Q. With the positive COVID test, you guys are in the intensive protocols. How does that affect the practice week and what’s your messaging to the team been about this? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, before we start, I just want to say Happy Veterans Day to everybody. To all the men and women, the servicemen and women in the military, not only in our country but around the world, that defend our freedoms, just want to say thank you to them and Happy Veterans Day to everybody.
Getting back to your question, the only thing that it really affects is meeting time. We had a really good session this morning virtually, which we leaned on our experiences from the spring, in the summer and training camp with the virtual stuff. We had a really good session with the players and their meetings, and now we get them over here to test and practice on the field. So we’re just limited in the amount of, I guess availability with the players, right now, but we’re going to make the most of it and the messaging is that we eliminate distractions and we focus on the Giants and we prepare that way.
Q. The obligatory injury question. When you have guys activated with their IR window, what do you look for? Seems like usually they practice for a week and then you’ll hold them out of that first game and then if they get through the next week they play. But what would a guy have to show you like OL Isaac Seumalo for instance this week, or even RB Miles Sanders to play on Sunday, what would you look for? Also how is T Lane Johnson doing?(Reuben Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: In Lane’s case, Lane is doing good. We’ll get him out there today and just see where he’s at health wise. He’s doing really well. He’s in a good frame of mind and the time off was really good for him to get treatment and to rest and be prepared for this week.
As it pertains to Isaac and Miles really, number one we got to be smart with how much of a workload we give them during weeks like this. We do want to see them practice and get some snaps and some reps with the offense, but we also got to see how much of a workload, how much can the stress on their body take during the week. Because we limit guys during the week and then they go play and get a full workload on Sunday and it’s a little bit different. So we just got to be able to manage that the right way and make sure that they feel comfortable, they’re in the right frame of mind obviously and that’s why we do the ramp up process the way we do it.
Q. Former NFL QB Brett Favre offered the opinion yesterday that you guys should have kept former Eagles QB and current Bears QB Nick Foles over QB Carson Wentz and his comments, arguably offer a little bit more weight since you guys are tight. Just curious what your reaction to his comments are? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: I respect Brett’s opinion. Yeah, we are friends, but I haven’t talked to him and he’s entitled to that and that’s about it. [Jokingly] I’ll have that conversation with him off the record.
Q. You had the players on the field last week and I believe Monday. What did you see from Carson in those practices and were there any indications that turnovers continue to be an issue? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: Last week was good. Actually, rested Carson, didn’t let the starters practice last week. Had the young guys out there. I wanted to focus more on the sort of the developmental guys, the guys that haven’t gotten a lot of snaps with the offense and defense. So, I let a lot of the starters just kind of rest and take the time. They were out there at practice but take the time off.
Q. Got a curveball for you. I don’t know if you know this, but this is the 31st I think anniversary of the division one AA game, where you threw for 619 yards. It’s the most yards combined in any division one AA, FCS now. Do you have any memories of that? Were you aware that this was the day? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: I had no idea that this was the day. [Jokingly] If you guys will learn from these types of questions, these are the questions I love to answer. So, in the future, ask more of these types of questions. [Laughter] I’ll tell you it was a great day. Obviously, when you’re in the moment like that you’re just trying to execute your offense. I didn’t even know that I had thrown for that many yards in that particular game really until afterwards. At the time a local reporter’s name was Jean Pawnee came up to me in the locker room after the game. Of course, we lost the game which probably sticks in my memory bank more than anything, but he said I just set an NCAA record for most passing yards in the game, at the time. I think it’s been broken several times since, but that was just a great day and it was a lot of fun and got all of all the offensive guys involved in that day. I just wish we would have pulled out the victory. It would have made it that much sweeter.
Q. Having faced the Giants so recently, does that change anything that you do as far as game planning and preparation and things to throw at them because of the familiarity? (John Clark)
DOUG PEDERSON: No. You know it is something, obviously, to go back and watch our game and listen — quite frankly they had us beat. It was 21-10 with under five minutes to go in this game and this a good football team and we’ve got to learn from that game. We’ve got to go back and study it and not just from X’s and O’s but just our execution as an offense and defense. There were trick plays on special teams and there were all kinds of things in the game that came up that we can learn from and study and be prepared. It is nice to have just played them a couple weeks ago because things are still kind of fresh on your mind and we’ve had a chance to study them a little bit more. They have had a couple of games but listen this is a much-improved football team from the first time, and they’re playing even though, they haven’t pulled these games out as much, they’re a good football team. It’s a good football team. They are coming off a win this past weekend and they had Tampa Bay on the ropes, obviously had us on the ropes and several teams this year and we have to be prepared.
Q. Before TE Dallas Goedert initially got hurt and then TE Zach Ertz, you guys obviously were predominantly a 12 personnel offense. Their absence has given your wide receivers, including WR Travis Fulgham and WR Jalen Reagor a chance to emerge and play well. Going forward, are you going to be more of a mixture of 11 and 12? (Paul Domowitch)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think it just depends on the week you’re in. We take a look at a lot of the analytical numbers based on our opponent. Things that have been successful and really look at our own success whether we’re 11 or 12 personnel and how to attack. Quite honestly, teams that play their base defense against our 12 personnel we tend to struggle against those defenses. So, by putting 11 out there and maybe getting their sub defense on the field where we can spread things out has been beneficial for us. So it’s a week-to-week adjustment that we look at in order for us to really say, ‘Hey this is a 12 game or 11 personnel game’, each week.
Q. More than half of WR John Hightower’s targets this year have been on deep passes, I guess which could qualify as 20 yards or longer, and yet he hasn’t really caught many of those passes for whatever the reason. Carson’s numbers downfield have not been good, also. Did you find during the break as you did some self-analysis that you guys have been forcing the ball too much to Hightower down field? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: No. Hightower is open down the field. I believe, one of the things that I’ve done personally as a play caller is, I’ve called more of the shot plays with him in the game. It is something that we studied last weekend and during our off time. Honestly, yeah okay, we haven’t hit as many as I would have liked. But the fact that we’re getting him behind the defense and having opportunities down the field, are things that we can improve on and we can get better at. For me, that’s the encouraging part is that we have so much room to really grow in that area. But we put Hightower in that position. He’s blessed with speed. He’s blessed with good ball skills. He can make the catch down the field. We just got to continue to work in that area and keep throwing those balls, not only in practice, but in the game.
Q. Just to clarify on the Brett Favre business. You said you respect his opinion but his opinion in this instance was that you should have kept Nick Foles and got rid of Carson Wentz. I’m assuming that’s not your opinion? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: I respect Brett’s opinion. He’s entitled to his opinion and that’s fine, and I’ll leave it at that.
Q. When we’ve talked in the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about the inconsistency on the roster, hoping to build that back up here in the second half of the season. You did mention some of the injuries, but from the confidence level, where does that stand for you guys knowing that you can get some of those pieces back here in the second half, to try to create some of that consistency? (Kristen Rodgers)
DOUG PEDERSON: The bye week came at a really good time for us as [far as] the health of the football team. It allowed some guys that have been injured to get healthy and see where they’re at this week. So, we’re encouraged, I’m encouraged by where we are even today and then getting a few more guys back on the practice field and just seeing where they are. We’ve got to continue to keep making strides, keep improving each week. And when we start getting these players back, incorporate them back into the scheme, into the flow of the team and just keep improving. This will be a big week for a lot of players and a lot of those injured guys as we prepare this week.
Q. When you studied Carson after the first eight games, presumably last week, is there anything you can pinpoint that you and your staff can help kind of get him back on the right track here? I know he talks all the time about he understands the turnovers can’t happen but is there anything you can do in terms of play calling to help get him kind of jumpstart into the second half?(Ed Kracz)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, I mean there’s all kinds of things we can do, and I think playing calling is one of them. I can do things a little bit differently there. I can obviously maybe call a run or two a little bit more to help out a little bit but some of the things that we’re doing offensively or that we did in the first half of the season was our 1st and 10 production. We were poor. We were not staying ahead of the chains so to speak. We were too many second and long and third and long situations. So offensively we were putting ourselves in bad situations and those are things that we can focus on whether it be the running game, whether it be the screen game, you know quick passing, whatever it might be, to not only help Carson, but to help the offense. All those things go hand in hand with the success of your offense. We just got to do a better job on 1st and 10 and keeping ourselves out of those situations.
Q. I know beginning of the season obviously you didn’t really see Jalen Reagor and Travis Fulgham as being your top two receivers. So obviously they haven’t spent a lot of time working with the first unit together. Obviously, there was Jalen Reagor’s injuries and stuff but now that you have had a couple of weeks with them and everything, how important is it for you guys to kind of like establish those guys, get them familiar with Carson because it seems like basically it’s training camp for those guys as the top receivers? Do you see it that way?(Martin Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: In Travis’s case obviously, he’s had a lot of time with Carson now. Several weeks and so I think they’re on a pretty good page. I think getting Jalen back, he came back against the Cowboy game kind of his first time back out there. This will be the next time, second time out. Then again throw [WR] Alshon [Jeffery] in the mix and see where he’s at this week as well. So kind of incorporating these guys back in the system. We’ve got to spend you know as much time as we can on the field trying to get Carson comfortable and also them comfortable with the offense and all that. It’s a work in progress with a couple of the young players. But having them back in the fold and in the mix, as healthy receivers just makes us a little bit better, a little bit stronger moving forward.
Q. When you look back at former Eagles WR and current Giants WR Golden Tate’s time here, what did you take away from him as a player and as a person? And then also, why do you think it was only kind of a short stint for him in Philly? (Mike Kaye)
DOUG PEDERSON: I’ll tell you what, great player, great person, a great teammate. Those are things that stood out to me and then just an opportunity for him, really for me to work with him. I think he’s a really good slot receiver. Move him around the formations. Do some different things with him. I can go back to that Bears playoff game and some of the tough catches he made in that game and of course the game winning touchdown in that game to help us win a playoff game a couple years ago. It’s just something that, he came in, he helped us do what we needed to do and then moved on. Every year is a different year and you’re always looking, obviously not only free agents but even at the trade deadline ways to maybe improve your team and add some depth and talent. He was one of the guys at the time and he definitely helped us get into the postseason and win that playoff game.
Q. Before it gets blown out of proportion and everyone runs with Doug didn’t support Carson Wentz today and he stood by what Brett Favre said, I just want to give you a final opportunity to clarify. Those were Brett’s thoughts. They weren’t your thoughts. When the decision had to be made in the organization, even though personnel decisions like that are usually tough, was it that difficult for you guys? Was anyone beating down the door to do a different thing in terms of keeping former Eagles QB and current Bears QB Nick Foles over Carson Wentz? (Rob Maaddi)
DOUG PEDERSON: No. Carson’s our guy. Carson was our draft pick. Carson is the guy that is going to carry us and lead this football team. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. Those aren’t my words. Those aren’t [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie’s [Roseman] words, those aren’t [Chairman & Chief Executive Officer] Jeffrey’s [Lurie] words. Those are his words. I respect that opinion. Whatever he wants to say, that’s fine and we’re going to remain friends. It doesn’t bother me one way or the other. All I know is Carson Wentz is our guy and it’s my job to get Carson Wentz to play better, to do better, to help this football team win. As it is to get everybody else to play better. Again, I respect his opinion and his words. Those aren’t mine. Please don’t put words in my mouth or we’re going to have a problem. Carson’s our guy bottle line end of story.