It was a tough loss against the Seahawks to end the Eagles’ season, but head coach Doug Pederson spoke to the media following the game and showed appreciation for his team and the culture they’ve established in the locker room. He also talked about Carson Wentz’s injury and his thoughts on the no-call from officials after the helmet-to-helmet hit.
Here’s what the coach had to say:
On his post-game message
“I told them that I really appreciate everybody in that room for how they handled this season and how they handled themselves during this game. Even with as much adversity as we faced all year, to put ourselves in this position, win the NFC East, and have a home playoff game, that I was really proud of the effort all season; even tonight.”
On Carson Wentz and his injury
Pederson talked about the hit by Jadeveon Clowney and said he didn’t say anything afterward to the officials about it not being flagged because he didn’t see it. He doubled up that he didn’t see the hit because he was looking to call the next play. Even if he heard things from the team about it, there was nothing he could do about it.
“They didn’t call it, so obviously they didn’t think it was a penalty.”
The head coach later said that he feels bad for Wentz, and was disappointed for the quarterback.
“I wanted this for him obviously, and I think a lot of his teammates did, too. The team, the organization did. He’s battled through a lot, but we’ll learn from it and move on.”
He also said it was hard to say if the ending would’ve been different had Wentz been healthy and finished the game. Pederson eventually said yes, it would’ve been a different game with the game plan they had, but it was hard to speculate.
On the play-calling
Once he knew that Wentz wouldn’t be back, Pederson said he was focused on getting Josh McCown ready to go. He told McCown that they were still going to maintain their aggressiveness, but that they eliminated some of the motions and shifts and just try to line up and let him see the defense.
“Felt like we had to utilize the run game a little bit for him and help him out and then get to some of the play-action stuff, which we did and it was successful. Really trying to get him into the flow, a rhythm. Been a while since he’s been out there.”
The head coach said that he did consider kicking a field goal on the second-to-last fourth down in the fourth quarter, but he was trying to maintain their aggressiveness.
And on the final 4th down attempt, when Josh McCown was sacked, Pederson explained that they had two plays called and they alerted at the line.
“I guess not everybody got the alert, so we had a couple of busted assignments on the play. It’s just unfortunate, especially on a fourth down call to try to take advantage and get the first down.
So something we’ll learn from and get better.”
Pederson said it a similar miscommunication in the first quarter when Wentz pitched back to running back Miles Sanders, and the rookie missed it.
On injured players
“These guys are tough guys. They do everything they can to get themselves back on the football field and they want to play and they want to help their teammates win.
It just shows I think the character of each individual, the type of people and men we have in the locker room and on this team. It’s a credit to them to do everything they can during the week to prepare themselves more mentally than physically, and then put themselves in a position to play in this game.
So it’s hats off to those guys that battled through some injury this week and got themselves ready to play.”