Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters following the teams 22-17 loss to the Browns on Sunday, and he quickly shut down speculation that Carson Wentz might not be the starter next week, talked about the continuity struggles with the offensive line, and also reiterated his message to the team.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Carson Wentz
Pederson explained that with the way the game was going, the weather elements they were dealing with, and only being within one score for most of the game, they did not consider benching Wentz for Jalen Hurts.
When asked whether Wentz would be the starter next week on Monday Night Football, the head coach was quick with his answer.
“Yes, no questions about it, he’s our starter”
Later, Pederson was asked whether making the decision to bench Wentz was entirely his decision, or whether he’d have to consult with someone else — assumingly Howie Roseman or Jeff Lurie —, he noted that if they were to ever get to that spot, you’re sending the wrong message to the team by benching the franchise QB. He explained that a move like that would imply their season was over, and that’s a bad message to the team. Pederson talked about how benching him might be the easy thing to do, but the issues are things they have to work through — and, their issues are bigger than one guy.
On the Pick-6 and safety
- Pederson said that the play broke down in protection with the Pick-6, and they had an opportunity to get the ball out to Jalen Reagor, but Wentz was hit as the ball was thrown.
- As far as the safety, Pederson said that was an awareness thing, and the QB has to know when to throw the ball away.
On the offensive line
Pederson confirmed that he did NOT bench Jason Peters towards the end of the game, but that the left tackle kind of injured himself so he came out.
The head coach was also asked about how challenging it was to have so many offensive line groupings — starting 9 different personnel through 10 games.
“It’s difficult. Part of the offensive line is having that group together, all 5 guys, and we just haven’t had that this season, and it’s hard to get that continuity and consistency up front.”
He went on to explain that they rely on each other and the more they play together the more they can anticipate what a defense might present. Pederson admitted it’s been a challenge this season, “no question”.
When asked if he expected better today from the group with Isaac Seumalo back in the lineup, Pederson said it was good to get Seumalo back out there, but it was his first game action since the beginning of the season. He pointed to some good things from the OL in the first half, but then they had the Jason Kelce injury late in the second quarter, then Lane Johnson and Jason Peters in the second half.
On his message to the team
Pederson said that his message to the team is pretty simple:
“We are where we are because of the mistakes that we’ve been making, coaches and players, that’s everyone included. This will be a great test for our football team.”
He went on to say that overcoming these issues will be a sign of who’s in and who’s out, and that’s just where they are as a group. It’s a matter of challenging the leaders of the football team and the coaches to keep things together for the rest of the season, because they still have an opportunity to win the NFC East.
- Pederson also said that he knows there was a reason they didn’t call a timeout following Josh Sweat’s sack at the end of the first half, but he couldn’t remember exactly what it is — he said to ask him again tomorrow after he reviews the film.
- Last week he talked about the team being mad and having to stop the self-inflicted wounds, but they had the same issues on Sunday. Pederson said that they have to coach better and play better, and they have to pay more attention to their jobs. He noted that these games are coming down to 3 or 4 plays that were mistakes they made — turnovers, penalties, etc... — and they have to fix it.
- When asked about the multiple offsides penalties along the defensive line, Pederson said they haven’t considered benching anyone. He went on to explain, however, that if there was more depth at certain positions they might be in a position to bench someone, but when they can only dress a certain number of guys, they are limited in those types of moves.