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Doug Pederson addresses report about Carson Wentz’s practice habits

Plus, the Eagles’ head coach talks play-calling, and game day roster decisions.

Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Monday afternoon about the team’s loss to the Giants, his performance as a play caller, and the offenses’ issues on 3rd downs. The head coach also addressed the NFL Network report about Carson Wentz’s practice habits.

Pederson admitted early on that the coaches and players are mad and frustrated, and they’re all disappointed. They know they’re all so much better than how they played on Sunday, but there’s a lot of pride in the locker room and they want to finish the season strong.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:

On JJ Arcega-Whiteside being a healthy scratch

“We knew Alshon was coming back, and, listen, we have to make some tough decisions on who’s up, who’s down moving forward.”

Moving forward with Jeffery healthy, they expect his play time will increase each week, but as they construct game day rosters, things will change each week. Pederson noted that it was nothing against JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and they still have a lot of confidence in him. He also pointed out that they have to get more out of the guys that are playing, too.

On his play calling performance

Pederson was asked how he feels he’s been doing as a play caller and he said that he feels good about the plays that have been called, and even on Sunday, he felt like he was in rhythm — noting that he calls plays from the vantage point of a quarterback. He and Carson Wentz communicate about what the QB sees and they go through a bunch of scenarios before games to be prepared that way.

He admitted that nobody’s perfect, and he’s going to make errors sometimes, but at the same time, Pederson said as to do his job and put the offense in a position to be successful.

On Sunday after the loss, however, Pederson said that he was frustrated with himself and was asked to elaborate on that given he feels good about the play calling. The head coach explained that looking back at the loss, it’s not just about the game, but things like how they used the bye week and their energy. Pederson said that there are things that go on, that as a head coach you have to deal with — practice related or off the field issues. And, he even evaluates his own preparation.

“I look back, and I get frustrated when — because, I want every play to work, right. I want every drive to end in a kick, whether it be a field goal or an extra point. And so, when it doesn’t happen, obviously that’s where I get a little frustrated and a little upset. What can I do better during the week? How can I coach a little bit better? How can I coach my coaches better? And those are all things I look at, and I can definitely do a better job there.”

On Carson Wentz’s practice habits

Pederson was asked about a report on the NFL Network that the QB’s practice habits were sloppy, and the head coach had not seen the report and was unsure where that information would come from given the limited media availability during practice. He noted that practice is where they perfect their craft and do things with all the players to detail their work — whether that’s working on fundamentals during individual periods, or even stopping and repeating a play with the whole team on the field.

When asked again if Wentz’s practice habits were sloppy, Pederson simply answered, “No.”

On 3rd down issues

  • The first 3rd-and-1, he took a shot down the field based on film study and where they were on the field — but, the throw was missed to Dallas Goedert.
  • The next one, a 3rd-and-3, they failed to execute the play. Pederson explained that it’s a simple little pick route they work in practice and it’s something they have to continue to drill. James Bradberry made a “heck of a play” on that one.
  • The others were more 3rd-and-long situations — whether it was due to penalty or lack of execution on 1st and 2nd downs, failed to execute in protection.
  • And then, at the end when they were having to throw the ball more, they were in longer yard situations that they weren’t able to overcome.

Overall assessment of Jalen Hurts

Pederson was asked about Jalen Hurts and ball security issues, which the head coach did not take kindly, and asked whether they were fumbles or low snaps. He emphasized that those were not Hurts’ issues and they’ve talked to Jason Kelce about having to improve in that area.

As far as Hurts’ performance so far this season, Pederson noted that early on they were very explosive with the young QB on the field, and they were getting about 11 or 12 yards per attempt with him in the game. More recently, however, defenses are playing him differently — but, he admitted they could probably do a little more with him on the field in the passing game.

Other notables

  • It was pointed out that Carson Wentz did a better job protecting the ball and managing the game on Sunday, but also didn’t try as many deep shots. Pederson explained that the Giants’ defense does a good job keeping everything in front of them and don’t allow a lot of down-field passes. But, he thought Wentz did a good job with the short to intermediate game in response to that. Pederson acknowledged that there were a couple high passes early on, but then the QB settled into things and made a couple nice throws.
  • On the 4th-and-10 call, Pederson said that they knew where Bradberry was on the field, and they knew what his plan would be — likely matching the top receiver, Travis Fulgham. They played a 2-deep man coverage, Wentz saw the one-on-one on the outside, but that’s a throw the QB would like back and go to a different option.
  • With Nate Herbig and Isaac Seumalo not in the starting lineup, Pederson was asked if he had considered playing Jordan Mailata at tackle and moving Jason Peters to guard. The head coach quickly answered, “No,” and explained that Peters has settled in at left tackle — played really well on Sunday and was a lot more explosive coming off the ball.
  • When asked about sticking to the run game longer than usual in Week 10, Pederson said that they noticed that they had much more success in 11 personnel — 12 personnel has been a bit more mixed. He explained that they’ve done better in 11 personnel when they can spread guys out, and take advantage of the zone read a little better.

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