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Quotes: Head Coach Doug Pederson



DOUG PEDERSON**: All right. Before we get started, I want to update you on our injuries again for this game: [DE] Vinny Curry has got the left knee sprain. If we had a game, like a regular in-season game, he would be obviously okay to play. [DT] Taylor Hart [is] the same way with his knee and also the ankle, so he would also be able to play [if it was a regular-season game]. [CB] 'Leo' [Leodis] McKelvin yesterday just had a hamstring strain. It's nothing. Again, if it were a game week, he'd be okay to play. So, we get all these guys back next week, obviously. [G] Isaac [Seumalo], with his pec [pectoral], again, day-to-day. I fully expect him to go as well. And then [RB] Wendell [Smallwood] [is] still in the protocol and going through that. So, again, he's day-to-day.

Q. You said you fully expect G Isaac Seumalo to go. Do you mean this week or next week?

DOUG PEDERSON: For next week. Yeah, next week. We're going to hold him out of this game.

Q. Has he shown you enough to be the guy?

DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, he has. Whether he is or he isn't, he's shown us enough that gives us a lot of depth at that position and some versatility up front.

Q. Doug, will T Lane Johnson play on Thursday?

DOUG PEDERSON: Yes. Yes, we'll try to get Lane a little work.

Q. You released CB Aaron Grymes. What was the rationale there?

DOUG PEDERSON: Well, in that situation … First of all, [we] loved everything about him. He's a good player, and it's just unfortunate you got to make those tough decisions. In his situation, and plus with the injury and the extent of the injury, we felt that at this time we could release him – and you never know. He does also have practice-squad eligibility, so there is a chance that he could come back on [the] practice squad. So, it's not that he's completely removed, even though he's not on the team at this time.

Q. Was the injury something that would not have been healed by the first week of the season?

DOUG PEDERSON: It would not have been healed for the first game.

Q. In Lane's case, no suspension has been levied yet. At what point do you need to plan for the possibility he could be here Week 1?

DOUG PEDERSON: [That's] a great question, and this is something that we wrestle with every day. The conversations are such that we've got to have – especially offensively – just have a plan ready to go. I'll tell you this: If he's ready to go, then he's our guy. You just go with that, because he's got plenty of reps in training camp. And that was part of the reason why getting [G/T] Allen [Barbre] over there and getting 'Big V' [T Halapoulivaati Vaitai] some reps and all that. But we've got to cover all our bases one way or the other and just have a plan when we get to that point.

Q. If Lane does play Week 1, then does Allen go back to left guard?

DOUG PEDERSON: Right now he would go back to left guard. I think he had a tremendous camp and tremendous offseason at left guard, and you kind of put the pieces back in place. We've seen enough from the [G] Isaacs [Semualo] and [C/G Stefen] Wisniewskis, and [G/T] Allen [Barbre] over there at right tackle that we know we've got the combination of guys – and 'Big V' [T Halapoulivaati Vaitai] got plenty of reps – to sustain this thing through the duration.

Q. It seemed like a week ago or so you were expecting DT Mike Martin to play about 15 snaps per game, and then he got cut. What happened between now and then?

DOUG PEDERSON: Again, it's unfortunate with the situation that he was in. The knee just never came back. It just never bounced back, and it is hard. It's tough for players and veteran players like that. You're making decisions that are kind of out of his control. We also felt like doing it early enough that if there's an interest out there from another team that could pick him up and try to give him that opportunity. And plus we had some young guys play well. So, all in all, it was the right thing to do for the team.

Q. You said the knee never bounced back. Do you mean that Martin didn't look like the same player after the injury?

DOUG PEDERSON: Well, the injury, it's not the same. That was the reason why he was missing so much time. And you know, it's unfortunate in that situation. I know from being around enough guys and enough players, especially veteran players, that the wear and tear on their bodies in this day and age in this game, it takes a toll on everybody. It's just unfortunate and that's just where we are.

Q. What's the quarterback rotation going to be on Thursday night?

DOUG PEDERSON: Chase [Daniel] will start and I can't exactly tell you how many number of reps [he will get]. In a perfect world, it would be Chase [playing] the first half and McLeod [McLeod Bethel-Thompson] in the second half. That's in a perfect world. But we'll see how the game goes. If there's an opportunity to let McLeod play more, I'll let him play more.

Q. What did you like about DE Jake Metz that made you want to bring him on board?

DOUG PEDERSON: I tell you what: I love his length and size. He's got good athleticism. He's coming right off of a championship season [with the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League], so he's in shape and ready to go. With [DE] Alex McCalister going down, we needed some depth there and he gives us that rotation that we're looking for up front. And it gives him an opportunity to get himself on film.

Q. Is standing during the National Anthem something you've discussed with the team?


Q. Do you have a policy about that?

DOUG PEDERSON: I don't necessarily have a policy, per se. I mean, I addressed it with the team. Listen, I can appreciate everybody's opinions and I respect everybody's opinions, but at the same time, I feel that [the National Anthem] is important and it's obviously out of respect for the men and women of our country that sacrifice in order for us to coach and play this great game. So, I get it. I understand it. But at the same time, I encourage everybody to stand.

Q. You guys are obviously trying to win now will also building for the future by incorporating younger players and everything like that. When you were here before with former Eagles head coach Andy Reid, it seemed like you guys were trying to do the same thing. Why is it so difficult to pull off?

DOUG PEDERSON: To try to win now?

Q. To win now and also build for the future?

DOUG PEDERSON: There's a fine line. As coaches, we fully expect to win right now and it's my job to instill that into the players that we have a good football team here and we're very capable of winning now. But at the same time, you're looking down the road and you're trying to put pieces together for the future. I just don't -- I can't get caught up in the speculation game. I've got to worry about this team. Obviously, [first] Thursday night, but [then also] just going into Week 1. And we just take it one game at a time and one day at a time. And we're going to coach our players up that we have.

Q. Is there a particular position group that you're looking at in this last game where you still have a lot of decisions to make?

DOUG PEDERSON: Well, we've still got some young guys in the back end of the secondary that we're still taking a look at. Receivers are the same way. I mean, really this is a great challenge for all the players in this football game to get one last substantial amount of reps and to really put themselves on tape. I've made it known to the team that it's not just our team that's watching, it's the rest of the National Football League that's also watching. And I want them to go out there and play carefree. Play fast and have fun doing it. At the end of the day, they can hold their head up and say they gave everything they had at that time.

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