Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Jets: Head Coach Doug Pederson

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Q. You held Lane Johnson out tonight, why was that?

COACH PEDERSON: Until I get further word from the league office, he goes in as my starting right tackle, so I just decided to keep him out of this game, (as to not risk) any type of injury going forward.

Q. Do you anticipate hearing from the League by the time you have to make the final roster cut?

COACH PEDERSON: You know what, if I haven't heard now -- it may not be in the next couple days. I don't know that. I'm not going to speculate. That's why we did what we did during training camp with the (alternate) plans and the (use of) different guys, just so we'd be prepared for this situation. Going forward, he (Johnson) goes in as our right tackle and we'll move Allen (Allen Barbre) back to left guard.

Q. Do you feel like the League is putting you in a bad spot by not letting you know about Johnson? You've got to pick a roster.

COACH PEDERSON: It is tough. It is tough. You would like to know one way or the other, whether or not you get the exemption spot and things like that. It could be difficult. It could be a little challenging. But you know, I'm not going to let that bother our football team. I'm not going to let that bother us and we're going to get ready for Cleveland.

Q. Coaches ask players to go out there and prove it to them and make it hard for you guys to cut them. Besides growing five more inches, is there anything else WR Paul Turner could have done to make the team?

COACH PEDERSON: I tell you what, he had a great training camp. What I told the guys after the game tonight (is) how proud I was of all of them for the effort they put in. Obviously his individual performance stood out. He had a big catch. He had the punt return tonight. He's done everything we've asked him to do. He's making it hard on us and that's what I've challenged all the young guys, really, to make it hard on myself and Howie (Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations) and the personnel staff when we have to make these decisions by Saturday at four o'clock. Yeah, he has put himself in a good position, and we've just got to continue to evaluate and see how it shakes out.

Q. How would you assess QB Chase Daniel's performance tonight? He had the two interceptions in the first half.

COACH PEDERSON: Well, I thought he played well, considering the two picks. I felt like he might have pressed just a little bit on the first one and kind of forced it in there a little bit. That happens. Sometimes you're trying to make a play, especially in this last preseason game. I know Chase and I know what he's capable of doing, and you know, other than the two picks, I thought he played well. He managed the game well and he came away healthy obviously and that's all I asked him to do.

Q. What did you see from LB Mychal Kendricks and why was it necessary to play him tonight?

COACH PEDERSON: I saw from last week to this week, he needed to knock a little of the rust off. He just hadn't had the game reps that we would have liked him to have throughout the entire training camp. I just felt like it was important for him to be out there under game-like conditions and play. Practice is one thing and games are another. The speed sometimes speeds up on the game field and we just wanted him to get a couple reps tonight. (We wanted to get) he and (LB) Stephen Tulloch and some of the guys (reps) to just feel what it was like to get back into sort of game shape going into the regular season.

Q. You had a special teams touchdown and an interception return for a touchdown. Just how far along are your special teams and defense?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, obviously very pleased with special teams and what we've done throughout training camp. Obviously the return tonight was huge. Defensively, we continue to get hands on the football, but it all starts up front with the rush and how well we attack the quarterback and that's where it starts. And then our guys are working hard on catching the football. (S) Ed Reynolds had the pick six tonight, and again, it's one of those things where sometimes defense and special teams will keep you in the football game. You know, we just didn't do enough offensively to obviously score, and we're just fortunate we didn't need to.

Q. How many players changed your mind either way tonight on the roster situation? Did anybody play themselves off?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, you know, until I really study the film tomorrow and get in here and kind of cut it up with all three phases, it's hard to just kind of say, 'Hey, this guy separated himself or not,' because sometimes you just look at one or two plays and you think that maybe that was the mark that he needed. But you've got to evaluate the whole body of work, so tomorrow is a valuable day to get in and just study the film and see where some of these young guys shake out.

Q. You had said previously that you wanted to keep four tight ends. Is that still kind of definitively the case or is there some flexibility there?

COACH PEDERSON: There's always the possibility of doing that, but the flexibility of that is if we don't (keep four), then obviously we keep three and then you've just got to work somebody -- I love playing with a fullback at times and we've got to either find one in the next couple days oruse someone on our roster currently. But if it works out and we can keep four, then obviously, you know, Chris (TE Chris Pantale) has done and shown enough that he can handle that position. And moving forward, it's not a ton of snaps that I use a fullback, but it's certain situations that I do like having that body in there. You know, particularly in a four-minute, end-of-the-game or short-yardage, goal-line-type of situation. It's something we've got to evaluate and make the right decision going into the season.

Q. Does that change your number of wide receivers depending on what you do with the tight end?

COACH PEDERSON: Probably not. Probably not. The one thing about that position – particularly really the tight ends – those body types are hard to come by because they are core special teams guys. And if you lose one of those guys, you lose a member of your special teams, so that's why it's a fine line between how many tight ends do you keep versus receivers and things of that nature.

Q. DE Steven Means, what has he shown you?

COACH PEDERSON: I tell you what, he's a kid that, gosh – I think he's improved every single day. He's a hard worker; comes to practice every day ready to work. He's had a great camp. He finished tonight well. Again, it's one of those decisions that he makes it tough on us as coaches. He's a solid player and a good young player for us, and again, it's going to come down to the evaluation process the next couple of days and just see where it all shakes out. But he's had a good camp.

Q. I know he's a former first-round pick, but did DE Marcus Smith need to show you anything tonight to be on the roster?

COACH PEDERSON: Marcus, he's another one that's had a ... He's been a little nicked up in training camp, but at the same time he bounced back last week and had a good game; he came in today and played well early. He's another one of those special teams guys that you're going to need on Sunday. So, he's put himself in a good position as a defensive end and again, it's going to come down ... These next couple days are valuable – the whole process – and just making the right decisions, and Marcus will be obviously in that conversation.

Q. So, what's the plan in the next 48 hours? Are you meeting with the team or are you going to meet with guys individually?

COACH PEDERSON: Well, tomorrow is ... Obviously we get a chance to break the film down as a staff and go through that process. And then we just begin the shuffling of roster spots and just seeing where everything shakes out. We'll do that in the next couple of days and if I get a chance to talk to some players, I'd like to talk to them. These next couple of days are tough on these guys because they have given everything for a long, hard training camp and you've built relationships with these guys. So, you want to be able to either at least do it through a phone call or eyeball them one-on-one and just tell them how proud you are, and if I can obviously do anything for them, I will, and wish them the best.

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