Eagles head coach Doug Pederson faced a lot of questions on Monday about who the team’s starting quarterback will be on Sunday against the Saints. He didn’t have an answer, but emphasized that the decision is his along, and he’s not looking for a lot of input from elsewhere.
Pederson didn’t want to get into the specific mistakes made by Carson Wentz that led to his benching, and noted that those kind of critiques are things he wants to keep between himself, the coaches, and the players. He did say that it’s always a difficult decision to make, especially at the quarterback position and in-game, but they were looking for something to get the offense and team going.
Here’s what else the head coach had to say:
On who will start at QB on Sunday
“When I know, you’ll know.”
The head coach didn’t want to get into what how the decision will be made or what goes into choosing between Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts. He also noted that there’s a lot to consider when deciding what’s best for the team as a whole, and there are some new injury issues and additional moving parts that he’ll have to take into account, as well.
It was pointed out that Pederson has often said over the years that his success and Wentz’s success are married in this together, and the head coach was asked how that might affect how he approaches the starting QB decision.
“It’s something I pride myself on, and we’re definitely — he and I, are definitely in a situation that we have to work ourselves out of. My job is to help him, and to help him improve, and to get better, and to help this football team win.
My job is also to take and look at the big picture too, and look at the entire football team, right? And, those are all things that I’ve got to consider as we move forward.”
Pederson wouldn’t say if he spoke to Wentz after the game, or what any of that communication might have looked like.
He later said that he doesn’t feel the need to discuss his eventual decision with anyone else, not players or coaches, and it’s something that rests solely on his shoulders. Pederson also noted that he and Press Taylor have a lot of conversations, but he doesn’t feel the need to ask the QB coach for his input.
“I don’t need a whole lot of outside influence to make a decision one way or the other.”
The head coach said that is was important that once he makes the decision, whoever is the starter needs to take the bulk of the reps this week in practice. As far as whether there would be an advantage heading into the Saints game without announcing who the starter will be, Pederson quipped that it would be helpful, but he doubts that something like this doesn’t get out.
On Jalen Hurts’ performance
Pederson was then asked to elaborate on what he saw from the rookie quarterback.
“It was the spark that I was hoping for when I made the change. He came in and did some things — one of the things that, obviously, extended some plays with his legs, made a nice throw to Jalen Reagor, it was good to see that, and then obviously the throw to Greg Ward for the touchdown on a scramble. But, there’s some things that, if and when he looks at the film we can clean up and he can improve upon. But, I think it was the spark that got us back in the football game.”
- Avonte Maddox is “okay.”
- Darius Slay is a little bit more day-to-day but is expected to be fine.
- Jason Peters is still working through his injury, and Pederson is waiting for one more report to see what his status will be this week.
- T.J. Edwards is going to be a little bit limited this week, but they’re optimistic he’ll stronger throughout the week and will be available.
- Davion Taylor is going to miss some time, and he’s probably the one with the most significant injury of the group.