The Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talked to the media on Monday following the team’s first loss of the year on Sunday.
There was a lot to get into with several injuries early on against Tampa Bay, not to mention concerns about the secondary, but to get started, Pederson announced — what we’ve all been waiting months to hear — Carson Wentz will be the team’s Week 3 starting quarterback. (HE’S BAAAAACK.)
Here’s what the head coach had to say about getting Wentz ready to go, and the team’s plans to add some depth at wide receiver:
On Carson Wentz’s return
The head coach has been waiting for weeks to have Carson Wentz medically cleared for contact and full participation and Pederson showed up to his presser with a big smile on his face. The news finally came down from the team’s medical staff that the QB is good to go — and the Eagles are not wasting any time getting him back on the field.
“He’s cleared, he goes,” Pederson quipped, and said that’s how they’ve always planned for Wentz to get back on the field. They weren’t going to hold him back for a week or two to get him acclimated to getting back in the swing of things. Pederson said they drafted Wentz to be “that guy” and he’ll be back in the starting spot Sunday.
Pederson said Wentz is ready to take the reigns again. The head coach acknowledged it’ll take some time to get back into a rhythm and get back into the speed of the game, and expects a couple mistakes along the way, but he says the quarterback will be ready mentally.
He said they’ll still have conversations with him about how to protect himself and things like that, but they aren’t going to limit him in terms of play calling.Ultimately he said he’s not going to coach scared or paranoid, he’s going to coach to win and that’s just what he has to do.
Both Wentz and Pederson are excited that the quarterback will be back on the field, but the head coach noted they have to remember it’s not about one guy. With several areas they need to improve — especially given Sunday’s loss — they need to stay focused on the larger picture of the whole group.
Pederson said that it was challenging for Wentz to sit on the sideline, but the head coach talked to him honestly about how the team was looking out for his best interest and the interest of his long term career. Doug was very candid, telling the QB that whether he was the head coach here or not, he wanted the best possible future for Wentz — and that meant taking his return slowly.
On Colts prep
There is no specific plan to bring in another wide receiver or two to add some depth, but Pederson did say a veteran would be easier to get brought up to speed over a rookie.
Although, in the meantime they were going to have to rely on their tight ends more and the run game to make up for so many of the team’s veteran receivers not playing. He said they are working through it now, and they’ll see how things are starting to flesh out on Wednesday in practice.
He said that recent practice squad addition Braxton Miller has made an impressive, but he’s another guy who will need coached up a bit, simply because he hasn’t had much exposure to the Eagles offense at this point.
Pederson echoed Zach Ertz’s sentiment that Wentz isn’t Superman, and the team and fans alike can’t think the QB is going to come back in and everything is going to be great. It’s a team sport and there are still things that need fixed that Wentz won’t be the answer to.
On injuries and return timelines
- Alshon Jeffery is still week-to-week and Pederson won’t put a timetable on his return — just like he wouldn’t with Wentz.
- Mike Wallace suffered a fibular fracture during the game on Sunday and will miss several games — at the least. They aren’t putting him on IR just yet, but they are still evaluating things over the next couple of days.
- Jason Peters tweaked his quad against Tampa Bay.