Doug Pederson spoke with reporters about the Eagles' win over Cleveland on Monday afternoon. Here's what he had to say.
On Zach Ertz, who suffered an injury
Pederson said Zach Ertz suffered an injury in the first quarter, and he's week-to-week going towards Monday.
"It's on his left shoulder," Pederson said. "It's a first rib displacement." Pederson said it happened in the first quarter. Ertz will have to be cleared before he plays, Pederson said. It's not a pain tolerance thing.
Leodis McKelvin is also week-to-week with a hamstring strain.
Pederson said everybody else, including Trey Burton, is good to go and practice this week.
On Ertz and McKelvin: "We've just got to go day-to-day, but it's more about this week. We've got to get them through the week to see where they are by game day."
On Carson Wentz's throw on fourth down
Rushing six guys with five to block, so it was a big time throw yesterday. [...] I think every quarterback in the NFL can make those throws. It's just the recognition, how fast you can recognize number on the protection, and then leverage of the defender on our receiver, on Zach at the time. It's something we've worked quite a bit with those guys, actually, with our defense through training camp. Just a great play at the right time.
On keeping Wentz's workload in check
I felt going in that we would have the ability to run the football. I didn't want to overload Carson. I know he 37 attempts, and that's quite a few. You try to keep it 30-ish if you can; obviously you're not monitoring that during the game. I think it's a credit to our guys. The balance was there. We had to throw it, when we needed to throw it we made some great plays down field. The running game, I mean 133 yards, but at the same time it was close to being even better. Some things we need to clean up there. And then again get better this week. We've got the extra day.
On the pass rush's big second half
It helps the back end so much when you can affect the quarterback's eyes with four guys, and make him get off his launch point in the pocket, and I thought as the day went on, the game wore on, we got better and better in the pass rush area, and our guys in the back end, it forced RG3 to make a couple behind the receiver type throws. Of course, the INT that Rodney got was that Jordan Hicks got a hand on the ball. It's great. It allows your defense to really make more plays that way. And then the rotation, too. You're seeing a D-line that rotates every few plays to keep those guys fresh.
On his opinion on time of possession
I think sometimes you ... you never go into a game saying hey we have to have the ball 30 minutes. Sometimes that's just the way it works. We had some pretty long drives. We stayed on the field a little bit by penalty, defensive penalties, making some third downs kept us on the field, and then the run game really helps in keeping the offense on the field, keeping yourself in third and more manageable situations. When you look and come away with 30 minutes, almost 31 minutes of ball control, that's great. You should, and you hopefully win the ball game. It would be sad to be here and say you had 31 minutes of the football, and you lost.
On Wentz taking hits during the game
Obviously, the one on the fourth down play he took a shot. They rushed an extra guy. And there are just a couple other situations when it's just going to come down to the more he plays and the more he recognizes defense to shift protection to pick guys up. Ad hey the offensive line did a heck of a job, and every now and then you're going to get beat and you're going to take a shot. And that happened yesterday. ... And the other thing too is you set up plays with personnel in formations during the game, so you get a good idea of how they'll defend a certain formation, and then it comes down to recognition and recall for him.
On the fourth down decision
It's both. And you've got to trust the guys. Where we were, at the 40 yard line, fourth and four, to me it was a five-point game at the time, I felt like we were moving the ball, and right there, if you punt the ball, you're outside of field goal range. If you punt the ball, the chance is the ball's going to the end zone for a touchback, you're coming back about 15 yards. And if you don't make it, the defense is playing well, they get the ball at the 40 yard line, and let's go play.
On his play calling, the speed, and the level of comfort in his debut
It's tremendous for us to be able to get the ball into him quickly, because we do a lot of kill package plays, and it gives him time at the line to see what he's seeing defensively and then put us in the right play.
I felt like we were in a pretty good rhythm, and obviously to score on the opening possession was huge, and the run game helps that. I felt comfortable with the information I was receiving from the coaches upstairs, what we were seeing on the sidelines, and the communication was good.
On Jalen Mills' debut
I thought he played well, coming in there and filling in for Leo. There's a chance he gets more work this week. He's very comfortable with what he's done through training camp. He's another player we have who will just get better with more reps.
On Wentz's poise in the pocket
Obviously watching the tape this morning, for him to have that kind of poise in the pocket for his first start, and really only having four series throughout training camp, you just can't teach that. And the patience he had to let receivers come open. I remember the one third down play, he hit Jordan on a backside dagger route. He just hung in there, hung in there. Those throws are things you see from a more veteran type quarterback, where younger guys tend to want to scramble. The poise was tremendous.
On sticking with the run with Ryan Mathews
It aids in everything you do offensively. He's such a powerful back. Often those runs are up in the tackle box area, and you have a couple chances off tackle to make big gains. Kenjon made some nice runs, Darren made some nice runs. To just keep feeding a guy like Ryan, at some point, he's so powerful and punishing, it's going to take a toll defensively. You've just got to stay with it. I think the hard thing for any play caller is to stay patient with the run game. You maybe abandon it too soon when things aren't going so well. If you keep throwing mud against the wall, eventually something's going to stick. You've got to keep hammering away, chiseling away.
On Mychal Kendricks' role in the defense
That's exactly how he's going to be used.