Q. I heard you on WIP this morning and I feel like fans were maybe a little bit relieved to hear some of that emotion come out of you after last night’s game. Again, just where you’re at right now after that loss to the Giants? (Kristen Rodgers)
COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, listen, I’m disappointed. We’re all disappointed. The guys in the locker room at the end of the game, they were frustrated. They were mad. I look back, we’ve had 14 days since we played a game.
And of course we went into the intensive protocol last week and things were a little different for us, but it’s still my responsibility to have the team ready to play and we came up short and the guys are mad. They are disappointed because of that. We are all frustrated. We know we’re so much better and we’ve just got to buckle in this week. Everything is still right in front of us and we’ve got a great opportunity on Sunday.
Q. I wanted to ask you, obviously WR Alshon Jeffery played yesterday and WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside did not. Wondering what that says about how you feel about J.J. and what your reasoning was not having him in the lineup yesterday? (Martin Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: We knew Alshon was coming back and listen, we have to make some tough decisions on who is up and who is down. I think moving forward, we know that Alshon is healthy and he’s going, and I know his play time will increase probably each week. It’s something that as we construct game plans, who is going to be in, who is going to be out.
They are tough decisions and it could change this week again. We just have to make those decisions as we go each week, but it’s nothing against J.J. We’ve still got a lot of confidence in him. [WR] Quez Watkins has been down, guys like that, and the thing is, we’ve got to get more out of the guys that are playing, too, and that’s something we’ve got to focus on this week.
Q. How would you assess your job as a play caller this year and do you feel like you have a good sense of what should work for this offense? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: I feel good about the plays that have been called. I even looked at the game yesterday and felt I was in rhythm. I’ve always looked at the game through the eyes of the quarterback and how he views it and how he sees it. I think it’s important that quarterback and play caller are on the same page that way and [QB] Carson [Wentz] and I had those conversations during the week and day before the game and go through a lot of different scenarios and we’re prepared that way.
And look, not every game is going to be perfect. There’s going to be mistakes made and there’s going to be things that we’re going to have to overcome and that’s part of our jobs. Nobody’s perfect. By no means am I perfect. I’m going to make a decision error, I’m going to make a play calling error, but at the same time, hopefully I can do my job to put the offense in position to be successful.
Q. You said you’re happy with your play calling from yesterday, but you had also said that you were mad at yourself. So what is it that you were mad at or frustrated about yourself? What could you have done better? (Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, I think back, I’ve got to look at not just the game, but I have to look at the body of work from the bye week on, right. We’ve had a lot of time to really kind of sit back and reflect and focus and there’s been a lot of questions asked, why was the team flat, why was there this, why was there that? So those are things I look at.
There’s things that go on that as a head coach, you have to deal with, and a lot of them could be practice-related or off-the-field issues and different things, and even in my own preparation, and I look back, I get frustrated when — because I want every play to work, right? I want every drive to end in a kick, whether it be a field goal or an extra point.
And so, when it doesn’t happen, obviously that’s where I get a little frustrated and a little upset and what can I do better during the week. How can I coach a little bit better? How can I coach my coaches better? Those are all things that I look at and I can definitely do a better job there.
Q. With the QB Jalen Hurts plays, he’s only thrown twice on 30-something plays there. Do you sense that defenses are obviously keying on the run there, and would it make sense to take Carson off the field like the Saints do with QB Drew Brees so that at least you have one more receiving option to give the defense something to think about? (Jeff McLane)
COACH PEDERSON: Sure. Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good idea.
Q. So why haven’t you done that? (Jeff McLane)
COACH PEDERSON: It’s a great idea. Something we’ll look into.
Q. There’s a report on the NFL Network that QB Carson Wentz has had sloppy practice habits; that he’s been allowed to perpetuate. A, is that accurate and B, how would you characterize the way Carson is playing in those times we don’t see him? (Zach Berman)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, first of all, I did not see the report and secondly, you guys are only out there for a short period of time, so I don’t know where the information is coming from. Practice is where we perfect our craft and we do the things with all of our players to detail their work, whether it be fundamentals in the individual periods, all the way through to even for me sometimes even stopping practice and repeating a play because we’ve made a mistake.
So I don’t understand where that’s coming from, and we’re just going to continue to coach and make sure we hold everybody accountable.
Q. Just to follow up on that, though, what do you think of Carson’s practice habits? Are they sloppy? (Les Bowen)
COACH PEDERSON: No.
Q. Okay. You had a chance to look at the 0-for-9 third downs, I assume. What did you see there? What’s not happening? (Les Bowen)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, the first third and one, I took a shot. I was taking a shot down the field based on film study. We were up around midfield and it was a great opportunity right there to capitalize and then we just missed the throw to [TE] Dallas [Goedert] on that one.
Then we made the fourth down, obviously we converted the fourth down and we kept the drive alive. The next one was like a third and three. We failed to execute the play. It’s a simple little pick route that we work in practice. It’s something that we’ve got to continue to drill. It was between Travis and Jalen and we just failed to execute right there and [Giants CB] James Bradberry, number 24, made a heck of a play on that play.
And then the other ones, we kind of caught ourselves in some more third-and-long situations. Whether it be by penalty or lack of execution on first and second down, failed to execute in protection, whatever it might be, kept us from executing those plays. And then of course at the end of the game, when we were having to throw the ball more, definitely longer yardage situations that we didn’t overcome.
Q. What is your overall assessment of QB Jalen Hurts and what he’s given you? Seems to me ball security issue, is that a concern with you and how do you see his role evolving here? (Reuben Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: Ball security what do you mean?
Q. There’s been a couple fumbles. (Reuben Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: Were they his fumbles or were they low snaps? Are they him dropping the ball or is it the center quarterback exchange? You say he fumbles the ball. I want to know specifically from your perspective what it is.
Q. There’s been three balls on the ground that he’s had in his hand, so I mean, if there’s not an issue there, tell me that. (Reuben Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: The issue is we have to do better with the center snap, right. I think the ones that you’re alluding to, and I’ve talked to [C Jason] Kelce about this before, and he’s had a little history and he knows it, and listen, he’s a pro and he’s going to get it fixed, but we have to get that center quarterback exchange dialed in and a couple of those were low and those are hard to handle.
So I wouldn’t put them all on Jalen, no.
Q. What’s your overall assessment of what Jalen Hurts has given you? (Reuben Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: I think early on, we’ve been very explosive with him. Gosh, I think we were close to 11 or 12 yards per attempt when he was in the game, something like that. I would say here recently, defenses are playing him a little bit differently. They have had chances to scout him. I think it goes back to Jeff’s question where, sure, we could probably do a little bit more with him.
Q. There was such an emphasis on Carson and protecting the ball and yesterday he came out, protected the ball, didn’t really take any big-time risks, and he managed the game very well. Do you think that could possibly take away, though, from his ability to create plays, his focus on wanting to protect the ball, maybe affecting his ability to create plays, extending plays, taking shots, or was that part of maybe the defense yesterday and what the defense was giving him? (Rob Maaddi)
COACH PEDERSON: Obviously there’s a lot packed into that question. The way the Giants, their structure of defense is they are going to try to keep everything in front of them. They don’t allow quite honestly a lot of down-the-field throws or the receivers to get down the field past the safeties, past the corners. They really do a great job of keeping everything in front. On top of that, if that’s the case, we know the short to intermediate throw is going to be where you’re going to have to live for four quarters, and I thought Carson did a nice job there.
We even left plays on the field. Look, it goes back to some of the protection issues I’ve mentioned. It goes back to some of our lack of execution with some of the guys in those third-down situations where we could have stayed on the field and made some of those plays.
But I thought for the most part, there were a couple throws that were high early in the game from him, but as the game wore on, he settled in and he stood in there and made a couple nice throws to Rich-Rod [TE Richard Rodgers]. Just thinking of some things offhand, but yeah, I just think it’s a little combination of both, and each week, it becomes a little bit different. And then some of it falls on me, too, as a play caller, right, to be able to call some of the — like for instance, the first third and one, I called a shot play to take advantage of [WR John] Hightower’s speed down the field, defense gave us a little different presentation. We had to go somewhere else with the ball and we just missed.
So those are all things that are fixable and correctible, and we get another opportunity this week.
Q. Now that you’ve seen the film, I wanted to talk to you about the fourth and ten play, which is going to be difficult to convert in any circumstance. As a former quarterback, can you take me through that? You mentioned Giants CB James Bradberry before, what type of player he is, what kind of year he has, do you sort of try to focus on where 24 is or is that too much of a bang-bang thing in that type of situation? (John McMullen)
COACH PEDERSON: No, no. We knew where he was at and we knew kind of going in what his plan would be. He typically matches the top receiver with any opponent. We thought going in that he might go with Travis [Fulgham] a little bit and he was there, but we moved Travis around enough to kind of keep him, I guess, guessing a little bit. On that particular play, they played a two-deep man coverage. Carson saw the one-on-one outside.
I do know that Carson would probably want to have that throw back a little bit. Probably make a little different throw in that situation. We had some opportunities on that particular play to go other places, and I think that’s a play we would all want back.
Q. I think there’s a sort of fascination with T Jordan Mailata from the fan base. I am curious why if you knew OL Isaac Seumalo and G Nate Herbig weren’t going to — did you consider playing Mailata at left tackle and T Jason Peters at guard? (Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: No.
Q. Why not? (Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: Because we really felt like that Jason Peters is settled in over there at left tackle. He’s done a nice job for us. He actually played really well yesterday. Was a lot more explosive coming off the ball, even in previous weeks. And I kind of addressed this I think either last week or whenever it was with Mailata, but we just felt this was the best five going into this game.
Q. You talked about the team’s frustration and your own frustration. How do you make sure that that gets channeled into a positive instead of something that becomes a negative? What do you do as a coach with your players in that situation? (Daniel Gallen)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, the No. 1 thing is when we get together, I address it again with the team, right, and I bring it to the forefront. I kind of, I guess as I lead the team — I want to make sure that they understand where I come from as the head coach.
I’ve also got to make sure that we understand how we prepare during the week and how we practice during the week, and I want the leadership of the team to understand that and really embrace and rally around each other. Quite honestly, what I’ve been I guess pleased about with the guys is in situations like this, they have always rallied.
As I alluded to earlier in this press conference, the guys are mad. The guys are upset, and they can really channel that into a positive, right? They can feed on that and sort of use that as momentum going into the next ballgame or at least these next seven games that we have remaining. And there’s still — there’s a lot of pride, listen, a lot of pride in that locker room, coaches and players, and we’ll get it fixed. It’s definitely been a work-in-progress. We are slowly getting some guys back healthy which has been an issue for us the first half of the season and I think that’s a positive, too, that we can lean on.
Q. Seemed like you made a concerted effort to stick with the run longer than you typically would, at least this season, when you were trailing. So during the bye week, what did you learn from self-scouting with the run game and how it could be maybe effective if you stuck with it moving forward? (Mike Kaye)
COACH PEDERSON: I think one of the things we learned is that we have been a lot more effective in our 11 personnel grouping, our 12 personnel. 12 has kind of been a mixed bag for us. We are either going to get base defense or we are going to get some nickel defense and it’s been a little bit of a mix. The Giants gave us a little bit more of a base defense as the game wore on, but we are a little bit better in our 11 personnel on offense where we can kind of spread guys out. That, too, becomes important, because we can take advantage of the zone read a little bit better in those situations, which have been hopeful for us, some of the advantage throws you’re seeing Carson make on the perimeter to [WR] Greg Ward or the guys. Those are all things that we study during the bye. Then each week, we try to put our best set of plays in the run game together to attack the front that we’re going to see.
Q. You talked a lot since last night about anger and how angry you are and how angry the players are. At what point does anger turn into action? At what point do you need look at making a personnel change on the field or mixing things up or mixing things up the sideline or in the coach’s office? At what point does anger turn into action? (Jamie Apody)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, listen, I get what you’re saying, and as soon as I get off of this call, I go into action and I go into action towards the Browns and we start putting a game plan together for the Browns.
I don’t want to get in a situation where it becomes a knee-jerk reaction for me or for the team. I have to sit back and I do have to evaluate everything. Listen, we’re still sitting here in a really good place in the NFC East. I know it doesn’t look pretty. We understand that. But there’s still a lot of ball ahead of us and there’s still I think a great opportunity for this football team moving forward and that’s the motivation and that’s the — I think that’s the drive that each one of us have. I know that’s the drive that I have moving forward, and as I said earlier, that’s where the channeled aggression is going to go. It’s going to go into the team and into this week and obviously the next several games.
I just don’t want to — I’ll take a look at things and if there’s a chance to make a personnel change or whatever it might be, I’ll take a look at that, but I just don’t want to make a change to change, right? There’s got to be a reason for the change. I just know that it definitely starts with me and my messaging with the team, with the coaches, and getting everybody on board on the same page. Nobody’s pointing fingers. We are all pulling the rope in the same direction, and that’s what we’re going to do.