Q. You had mentioned after the game yesterday about QB Carson Wentz and not thinking about benching him thinking it would send the wrong message. When you look back at the film and you start to think about moving forward in the NFC East and that message, say if there was a 7-3 team in this division, would that change your thinking? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: That’s a hypothetical question, and I’m not getting into that.
Q. Can I follow up real quickly? As far as Carson and – (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: Right now, we’re still in the hunt, we’re still leading the division, so we have a lot to play for right now.
Q. Yesterday RB Miles Sanders said that the Browns made some adjustments after halftime. I think he said their linebackers started coming a little bit more downhill. When you looked at the film, what did you see from the Cleveland defense in the second half? (Daniel Gallen)
DOUG PEDERSON: Their linebackers coming downhill.
Q. Even before T Jason Peters left the game yesterday, it seemed like he wasn’t playing at a very high level. What did you make of his performance, and is he your left tackle moving forward? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, he’s our left tackle moving forward. Look, there were a lot of things, several things that sort of stood out after watching the film from a number of positions, not just one specific spot or aspect of the game, offensively.
Something that, as you’ve heard me say this before, there is enough to go around. O-line, running backs, tight ends, the quarterbacks, the receivers, a lot of work still needs to be done, but we can get it done.
Q. You get asked a lot about not rolling Carson Wentz out of the pocket more. Could you help give us some insight into why that’s not happening? Is it not part of your scheme? Is it something that Carson doesn’t like? Does something have to happen first until you get to that part? Can you just help us understand that better? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: No, probably the No. 1 thing is just me calling it more, honestly. We had success in the run game in the first half, and my plan going into the second half was to kind of get him out of the pocket — it was to get him out of the pocket, especially on first-and-10 situations to do that.
We had in this game plan the movement throws, also kill to a run check built into the game plan based on what the defense gave us. So, some of that came up where we got to the run as opposed to the quarterback movement.
But honestly, it’s probably more me just calling them.
Q. Two quick questions about Carson’s first interception. A, was TE Richard Rodgers supposed to pick up Browns CB Denzel Ward on that side, and B, it appeared WR Jalen Reagor was open on that play. Did Carson not see him? What exactly happened there? (Paul Domowitch)
DOUG PEDERSON: Part of that protection, obviously the tight ends have to be aware of, especially on the nub side like that, to be aware of DBs coming off the edge. It’s unfortunate that that happened, and we just missed. Saw him late and tried to get a hand on him, but by then it was too late. He hit Carson.
I do think that Carson did have an opportunity. I haven’t spoken to Carson yet today. I’ll see him here in a little bit. Haven’t had a chance to talk to him about that play. It appeared that he had Jalen, like right now off of the play fake, and possibly could have completed that pass before the hit.
Q. Why is WR Alshon Jeffery even being active? Why is he on the team? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: Why is he on the team?
Q. You have younger players, WR John Hightower’s only got one snap. What’s the point of playing Alshon Jeffery at this point when he’s not even going to be here next year, or unlikely to be? I think a lot of fans are wondering what are you doing with Alshon Jeffery? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, right now he is a part of the offense. He’s a part of what we’ve done and the success we’ve had here. He is coming off injury, and we do have to get him in the game a little bit more. You know, that’s, again, on me to get him in the football game, and also Hightower at the same time.
So you also knew that [WR] J.J [Arcega-Whiteside] was not available in this football game and [WR] Quez [Watkins] was down, so Alshon was up and active for this game.
Q. QB Jalen Hurts played one offensive snap. Regardless of the way Carson is playing, why isn’t Hurts on the field more? Is this the type of workload and usage we should expect going forward? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: No, I think I could get him in the game a little bit more.
Q. On the discussion from yesterday about people asking you about benching Carson, you said you didn’t want to send the wrong message to the team, that you had given up. I guess the counter to that would be by not doing something, do you send a message that any sort of mistake or poor play is excusable or that people aren’t accountable for what they do? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: No. I kind of addressed it this morning on the radio. We still have a lot to play for. We have a lot to fix. It’s not — in this city, the quarterback and the head coach, it’s all about the QB and the head coach. Everybody else can almost go by the wayside, I guess. So it’s almost like a two-man band.
But there is enough work to be done, as I’ve mentioned, by all positions. Receivers can play better. O-line can play better. We had how many different offensive linemen? We played all nine offensive linemen yesterday in this game. Opeta [G Sua Opeta] who was a left guard is now playing right guard. Had to bump Pryor [G/T Matt Pryor] out to right tackle, and Driscoll [T Jack Driscoll] was in there. Mailata [T Jordan Mailata] is playing the left side.
It was just another one of those days. Running backs, we need to hang on to the football. Quarterback needs to play better. Defensively, we have got to get off the field on third down. Got to be able to tackle better. Same way on special teams. Got to be able to tackle in space.
There is enough to go around that none of it is excusable. We all hold each other accountable, coaches and players. That’s why I keep saying that we have a lot to play for. There is a lot of pride here.
That’s what we’re going to do.
Q. Just talking about Alshon again, since he’s come back, WR Travis Fulgham’s production has really been basically nil. Do you worry about that dynamic and how reintroducing a wide receiver can impact the rest of the group? You were getting a lot of great production from Travis before that. (Nick Fierro)
DOUG PEDERSON: No. I’m not worried about Alshon’s presence right now. I’m concerned about Travis’ production and getting him better and helping him get better. He needs to get better.
As I’ve mentioned, we all have enough to do, enough work to do, and obviously he is part of that group.
Q. G Nate Herbig, he started, didn’t miss a snap first eight games; hurt his hand or his finger. He wasn’t on the injury list this past week, but then he didn’t play. What’s going on with him? Is he going to be back in the picture? Is there something more to it? (Reuben Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: There is nothing more to it. Opeta has deserved the opportunity right now, and with [OL] Isaac [Seumalo] coming back, it was just we had all the offensive linemen available and we had to put a couple guys down inactive for the game.
Herbie is doing fine. He’s doing well. Each week, he’s competing for one of those backup spots right now, or potentially a starter spot if there is an injury each week.
Q. This Eagles team is no stranger to adversity. You have been through it before in similar situations for the last two years, and you mentioned yesterday that this is going to be a challenge now, maybe even for the veteran leadership, to make sure that guys stay in it. What’s worked in years past, and why are you maybe not seeing that right now? (Kristen Rodgers)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, what has worked is just what you mentioned: The leadership of the team, the veteran players just embracing and taking ownership in not only their job, but also the team and leading the football team.
There has been a lot of things that have surrounded this football team this year with the pandemic and COVID and injuries and different things. We still have a lot to play for. We still have an opportunity in our division to win the division eventually, and hopefully — it’s going to take everybody.
Listen, I guess it’s a hard task, right? It’s an uphill battle. But we just have to do our part. I’ve got to coach better, we have to practice better, and ultimately, we have to play better in order to really get this thing back on track.
Q. How was the game day operation different yesterday without passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Press Taylor and wide receivers coach Aaron Moorehead? What specifically did you do to account for that? (Bo Wulf)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I was a little more involved on the sideline when I could and be a part. [QB] Nate Sudfeld and [QB] Jalen [Hurts] did a nice job. [Pass game analyst] Andrew Breiner and Rich [senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello] did a great job of getting on either the headsets or the phones and talking through with the quarterbacks, spending more time with the receivers and the running backs, and sort of bridging that gap.
Coach Peelle [tight ends coach Justin Peelle] did a great job of communication. So, we all just took ownership in that and just sort of involved everybody in that process.
Q. One of the things you said yesterday was this is going to be like a great sign to see who is in and who is out. Wondering, have you noticed anybody not being all in at this point? How concerning would it be if you were to discover that was the case? (Martin Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: I have not discovered that so far. I think that’s more of a maybe a word of caution to everybody. Listen, we still have — messaging is not going to change. We still have our goals right in front of us. I just want to make sure that everybody understands that we still have a great opportunity. As poorly as things have been, we still have a great opportunity in front of us.
I want to make sure everybody understands that. We still have to go out and practice, we still have to meet, we still have to do the things to prepare ourselves for each game.
I just want to make sure that everybody understands that we’re all in on this. It’s like we’re pushing our chips to the middle of the table, so to speak, and everybody is in.
I haven’t noticed anybody not being in and wouldn’t expect that.
Q. Might not be a popular question, because I want to ask about the positive. Any positives that you’ve seen so far this season, especially someone like LB Alex Singleton who has played all the snaps the last two weeks and has double-digit tackles. What do you see from him, and what other positives do you see from anyone else so far this year? (Ed Kracz)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think Alex, as you mentioned, has been a big bright spot for us. As you mentioned, he’s played a ton of snaps obviously on defense. He’s a core teams player, great leader, great energy giver, just somebody that has really embraced his role.
I think about guys like [DT] Fletcher Cox and [DE] Brandon Graham who have been real leaders of this football team. They play and practice hard each and every week.
Even you look at [RB] Miles Sanders and [RB] Boston Scott and what they’ve done in the run game, kind of picking that up. I’m encouraged obviously, some of the bright spots have been the receivers, quite frankly. [WR] Travis [Fulgham] has obviously been a big part of that, and [WR] Jalen Reagor is getting better the more he plays.
And then [CB] Darius Slay on the outside as a corner has really done some nice things there, being able to shut down a top receiver on the opponent or whatever Jim [defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz] asks him to do.
There are definitely some bright spots and positives on the football team that have emerged this season.
Q. I know a lot is being made of the offensive line shuffling. When the offensive line is protecting and there is no pressure, what are you seeing from the passing game and how would you evaluate the passing game when the offensive line is protecting from a play calling standpoint, from a Carson standpoint, from a wide receiver standpoint? (Mike Kaye)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, when you’re seeing that and then you have to look to the — you have to look at the concept of the play. You have to look at routes. You have to see if guys are in the right spots and doing the right things.
And sometimes, listen, give credit to the defense. You’ve heard of a coverage sack before, and that’s happened. That’s real. Then on top of that, Carson has had the ability to move and extend plays.
And so those are all things that are part of that. When we do have clean pockets, normally we’re doing some things well down the field. Ball is completed. But at the same time, I’ve got to look at the concept, the routes, and making sure guys are in the right spots.
Q. Since Carson kind of hit what could be called his peak in 2017, he had the torn ligament in his knee, a back injury, and he had a concussion, three pretty serious injuries. What’s been the effect on him of those from what you’ve seen, and what’s been the effect on maybe how you might call a game because of the aftereffects of those injuries? (Mike Sielski)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I hesitate to comment on how he feels or what he is going through, because that’s more probably a question for Carson.
But from a play caller’s standpoint, those injuries don’t play a part obviously into how I approach the game or how I call the game.
But I think to answer the first part of that, I would say that that’s probably a Carson question to see how he feels and how he’s overcome those injuries.