Q. We talked a little bit about the inconsistency that we’ve seen from this team on Monday. I’m curious to how you try to make those corrections now, to use the cliché – full four quarters of football moving forward? (Kristen Rodgers)
COACH PEDERSON: It’s something that we’re consistently working on corrections each week. We’re learning from the game, we’re learning from last week in practice and we’re applying that stuff to this week. We do know, we understand that we do have some young players playing and there’s going to be mistakes that come up during games, but we were able to sit down, watch the game film yesterday with the players, be able to go on the field with them or be in the meeting room with them and really show them the good plays. Also show them where we need to make improvements and those are things that these guys will learn, carrying over into this week.
Q. T Lane Johnson’s second opinion on his ankle, what can you tell us about that, and do you expect to have him this week against the Baltimore Ravens? (Les Bowen)
COACH PEDERSON: I’m not going to comment on the second opinion, but I will say that he’s going to be out today. We’re going to give him some rest. He’s kind of in that day-to-day realm right now. We’re going to see where he’s at later in the week, but we’ll find out and see where he’s at.
Q. I want to ask you about Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, three years ago when Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh and former Ravens General Manager and current Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome drafted him, would you have thought at that point that it was feasible to have such a successful offense with a quarterback running 170 plus times a season? (Paul Domowitch)
COACH PEDERSON: I think with Lamar’s skill set and how they’ve used him, how they’ve integrated him — even with [former Ravens and current Jets QB] Joe Flacco that first year — yeah, it’s possible. [Senior Offensive Consultant] Marty Mornhinweg is on staff with me now and he was down there when they drafted him. He saw that integration into the offense with him. So, it’s very capable with a guy of his skill set, his athleticism. He does have a really good arm to be able to sustain and have the type of production that he has.
Q. With Lane Johnson, is there possibly some value in shutting him down for a couple weeks so you don’t have a situation where he’s got to leave like the last two games early and T Jack Driscoll has to go in there and play. What is the thinking there? (Reuben Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, I want to make sure number one that he’s 100 percent. If he’s 100 percent then he’ll play. Players play, right? Obviously, those are conversations we have later in the week with all of our guys. Obviously, we’re talking about Lane now but we’re not there yet with him. We’ll make that determination as we get further down this week.
Q. You started the clock on S Will Parks yesterday, are you expecting him to be able to play this weekend and when he does return, can he step into a big role or do you need to phase him in? (Zach Berman)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, we activated him and the reason we activated him is because he’s healthy and he is ready to go. But also he has to practice and he has to get integrated back into the defense, on special teams. There’s that mental side of things of how much does he retain from when he was here with us practicing back in camp. He’s another one that we’ll see how the week goes. If we feel like he can help us on defense, then there is a possibility of making a move. We’ve got to see him here in the next couple of days and then see how he feels coming out of full days’ work.
Q. RB Le’Veon Bell is a free agent now, you guys have been keeping tabs on the running back market. What is your evaluation of the player and are you guys going to take a run at him?(Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: Who said that we was keeping tabs on the running back market?
Q. You guys have been since the summer. You said you just missed out on one of the free agents that ended up signing in Seattle, it’s out there.(Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: Okay. I’m extremely comfortable with the guys that we have. Obviously Le’Veon is a good player and he has had a lot of production in this league. But I’m excited about [RB] Miles [Sanders], what he’s done. Getting [RB] Boston [Scott] interjected into this system, getting [RB] Corey [Clement] an opportunity. This is a situation where I think we’ve found our three-down guy in Miles. That’s something that we’ve been looking for as you guys know and so we’re thrilled about that. We’re also excited about the young guys behind him, well they’re all young, but with Boston and Corey and even [RB Jason] Huntley. This is a guy that has got some speed and athleticism. There’s room to grow there, there’s room to get better, but I’m excited about the guys that we have.
Q. We saw you chip block and max protect occasionally on Sunday to offset that pass rush and to help the young guys. What are the advantages of that but also what are the disadvantages of that when you have to do that a lot? (Jeff McLane)
COACH PEDERSON: Well the advantages are just like you mention, it allows guys like [T] Jordan Mailata and Jack Driscoll and even Lane Johnson or [T] Jason Peters if they’re playing tackle, it just helps them with these edge rushers. These guys are so athletic and powerful these days that you’ve got to do anything you can, especially on third down, to try and disrupt some pass rush rhythm. The other thing it allows the quarterback to maybe to a deeper drop and survey the field a little bit longer when you can do that.
Obviously, the downside of it is if you need a back or a tight end quickly, there’s obviously some blocking involved. You might have to give up something that way, in order to get something and obviously the protection is the number one thing in those situations.
Q. How has G/T Matt Pryor played since being there at right guard and you guys brought in G Jamon Brown a few weeks. Is there any thought to possibly making a switch at that position?(Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: Pryor has done well. Again, it’s not perfect or 100 percent on a grading sheet, but he’s done some really good things in there. He’s a big guy. He’s getting better each week and we brought Jamon Brown in to give us depth and give us a little competition at that position. We got to keep him coming as well because we sit here today and we know that injuries are a part of the game and you never know when these guys have to be prepared and ready to go. Brown is obviously in that position of learning our system and trying to help us where he can.
Q. What is it going to mean to you and your team to have fans out there for the first time? Obviously, it’s not going to be packed but to even have a little bit of fans, that has to be something special for you guys? (Jeff Skversky)
COACH PEDERSON: I’m excited. I’m happy. I’m so glad for this day to be here, to have fans in our stands. To feel the energy of the crowd, even a small crowd. It was really good in Pittsburgh to have the fans there. Just to see them when we come out of the tunnel and to see people in our bleachers, it’s going to be exciting. We’ve talked about it before, our players are going to feel energized to have them there and to have our families back in the stands is important to them, it’s important to us and we’re really looking forward to it.
Q. You mentioned Marty Mornhinweg, I’m just curious how much you looked at Lamar Jackson in designing the package that you have for QB Jalen Hurts? (Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: We took a little bit of that and looked at Lamar and what he did and what Marty had done with he and Joe Flacco. There’s some carry over there. We obviously looked at Jalen’s college tape and what he did in college at Oklahoma and Alabama. We find ways to incorporate him into the offense. But the stuff that Lamar did early in his career are all things that – maybe not everything, but there are some things that we can put a package together for Jalen that way, sure.
Q. WR Travis Fulgham, beyond the production in Pittsburgh, it seemed to me that he was lined up all over. Is that rare for a young player and if it is, what have you seen in Travis to put that much on his plate, so early? (John McMullen)
COACH PEDERSON: It’s not necessarily rare for us. I know on the depth chart we might label a guy Z receiver, a X receiver, a slot receiver, but in my eyes they’re all receivers and we have to have the ability to use them in any capacity, anywhere on the field, any formations. When we game-plan we want to make sure, especially in the passing game, we want to make sure that we have guys in the right spots, so that’s what we do. We took everything that we gave him in the [San Francisco] 49ers game and we did. We loaded him up and again it wasn’t 100 percent, there were some mistakes that were made on his part in the game Sunday but to have the production and to have the type of game that he did, now you can coach a guy like that. You can coach the good and the bad. That’s really the way we treat all our players. We look at it as these guys are receivers for us and we’re going to put them in a position to help us not only execute that play, but ultimately win a game.
Q. What kind of signs do you look for in QB Carson Wentz over the last two games that show that he’s been playing better than when the season started? (Martin Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, I think the decision playing, the accuracy of the throws, he’s obviously seeing the field and spreading the ball around and getting everyone involved. Then of course, he’s been using his legs, not only for designed runs like we had in San Francisco for the touchdown, but also on third down or scrambles in passing situations. Those are all things that we’ve kind of encouraged him to continue to do and still protect himself and he’s done that. He’s played really tough, he’s played physical in the pocket. He’s stood in there and he’s taken some shots but delivered the ball down the field. Those are all signs of him coming and playing better. It’s really good to see. He’s learning too, just like we all are. He’s learning from the past and moving on.
Q. A couple of weeks ago you said you welcomed having to make difficult decisions at the wide receiver position because having a plethora of talent is a good thing but when WR DeSean Jackson and WR Alshon Jeffery come back and you’re game planning for them as the play-caller. how much do you have to weigh the present and the future with the way that somebody like WR Travis Fulgham and WR John Hightower and all those guys are playing? (Mike Kaye)
COACH PEDERSON: It’s a difficult thing. One we have to make sure that the player in question is healthy, right? That’s why we practice during the week and we let them practice today and we see how they feel tomorrow on a Thursday. Then we see how they feel on Friday. Then we can make a decision for gameday. At the same time, it is hard to say, ‘Hey Travis, we’re going to push you to the side because here comes a couple of guys’. We’ve got to get all of our guys integrated back into practice this week. At the end of the say, we’ve got to select the four or five guys that we feel give us the best opportunity on gameday. Some of it could be based purely on matchup. Obviously, Travis has made a case to continue to play and play at a high level.