Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters from home on Tuesday afternoon — thanks to the league closing all team facilities for two days — and talked about the offensive struggles, his play calling responsibility, and whether he’s concerned about his job security as the team holds a 3-7-1 record.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Jalen Hurts’ packages
When asked about using Hurts on just a couple of snaps here and there throughout Monday night’s game, Pederson said that it’s about getting into a rhythm — with personnel at any position.
“That particular sequence, I believe the first down, 1st-and-10 was right before the second quarter. Then it became a second down play, 2nd-and-10 actually, we went with Jalen, we had a false start, we went to 2nd-and-15, threw a pass to Alshon [Jeffery] that was a short route — it was supposed to be a little bit deeper, went a little bit short, it was complete, and now we’re 3rd-and-8, I believe. Went back to Carson on third down, you know, it’s just, it’s kind of how the whole first quarter and a half went for us, just no rhythm, and so for me, it’s just — would I like to get into a flow and use Jalen in a couple of situations? I think it’s feasible, I think it’s possible. It’s been productive for us, but our first and second down production has to be better.”
Pederson noted that his philosophy is to do whatever it takes to spark an offense and be successful, and that includes bringing in a quarterback for a snap or two in an effort to find a way to create some plays. He also pointed out that their issues on Monday night were not from the quarterback position,
“As far as the rotation goes, you’d like to be in a little bit more of a rhythm. If it were Jalen in there, maybe he goes a couple plays in a row. And, obviously if Carson is in there he takes the bulk of the action. So, they’re both professionals, they understand, and expect nothing less.”
Later on, Pederson was asked directly if he was on board with the Jalen Hurts draft pick, and the head coach admitted he was and wondered why he was being asked. It was pointed out that things haven’t quite gone as they had expected according to what they said early in the offseason, but Pederson noted that they are always looking to add depth and talent through the draft in all positions, including quarterback.
On play calling
“I take pride in play calling.”
But, he admitted that he has to take a look at everything, and if he gets stuck or gets in a rut — and later said he doesn’t think he’s in a rut right now —, letting someone else call plays is something he’ll consider. Pederson noted that the switch isn’t off the table, and seeing the offense through someone else’s eyes could spark the offense.
The head coach was also asked why through the first 20 minutes of Monday night’s game, they were only able to net 4 yards of offense.
“Honestly, it’s a really good question, and I struggle with the whys, and you know me, I’m not going to sit here and throw people under the bus. We can do that during the week of preparation and practice, and guys just have to understand the sense of urgency that it takes to play a game and to prepare — not only coaching, but also players prepare.
It’s a long season, the season’s a grind, and it’s a tough sport mentally and physically — and, probably moreso mentally than anything else. And it’s frustrating because we do prep, and practice, and study, and meet all week long, and coaches spend countless hours putting game plans together and trying to somehow come up with a plan that can beat your opponent, and then whether it’s execution or sometimes physically just get beat, it’s a frustrating thing.”
Pederson said that it’s something that they have to keep working on, even if that means further simplifying things. He noted that they have a lot of moving parts, particularly along the offensive line, and lacking that continuity and consistency up front has been an issue. Plus, there’s new guys on the perimeter that Wentz is throwing too, so there’s definitely room for improvement.
On his job security
Pederson said that he hasn’t been assured one way or the other about his job security, but he talked about how he’s been in the league for a long time, 25 years as a player and coach, and understands that it’s a business. He knows that they’re always being evaluated on their performance, but right now, he’s not concerned about that decision, and is instead focused on what’s in his control — which is getting the team ready to face Green Bay this weekend.
The head coach noted that he isn’t going their mentally. He also talked a little about his relationship with owner Jeff Lurie and said that it’s a good relationship and they communicate a lot throughout the week and also have a weekly meeting. He said that Lurie hasn’t weighed in on the state of the quarterback position, and the personnel decision regarding the position is Pederson’s if and when they make a change — but right now, they aren’t making a change.
Pederson said that some of the questions about his future as head coach might be better asked to Lurie directly. He also wouldn’t answer about what kind of responsibility the front office has taken with the state of the roster and the personnel decisions.