Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Head Coach Doug Pederson

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COACH PEDERSON**: Real quick. Let me just update you. [LB] Mychal Kendricks left practice. [He has] just a soreness in his hamstring. [He] should be fine. We'll monitor him. And then I've excused [QB] Sam Bradford. He's got a family issue back home that he needs to attend to. So I just excused him from the rest of today's activities. He'll be back tomorrow and be ready for the game.

Q. You guys practiced in pads again today, but there was no tackling. Are those days over?

COACH PEDERSON: Padded days, no. The padded days are not over. The live tackling drills will probably be over. But we will continue to practice in pads throughout training camp and into the regular season.

Q. Is that adjustment based on what happened the other day?

COACH PEDERSON: What adjustment?

Q. Your thinking about tackling. Is that because of potentially a couple of guys getting hurt the other day?

COACH PEDERSON: No, I'm not concerned as much about that. I just have to look at the overall health of the football team. It's not about getting somebody hurt, but it's about protecting the guys out here. They have been doing an excellent job. These last six days have been tough. I wanted it to be tough on them. By no means are we where we want to be as a football team. But at the same time, I think we've made some big strides in the last week.

Q. What is the timetable with T Jason Peters, S Malcolm Jenkins and WR Jordan Matthews?

COACH PEDERSON: Peters and Jenkins are day-to-day. I would fully expect them to return at some point next week and probably get ready for the second game. Jordan Matthews is still a couple weeks away from being back. We want to make sure he's completely healthy with that knee. Hopefully, tentatively, you get into that Colts [game], that third pre-season [game]. If not, then regular season.

Q. Is Matthews' injury something that could potentially stretch into the season?

COACH PEDERSON: I don't think so, I don't think so. I think it's something that is just a couple weeks away.

Q. What is that injury?

COACH PEDERSON: It's that left knee. Just a strain [from] when [CB] Jalen [Mills] hit him the other day. There's no damage; no structure damage to the knee. It's just sore. We just got to make sure it's healthy and he's feeling good when he gets out here.

Q. What will the quarterback rotation be in the first preseason game?

COACH PEDERSON: I'm going to try to get them all in the game. Obviously, Sam will start with the ones. I got Chase [Daniel] going in there. Carson [Wentz] will take the bulk of the second half. Then when I get an opportunity, I want to see McLeod [Bethel-Thompson] get some time late in the game.

Q. When Wentz has been inaccurate it looks like a lot of his throws have been overthrown balls high. First of all, do you agree? And secondly, is that a matter of mechanics and footwork?

COACH PEDERSON: I agree and it's all mechanics. It's all about mechanics. I mean, it's mechanics, but it's also a decision-making process in the information and seeing what he's seeing relatively fast. And in this game, lanes are tight. Just being able to get the ball out on time sometimes can affect how a quarterback throws.

Q. In talking to Wentz earlier, he said that he believes that when he has a better understanding of the offense, the mechanical issues will go away. Is this true?

COACH PEDERSON: That's totally true. That's totally true because you can relax and play the game. That goes for any quarterback. That goes for Sam [Bradford] and Chase [Daniel], or any quarterback in the National Football League. The more comfortable you are with your offense, the less you think about mechanics and you just cut it loose and play.

Q. What's the thinking behind not having T Lane Johnson taking snaps at left tackle?

COACH PEDERSON: Well, we just want to make sure Lane is comfortable at the right [tackle] spot. The other thing, with the tackles we have, [G/T Matt] Tobin has done a nice job filling in over there. [We are] just giving him that opportunity there, as well. I think Tobin's having a great camp [and] really has stepped in. So we haven't felt the need, offensively, to move Lane over there at this time.

Q. So right now, if you had to fill that left tackle spot in the regular season, the plan would be to go with Tobin instead of switching Lane Johnson over?

COACH PEDERSON: I think so. There's a bunch of combinations. It's hard to exactly predict what would happen scenario-wise. Yeah, there's opportunities for Lane to come over. Tobin could go over to the right side. You have [G/T] Allen Barbre that can jump out there. You got [G/T] Dennis Kelly that could switch. There's a bunch of scenarios. I can't get into the 'what ifs' at this time. But what you're seeing right now has worked extremely well through camp.

Q. What game situations do you want to see Wentz experience in the first preseason game on Thursday that you can't simulate in practice?

COACH PEDERSON: He's been exposed to all the situations in practice. It's just now execution. I want to see the timing, the accuracy, and the decision making with him. I want to see him being able to move our offense. Especially coming out of the locker room [potentially starting] the second half of a game and starting fast, depending on whatever happens at the coin toss. I just want to see that execution. I want to see him lead the football team; especially in this first game.

Q. To revisit the question about Wentz's inaccuracy issues being with high throws. When a quarterback is going through that, have you found in your experience that when the quarterback gets in a game he tightens up and gets better when the real bullets are flying? Or does it get worse?

COACH PEDERSON: It actually tightens up. I would agree with that. Your decision-making sort of speeds up a little bit. It's kind of a two-edge sword, too, because you don't want him to be so fast that balls are out before guys are even out of their break. There's that fine line there, too. But, overall mechanically, things kind of quiet down when you know you can be hit during a game.

Q. Will you keep RB Darren Sproles away from punt returns during the preseason?

COACH PEDERSON: Yes, yes. [We] want to protect him and keep him ready for the regular season. So, we've got some young guys we want to look at back there. Especially early on in camp, we definitely want to make sure that these young guys are ready when needed to be if something were to happen to, say, Darren during the regular season.

Q. Obviously you won't be seeing much of Bradford in the first preseason game on Thursday. What do you want to see from him during the time he gets in?

COACH PEDERSON: Again, it kind of goes back to the Carson question. Just kind of him leading our offense. It's a new system that he has embraced. You know, you would love to see points out of that first unit. You want to see a high percentage of completed throws [and] moving the chains. Obviously, it's a very watered-down, vanilla game plan that allows the guys to play fast. It's not everything that we've done in camp up to this date. So, just the overall execution and minimizing mistakes, errors and poor decisions. That kind of thing. Just be nice and smooth, relaxed, and have fun out there.

Q. We've seen a lot of three tight end sets in camp so far. It sounds like the tight ends have been watching film of your days in Kansas City. Why did you have so much success with those sets with the Chiefs?

COACH PEDERSON: Well, one, it is very effective in the run game. It also creates some matchup issues when you can allow your guys to kind of spread the field and put linebackers on tight ends. Linebackers aren't necessarily used to space and tight ends are. We've got good guys that can run routes. It creates a little bit of an issue on defense from a match-up standpoint. Who is going where? It also gives you some man-zone indicators for quarterbacks. It's something that we'll continue to use throughout camp, and then obviously in the regular season.

Q. Is Bradford getting the whole first quarter or just the first drive?

COACH PEDERSON: It's hard to say. I would go as far as saying, if it's like a three-and-out deal, I would probably keep the ones in there for a little bit longer. It all just depends on how many plays they get. I don't have a set number of plays. If they go down and score, [then] maybe pull them out. It's your typical first preseason ballgame from that standpoint.

Q. How do you feel about having Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Brett Brown here at practice today? Is it cool to have another coach from the city here?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, it is awesome. A guy like himself [being here]. You know, just the support you get from around the city, whether it be a manager, an owner or even players that come visit. I think it's great that we can support each other in this time of the year. It's great to have those guys out here.

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