Philadelphia Eagles News

Quotes: Howie Roseman And Doug Pederson

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Really excited to get [QB] Carson Wentz: a player that all along we were targeting. Can't wait for him to get started in Philadelphia.

Q. What was it about Carson that you liked?

DOUG PEDERSON: Well, obviously his ability to win football games. He's coming from a winning tradition, winning program at North Dakota State. He's a winner himself. You've got to love the intangibles about him, and just when you get a chance to meet him in the building one-on-one, his demeanor, his aggressiveness, his willingness to learn – sharp kid, really was a very attractive pick for us and a very good fit for us.

Q. How much was the competition that Carson faced in college thought about and considered? Was it a concern?

DOUG PEDERSON: You know what, I didn't concern myself about the competition as much. This kid is determined, he's eager, he studies his craft and he hones his craft. He's an exciting guy. He's a perfect fit for what we're going to do, and his demeanor fits everything about the Philadelphia Eagles.

Q. When did you first target him in this process as a guy you really wanted on your team?

DOUG PEDERSON: When you really started breaking down the quarterbacks early in the spring and having a chance to watch both quarterbacks really – and really all the quarterbacks in this draft – the top two that went [in the draft] really began to separate themselves. Again, just through the whole process of evaluating them, working them out one-on-one and having them in the building. The other quarterbacks we had an opportunity to look at and work out – [Wentz] really became the favorite for us.

Q. You guys gave up a lot to get Wentz and you think he's a franchise-caliber quarterback. Why do you think he is worth everything you guys gave up, when you already have a quarterback and everything?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, first, Doug talked about the intangibles. I mean, what are the intangibles? 40 [Wonderlic Test] score; Valedictorian of his high school class; never got a B. So that's important with that work ethic. And then he's got rare physical skills: the athletic ability, the throwing arm, the body type and he's someone that can just kind of be molded into whatever you want, and when you have the coaches that we have and the support system that we have, it's exciting. One player can change your team, and for us, we know how important that is, that position, and so investing in that position was a no-brainer.

Q. Did you have Wentz rated ahead of California QB Jared Goff?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: [Wentz] was our top player on our board.

Q. How did you go about figuring out that you could get him with the No. 2-overall pick?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, we liked both the players, and we were going to be very comfortable with both those players. You had to be when you were picking second. And then at the end of the day, we got as much information as we could before we made the trade and felt good about our information and pulled the trigger.

Q. Is it safe to say you were pretty confident when you made the trade that the Los Angeles Rams were taking Goff?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yes.

Q. Would you have done the deal if it was going to be Goff at No. 2 instead of Wentz?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: We were very comfortable with both these players and very excited about both these players.

Q. What does it say about Wentz that he didn't remove himself from college football when he broke his wrist in the middle of last season? He hung around and took a chance playing in the NCAA Division 1 FCS Championship Game. He played hard and he was the leading rusher in that championship game. He stuck with his team. What does that say about his willingness to compete? Then there is the elephant in the room: that the other guy on the roster who's not here with the team and maybe should be. Can you address both of those?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Well, I think when you talk about Carson, you're talking about a blue collar quarterback. This guy has incredible work ethic. He's got incredible passion. He fits into this city, into the personality of this city, and you see that when he plays. He plays with that passion. He takes kind of the city and team on its back, and that's what he'll do the minute he steps in here, and it's infectious. All of us when we're around him, you want to be around him more because he has that energy and that desire to be great and to win.

Q. Will you honor Eagles QB Sam Bradford's request to be traded?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: No, Sam is our quarterback and we've been clear about that from the first time we had this conversation.

Q. How long do you expect Sam to stay away?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Whenever he comes back, we'll welcome him with open arms. It's the voluntary period of the offseason, so players have the right to --

Q. How does not having your quarterback here affect how you're going to implement a new offense?

DOUG PEDERSON: Right now, as Howie mentioned, it's a voluntary process as we go through the offseason, but you know, it gives us an opportunity to give the other guys some time, some reps, and again, as soon as he gets back here, we plug him in and we catch him up. He's a sharp kid. He's a smart kid. He'll be ready to go.

Q. Are you worried at all about Carson stepping into a situation where there is some unsettled nature because of Sam not being here?

DOUG PEDERSON: Not at all. Not at all. When you get a chance to meet Carson, you'll see that he's going to do everything you ask him to do. He's going to fit perfectly in that room. It's going to be a dynamic room. It's going to be a room that -- There's going to be some competition in there, which is great, which I've said all along, and just welcome him to the Eagles.

Q. Are you guys disappointed in Sam's reaction or his agent's reaction to your trade up to the No.-2 overall pick?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think first of all, this is about Carson today. We just picked the kid second overall, and that's where our focus is: the fact that we got Carson Wentz.

Q. When you first looked at Carson and began to realize he was a franchise quarterback, at that point did you think it was unlikely with you were originally with the No. 13 pick in the draft that you'd be able actually have the perfect storm: you're ability to move to No. 8 and then have the Cleveland Browns sign Robert Griffin III? Was it an unlikely thought at that point that you could end up with Carson?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, I think when we were picking at 13 and we met for the first time, our primary focus was just to try to get into the Top 10 and try to get an impact player. Once we got into the Top 10 and researched these guys and looked at the opportunity to go get a quarterback, and spent our time with them, we felt like it was an opportunity we couldn't pass up.

Q. You said there would be some competition in the quarterback room. Will you handle this any differently than former Eagles head coach Andy Reid did in 1999 with former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, as far as the patience you use with not rushing Carson?

DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, there's really no need. You've got Sam Bradford and you've got [QB] Chase Daniel, so you've got two veteran guys that can help teach, especially with Chase. That's the reason why I brought [Chase} here was the fact that he understands and knows the offense that I'm implementing. So he's really going to be the go-between in helping Sam and Carson now in their roles. It's going to be a great dynamic and it's going to be fun to watch.

Q. How do you think teammates will embrace Sam when he finally does return?

DOUG PEDERSON: I think with open arms, really. He's the leader of this football team. He's the quarterback. I've said all along, he's the quarterback. He's the guy that we want leading this charge and when he comes back, he's welcome with open arms.

Q. Doug, what was it like in 1999, as far as the fans here and the lack of patience they showed in wanting McNabb to play back then? Do you anticipate dealing with that this year with Carson?

DOUG PEDERSON: [That's just] speculating, I think, in those areas. I'll tell you this: This is a better football team than we had in 1999, and there's much better talent on this football team. So I'm not going to speculate on 'ifs' and 'whens' down the road.

Q. Doug, how much communication was there between you guys and Sam as you were going through the process of making the decision to draft Carson Wentz? Do you think maybe there could have been more?

DOUG PEDERSON: Not at all. I'll tell you this: I was very open and honest, as was Howie, during this process. We let all of our quarterbacks know that there was an opportunity there and we were going to take advantage of it, and we did that.

Q. Have you spoken to Sam since he made his request?

DOUG PEDERSON: I have not.

Q. Howie, have you spoken to Sam since he made his trade request?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: No, I have not. And I think that when you look at the draft, whenever you're drafting guys in the first round, there are players that are affected. This happens all around the National Football League, no matter what position we would have taken, some veteran player would have been affected.

Q. Doug, what does it do for you to have three quarterbacks of the caliber that you have on the roster right now?

DOUG PEDERSON: I'll tell you, it's great to have depth at that position. It's hard to get through a National Football League season with just one guy and having the ability and the opportunity to have three guys now really gives you a lot of confidence going forward –  especially into the regular season – that any of those guys, at any given time, can step in and lead your football team.

Q. What was Carson's reaction when you called him? You called him tonight I assume to tell him he was your pick?

DOUG PEDERSON: Yes, we did.

Q. What was his reaction?

DOUG PEDERSON: I'll tell you what, he is so cool, calm and collected. He was just very calm and cool on the phone. It was exciting to talk to him. He was thrilled to death and he's looking forward to getting here.

Q. Did he kind of know he was coming here?

DOUG PEDERSON: He had no idea. Neither one of them had any idea where they were headed.

Q. You guys obviously want Carson to sit and watch for a while. What do you think he needs to most learn to be ready to play in the NFL?

DOUG PEDERSON: Well, obviously he needs to learn the system, No. 1. Secondly, he needs to learn our guys, learn our talent, learn the positions and get to know the guys. I think it's important that a quarterback and receiver, tight end, running back, get to know each other. And then just come in and the biggest thing is to just be patient. This is a long process. We're right here at the end of April right now. We get a chance to work with him a little more coming up in the next couple of weeks and try to get him caught up. But just learning Philadelphia, learning our system, learning our guys and learning the organization is the biggest thing for him.

Q. Doug, how much of a challenge will it be to not only get him reps on this football team in practice to learn, but also what is the timeline when you want to see him be the starting quarterback for this franchise?

DOUG PEDERSON: Again, I'm not going to sit here and tell you exactly when that's going to happen. The beauty of our situation is we've got two veteran guys in front of him and he can learn from both of those guys.

Q. What are the reps going to be like in practice?

DOUG PEDERSON: Those are things that myself, [offensive coordinator] Frank [Reich] and [quarterbacks coach] John [DeFilippo] are going to sit down and discuss as we go throughout OTAs and training camp.

Q. Looking at him on film, what does he have to work on even before he has to learn the system?

DOUG PEDERSON: I would say the number one thing with him is learning how to protect himself. He's in the National Football League. I love his aggressiveness when he's running out of the pocket. I think it's part of who he is, it's part of his chemistry, but in the National Football League there's going to come a time when you've got to get down or out of bounds and those are some things that he'll learn as he goes. Other than that, he's got the skill set. Timing and accuracy are always things you continue to work on from an NFL perspective, speed of the game, all those things you learn as a young quarterback. I was one of those guys 100 years ago, and you catch up really fast.

Q. Does it make a difference with you having been in at that situation?

DOUG PEDERSON: I think it's great. I think myself, having Frank here, John here, I think guys that have played the position, played at this level, understand that role, I think it's huge.

Q. Have you guys received any trade offers for Sam Bradford?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: We don't talk about our discussions with other teams. We've always handled it that way. Any conversations we have between them is between us and the other teams.

Q. Howie, Andy Reid always talked about Donovan McNabb being wired right for Philadelphia. How does Carson compare with respect to that? He's a small-town kid from North Dakota. I know Andy had concerns with a kid like Daunte Culpepper back in 1999. What are your thoughts on that with Wentz?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: He's extremely mature. He's got incredible grit and fortitude and then he fits into this city. I think it goes back to the answer, he's a blue collar quarterback, so he'll be embraced because of his passion and his work ethic and his knowledge of the game, and it's a great opportunity for him to sit back and learn. You know, when you look at this decision, you look and reflect on the Chargers who were picking here, and they drafted [QB] Philip [Rivers] in 2004, the Giants in 2004, the Steelers, and 12 years later they're still picking to surround him. It's not a decision just for the moment, but it's what's best for the long-term of our football team.

Q. Doug, you've been around a lot of quarterbacks. Who does he remind you of? Are there a couple of guys?

DOUG PEDERSON: You know, a little bit of Brett Favre, honestly. He's got that mentality. He's got that aggressiveness that Brett had, and those are some of the skill sets that I see in Carson, that aggression, that ability to throw the ball down the field. And listen, I love quarterbacks that are willing to take a chance, take a calculated risk down the field. Favre was that way, and I see a lot of the same characteristics in Carson.

Q. I know you mentioned it was close between him and Goff, but what made him the top choice?

DOUG PEDERSON: I just think when you boil it down, size, strength, athleticism, his makeup mentally, the things that we saw when we had both of the guys here in the building and when we worked them out. You know, really, really separated the two in our minds and made Carson the best choice for us.

Q. Was there a consensus on that?

DOUG PEDERSON: Yes. Yes there was.

Q. What do you remember from that dinner in North Dakota?

DOUG PEDERSON: Too many selfies.

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yeah, Eagles Nation is everywhere.

Q. Did you walk out of there and look at each other and say, 'Wow' --

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think it was from the first time we met him at the Senior Bowl. He was just an incredibly impressive guy. His presence when he walks in the room, when he talks to you not only about football but about life, and then when you watch him interact with people, he walks in the restaurant, just the impressions people have. It was an interesting moment because we walked in the restaurant and I had to step out for a second, and when I walked back in, I saw the manager and the hostess talking to each other and saying, 'Carson is just the greatest guy. He's always so humble, and he's always so appreciative of all of us here.' They didn't know what we were doing, and it was just -- that's the kind of kid he is. Just excited for all of our fans and our team to see why we brought him here.

Q. When you guys were trading – moving from 13 to 8 and then from 8 to 2 – did this one have big effect or were these trades totally independent?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: I think they were independent. They were independent. For us it was first to get into the top 10 because when we went over our board, we thought there was a big difference in picking in the top 10 and picking 13th for us. And then once we started researching and doing our work on these guys and really looking at the opportunity we had with these guys, because you can't invent one, we weren't trying to invent one, then it was trying to go up and get one of these guys.

Q. North Dakota State does not have a Stanford-like semester setup, do they?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: No.

Q. He'll be able to participate in all the OTAs?

HOWIE ROSEMAN: Yes. I'll double check that, but yes.

Q. Doug, have you ever been part of a situation where the incumbent quarterback wasn't happy that they drafted his position? Have you ever had a situation where it happened? How would you typically handle it?

DOUG PEDERSON: I have not personally. Obviously this is my first go-around with this. Even as a player, I didn't have these situations. But hey, listen, at the end of the day, his competition, Sam is our guy. We're going forward with Sam Bradford, and just welcome him back when he gets here, and we're ready to go.

Q. How much did Carson Wentz's experience in a pro-style offense influence you to take a risk on a guy like this out of a small school?

DOUG PEDERSON: We didn't think it was a risk. Very calculated. Again, it just goes back to what he has proven on the football field, off the football field, the type of quarterback that he is, his mentality, his makeup, everything that we saw on tape and what you're going to see when you meet him, it's an infectious person, and it's what Howie alluded to earlier. This guy bleeds winning, and that was something that attracted all of us to him.

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