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Quotes: Head Coach Doug Pederson


DOUG PEDERSON: Let me go ahead and start. Just want to update you again on a couple injuries for this ball game. I'll go ahead and just give you their game status: Zach Ertz will be out for this game, and (CB) Leodis McKelvin also (will be) out for this game. Those are the only two that we have at this time.

Q. Are you planning on adding a cornerback to the roster?

DOUG PEDERSON: We are not. We feel comfortable where we are at right now. Obviously with the addition of (Terrence) Brooks at safety and the ability to shuffle some guys around back there and move some guys that have played some nickel spots before, (we're) comfortable with where we are.

Q. Will CB Jalen Mills start?

DOUG PEDERSON: In our base defense, (CB Ron) Brooks will start. Jalen will come in in nickel and dime situations.

Q. On the outside?

DOUG PEDERSON: On the outside. And then (Ron) Brooks go inside in nickel, yeah.

Q. So, you are aware of Malcolm Jenkins said yesterday. What is your perspective on that?

DOUG PEDERSON: Listen, I respect players' decisions. Everybody has their right to either protest or whatever they are going to do. Malcolm and I have talked about this. It's going to happen regardless of what I decide or say, and I respect the players' decisions on it.

The biggest thing is I just don't want it to become a distraction to the rest of the team. That's the biggest thing from my standpoint.

Q. How do you prevent that?

DOUG PEDERSON: You really can't. With their demonstrations and the things that have gone on league-wide … And I really don't think it's been a distraction for teams. I know early on, when (49ers QB) Colin (Kaepernick) did his thing, it might have been initially because of the shock and awe of what happened. I think now that everybody has sort of embraced it and knows that it's going to happen, I think everybody is braced for it so it won't be a distraction.

Q. Do you appreciate that there was dialogue between you and Malcolm, and that you weren't caught off-guard by anything?

DOUG PEDERSON: Malcolm is a class act all the way. He does a lot of things in the community here. He speaks out on a lot of things. He's a great teammate and a great leader of this football team. I just appreciate him coming to me first and just letting me know. That's always been my policy on things, is open door. When guys have things like this that come up, I appreciate them coming to me, yeah.

Q. Do you expect this to happen like every week, the demonstration with the players? Or is it a one-time thing?

DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I think it's going to continue. Personally, I do. Again, it's something that players have the right to do that. But at the same time, I think once we get past the initial wave here, I think then it becomes, okay, everybody is sort of expecting it, and it's second nature after that.

But again, as long as they do it the right way and it doesn't become a distraction for the rest of the team.

Q. Did he tell you exactly what they plan to do?

DOUG PEDERSON: No, he did not. Just the fact that they were doing to do something, or he was going to do something.

Q. Would you be part of it, too? The Seahawks did the interlocking arms and stuff. Would you be in that?

DOUG PEDERSON: Listen, if they wanted to do something team-wide, I would definitely be for that. I think it just shows unity, and there's no division that way. And I think it sends a great message that from our standpoint and the National Football League and the platform and as individuals, we love this country and what it represents and the flag and the National Anthem and everything.

Listen, we're not perfect, obviously, and for us to stand sort of united that way would be -- I would be okay for that.

Q. Do you feel like the public's perspective has changed on that since the days that you played?

DOUG PEDERSON: Oh, yeah. Since the days I played? Yeah, I think it has. I'm not going to get into a bunch of political rhetoric here, but at the same time it definitely has changed, yes.

Q. As you go into the game with three corners, do you second-guess the decision to trade CB Eric Rowe?

DOUG PEDERSON: No, not at all. You can't look back on prior decisions. Had (QB) Carson (Wentz) played bad last week, would we be sitting here saying the same things? No, you are not going to second-guess.

We're comfortable with the guys we have. I think we've got a great group back there, and they will get the job done.

Q. Have you heard anything on T Lane Johnson's suspension?

DOUG PEDERSON: I have not.

Q. Is that kind of crazy though that you haven't?

DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, you would think you would have heard something by now. Again, it's just day-to-day. I just go about our business and get him ready to play.

Q. Are you starting to think that he could get through the whole season with the appeal process if something does come down?

DOUG PEDERSON: That's obviously a possibility. But then if it does happen, obviously down the road it just pushes everything back. Me, personally, I'd rather know now than later. But until then, he's the guy.

Q. Are you still giving G/T Allen Barbre reps at tackle?

DOUG PEDERSON: We haven't in the last couple weeks, just because we haven't heard (anything on the status of T Lane Johnson). What we did in training camp and the things he did for those couple of weeks and getting himself ready to play -- especially now, if something were to come down and to move him over there with a week of preparation, he'd be okay.

Q. And G Isaac Seumalo would be okay? He's getting reps? Would you move him into the starting left guard spot?

DOUG PEDERSON: Him or (C/G Stefen) Wis(niewski). Wis would be the next guy in right now with Isaac's situation. It's kind of the best of both worlds. Right now, it looks like it would be Wis going into that spot.

Q. Do you have a sense of whether you'll have a chance to have Ertz and/or McKelvin for the Pittsburgh game?

DOUG PEDERSON: Not right now. It's a week-to-week deal. We'll see how we get through this game. Both of those guys are feeling better, obviously. We'll monitor it again next week. The downside, I guess, it's a shorter week. So we're trying to get the team ready to go. But we'll monitor and we'll evaluate again next week early.

Q. What is Isaac's situation? Is he still bothered by that pectoral injury?

DOUG PEDERSON: Still a little bit bothered by it. He's been at full (strength at) practice. He's actually been looking really good, he's getting stronger with that injury. Right now, with (Wisniewski) taking all the second team reps, and being the guy that's up right now, it would be (Wisniewski ) going into that spot.

Q. In the Q&A before the season, you said that the one thing you wouldn't change about the NFL is Monday Night Football. Is there something specific about Monday Night Football that resonates with people?

DOUG PEDERSON: I just love the atmosphere. I just think, I look back at my days as a player and being on teams that have played on Monday Night Football. It's just that national spotlight and everybody is watching. You got through all the Sunday games, and you are the one game on the docket that day. It sort of ends the weekend on a high note. From a player's standpoint, it's a great atmosphere. The crowd's energetic. The players are energetic. It's almost a playoff-type environment. I've always loved that dynamic of Monday Night Football.

Q. You know most coaches don't like it because it messes up the week. Most coaches are creatures of habit. You are like a new breed, I guess?

DOUG PEDERSON: It does mess up your next week, especially when you get back at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. It kind of cramps your preparation for Pittsburgh. Hey, listen, it's part of the game and I think it's great for the National Football League, great for players. As coaches, we just roll with it and go.

Q. You like Thursday games better, right?

DOUG PEDERSON: Thursdays are harder because it's a shorter week. You love after Thursday, obviously the weekend. But I do love the Monday night atmosphere.

Q. Have you played at Soldier Field?

DOUG PEDERSON: I did in 1999.

Q. What are the conditions like? There's some wind. What makes it a unique experience?

DOUG PEDERSON: You never know, this time of year the weather is usually pretty good. I remember my days in Green Bay when we played late in the season, you can get wind, you can get snow, you can get rain, temperature drops, fog, things like that. This time of year, the weather is good. It's going to be good. It might be a little bit cool, on the cooler side. The temperatures are going to be nice and mild for us. The biggest thing, too, you talk about when you go to Soldier Field, you talk about their surface and the grass and different things. It's just the way it is in the Midwest. Lambeau Field was the same way. You just deal with it. I've prepped our guys this week about checking their cleats and making sure things are right going up there. Especially pre-game will be important to make sure they check out the field. It's really a good place to play. There's some great history in Chicago and the stadium. Of course they renovated it a few years ago, and it's nice and modern, but it's still Soldier Field.

Q. Former Eagles head coach and current Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was really good on the road. What did you learn from him about preparing the team for a road game?

DOUG PEDERSON: You just treat it like a business trip. You do the same thing. One thing about the road, you kind of get on that airplane and you are there with the team. You get to the hotel and guys have a little time to be with their family and friends. But it's all business. Those are the things that you just stay the course. It's just you and the guys, and that's all that's there. It's that family environment from a team's aspect. You just stay the course. You stay true to what you believe in. You've got your meetings the night before. It is a long day, obviously, on Monday because of the Monday night game. But we'll continue with meetings and walkthroughs and things like that, just to get the guys thinking football.

Q. Are you confident with QB Carson Wentz and the silent count? He's never done that before, syncing up with the offensive line and so forth.

DOUG PEDERSON: We worked that all week in practice, in preparation for the game. It's always something that early in the week, you can have your issues, but as each day goes by you get better and better with it, especially the tackles and tight ends that need to really focus in on the football and their man across from them. It's worked out really great this week. We've worked it not only from the shotgun but under center as well, just in case. Sometimes it's good, too, just to work it at home, in the home stadium, when your crowd is loud. It's a good thing. It's a good thing to have (that silent count) in your pocket at any time. We can still work all of our cadences. It doesn't always have to be a silent one. We can still work the different tempos of the cadence as well, even in silent.

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