Q. You had a chance to look at your offensive line on tape this morning I assume. What did you see? Certainly, a solid effort but there were some stunts and twists and things that maybe didn’t get picked up. How would you assess the offensive line after looking at it? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: They played well. You know, wasn’t perfect, as you mentioned. There were a few gains on third down that we could do a little bit better. We could recognize a little bit better. And listen, that just comes from playing, right? That just comes from getting reps and being comfortable in there, but I thought overall, they hung in there. They played tough. They played physical against a really good, active defensive line.
Q. And we didn’t see RB Miles Sanders at the end of the game, is he okay? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, Miles is fine.
Q. What’s the best T Jordan Mailata story that you have from his first couple years in Philly that speaks to maybe how green he was when he first got here and the development you’ve seen since? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think the best way to describe Jordan when he first came and we’ve talked about this before, every day that he came into the building here was a new day for him. He was kind of re-learning the things he learned from the day before, and he has grown — in three years, he has grown so much with just understanding the game of football and how to play the game of football, let alone executing the offense, right?
Just learning how to play, just learning how to take a big body and move it around differently than what he was used to, and like I said, he’s come a long, long way in his development and his growth. I thought there were some really good things yesterday by him. You know, he’s a big man obviously. He’s strong and when he is 100 percent accurate on what he’s doing on that particular play, it’s hard for defenders to get around him, whether it’s a pass block or a run block, when he’s right. So he’s still a work-in-progress. He’s still like a ball of clay that we are shaping and molding and making into a left tackle.
Q. What did you make of your wide receivers last night, and going forward, how do you see that position shaping up? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: Again, I thought these guys both in the run and pass game played physical. We made some plays down the stretch. I thought [WR John] Hightower on that fourth and four, fourth and five, came up big for us with that catch and [WR] Travis [Fulgham] for the 42-yard touchdown, [WR] Greg Ward picked up some big third downs for us and these guys will just continue to get better and we’ve just got to continue to keep their development coming. It’s one of those things, when you play with some young players, you kind of crawl before you can run, and that’s what we’re going to do have to do. These guys are talented. [QB] Carson [Wentz] is excited to work with them as we get the rest of the guys healthy and back out on the field.
Q. After a couple weeks of mistake-ridden football, QB Carson Wentz had a pretty decent game yesterday. How much will that help his confidence going forward? How much as a former quarterback yourself can one game, one win, actually set you on a roll now? (Jamie Apody)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think it’s huge for Carson. I think it’s huge for our football team to be able to pull out a win against a team that was in the Super Bowl a year ago on the road, cross-country. It’s just great for our football team to be able to do this. But for Carson Wentz specifically to, play better, and to really play physical in his play yesterday and efficient in the passing game. Obviously, there wasn’t a lot of yardage but the thing was he was efficient. There are a couple throws he would definitely like to have back and all of that, but this is big for him, just to get that taste of winning again, for everybody, me included, just to get that taste back, it gives you a little bit of motivation. Something to build on as we move forward to this week.
Q. I know you said after the game yesterday that you guys didn’t treat this like a must-win or anything, but what was the mood like in the locker room and on the flight home? (Bo Wulf)
DOUG PEDERSON: The mood was exciting. I mean, it was electric. The guys were excited in the locker room, high-fiving, jumping around, hugging each other, what you would expect after a win.
I think these guys have been obviously beaten down the last few weeks, not only by our opponents, but by what they are seeing and reading and being talked about outside of the building. I think you can just see the relief, right, or just kind of getting that win.
Again, going into a place where, you know, against a good team and the way we pulled it out, I think defensively stepping up with the three takeaways. We had the Pick-Six by [LB] Alex [Singleton], and just the way our specialists, the way [P] Cam Johnston punted the football and [K] Jake [Elliott] kicked the ball. I just think it was a great team effort, and so that’s why all that hard work and preparation that the guys put into the week paid off and that was the excitement after the game.
Q. You mentioned Miles’ health was okay, on that last drive, we saw RB Corey Clement out there. What was going on? Was it totally not related to the glute or another injury? Was it a ball security thing? What was happening with Miles? (Reuben Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: Listen, don’t read into anything. Corey, we have situational football, as you know, right, first, second, third down, we have four-minute football, two-minute football, backed up football, red zone, goal line, there’s all kind of stuff. We put our backs – [jokingly] you guys asked me to play our backs more, so I’m trying to play our backs more.
Corey was one of our backs at the end of the game in the four-minute offense, a little bit bigger back and he’s capable of running between the tackles that way. He’s powerful. He’s big, so by design, by game plan design, he was in on those specific plays at the end of the game.
Q. You mentioned the cross-country trip and obviously it’s a new world, so now you’ve kind of seen it from both perspectives. You’ve seen it from a team coming in, you going out. How much different is going on the road in this NFL with no fans? Alex Singleton mentioned after the big play, you know, there’s already silence. So do you find it easier? Is it more difficult? Or is it easier on the road? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I would say it’s a little bit easier from the standpoint of not having fans in the stadium. You’re able to hear everything during the course of the game. But the one thing that you still have to handle is you still have to handle the travel. You still have to handle getting on an airplane and staying in a hotel and your meetings and everything like that. Then again, I say that, and it’s easier because our players were not allowed to leave the hotel, right. It’s our own little protective bubble when we’re on the road and there are no fans. There are no families, guests at the hotel, no visitors to see players or coaches at the hotel.
So again, it’s basically taking NovaCare on the road and keeping that protective bubble around our players and coaches. From that standpoint, I think that’s a little bit easier, but you still have to handle a three-hour time change, right, going from east to west and then playing a Sunday night game and all of that, and that part of it doesn’t change, obviously, when you go on the road.
Q. Doc Rivers is being introduced as the Sixers new head coach in just with about a half-hour. Have you ever had interactions with him and do you have any advice as a head coach in Philadelphia? (Kristen Rodgers)
DOUG PEDERSON: I’ve never had the pleasure to meet him and I’d love the chance to introduce myself and welcome him to Philadelphia. Obviously, I’m sure he understands the passionate fans and the media base here in the great City of Philadelphia and the surrounding area, and he’s a veteran coach and he understands. We’re excited to have him and be a part of our community here in Philadelphia, and I can’t wait to finally meet him.
Q. You guys have added some wrinkles when it comes to QB Jalen Hurts and RB Adrian Killins yesterday. How can you use their presence with limited tape and pre-snap motion? (Chris Franklin)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think it’s important that we find ways to use all our players. The last couple of weeks, we’ve used [QB] Jalen Hurts a little bit more each week and we’re still trying to find creative ways that can help us, right, and we were successful a couple of times yesterday. We did have the one dropped snap, which can’t happen, obviously in a game. With [RB] Adrian [Killins], utilizing his speed, he’s a faster, smaller quick-twitch type of a guy that we’ve been excited about since we’ve had him, and just finding ways to get these guys involved in the game plan.
We are in a unique situation where we’re having to use everybody, and everybody that’s dressed in uniform on game day is going to have to play in some form or capacity that way.
Q. What happened with T Lane Johnson’s ankle yesterday? Was there a specific play where he tweaked it, and do you have updates on the guys who got hurt yesterday, LB T.J. Edwards and S Rudy Ford? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: So I’ll just start with T.J. and Rudy. Both of those guys, obviously injured in the game yesterday. It appears right now that they are going to miss some time. Not sure actually the length of time but there is a chance they miss.
And in Lane’s case, just his ankle was sore. And it is something that, obviously I don’t have that ankle injury or that type of injury, but it takes time to kind of loosen up and get warm. There were just a couple plays early in the game where it didn’t feel right to him, so we wanted to make sure and get it loose and keep it loose, and he eventually came back and played well in the second half.
Q. Is that something you’re worried is going to keep lingering throughout the season? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Listen, it’s going to linger. We’re to that point where everybody’s body is sore and the injuries that we have, they are going to continue. You’re not going to get 100 percent healthy, there’s no way. We just don’t have time to get everybody 100 percent. It’s just the nature of the game. He’s a tough kid. He plays through it, and he’s going to have to continue to play through it the rest of the year.
Q. On one of those plays where Carson was split wide, he was getting into it with a defensive back. Obviously you don’t want him standing out there doing nothing, but what do you say to him about being careful when he’s mixing it up with a DB and what do you want him to do in those spots? (Rob Maaddi)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think for the most part, it’s probably a little friendly fire going back and forth between the two. I don’t think there’s anything serious — I mean, if anybody takes a quarterback split out as a wide receiver, serious, maybe we should do it more, right?
Obviously, he knows when he’s out there he does have to protect himself because a DB, you never know if somebody wants to take a shot when the ball is snapped, so he has to protect himself. We talk about that each week with him when we use these plays, and just want to make sure that he understands that, that’s not a playoff, right. It’s an important aspect of it, but I’m sure the chippiness was probably just friendly banter, as they say.
Q. You’re through the quarter mark of the season. What have you learned about your team through these first four games and what has stood out to you? (Daniel Gallen)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think the one thing that’s really stood out this first month is just how resilient this football team is. We have not played our best football, I don’t feel. We’ve kind of shot ourselves in the foot in the first three, four weeks here.
Finally overcame some of the mistakes yesterday to put ourselves in a position to be in first place in the NFC East. But there’s a long road ahead. We’ve got to learn from the first four weeks, but at the same time, learn from it and carry it forward. We’ve just got to keep working and this is what I appreciate about our guys is they come to work every day no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the situation. They practice. It’s always been a next-man-up mentality and they go to work, and that’s what I’ve learned, and that’s what’s going to carry us these next four weeks.
Q. I know we’ve asked you about Travis a couple of times over the last 24 hours, but what did he show you during training camp and the last few weeks to kind of earn that promotion, other than, you know, a bunch of injuries popping up, and did you have any interest in him when he was coming out of the Draft last year, if you remember? (Mike Kaye)
DOUG PEDERSON: I do remember him in the draft. We had some good grades on him and really liked him at the time. But he was somebody that we definitely — when he became available to grab and grab him and get him in here and get him working. He’s a kid that, just, again, he comes to work and enjoys coming and enjoys being out there on the grass and being around his teammates. He was making plays against our defense on the scout team and making flash plays, and of course he was working on special teams, as well, and felt, obviously with the injury situation at the receiver spot, he earned it. He earned an opportunity to come up and play and he played well yesterday. Had the big catch for the touchdown, and it was great to see.
Q. Just following up on the earlier question about the future of the wide receiver spot, when you do get everybody back, you’re probably going to have some decisions to make. You’re going to have maybe a logjam there. Just keeping with that, does Travis earn a spot? Has he done enough? You’re going to have to make some decisions there. How difficult is that going to be? (Nick Fierro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Honestly, I hope we have those tough choices to make with the guys we got, the guys we got coming down the pipeline here. That would be a great situation because right now, we’re not in that situation. So it would be great to have those choices.
Quite honestly, we’ll figure that out when we get to that point and we cross that bridge. Right now, obviously with a guy like Travis, he’s earned his spot to come up and play and help us compete and try to win on Sunday.
Q. On defense, you guys got like really good production from your defensive line and especially DE Genard Avery, I think he had five quarterback hits in 16 snaps. What have you seen from him, and if you could also just talk about the defensive line play in general? (Martin Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think the D-Line has really improved each week. And they have really started coming into their own. We’re getting really good production, good pass rush out of whichever four, the combination of four or five, that are in the game at one time, and so that’s really good to see, because what it’s doing, we are putting pressure on the quarterback with those four guys or with those five guys and it just helps out your secondary when you can do that.
In the case of Genard Avery, he’s another one that just has improved each week. He’s a guy that he’s low, he’s compact, he’s quick, he can bend, and he’s strong. If he gets his hands into your chest, I mean, he can push a tackle back into the quarterback. He’s learning. He’s learning the scheme. He’s learning how to play within the scheme, and he had really good production yesterday.
Q. TE Zach Ertz continues to attract all kinds of attention. Is there anything more that can be done to scheme him open, or is it just going to be the way it is until some of the more proven guys like WR Alshon Jeffery and WR DeSean Jackson come back to take some of the focus away from Zach? (Ed Kracz)
DOUG PEDERSON: Obviously he commands and gets a lot of respect from our opponents and it was no different yesterday in the game. We can do things with him, move him around by scheme and kind of hide his splits a little bit and do some different things that way to get him open. But for the most part he knows he’s going to have a challenge. He’s going to have either a safety or a third corner, potentially a bigger corner, that’s going to guard him, particularly on third downs. That’s just what he understands. He keeps competing and keeps battling, and so it’s a little of both, right. Some by scheme and some by the defense, just ways that we’ve got to continue to find opportunities with him.