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Game Vs. Steelers: Eagles Offense


Eagles Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich

On the working dynamic between the offensive staff and head coach Doug Pederson:

"The whole offensive staff does a great job, but what Coach [Pederson] deserves a lot of credit for is calling a great game. There's an art to calling a great game, and I think he's called three really good games. He's been synthesizing all of the information and prioritizing, and it's been a good dynamic. He's providing great leadership. It's a fun place to work, and he's a fun coach to work with.  He has a clear vision, yet he accepts a lot of input. We all work together, but he runs the show."

On how Pederson compares to other head coaches that have had success in the NFL:

"There are a lot of good coaches, and he's doing it very well. It's nothing against any other coach, but it's like he's been doing it his whole life. It comes very natural to him because of the quality of person that he is. You can't fake that. When you have that kind of integrity and that kind of character, you just can't fake that. I just think it creates a good dynamic for all of us working together as a staff."

On the 73-yard touchdown pass to RB Darren Sproles:

"It was so much fun. Those are the kinds of plays that you can't design. It's just players making plays. The players deserve all of the credit for that in terms of having that kind of instinct and then executing. Sproles did his thing and wiggled down there and it was fun to watch. "

On the arm strength of QB Carson Wentz:

"He can put the ball anywhere on the field, and you have to defend the whole field. He's not afraid to make those throws to the side. When you have to defend the whole field, it brings a different dynamic. He's fearless like that, yet he's doing it without forcing anything. That's probably what's most exciting."

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews

On QB Carson Wentz:

"He doesn't play for you. He doesn't play for his parents. He doesn't play for me. He plays for God straight up. So when you do that, there is no pressure. It is just straight up. So that is why anytime he says something he says, 'AO1,' and everybody wants to say, 'Oh, is it this? Or is it this?' No. He puts himself in a position where he doesn't have to put pressure on himself. He plays for God and that makes it that much easier on him. Once I knew that about him and that he has got the skill set, and he has got the body and he has got the arm, and he works his butt off every single day. He is detailed. He is always making checks. I was up this morning at eight at the hotel getting breakfast and I saw him and he was heading to go watch some film this morning on game day. Everybody is thinking that it is a crazy thing, but that is his standard. I tell people all of the time that you have to work hard until hard work is your standard. So I looked at it like, 'This guy is working hard.' No. If he doesn't do that, then he isn't Carson Wentz anymore. That is who he is, and we are fortunate to have him."

On the touchdown celebration between him and Wentz:

"We were thinking about something that represents both of us. So usually when guys score touchdowns or something crazy happens, they jump into each other's arms, and they call it getting 'hype.' But with us, we want to play with each other for a long time. We feel like we work hard enough to where we should expect the touchdown and we should expect great things to happen. So every time I run up to him, we fake like we are going to jump into each other. Then say, 'Nah,' put the tie on and shake hands. So it is like no hype, straight business."    

On whether or not he is fazed by great throws by Wentz like the one thrown to RB Darren Sproles:

"It really doesn't, and I am not even blowing smoke or lying to you guys trying to deflate the situation. It just doesn't surprise me. Then you have to understand he has got guys around him, too. The fact that he is able to do those things is huge for us. Then when you can get to a guy like Sproles, one of the most dynamic guys in the league, and he can do the rest, it is a full team effort. Like I said, he is the guy who facilitates it; he is the point guard. I said, at the beginning of this week, we wanted to look like the Spurs. We didn't want to let them know who was getting the ball. We are not even playing with, who I think are, the top five tight ends in the league. So think about when we get [TE] Zach [Ertz] back. Think about when you have Zach, [Brent]Celek and Trey [Burton] on the field at the same time. There is so much more that we can do, and with Carson facilitating it, the possibilities are endless."

Eagles WR Josh Huff

On today's game:

"I had a lot of fun. Everybody was relaxed and having fun. Everybody was playing fast. Anytime you know your assignments and that you have prepared well all week, and anytime you can showcase what you have prepared for during the week and come out and do what we did today against a great defense and a great offense, that shows what we are about and the steps that we are taking to be the team that we need to be. I can't wait to come back from the bye week and continue working with these guys."    

On Wentz's communication:

"He has always talked to us, whether it is pregame or in practice, he has always talked to us and makes sure we are good, make sure we are relaxed and make sure we are going to make the plays that we need to make. And if we don't make the plays, he is going to come back to us and let us know. He is not going to come away from us, but he is going to come back to us and let us redeem ourselves."

 Eagles TE Brent Celek

On the impact that Eagles QB Carson Wentz's play has on the veterans:

"I told him [Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson] being 10 years in, this kid is inspiring me.  He's adding youth to my game just by the way he's acting, being in the huddle, taking command, it's beyond impressive; it's great. We have to keep it going.  I'm not going to sit here and say we're the greatest team but I'm excited with how he's playing and he's elevating everybody else's play by the way he's handling it."

On his role, as a 10 year veteran, in helping a rookie get acclimated to the NFL:

"I think I need to do that.  I think with the type of players on this team, anytime we're in position to make plays we have to make them, especially for this guy [Wentz].  He's making great throws, he's doing great things.  That scramble to throw to [Eagles RB Darren] Sproles was unbelievable.  I don't think you can teach that to people, he just does it."

 Eagles RB Wendell Smallwood

On getting his first touchdown:

"It felt real good. Like I said a minute ago, it has been a long time coming. It felt good to get into the end zone and get my first touchdown, since I don't know how long; since probably December."

On facing the Pittsburgh Steelers:

"It just felt great and especially in a big game, as big as this game meant to us, and what we went into this week preparing for, just to get into the end zone and get the guys going, it felt like a dream come true out there."

On being 3-0 going into the bye week:

"It feels great and we just got that full head of steam. I think we are going to keep rolling. We are not going to sit back and get comfortable at all. We are going to keep it going and keep rolling."

On wishing that it wasn't the bye week:

"I don't know. That is a hard question. We need to rest."

On the two runs - punching the last one into the end zone - and the confidence Doug (Pederson) gives him:

"I really thought they were going to send someone in because I couldn't get in, but they left me in and kept showing the confidence they have in me and how much they believe in me. It just boosts my confidence and makes me want to go hard for them."

On the confidence today and getting into the end zone:

"It just felt good to finally get into a flow, get comfortable with the game and not be out there like a reindeer – a deer out there in the headlights – but it felt good to start getting into a roll and getting comfortable with the offense."

 Eagles RB Kenjon Barner

On people not expecting much from the team – then trading the QB at the start of the season – how the team has pulled it together:

"That is why we are the players and you guys are the media. That is the media's job to speculate and create stories. We know what we have in this locker room. We have a group of guys that have come together – through OTA's, training camp, and the regular season – the sky is the limit when you truly believe in each other."

On if the expectations have changed for the team:

"Absolutely not. It is the same expectations that we had when Sam [Bradford] was here. Nothing changed. The only thing that really changed is the quarterback. We have ultimate belief in each other, whether it is offensively, defensively or special teams; we believe in each other and we know what we can do as a team."

On the quarterback change being a big change:

"It is a major change but when you see a guy work day in and day out, a guy that goes out makes the plays that Carson [Wentz] makes – going back to OTA's and training camp – and see him make the throws that he is able to make; you have confidence in that guy because it is not something that you haven't seen. You have seen him work, you have seen him make the plays, and so once he steps in, we are extremely confident in him. So yes, a quarterback is a major change, but when you have a guy like him, it is a great change."

 Eagles C Jason Kelce

On screens last year and the difference this year with the same play:

"I don't know why they worked so well today.  I would have to go back and watch the film. A lot of the times it just comes down to us selling it better."

On if teams are more surprised because there is more to the offense:

"I don't know. I think also we didn't do a great job of running screens the first couple games, so maybe that was something they didn't prepare as hard for. I don't know, maybe. But obviously they were great for us today for the most part."

On the Steelers being a good run stopping defense and how the Eagles played well against that:

"We do well. We could have done a little bit better but I thought that we did a pretty good job for the most part. I think the coaches put us in a lot of really good situations. I think that we have the backs, we have the offensive line, and we have the players to have a dominant run game. And we have the quarterback to make sure that we are not getting jam packed boxes because he will make them pay if they are going to bring safeties down and stuff like that obviously. Right now I am happy with where the offense is. We keep getting better and hopefully we will be able to keep building on this and keep improving."

On RB Wendell Smallwood's performance in particular today:

"Great game for him. My favorite play of the day was we were in a four minute type offense. We run a little draw play to the outside and he knows exactly where the chain is and comes down right in bounds to keep that clock moving. And I mean, that is something a lot of rookies don't have the wherewithal to do. I thought it was an incredibly smart play by Wendell.  And a lot of times those kind of go unnoticed. But in our world, especially in clock management, even though the score was pretty much out of reach at the time, let's say it's a closer game that is a big play for us."

On the team raising the expectations and what that says about the head coach:

"I don't really get into the whole expectations thing. I go in thinking that we are going to win each and every week. That I the mindset I think you have to have as an NFL player. I think Doug has been outstanding, obviously. But I mean this is what I think everybody here fully expected."

On what caught his eye that made him say that they expect to be good:

"I think if you just look around the locker room. When you've been in the league for a while you can tell when you have good players; a good team. We get plays for the week and we kind of look at them and you just see this looks like a great play; 'I could see this working out very well.' And I think, even in the off season, I think everybody, just looking at the roster we had. I thought we were very underrated in the media's eye; which honestly it seems like our team always does better when the media doesn't expect us to do well. So I kind of was a little bit happy I guess. I don't think anybody, obviously nobody expected [Vikings QB] Sam [Bradford] to get traded right before the season and [QB] Carson [Wentz] to get the start. But I don't think that you can say enough, I mean I know that he is getting all the praise in the world right now and he deserves every single bit he's getting. He has been the most consistent player through these first three games.  What Carson has done has been incredible, in my opinion, as a rookie.  And he has really elevated this whole offense to another level."

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