Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Buccaneers: Head Coach Doug Pederson

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Q. Do you know much about G Brandon Brooks' injury?**

COACH PEDERSON: I don't know much about it right now. They're going to evaluate him further after the game. But we'll see where he's at tonight and tomorrow before we make a determination on that. But it is a bicep injury.

Q. What are your overall impressions of the way your team played tonight?

COACH PEDERSON: Obviously I was pleased with the win, pleased with the young guys at the end making a play. C.J. [CB C.J. Smith] I thought did a nice job there on the interception in the end zone and then to finish it. That was my message to the young guys: 'Hey, we don't substitute and I don't substitute guys back. Whoever is in the game at the end is going to win the game for us.' They did a great job. Overall there's a lot of areas we can continue to improve on. Obviously to start the game with the special teams turnover and then to score offensively was a positive. And the way I think our first defense kind of got after them a little bit, too, was very, very pleasing. Then after that, 11 penalties and things like that can't happen, even in preseason. You want to be able to clean those things up. Overall pleased with the win, but a lot of work left to do.

Q. What did you see, good and bad, out of QB Carson Wentz?

COACH PEDERSON: You know what, it was an opportunity to get him into the game early there right before the half and get his feet wet to see if he could get that two-minute drive going. Had some opportunities there. He came out. He was in the right frame of mind, excited, looking forward to playing. Made a couple tough runs for us, which we needed, and then completed the ball where it needed to be. By no means is he perfect or was anybody perfect tonight. But pleased for his first outing and we've just got to continue to work with him on a daily basis and get him where he needs to be.

Q. It looked like you had a coaching moment on the sideline with Wentz as he was looking at video. What did you try to help him with from a coaching standpoint?

COACH PEDERSON: That particular play that I had called was actually a cover-two thought and we got the coverage that we needed. I just wanted to show him that he needed to get his eyes back. I was just showing him, you know, just kind of coaching him on that deal. That's the nice thing about having video now on the sidelines, is being able to see that live action like that and see the actual replay, and just coaching him up on that play. Those are the things that he'll get better at when he understands the offense more and more. Those are plays that are designed for specific looks. You know, I just wanted him to see that look and understand it, so the next time we put him in that situation, he'll make that play.

Q. How do you feel about your passing game in terms of blocking and receiving?

COACH PEDERSON: It's not where it needs to be. Obviously we struggled there a little bit. Too much pressure on the quarterback, starting with Chase [QB Chase Daniel] in the game. That's something we've got to look at on tape and we've got to make the corrections and keep working. I mean, by no means is this a finished product. Just looking forward to getting to work on Saturday.

Q. Were you planning to play the first-team offense for one series all along or did the touchdown factor into that decision?

COACH PEDERSON: You know, my intention was to get maybe 8, 12, 15 plays with them. But at the same time, they scored on their first drive and I made the decision to pull them out. I thought they handled that situation very, very well. I mean, to go out there and dominate like they did early in the ballgame and to punch it in, it was a great run. It was one of those sort of big-boy type plays down in the low red [zone] area and Ryan [RB Ryan Mathews] finished it off. I just made the call right then just to get them out and to get the rest of the guys in the game.

Q. Are you preparing for or concerned about a possible suspension for T Lane Johnson?

COACH PEDERSON: You've always got to be mindful of that in the back of your mind. You know, it's something that I'll visit with Coach Stoutland [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] this week and we'll evaluate where we need to go from here. You know, if that's the case, if it's upheld, then we've got to be prepared to make some moves. You know, until it happens, we go full steam. But at the same time, we also know and we've got to be smart about it to have people ready to go if it is upheld.

Q. When do you expect to know?

COACH PEDERSON: I really don't know. It's out of our hands. It's out of my hands. I really don't know.

*Q. What would be upheld? *

COACH PEDERSON: If the suspension is upheld and if it starts Week 1, if the 10 games starts Week 1.

Q. Have you been notified?

COACH PEDERSON: I haven't. You know how these things go. I'm sure there's going to be an appeal process and all that. But it's out of my hands.

Q. It sounds like you're saying that you know he's going to be suspended?

COACH PEDERSON: I have to anticipate that there's a chance, yes. It would be smart on my part to have a Plan B if that's the case.

Q. Does that mean that you'll be rotating in different players at right tackle?

COACH PEDERSON: Yes. That's something with Coach Stoutland and I, we'll make that decision to see who is the next best available. And it may be somebody that maybe hasn't played there this spring or this summer. It could be a guy that's already been there. We've just got to make all those combinations work, you know, in the next couple weeks. So we're still in training camp mode and we've got time to figure that out.

Q. Maybe somebody who is not on the team now? Would you take a look at bringing in somebody?

COACH PEDERSON: No, we've got the bodies. It's not that. We've got the bodies. We've got the guys that can definitely fill that role.

Q. Are you going to be disappointed if the allegations are accurate?

COACH PEDERSON: Yes. Yeah, I'll be disappointed. But at the same time, you know, it's out of my hands. But, again, I've got to focus on the whole football team.

Q. Have you had a chance to talk to Lane Johnson about it? What did you discuss with him about it?

COACH PEDERSON: You know, no, I haven't, to be quite honest. And, again, until something further is decided, we're going full steam ahead.

Q. With Johnson possibly facing suspension and T Jason Peters banged up, how does that affect what you plan to do with the offensive line?

COACH PEDERSON: Like I said earlier, we have the guys. We have the bodies to fill in. I thought up to this point, [G/T] Matt Tobin has done a nice job filling in for Jason Peters. He continues to get better. If Lane is not there, you have [G/T] Dennis Kelly and Big V [T Halapoulivaati Vaitai] is over there. I know [G/T] Allen Barbre has played some tackle in the past. There are some combinations that can be worked out, as you know, to make this thing go.

Q. After the incident with WR Nelson Agholor, you said that you hadn't talked to him. Now you say the same thing about Lane Johnson. Is that just the way you handle things? When you hear something like this, is there any reason that you don't --

COACH PEDERSON: Listen, these guys are professionals. You know, I talk to the team. When and if I talk to these guys individually, obviously that's a private matter. At the same time, they're grown men and I've got to treat them like grown men. If something like this happens, it is unfortunate. Sometimes you learn the hard way. We'll cross that bridge when that time comes.

Q. How did you find out about the potential suspension and the appeal? How did you find out?

COACH PEDERSON: I heard it just like you guys heard it.

Q. Were you pleased with the way your team sort of went to the right spots and functioned tonight? You have two new schemes on offense and defense and two new coordinators. Obviously it wasn't perfect, but at least they knew where to go, got there, no delay-of-game penalties or any alignment issues. Is that a step in the right direction?

COACH PEDERSON: It is a positive step. I thought to the credit of the defensive side and Coach Schwartz [Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz], I thought defensively they flew around and did what they had to do. The five turnovers is very positive. To even the young guys, we had a couple of formation issues there in the second half with some of the young guys. It's just a matter of covering guys up or not being on the line of scrimmage. We had one of those tonight. Those are things we can clean up on tape. They're all young guys. It was good to get them in the football game, so when the next time they have the opportunity, they won't make those mistakes. I've been around this game enough to know that sometimes that first preseason game can get a little more sloppy than what it was tonight. You'll see more of those delay-of-game penalties and things like that. But I was pleased from that standpoint.

Q. What did you see from Chase Daniel?

COACH PEDERSON: Well, it was tough. It was a tough situation. There wasn't a ton of time back there, obviously, as you know, to throw the ball. But he was able to move the team a little bit with the run game. It's just hard to get into a rhythm as a quarterback when things are not stable and not consistent. We had some blocking assignment errors we've got to fix. But for the most part, he came out healthy and we have another opportunity next week to get this thing better.

Q. Did anything from Wentz surprise you or particularly impress you?

COACH PEDERSON: I love his toughness. You saw some of the shots he took tonight. He stood in the pocket and bounced back from some tough hits. You know, the fact that he was able to move the team. He got the three points; I was hoping to get him in the end zone and let him taste what a touchdown felt like in the National Football League level. We've got next week to do that. But I was pleased overall with what he did. We've got to clean up some things as we do in a lot of areas and get to work on Saturday.

Q. What were you thinking when he was flipping in the air there? What went through your mind?

COACH PEDERSON: Kind of loved it. Wish he would have hurdled the guy instead of taking one in the legs. You know the guy is going low on a big quarterback like that. They're usually not going to stay up. I wish he would have hurdled. The fact he'd done a lot of that in college, that was a no-brainer for me.

Q. Was his best series also his worst series? He moved the team from the 17 down into the red zone and then threw an interception.

COACH PEDERSON: It ended unfortunately. Again, he had the quick pressure, the ball sailed high and had the pick in the end zone there. The fact he got the team down there, [was positive]. [The interception] was just unfortunate. But all things that are fixable; all things that are correctable. For a young quarterback, it was a tremendous opportunity to get the amount of snaps that he got. I just look forward to next week, again, playing another game.

Q. How was the experience for you? It was your first time in the big chair in a game setting?

COACH PEDERSON: It was great. I felt really relaxed. I was comfortable, at ease. I had a little bit of those nervous, anxious [feeling] at the beginning of the game. Once it kicked off, football is football. It was just a matter of just trying to control your emotions. But at the same time, I felt real comfortable. I felt good calling the plays. The headsets were great. It's a new system this year that they're using. It was pretty flawless from that standpoint. But, yeah, it felt great.

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