Doug Pederson spoke with reporters for the first time since his post-game press conference following Philadelphia’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Here’s what the Eagles’ head coach had to say:
On the coaching staff
Pederson gave a lot of credit to offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch and said they both did an outstanding job this year. Pederson noted that they had to face a lot of adversity this season with injuries and many moving parts.
The head coach also said that Walch did a great job at the end of the season getting the younger players ready to contribute and to play at a high level. That’s not easy to basically come off the practice squad to be elevated to game status, and the coaches did a great job to help them get into the playoffs.
“Both of those guys will be back.”
Howie Roseman was asked about defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz interviewing for a position with the Cleveland Browns, but he quickly deferred to Pederson for his thoughts on the matter.
“I love the fact that guys around the league, and teams around the league, are looking to my staff for possible head coaching candidates. I think Frank Reich a couple years ago, and now Jim — Jim obviously has been a former head coach, and I think he would make a tremendous head coach again.
His leadership and, obviously, what he has brought to me, and how I’ve been able to lean on him through his experiences as a former head coach. Jim’s done an outstanding job with our defense, obviously, and the improvement that we saw throughout the course of this season.
I’m excited for him, and his opportunity, and wish him the best.”
Should Schwartz not get the job, Pederson said that there will still be an evaluation process, but he would assume that he’d be back as Philly’s DC next season.
He later hedged a bit on Groh and Walch, and said that all of his coaches are still being evaluated.
On the backup QB role
The head coach was asked about Nate Sudfeld being the clear No. 2 guy until he was injured and then getting pushed behind Josh McCown — and what that means moving forward with both not being under contract in 2020.
“I appreciate everything Josh McCown did and brought to this team, this organization. His mentoring with Carson [Wentz] was second-to-none.”
He explained that sometimes the coach-player relationship is different than the player-player relationship, and Wentz and McCown worked closely all season. Pederson noted that it was unfortunate that Nate Sudfeld suffered the injuries ahead of the season, because he was the No. 2, but they’ll see what happens this offseason with both Sudfeld and 2019 practice squad member Kyle Lauletta.
On Jadeveon Clowney’s hit on Carson Wentz
Pederson echoed what he said post-game, but looking back and re-watching it, the head coach said the hit to the QB was “unfortunate.” He said that “it’s possible” that it was an illegal hit, but it’s part of the game and it happens.
The head coach was disappointed for Wentz not being able to finish the postseason game, but he’s focused on moving forward at this point.
But, he did say that the quarterback is doing “great” and that they spoke Tuesday night and will see each other on Wednesday. Pederson confirmed Wentz would’ve been able to play against the Packers if the Eagles weren’t eliminated.
On practice squad promotions
Pederson was asked how they make the decisions to promote guys off the practice squad, and he noted that the conversation starts on Monday when they start looking at their upcoming game day roster. Things that factor in are injuries from that week’s game, but they also look at performance and other factors.
They then make a decision that is best for the team.