Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Head Coach Doug Pederson

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What's one the biggest things you're looking to get out of these first couple of days with just the rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans?
DOUG PEDERSON: First of all, it's a great three days to get acclimated, number one, to the schedule. It's great for the coaches to kind of get back into the swing of football and thinking football before we get the rest of the team in here. And then I think thirdly, just getting the quarterbacks in here and getting their arms loose and kind of getting into a full lather before they really get cranked up Friday, Saturday and the rest of camp.

What were your thoughts when you initially found out that WR Nelson Agholor faced allegations of sexual assault?
DOUG PEDERSON: Obviously, all the information wasn't in yet, so at the time I wasn't going to answer or speculate. I'm still not going to comment too much on it. I just know this, that everybody, we all make mistakes, we learn from them, we move on and we just look forward to him getting to camp and getting ready to go.

What is your message to him concerning his mistake?
DOUG PEDERSON: He and I will speak privately when he gets here, and I'll leave it at that.

So you haven't spoken to him since?
DOUG PEDERSON: I have not talked to him. I didn't feel it was necessary to speak to him at that time.

What are your thoughts on G Isaac Seumalo's progress after missing a couple camps?
DOUG PEDERSON: Great. I thought he came out here. He was in a great frame of mind. He was in shape, ready to go. He's so smart and intelligent. One thing I give Coach Stoutland [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] a lot of credit for is spending time with him this offseason: Skyping with him during the regulated hours that he could talk with him and he did a great job and caught him up. [Seumalo] looked good today.

Have you decided yet how you're going to divide your quarterback reps throughout training camp?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I'm not officially there yet. I do know this: your first two preseason games, typically your starters don't play a ton; you're trying to save them for that third game and get them ready for the regular season. So we'll focus on the two's and three's probably a little bit more early in camp; probably give them the bulk of the reps. Then we'll ramp the guys up who we think are going to be the starters opening day; we'll get them more reps towards the end of camp.

After so many years in the league as a player and an assistant coach, what was it like for you to run your first training camp practice as a head coach?
DOUG PEDERSON: It was great. I was excited. I couldn't sleep last night. The storm woke me up extremely early this morning. But just my thoughts on that are that I've been through this so many times: 14 years as a player and this is my eighth as a coach, so 22 years doing this, and it never gets dull. It's always exciting; the first day is always exciting. Now I'm ready for the vets to get in here and get going. Just almost like a little kid. Just love being around the guys, being out on the grass and playing some ball.

You just said you're not saying who will be the starter opening day. You left it kind of open ended. Who will be the starter?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I mean I've said all along, Sam's [QB Sam Bradford] the guy. Then you've got to get through four games and a lot of preseason. Going into September 11th, you know, Sam's the guy. Sam's the guy and I'll stick to that as we go. Chase [QB Chase Daniel] is the No. 2 and Carson's [QB Carson Wentz] is No. 3.

How difficult do you think it will be to have Wentz basically redshirted for basically his entire rookie year?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, we don't know it will be his entire rookie year; we can't speculate that far out. But going into the season, there is a good chance it starts that way.

In 1999, it seemed that former Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid had a plan of getting rookie QB Donovan McNabb on the field earlier in the season, even sporadically. Do you have a sense of thinking in those terms with Wentz or is it really more down the line throughout the course of the season that that would open up based on record, performance, injury, division record, everything?
DOUG PEDERSON: For me it's more down the line. I'm very comfortable with Sam and very comfortable with Chase. It's a little different scenario than we had in 1999. Donovan came in as the No. 2, so [it's] different scenario this year. So right now we're going to get Carson as many reps as we can. Get him caught up. Get him to where he needs to be. I'm very comfortable and excited where Sam left OTAs and where he came in this year right now. Chase is a solid two. So we're just going to have to wait to see what happens down the road.

How much of your personal experience back in 1999, when McNabb was the No. 2 quarterback, did you factor into your decision to make Wentz the No. 3? Do you look back on that at all?
DOUG PEDERSON: No, I didn't, because it's a different situation. We had Sam and Chase already here, so it's totally different. So I didn't really factor much into that.

Did anything stand out about Wentz when you had a chance to reconnect with him today?
DOUG PEDERSON: Just the fact that he came in ready to go. You just love everything about this kid. His energy, his work ethic, you know, it's just little things now, detailed things in his footwork, his drop, the progressions and where his eyes are. Those are the things in the National Football League from a quarterback standpoint that really become very important on a game day. And those are the things that we've got to continue to work with him on throughout camp.

How far along are CB JaCorey Shepherd and CB Nolan Carroll in their rehab? Are they 100 percent?
DOUG PEDERSON: Good, they're clear. They're ready to go. That's why they're in this rookie camp now because they didn't do anything in OTAs. We had a chance now to bring them in early, get them some work these three days and then get them ready for camp.

What do you think of the cornerback position? You had said that CB Leodis McKelvin was a guy that stood out in the spring, but what do you make of the rest of the guys?
DOUG PEDERSON: I think again, there's great depth there. I think with the addition of [CB] Jalen Mills it brings some good competition there. You've got [CB] Ron Brooks sitting over there. Nolan's coming off the injury and I expect him to fully compete at that spot. So it's going to be a position that we continue to look at and continue to evaluate throughout camp. It's exciting to have so many guys at one position that you can really evaluate and make those roster moves. Then you've got combinations. Whether you're nickel or you're dime and then all of Schwartz's [Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz] packages and everything. So as we go, we continue to evaluate it, but I'm excited that we have depth at that position.

The Democratic National Convention is taking place right across the street from the facility. How much has that affected you guys this week as far as preparation and knowing what you would have to do that might be out of the ordinary?
DOUG PEDERSON: Nothing, it was flawless. [Eagles President] Don Smolenski did a great job organizing it. [Eagles vice president of team security] Dom DiSandro did a great job with the Philly P.D. and the F.B.I. and everybody that's involved. The transition has been flawless. They're working with us, we're working with them, and it's just part of it. You just roll with it.

How much of an uphill battle does Seumalo face now that he's coming back after missing all the OTAs?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, a little bit. He just [wasn't] around the guys. He [was] not hearing the calls from center. [Missing the] chance of getting those live reps obviously might set you back a little bit. But he's such a hard worker. He's smart. The time spent with Coach Stoutland in the offseason has proved itself even today coming back. It's almost like he, you know, has gone through a whole offseason of the information. I don't have any issues with Isaac.

You could see it today?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, he's sharp, he picked up where he left off back in rookie camp.

One of the cornerbacks that you didn't previously mention is CB Eric Rowe. What kind of spring did he have?
DOUG PEDERSON: He had a good spring. He's another one that's in the mix. He's part of that depth that we have there. I'm looking forward to seeing him when we put the pads on. Part of playing corner is how well and how physical they can be when you put the pads on and start tackling and all that. And he's a big kid and I look forward to seeing his progress now this camp.

What were the emotions like for you heading into this morning? When you woke up this morning, your first ever Eagles training camp as a head coach?

DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, I had a hard time sleeping last night. We left here doing the meetings last night. Just anxious to get here, excited to be here. Wanted to be here extremely early, but it's one of those deals too where you've just got to pace yourself. It's a long camp. You take it day by day.

I was excited to pull into work this morning and know that this was going to be the first one and get a chance to work with these guys, and for the next three days to really get back into football mode, mentally and physically. I was really excited for this morning.

When will pads come on for practice?
DOUG PEDERSON: Saturday will be the first day. Saturday morning. Because with the league and everything you have a little ramp up period there, so Saturday's the first day.

And you had said that the plan was probably three days in pads, one out, and then three more days in pads. Is that still the plan?
DOUG PEDERSON: That's correct. That's still the plan.

What about Bradford coming back from the break? He got married. Have you had a chance to talk to him?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, one thing I try to do during the break is not talk to many players. I let them have their time. They don't want to hear from me, nor do I want to hear from them. Obviously welcomed him back, congratulated him. I'm excited for him. He left the spring playing extremely, extremely good football. He picked up today where he left off and just really looking forward to these next couple of weeks and leading up to these games just watching him unfold and play.

What do you think it will mean for Bradford to have a fully healthy offseason to be able to come into camp, ready to go?
DOUG PEDERSON: I think it's huge. It's everything. I can remember even in Kansas City with Eric Fisher who was injury, injury, and then had a full offseason, healthy, going into the season. It's just a tremendous boost, mentally, physically, the whole thing. I know that's where Sam's at. I know that's the mindset coming into this camp is the fact he had an entire off-season, could get stronger, get in the weight room, do all the things that the guys were doing and it just gives you a boost of confidence going into the season.

It's the first day of training camp for Wentz. Way back when, you had your first day as a quarterback in training camp. What is some advice you gave him and what is something you want to see from him?

DOUG PEDERSON: One thing that's different now than when I was a rookie, is you get the whole [organized team activities] and offseason period. You get 10 weeks where even back in the old days when I played we just had little mini-camps here and there. So him having gone through it now for 10 weeks and coming back and just having him relax, be himself, don't press, we're still working on some things fundamentally with him, with his feet and with his eyes. But he came back in the right frame of mind and just told him to go. We're going to get him plenty of work, plenty of reps not only during practice but after practice, and get him where he needs to be.

Where do you want to see Wentz at the end of the preseason? Where do you want him for the start of the year?
DOUG PEDERSON: With all three quarterbacks you really want him to be in a position to where if there's an injury or if somebody goes down, you plug him in and you don't have any worries. You're fully confident and comfortable in his ability to take over, because as back-up quarterbacks, they need to be ready to go at an instant. What I mean by that is they need to be starter ready. So for Chase and Carson – and Chase has been through it – but for Carson, you want him to be starter ready come game time.

Do you worry about a young guy growing impatient with not being able to play? It almost, in turn, becomes a redshirt year.
DOUG PEDERSON: The quarterback position can be that way because there's only one. There's only one football and it can be tough, it can be tough. But one thing that Carson has going for him, he's very mature for who he is and where he's at and what he's coming into. Even through the success of his college days, that he understands what's in front of him, and he understands there's a lot of work in front of him. We as coaches have got to get him starter ready so that one day, whenever that is, he's the guy to take over. But right now he's just working day by day, and we continue to watch and monitor his progress. But it is a tough, tough situation for him.

Do you feel you're going to have to nurture Bradford along daily in terms of constantly reminding him, "Don't worry about what they're saying on the outside looking in? Just focus on you being our No. 1 quarterback right now." Are you preparing yourself to have to do that on a daily basis with him?
DOUG PEDERSON: This is a thing that myself, [Eagles quarterbacks coach] John DeFilippo and [Eagles offensive coordinator] Frank Reich – we laid out a plan back in the offseason and our plan was we were going to have to massage this a little bit and we were going to have to make sure that all three guys understood their roles. Carson fully understands where he's at, and he knows he's got to get better. I mean, he knows he's not there yet. It's going to be a slow process, but we don't have much time.

What is the biggest thing that Rowe has to show you to climb to the top of the depth chart?
DOUG PEDERSON: Just getting in there and the competition level with him. He's learning a new defense and new techniques this year from [Jim Schwartz's defense]. And there were some hiccups in the road a little bit this offseason and he was pulled back a little bit, but you just want to see that growth and that development with any player on your roster. But the chance to come out here and compete and put yourself in that position, you know, I've said this from Day One, the competition is the best thing you've got going for you. I give credit to Howie [Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman] and his staff for bringing in the guys now that we can have that type of competition and Eric's one of those guys that you want to see compete on a daily basis.

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