Q. There’s a lot of curiosity on what the offensive line will look like on Sunday. Can you explain to us what’s the process early in the week deciding how you’re going to go about that, when you decide those things and what those conversations are like? (Bo Wulf)
DOUG PEDERSON: The way the process works is we come out of the previous game with a medical report on everybody on the team, and we have to decide early in the week how we’re going to construct the roster for the upcoming opponent. That starts Monday, Tuesday and then by Wednesday, we have a little bit of a feel for who’s going to practice, who’s going to be in, who’s going to be out, who’s going to take a rest day, who we think can play but it may take him a couple days to heal up.
So, all that’s kind of the process that we go through as we construct the offensive line, d-line, secondary, whoever it might be, whatever position group it might be. Then we make those final determinations later in the week. Today is a big day to see more guys practice today. As you guys know, we need to see guys on Friday, and we need to see them full speed in order to make the final determinations for game day.
Q. On Wednesday you said that WR Alshon Jeffery was day-to-day with a calf injury, but he has not been practicing this week. How did he injury his calf and what are you looking at? What’s the timetable for him now? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I’m not necessarily sure specifically. It was in practice, I guess two weeks ago, we had a Thursday game, so he didn’t do much last week. I believe he injured it in practice, not sure specifically what play or when it was. But listen, we’ve got a little time with the bye coming up and listen, I’m optimistic now moving forward especially after the bye, hopefully we get some guys back and he’s one of them.
Q. You mentioned on Wednesday how sometimes when guys are coming back from injuries, like he was coming back, you have these additional injuries, why wasn’t that taken into account when you guys activated him before the season? This is now eight games that he won’t play and we’re talking into November that he wasn’t ready and that’s a roster spot? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: I’ve answered this question before about three or four weeks on these guys. Listen before the season started, we were optimistic that he was going to play somewhere week four, week five. Listen, I would have loved to have him played against San Francisco or Pittsburgh or somebody, it just wasn’t there. I’m not going to go back and say, ‘What if?’ I mean, those are all hypothetical scenarios. But we are where we are right now today with him and he’s getting better and he’s getting healthy and like I said, I’m optimistic. We’ve got this game and then we got a bye and then eight more football games. We’ve got a lot of guys in situations where we hope to get them back here in the second half of the season.
Q. More and more it seems like the Cowboys are going to make QB Ben DiNucci their starting quarterback this week, although it’s not official as of now. I’m curious the challenge that presents for you guys. You have limited game film on him, he’s a rookie but what challenge can that present not having that extensive background? (Kristen Rodgers)
DOUG PEDERSON: It’s just the unknown. You have to kind of go back and study a little bit of his college film and then — because we don’t have preseason games, right? We don’t have the luxury of watching preseason snaps to see how he moves in the pocket, how his decision-making is, things of that nature and just have a few plays from last weekend to go off of. But you just can’t focus on that one guy. You’ve got to make sure you do your job defensively. Obviously, we know they have got a lot of weapons on the perimeter. They have got a dynamic — they really have a couple good running backs down there and they are getting some offensive line guys healthy. It’s a matter of — if it’s DiNucci, I think he’s going to be a guy that’s going to come in and he’s going to execute the offense. He’s going to execute the plays called and he’s going to drive the ship, so to speak. They haven’t made a determination yet on [Cowboys QB] Andy Dalton and a lot of times when guys are in the protocol it takes until the Friday or Saturday before until they are cleared. We’ll see what happens today, but we’ve just got to get ready for the entire football team coming in here Sunday night.
Q. One topic of conversation this week has been about T Jordan Mailata, and the concern about moving him off left tackle when he’s just starting to get into a groove where you have to evaluate that position, big picture, versus putting in a 38-year-old T Jason Peters who won’t be with the team long term. Where do you come down on that? How do you weigh those things when making determinations like that at left tackle? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I mean, I wish I had [T] Andre Dillard and [G] Brandon Brooks and [OL] Isaac Seumalo, too, and that makes a big difference there. Listen, we’re going to make the best decision for the football team moving forward. Jordan has played well, and sometimes — I’ll say this: I go back to [former Eagles WR and current Raiders WR] Nelson Agholor a few years ago, and an opportunity for him to kind of see big picture himself. And listen, don’t take me wrong here; I love where Jordan’s at. I love where his growth is, right? But at the same time, sometimes if Jason Peters starts at left tackle, it allows Jordan to see big picture, as well, and kind of step back and observe that way and sometimes that helps young players, too. But whatever the decision is there at left tackle and really the whole offensive line, these guys are prepared, they are excited, and they are ready to go. We are playing a really good front and it’s going to take all those guys to put up a good performance.
Q. With T Lane Johnson, I know he has the knee injury and the ankle injury, is one of those the one that might hold him back more than the other, and what do you need to see from him today to get a sense of whether or not he’ll be able to play? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Just for him to get out there and just execute the game plan today. See him run around. He’s been feeling good, he’s had a couple good days where he’s done more rehab than anything. But just being out there today and being with his teammates and executing our game plan today. On Friday, the red zone goes in today and seeing how he moves around.
Q. Is that knee or the ankle, is one of those more significant than the other at this point? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Not really, no.
Q. When you were talking about Jason Peters on Wednesday, you mentioned wanting to see him out there, see him move around before you decided where he would fit in. What have you seen? You have had a couple days of practice. How does he look? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: He looks good. He feels good. I think the couple days of practice this week — and that’s the thing with players coming off injury, putting him back in practice and seeing how they react the next day. So, practice Wednesday, how do they react on Thursday, and Thursday into Friday. He’s held up well. He’s done a nice job out there. As far as the terminology, obviously nothing’s really changed from that standpoint. He’s picked that up. But I thought he’s had a good week of preparation so far.
Q. What does the Cowboys rivalry mean to you? I know this year is different given you’re both coming in with two wins and that’s not a normal situation, but does that change anything and is this still the rivalry that it always has been? (Jamie Apody)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think the rivalry, it’s always one of the great rivalries in football. Listen, both teams could be sitting here 6-0 and it would still mean a lot. We’re sitting here with two wins a piece and it still means a lot. That’s the thing about the NFC East. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing. Your opponent, whether one team is banged up or one team is not or vice versa or both teams are banged up, both teams are coming in here and they are going to play hard and both teams want to win. It’s a great rivalry. I remember in my days back in the Vet [Veterans Stadium] when many of you were writing about us then and that rivalry, how important it is to not only both cities, but obviously the City of Philadelphia and the fans, and so it’s very important. Our guys understand that as we prepare for these types of weeks.
Q. In your time here, you’ve been mostly 11 personnel, 12 personnel, I assume your depth chart had a lot to do with that, as well. But as a play caller, what do you think of four-wides or empty, and is that something you were opposed to if you were deeper at wide receiver? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, you saw a little four-wides last week, four receivers on the field. I do like it. If you have the four guys, I think it’s a great change up, right? But I also have to take into consideration who the pass rushers are, too, who those edge rushers are, right? The defensive ends, and even sometimes your inside guys, because defensive fronts are different today. They can man-up on each one of your offensive lineman and put pressure and stuff like that, so it kind of forces you to get the ball out of your hand a little bit quicker than having a back or a tight end in protection, as well. I like it. I think it’s a good changeup. I think it’s a good tempo, a way to go tempo, a way to go fast, and I think we are getting closer to being able to do that a little bit more.
Q. With G Nate Herbig, what about him, he started at right guard, moved to left guard, back to right guard and now he might be back again. What makes you and Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator Jeff Stoutland so comfortable with his ability to move to either side? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: I’ll tell you, honestly, he’s a smart kid. And it doesn’t take — he doesn’t need a ton of work, going from right to left, right? I would say it’s pretty natural for him. There are some guys, though, that you’ve got to just say, ‘Hey, you’re the left guard or maybe you’re the right guard.” But this guy can play both. It’s not perfect but he plays it, I want to say easily, but it’s never an easy position to play. But he handles it well, and again, he’s smart. He understands the information. He knows how to surface blocks being on the right side, being on the left side. As he came into the season, as you guys know, he was going to be a backup player for us, a role player and a guy that could swing from left-to-right. That’s how we were cross-training him prior to coming into this season.
Q. You are getting healthier as a team, getting WR Jalen Reagor back probably Sunday and then maybe TE Zach Ertz and RB Miles Sanders at some point. How much does that factor in, the health of getting the roster back together, into the trade deadline decisions with that deadline coming up Tuesday? (Ed Kracz)
DOUG PEDERSON: I just think it’s so important for us, like I said, if we can just hang on here and keep things together, keep battling, keep fighting the way the guys have, and we know we’ve got around the corner, we have some of our starters that are coming back, and that’s exciting looking forward. But until that time, we’ve got to keep coaching the guys we have and the guys that are playing for us, because they are battling their tails off right now.
As far as the trade deadline goes, I don’t focus too much on that as much as just getting the team ready to play, and knowing that, again, we’ve got some guys that are getting healthy and should return soon.
Q. With that said, I was just curious, what’s the update on DT Malik Jackson and do you expect LB T.J. Edwards, Jason Peters and Jalen Reagor to play this week and maybe even TE Dallas Goedert? (Mike Kaye)
DOUG PEDERSON: This statement kind of blankets all those guys, it kind of covers all those guys; they have all practiced this week. They have all had a good week of preparation so far and look we’ve got to get through today. We have to make sure there’s no setbacks today out at practice, and we still want to push them and make sure that they can handle the strains of a game. Once we get through today, we’ll have a better picture and a better sense of who will be available Sunday.