seumalo’s] injury, we're day-to-day with him. He's real close to coming back and so we felt good with Wiz [C/G Stefen Wisniewski] and Tobin [G/T Matt Tobin].

Q. How did DT Beau Allen do when he played fullback in yesterday’s game?

COACH PEDERSON: He had fun out there. [laughing] He came off after we scored and he said that he didn't realize that the defense was going to cut [block] him. I said, ‘Dude, you are a big guy running through there against a little DB [defensive back], where do you expect him to go?’ He had fun out there. Obviously you saw his athleticism and how well he comes off the ball. He's obviously a former full back, so we gave him an opportunity.

Q. What is the message to Wentz one day after the debut he just had?

COACH PEDERSON: My message to Carson? Obviously, enjoy it. This business is short-lived. You get a chance to watch the film and make the corrections, and then we're right on to the next opponent. It's a different set of circumstances. It's like every one of our golf games in here: one day you shoot 75 and the next day you shoot 85. You just have to take each game in stride. [This week is] another set of circumstances: it's a Monday night game coming up [in a] national spotlight. It’s a road game; noise, the whole thing. So enjoy this one, but we’ve got to come to work ready to play again.

Q. Ertz had a couple big plays for you guys after he sustained the injury, including that fourth-down conversion. What were your thoughts when you found out the degree to which he was hurt?

COACH PEDERSON: It just shows the toughness; the physical toughness that he has. Once we found out the extent of the injury, for him to play through it -- again, it's a credit to him to be able to fight through and battle through and keep himself available for the game.

Q. What was your reasoning for keeping all four running backs active for yesterday’s game? Was it because RB Wendell Smallwood contributes on special teams?

COACH PEDERSON: Numbers, yeah. Numbers and [with] Wendell on kick returns and his availability there. Then he got a couple of snaps offensively, too.

Q. As the game unfolded, as you talked to Carson on the sideline, based on what he was telling you that he saw, how much did that help you?

COACH PEDERSON: Quite a bit. I'm always listening to the players, whether the offensive line is telling me we need to keep running the football, we got these guys or the quarterback, in this case Carson, is seeing something defensively. It's great to kind of take all that information in. And as I mentioned after the game, I'm sitting there constantly with those cards, coming up with another set of plays, putting another drive together and taking all that information in and just absorbing and exhausting the game plan, whether we go back and execute plays we've already called or find something new that's on the plan that they haven't seen. It's great to get all that information. One thing about Carson, too, is he sees the field well. And for him to have that kind of dialogue in his first game, I think, just shows the type of kid that he is and the way he prepares himself.

Q. In LB Mychal Kendricks’ case, he played 37 percent of the snaps. That's a lot of nickel on the field. Is that how you plan on using him this year?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, that's exactly how right now that he's going to be used, yeah.

Q. You used four running backs and you used all your receivers, obviously. What is the importance of having depth at the skill position spots? It seemed like you were rotating quickly.

COACH PEDERSON: It's important. If these guys, if we have 19 or 20 guys up offensively every week, you want to use them all, whether it be offense or special teams. Having four [running] backs obviously can take a little heat off of maybe Darren Sproles, taking a lot of carries. You still want him to get his touches. Same thing with Ryan [Mathews]. Kenjon [Barner] came in there and had some explosive runs. It's something when you look at the entire roster on game day, everybody has got to contribute, and again that's kind of what I told the team after the game. This was a team effort, team win and everybody contributed and that's what it takes to win in the National Football League.

Q. What determines the snaps at those skill positions?

COACH PEDERSON: Usually by personnel and how we rotate and how we want to get certain guys in certain positions. Sometimes in our 11 personnel, it was [WR] Jordan [Matthews] in the slot and sometimes it was [WR] Josh Huff in the slot. So it just depends on the play that's called at the time and who we want in the game.

Q. How much do you rely on having Kendricks in a limited role like that?

COACH PEDERSON: Mychal Kendricks? Limited role? When teams are playing a lot of that 11, what we call zebra personnel, we keep [LB] Jordan [Hicks] and [LB] Nigel [Bradham] on the field. As good an athlete as Mychal is, it's just unfortunate that we have to take one guy off. Right now he's the guy that -- he's the odd man out and he ends up coming off the field.

Q. There was a stretch of series that obviously wasn't successful when you got into Cleveland territory. Was it the calls that you were making? Was it Carson or the players not doing a good enough job? Or was it Cleveland?

COACH PEDERSON: You know, we came out, obviously after the touchdown, we kind of spit and sputtered there a little bit. False start, you know, didn't execute quite the way we should have. Then second quarter, boom, we hit Jordan and we're down inside the 10-yard line on great throw and catch there. Then the next play, it was really -- the play was there, the play was there. It's something that the guys when they see it, they are going to go, ‘Oh my goodness.’ It's one of those deals. We had a hat for a hat, and Ryan actually turned it up inside, he followed [C Jason] Kelce. It's just those things now, when you get into these games, things are little bit faster and they just got to see it. The next time they are in that position, they will make that play. Carson on the incomplete to Jordan, in the right side of the end zone there, it's just one of those things where the progression took him left, but then his eyes weren't back to Jordan fast enough. He didn't see the leverage. Just one of those, he sailed it high. Those are all teachable, very correctible moments. That's what these guys will see and move on.

Q. How much of a weapon is P Donnie Jones at this point with his ability to flip the field?

COACH PEDERSON: It's tremendous to have a guy like Donnie Jones. You saw it yesterday. I think early in the season and really all season long, any time you can trade field position and make a team drive 90 yards plus, makes it really hard on them. And he did a good job for us yesterday.

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