Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Head Coach Doug Pederson

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COACH PEDERSON: So I'll start. As far as injuries go, everybody will be at practice today. Nobody is out of practice. (DE) Vinny Curry will go through warm up, individual and group install. And then we'll just monitor him from there. But everybody is going to practice today.

Q. What did you see from QB Carson Wentz this week? I guess he was in yesterday and studied all day, what did you see from him getting ready for this first game?

COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, he and (QB) Chase Daniel both got in here about eight o'clock yesterday morning and they stayed until roughly two-ish and just started breaking down the tape. In fact, I'm walking in at 5:45 this morning, and he's already in the film room.

So that's just the type of person and that's the type of quarterback that we have. That's the type of guy that we knew we have in Carson Wentz. The way he led the huddle on Monday at practice, just what he's done in the last couple days, (and) just getting himself ready to go just shows you the type of leader and the type of person that he is.

Q. Why did you guys trade CB Eric Rowe?

COACH PEDERSON: Well, again, a situation where -- first of all, let me just start by saying that I appreciate everything Eric has done for this organization. And then with the guys that we have, and then bringing back (CB) C.J. Smith and different things, it was another good opportunity for our organization to make some moves and to further his career.

As you know, he's like for us possibly the fourth corner, fifth corner right now going into the season and this gives him an opportunity to play. And that's what you want from your players in the National Football League is to play and this gives him an opportunity.

Q. So C.J. Smith is coming back to 53?

COACH PEDERSON: Not right away.

Q. So you don't know who is going back to that spot?

COACH PEDERSON: Not right now. We haven't filled it. Not in a hurry to fill it just yet. That's just where we're at right now.

Q. Why did Eric Rowe not move up higher on the depth chart?

COACH PEDERSON: Well, I think that in his case, I mean (CB) Jalen Mills was having a good camp. You bring in Leo (CB Leodis McKelvin), you bring in (CB) Ron Brooks, you bring in -- Nolan's (CB Nolan Carroll) back healthy. There's a lot of competition at that position. It's what we wanted way back in the spring and going into training camp and it's just, again, it's an opportunity that players have to embrace.

He did put himself in a position to compete and be a part of the Eagles. We just felt that at this time it was not only a great opportunity for him, but for some of our young players that were playing well during camp to make this roster, as well.

Q. When you have a second round pick, isn't it a part of the equation that you invest more time in it? And hope that he does eventually evolve into what you'd hoped?

COACH PEDERSON: I think there's some validity to that. I think, too, you have to look at where you currently are and where that player is currently and you have to address the whole -- the big picture of everything. This is such a can-you-win-now mentality and you're always constantly shifting and moving your roster around that this definitely gives him an opportunity to go play, and potentially be a starter there and compete, and do some good things. But as a big picture you definitely have to take a look at that going forward.

Q. You have said many times that you believe that Carson Wentz will be a special player and obviously that will come in time. What should the expectations be for this team and for the fan base in Wentz, early on in this first game as he starts off?

COACH PEDERSON: I think my expectations for the team are extremely high. We need to win football games. Maybe the perception outside of the building is a little different but I don't believe in that expectation, which probably leads to, 'Hey, young rookie quarterback, don't expect much this season' that type -- that's not my expectation at all.

My expectation is to get him ready to play. We still have a veteran football team. We've got a great offensive line. We've got a great defensive line. That's where it starts, obviously. And we just keep building and it's my job to get the guys ready to play, along with Carson, and we go play. But my expectations is, 'Hey, we want to win every game.' That's everybody's expectation and to play at a high level each and every week.

Q. In regards to the game plan you were going to install with former Eagles QB Sam Bradford in the first game, do you scale back anything in the game plan? Or are there a couple things you can add, as well?

COACH PEDERSON: You know, that's a great question, too. I go off of the belief --and this is what I have done, even Coach (Andy Reid) and I at Kansas City did the same thing -- where you want to go in with the same plays you've been repping all season and in training camp. There's no need to reinvent the wheel now.

So, Carson has been exposed to everything in our game plan that we'll put in today and we'll put in tomorrow and we'll put in Friday.

And it's not so much for the quarterback position but we also have some other positions; DGB (WR Dorial Green-Beckham) is still learning the system. We have some young receivers. Defensively, how Jim (Eagles Defensive Coordinate Jim Schwartz) attacks, it's very simple and basic to the extent of, guys can play fast.

And that's what you want. You want guys to be able to not do a lot of thinking on the football field, just go react and play. And obviously the quarterback position is key to that because he's communicating plays to the entire offense.

But this game plan; utilizing Carson's strengths (and) obviously his ability to run. We know him over Sam, there's the ability to run and it may open up a run or two there that we can utilize.

But again, we've got to be smart with that and just protect him early and keep him from-- I just know, having been in the position, that when quarterbacks get hit early it affects you the rest of the game. So again, protecting him early (and) keeping him upright is the key to not only his success and longevity but to our success as a team.

Q. One of the things that you said you liked about Wentz after you drafted him was that he took shots down the field and he took chances. Are you going to kind of let him 'let it rip', or are you going to be a little bit more conservative?

COACH PEDERSON: Even with Carson and his mentality, I don't want to harness that aggression. I don't want to harness that ability to throw the ball down the field. Again, I think we are capable of doing that. He's good at doing that.

You want to obviously get into the flow of the game and see how defensively they are going to scheme him and scheme us, and you let your game plan sort of unfold from there.

Q. Doug do you have any concerns with him playing to contact and taking too many hits? Have you talked to him about that?

COACH PEDERSON: Well, he understands that in this day and age of the football game, and especially with the run/pass options that teams are doing, that defenses are attacking the quarterback in that manner. I mean, that's just the style that you're seeing.

So we've communicated that to him; myself, Frank (Eagles Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich), John DeFilippo (Eagles Quarterbacks Coach) that, look, you've got to protect yourself at all costs, whether it's a run or a pass. And whether you're outside the pocket or not, sometimes it's out of your control; but at the same time, knowing where you are on the field.

I don't need that extra yard, you know. We're not playing for the NFC Championship game this Sunday. It's Game One. I don't need necessarily that extra yard. Somewhere in the season, will I need the yard? Yeah, I'm going to need the yard. But protect yourself; get out of bounds, slide, and get down. Really just having one conversation with him, he's very aware of that.

Q. What did you see of the Browns on film?

COACH PEDERSON: It's a team that's kind of gone through some changes, personnel changes, and obviously both sides of the ball. And then offensively speaking with RG3 (Cleveland Browns QB Robert Griffin III), obviously we know who he is. We've played against him in the past when he was with the Redskins and know the type of talent that he is. And he has shown to be able to throw the ball down the field at times and complete some balls and have some success there.

I've coached against Ray Horton (Cleveland Browns Defensive Coordinator) before, when he was at Tennessee, when he was at Cleveland before and now back in Cleveland. He's a guy that will give you some multiple looks. He's a 3-4 type guy that can mix the under or the over and straight 3-4. So we have to be sharp up front what we are seeing. The quarterback has to be on point. He likes to bring pressure in key situations and he's a bend-don't-break-type of guy. He's gone through some personnel changes, as I said, on defense. He's gotten a little bit younger back there and I'm assuming that he's just going to let these kids play and play fast. For him, too, I think by keeping it simple and keeping it to where they can do the things that they have worked on in OTAs and training camp, will allow those guys to play fast.

Q. How long have you been preparing for the Browns?

COACH PEDERSON: Since I took the job and the schedule came out. But just on the field -- yeah, we spent a day sort of just looking at them in the spring. We spent a day in training camp looking at them.

But really until you get to this week and you know who they are going to be, from a personnel standpoint, is when you really get into your game plan (with) specific stuff. So even though we peeked at them throughout the summer, this is really the first time that we've really detailed it.

Q. They are in the same kind of situation with a new head coach and coordinators. Did you watch old film of what Hue Jackson did in Cincinnati?

COACH PEDERSON: You have to, and it just goes back to the history of -- and I'm sure they are going to go back and look at all our Kansas City film from an offensive perspective. And go back and look at Jim's (Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz) Buffalo days and Detroit days and things like that.

Yeah, we are going to go back and look. It would behoove us to. And just go back and see if what we are seeing today matches up with where they have been in the past and put your plan together from there.

Q. Is there anything that you've seen from Browns QB Robert Griffin III that would suggest he's back to where he was a couple years ago?

COACH PEDERSON: You see some plays on tape that kind of say, 'Hey, he is back.' He's in that position. They are going to continue to run the zone read game with him and utilize his strengths. There's a couple --mI believe it was against the Atlanta game -- he had a nice run, off of a zone read. He's been able to throw the ball down the field and he's elusive.

The other thing you're seeing is he's protecting himself now. You're seeing him get out of bounds. You're seeing him slide. You're seeing him do the things a quarterback in the National Football League needs to do. So you can see the maturity there and that's something that is showing up on tape.

Q. Carson's reps have been limited, especially with the Ones. How much can you accelerate that -- you said he was in here at 5:45am. How much can you make up for that in the film room? How much of it is just kind of unknown?

COACH PEDERSON: I mean, there's going to be a little unknown, but the fact is he took all of the reps Monday. He'll take all the reps the rest of the week. And then we just have to be smart with how we study the tape: Is he seeing the right things? Is what we are putting together as a game plan, is he matching that up to what the film says? And what we are seeing, also, as coaches.

We just detail all the fine points and the detail points that your game plan possesses. Just try to match up everything with what we are doing to what he's seeing -- is he seeing the right things? And if so, then putting our game plan into play that way.

Q. Carson has been waiting for this moment his entire life -- he said he's waited for this moment since second grade. As a former quarterback who has played in this league and as his coach, do you need to try to help keep his emotions in check? Will you talk to him leading up to game time? Or is he a guy that you know he can handle this moment and not get too excited?

COACH PEDERSON: I think there's a little bit of a fine line there. He's been in some big games in college in his past, so he's used to that. But at the same time, this is a different animal. This is the National Football League. It's day one, home crowd, home game. All eyes are on you. So you know, I can talk to him, Frank (Eagles Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich) can talk to him, but it's just human nature.

I mean, my butterflies will be going, too. It's my first game, as well, so butterflies will be flowing. But you get into the course of the game. You get past that one, two, three plays into the game and it settles in and it's football from there.

But you know, he's such a mature guy that I don't anticipate anything being too big for him going into this first game.

Q. Have you been able to simulate game situations for you, whether it's throwing a challenge play, doing things of that nature, that are exclusive to a head coach?

COACH PEDERSON: You know what, not necessarily in practice. But one of the things that we do every week is we go through and we look at all the challenges throughout the National Football League from the previous week and see if we would have done the same things in those situations. And a lot of times, too, you're getting a lot of information from your coaches in the press box, as far as challenges go, do we have enough information to make the challenge?

So there's a lot of communication that goes into play. But looking at the previous week and seeing all the challenge flags that were thrown, and then making those decisions, (asking) would we have done that at that time? Those are all things that I can do and take a look at those situations to prepare myself for this regular season coming up.

Q. You mentioned it sort of briefly, but what are your emotions this first week for you and for the first game, as the new head coach?

COACH PEDERSON: I'm excited, too, just like the players. One, we are glad that training camp is over and we're into a normal routine now, normal schedule. So from that standpoint, and plus now we get to game plan a little bit. So that's the fun part and that's the beauty of why we're in this business; to be able to take a game plan, teach it to your players and then go watch them not only practice but play on Sunday. So I'm excited for that, and just looking forward to getting out there this weekend and just watching our guys perform.

Q. How has G Brandon Brooks looked?

COACH PEDERSON: I think Brandon's really -- he's really come on here lately. He's such a powerful guy. He's an experienced veteran player that has worked well with; whether it's (T) Lane Johnson to his right, Kelce (C Jason Kelce) at center or (G/T) Allen Barbre to his right. He's really worked well in there.

He does a nice thing; he's kind of a silent leader up there, but at the same time he's getting the job done. He's made himself better since he's come back from that injury he had early in camp. He's really playing well going into the regular season.

Q. Are any of the guys that you picked up over the weekend far enough along that they could be active Sunday?

COACH PEDERSON: No. Special teams, Brooks (S Terrence Brooks) is a guy that could make some special teams potentially.

Offensively, defensively, it's hard because you're trying to throw everything at them; they have got to learn. But special teams is one area that we'll need a few of these guys to make an impact this week.

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