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Doug Pederson talks Jalen Hurts, Eagles’ QB room dynamic

Plus, the head coach talks about the offensive line.

New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters Wednesday about how Jalen Hurts will need to prepare for a different defense on Sunday against Arizona, and how they hope to carry the spark the young QB provided the team through the rest of the season. He also talked about the dynamic of the quarterback room and what the offensive line will look like this Sunday.

Here’s what the head coach had to say:


On Jalen Hurts

Pederson was asked what they have to do differently this week now that there’s a game and a half of tape out there on Hurts. He mentioned that the QB has to understand that they’re facing a whole new defense with a different structure, different personnel, and different scheme. So, what was successful against the Saints may not apply this week against the Cardinals.

So, in Jalen’s case he just has to study the tape. He’s got to study obviously himself. He really has to study his mannerisms too, right? No indicators to the defense and don’t give things away, whether it be by TV copy or film or coaches copy that defenses can really clue into and try to get an advantage on. Nothing is ever easy at this level, but I think this week will be a great opportunity for him to go back and just study himself, make corrections, clean up what he needs to clean up and try to present the same thing again Sunday.”

Pederson also talked about the first fourth down attempt by Hurts last Sunday, and said that the young QB saw something defensively and communicated that to the head coach. He noted that, much like with Carson Wentz, Hurts has ideas and suggestions and communicates those during the game. Pederson said it shows how much confidence the rookie quarterback has to step up in that regard.

“It shows that he understands the game plan, he understands how we’re trying to attack the opponent. Then for me, I’ve talked a lot about trusting players and they’re the ones playing the game. I’ve got to trust them and put them in positions to be successful and that was one moment.”

Now that Hurts has settled into the offense a little bit more, Pederson hopes that the spark he provided against the Packers two weeks ago is more of a flame now.

“We want to keep that spark or that flame lit, and we want to use that as momentum as we finish up these next three weeks.”

As far as the relationship among the quarterback room, especially given that meetings are virtual and there haven’t been opportunities to get together outside of the facility, Pederson admitted that not having that face-to-face among the group makes it harder to build that rapport. Not being able to watch film together after practice, or get with players from other positions to watch tape or go through protection plans, is a challenge.

We talk about socially distant, but we try to maintain a level of trying to be more socially together the best we can. Whether it’s Saturday night at the hotel on the road or even at practice during walk-throughs or the actual practice.”

On the offensive line

Pederson wasn’t willing to commit to Jordan Mailata as the future of the starting left tackle position, noting that they haven’t really had a chance to see Andre Dillard at that spot yet.

“He’s helping himself, I would say that. Jordan has played well enough to maybe compete at that spot, but I think it’s a little unfair to sit here and say he’s a full-time starter moving forward without seeing enough of Andre who obviously we drafted to take that spot.”

The head coach also confirmed that Matt Pryor will be the starter at right tackle on Sunday against the Cardinals, and will be going against a fast, agile, speed rusher in Haason Reddick.

Pederson also noted that they don’t know how long rookie Jack Driscoll will be out with an MCL injury, and also aren’t sure whether he’ll need surgery, but he’ll definitely miss some time.

On Travis Fulgham

When asked about Fulgham’s reduction in snaps, Pederson noted that they still have a game plan for the receiver, and despite Alshon Jeffery getting healthier and playing better, they still have specific plays for Fulgham. However, it was pointed out that Fulgham only saw 11 snaps last Sunday, and Pederson acknowledged they have to do better.

“Listen, we know we have to do better. He has to do better. He’s got to play better, but at the same time Alshon is playing better too, so we’re going to play the guys on that particular play who are in the game. That’s based on game plan, so you can’t put it on Travis. You can put it on me. I’m the play caller, I call the personnel groups, so put it on me.”