Q. Just wondering what’s up with G/T Matt Pryor and also T Lane Johnson’s progress and just kind of what the right side of that O-line is going to look like Sunday? (Reuben Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: In the case of Matt Pryor, just like some of our players here recently have fallen into a little bit of the illness issue, illness protocol with him, so we’re taking all the precautions and making sure that he’s safe and healthy. He’s going to miss this game and [G] Jamon Brown is going to start at right guard.
Q. What have you seen from G Jamon Brown since he got here? (Reuben Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: One of the things, he’s played and started in this league. You go back and watch some of his tape, he’s done some things well. He’s been with us for a couple of weeks, and as you guys know whenever we get a new player, it’s about catching them up to speed on our playbook. He’s done a nice job. He’s a smart guy. He’s aggressive coming off the ball. He fits in really well. And he had a good day yesterday and he’ll have another one today when we get to practice and get ready to play.
Q. Will WR DeSean Jackson and WR Alshon Jeffery play Sunday, and if so, boy, that’s like seven possible receivers; how many receivers do you think you’ll dress, and is this a difficult decision you’ve got here? (John Clark)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, we still have a couple of days, obviously, before game time. 90 minutes to make those decisions until we kick off. But in the case of DeSean Jackson, he had a really good day yesterday. He’ll get back out there today and practice, and I’m hopeful that things go well today and there’s a possibility for him. In Alshon’s case, obviously, we just incorporated him back into practice this week taking team reps, so we want to make sure that, again, he’s feeling good before we put him out there. He was taking scout team reps this week and want to get him obviously with the offense before we make this decision.
Q. At the end of last year when you were playing a lot of younger players, you mentioned they brought a lot of enthusiasm and juice. You’ve been forced to play some younger guys this year. Have you been getting the same results from getting those young guys involved more? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yes.
Q. What does that do for a team? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: It gives you more juice and enthusiasm [laughter].
Q. In Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and QB Carson Wentz, you’ve got two quarterbacks who kind of can really play the position in the modern way, guys who can move and throw and run and do everything that needs to be done. There have been guys like this, though, before, and I’m wondering what you and maybe other coaches around the league might have learned over time about how to keep a quarterback like that healthy. Do you have to teach him to throw from the pocket? Is there anything that coaches and offensive coordinators can do to keep a guy like a Lamar or Carson healthy over the long-term? Have you learned anything about that over time? (Mike Sielski)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think some of the things you learn is you don’t want to put them in a box. You want them to be able to use their athleticism. That’s the gift that they have that’s got them to this level, right, is the ability to use their legs, be athletic, be mobile, throw outside the pocket, all those things. So you don’t ever want to limit that. I think sometimes coaches try to put parameters around guys, and it can actually hurt more than it can benefit a player. So in Carson’s case, Lamar’s case and some of these more mobile guys, use that as a strength. Use that as a weapon and allow them to use and extend plays in passing situations or scheme up some play action pass or movements for the quarterback. Those are things that I think — I know I’ve learned having gone all the way back to having worked with Michael Vick and Vince Young and guys like that here who were really athletic and mobile. Alex Smith was that way in Kansas City, obviously, and being able to utilize that as a strength more than try to hinder those guys.
Q. The update on Lane Johnson’s availability for Sunday, and obviously it sounds like T Jack Driscoll will be the guy to step in if he doesn’t go. What have you seen out of Jack and what do you like about him? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: Lane is working through his injury this week. As you know he hasn’t practiced at all. We have Jack ready to go if that’s the case. Jack has done a nice job, and listen, he’s played all the way back to week one. He’s got a lot of time on task. This guy, he’s all about business, and that’s what you like about Jack Driscoll as a young player. Another opportunity for him to get better this week.
Q. If I may follow up real quick, he’s got an MBA and we’ll all hear about his intelligence. How much does that factor into football when you have a guy that intelligent? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: It factors in a lot because they’re able to process movement, right? They’re able to think on their feet, and that’s what you like to see, not only pre-snap but post-snap, and that’s something that Jack can do and how he can change direction just because of what the defense — he can anticipate. Those are all things — when you talk about being smart, it’s not so much just knowing the plays, it’s also anticipating what they see post-snap, when the defense moves and how to take the initial line call and then apply it to the post-snap.
Q. In Alshon’s case, when you took him off the physically unable to perform list, it sounded like you thought you could get him back in six weeks. How do you look back at that decision to keep him on the active roster, especially considering you made some tough cuts there? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: You’re exactly right. When you don’t put a guy like Alshon on PUP — we hopefully anticipated him coming back within the six weeks, and it has taken a little bit longer, but again, you guys know that I want to make sure that he’s 100 percent. He’s just now getting back into practice, right? He’s done some individual work and now he’s into practice. I mean, listen, I think medically Alshon’s case, our case, we were hopeful that within the six weeks he would have been back. I can’t second-guess the decision, obviously, but he is getting close, and we’re excited about that.
Q. CB Darius Slay, he was listed as limited yesterday. I assume he’s moved through the concussion protocol pretty well. Does he still have something to get cleared on to get to play Sunday? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: He’s been in the protocol all week. Part of the protocol was him getting out there yesterday and participating in practice. He did that, and he was cleared this morning by the independent, so he’s good to go.
Q. I know it was 21 years ago when Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was here in his second year as a special teams coach and you were his holder. What do you remember about his coaching style, and could you tell he was going to go on and become a successful head coach? (Rob Maaddi)
DOUG PEDERSON: You know, gosh, you’re going — geez almighty, I’ve slept since then. Hopefully it comes down to a hold. Maybe that’s the key to the game right there. You just unlocked the key to victory, the holders.
I do think back on John, and when he was here with Coach Reid [former Eagles head coach and current Chief head coach Andy Reid] back in those early days. He’s always had an aggressive mindset. His special teams have always been detailed and really prepared. Obviously back then when I was a player, you don’t know necessarily how a coach could — if they’re going to be a good head coach or a great head coach or not. But you just know he had the right chemistry, he had the makeup, he had the demeanor that if given the opportunity you know he was going to be successful just because of the way he — I do remember how he approached his special teams unit. Again, how well prepared they were, how hard they played for him, and that’s obviously carried over to his teams in Baltimore.
Q. The Baltimore defense, I think they’ve had turnovers in something like 18 straight games. That’s the most in the NFL. What do they do well and what does that make difficult for you as a game planner? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: As far as game planning, you’ve got to go execute and you’ve got to execute the play called. As far as them and creating turnovers, one, they know how to put pressure on the quarterback so the quarterback is sometimes forced to make bad decisions or put the ball — be a little bit less accurate, and so they get interceptions on the back end.
And I think one of the things they do probably better than anyone in the league is they know how to tackle or punch out the football. You saw it last week, and [Ravens CB] Marlon Humphrey is one of the best in the league at doing that, and that’s something that we’ve coached our players up this week, we’ve shown them tape on that. But listen, until you’re out there doing it, it’s just a matter of just understanding and putting our players, trying to — even getting our look squads this week to try to simulate that a little bit in practice. But they’re really good at it. They’re really good at getting the ball out, tackling the football, punching at the football, disrupting timing in the passing game, and that’s why they’ve been able to create turnovers.
Q. Ravens TE Mark Andrews has put together a really good season so far. What’s the difficulty he brings, especially since the Eagles’ defense has struggled against some tight ends in the first few weeks? (Kristen Rodgers)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, obviously for them it starts with the run game and then everything — the play action pass, the QB movement comes off of that and they’re real dynamic that way. He’s such an athletic guy, he’s big, he’s physical, and they’ve been able to just create space. Lamar is dynamic and so there’s a lot of attention, obviously, on him, when he gets rolling. Sometimes the tight end is just left really just wide open, dropped coverage and things of that nature.
Teams like this you’ve got to remain disciplined on defense. You’ve got to trust your eyes. You’ve got to trust your instincts, trust what you have been taught during the week as far as the game plan goes, and just lock into that and hopefully you can at least limit the amount of exposure or the touches with guys like that.
Q. You had four guys listed as illness on yesterday’s report, including Jamon Brown who you’re saying is going to be starting for Matt Pryor if Matt Pryor is not able to play. Can you explain that, and whatever is happening, are you confident you have it contained? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: Really in Jamon’s case it was more last week, and then early this week he had a little, again, illness, just — sometimes — listen, part of the protocol, and legally I’m bound not to get into a lot of protocols with you guys. I can’t announce a lot of things publicly, but we’ve got to take everything into precaution, whether a guy has an upset stomach or he’s got a headache or he’s got whatever it could be, it doesn’t even have to be COVID related. We have to take everything seriously, and we’ve got to protect the entire team and the organization. We’re making sure that in this case that — we want to make sure that everybody is healthy. We’re testing daily, which is part of the protocol. So far we have been clean and clear. At the same time we’ve got to take precautions to make sure that if something does happen that we’re prepared, we’re ready, and we’ve got to stick to the guidelines, the protocols that have been in place. The guys have been doing a great job there, and so we continue to roll.
We know that this is going to happen. It’s going to happen — you’re seeing it around the league, right, it’s happening again today. We’re just taking every precaution to make sure everybody is healthy.