We’ve gotten to see a wide range of emotion from Doug Pederson this week. After opening Sunday’s press conference with a healthy dose of snark, he had a change of heart and announced his starting quarterback ahead of Monday’s presser with Jim Schwartz and Mike Groh.
The Eagles’ head coach was much more relaxed during Tuesday’s meeting with the media, and seemed glad to move on from all the Carson Wentz questions surrounding Week 1.
On Carson Wentz and the decision
He said he’s been upfront with both quarterbacks throughout the offseason, and they’ve both accepted Nick Foles moving forward as the Week 1 starter.
Pederson acknowledged that from the athlete perspective, Carson Wentz is probably disappointed, but he said Wentz is in a great spot right now. He works every single day to get back on the field, and is supportive for his teammates whether he’s on the field or not.
He also said that was part of the reason for his attitude on Sunday, was that reports came out Foles would be the starter and Pederson hadn’t had a chance to talk to the guys yet.
Pederson also talked about that the Wentz decision goes beyond just Week 1, waiting a bit longer partially has to do with him being the longterm answer for the organization. They will try and keep Wentz fresh by getting reps with some of the young guys, and Pederson said he’s always able to pull Zach Ertz or Alshon Jeffery off to the side, just like he’s done throughout training camp.
The head coach said it was tough to break the news to Carson, but ultimately they have to wait until the doctors say he’s ready to go. While Week 1 might have been the QBs goal, Pederson and the medical staff are thinking more long term.
He confirmed that Wentz wasn’t playing because as of Tuesday morning, the quarterback still wasn’t medically cleared for contact. Even though he wasn’t cleared, Pederson specifically pointed out there have been no set backs, no minor ones or major ones.
Pederson continued to talk about how lucky he is to not only have such a talented QB room, but that they have such great, supportive personalities, that a situation like this draws the guys together versus creating a murky locker room situation.
On the wide receivers
Pederson says right now Alshon Jeffery is week-to-week, despite the head coach being optimistic. They have a longer week heading into Week 2, which should help them evaluate his readiness.
He also said Mack Hollins won’t be playing in the season opener. He had a bit of a setback this week, unrelated to his offseason sports hernia surgery earlier this spring, but that he should be back on the field soon.
On the Super Bowl banner reveal
“It’s gonna be a great night,” the head coach said. He talked about the fans and the environment being crazy on Thursday, but at the end of the day, the players know this is a new season and aren’t holding on to the win from last season.
He said mentally his guys are in a good spot, and they are ready to get to work.