Q. What was the process like of game planning this week for QB Jalen Hurts? How was it different than it might have been under QB Carson Wentz? (Bo Wulf)
DOUG PEDERSON: No different. We install plays, we go practice, we meet. I mean, the process is the same. We are just getting Jalen ready this week to play.
Q. Are there a package of plays that you think makes more sense for Jalen than Carson? (Bo Wulf)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I’m not going to reveal the game plan, so I’ll probably just leave it at that.
Q. Just want to confirm that Carson is your backup on Sunday? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yes.
Q. And how did he handle this week? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: He’s handled it like a pro. He’s gone out to practice, you see him, he’s taking reps obviously with the service team and providing a really good look for our defense and has done a great job in helping Jalen. He’s been involved in the meetings and just what I expected.
Q. How do you assure Carson this is just a blip on the radar and he’s a part of the team moving forward? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: I think it has to go — it’s a two-way street. He’s got to take ownership, we got to take ownership, and we got to continue to be collaborative and talkative through it, continue to work and build.
And I said this earlier in the week, and I’m going to continue to say it: I truly believe that he can get back to the type of quarterback that he was even a year ago.
I just think we can get him there, and I look forward to that opportunity.
Q. Who is the right guard this week and are you calling plays this week? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: Let me just go right here and just tell you that [T] Jason Peters is going to miss the rest of the season. He has elected to have surgery on his foot, on his toe.
I’m going to tell you something: It’s an injury that we’ve known about and he’s literally battled through it. He’s done everything he can for this football team. I appreciate him a lot. He means a lot to me personally, not only on the field, but off the field as well, and so he’s going to be missed.
He wanted to be out there with his teammates for the remainder of the season. It’s just to the point now where the injury is a little bit too bad for him to continue, so he’ll have surgery and miss the rest of the season.
So [G Nate] Herbig will be the right guard.
Q. Are you calling plays? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yes.
Q. I wanted to ask you about Jalen Hurts, what he’s showing you in practice this week and how is the team responding to him? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: To answer the second part of it, the team has responded well. They have embraced this change, this opportunity for him, and that’s what good teammates will do, right? They’ll support the guy that’s in there and they’re supporting him and doing a great job there.
Jalen is a natural leader. We saw that obviously talking to his college coaches, whether it was Alabama or Oklahoma. Just a natural leader, and now that he’s in this position, you can see he’s coming out and really talking to his guys and talking to [C Jason] Kelce and wanting to understand. [He’s] asking really good questions in the meeting, not only to Press [passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Press Taylor], but also to me and to Stout [offensive line/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland], and really wants to gather all the information he can.
But he’s doing a nice job.
Q. You’ve prepared for the Saints defense all week. What have you seen from former Eagles S and current Saints S Malcolm Jenkins? How is he playing? How are they using him? (Jimmy Kempski)
DOUG PEDERSON: I’ll tell you: Malcolm is a great player and they use him in many different roles on defense. You’ll see him as a half-field safety or quarter safety. You’ll see him in the box as a dime linebacker, a lot like he was used here.
He’s a great blitzer, a great open-field tackler. He does well in coverage on bigger tight ends, and just really, I think settling into his role.
This defense has really gotten much better as the season has progressed when you watch them from the beginning of the year to today, and obviously he’s a great leader. You see the great communication on film.
Yeah, he’s playing really well right now.
Q. Kind of following up on the Malcolm question, what did he mean to you as a head coach and a leader in that locker room? And also, that Saints’ defense, No. 1 overall, did you think at all about, Hey, maybe I don’t want to put Jalen Hurts in against this particular defense first, or was that more about you guys than anybody else? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, on the question of Malcolm, what he meant to me and this organization, to me he meant the world really, because he was a staple on defense, No. 1. He was a leader on my player committee. He does a lot of things in our community here not only for the Eagles organization, but for himself personally and marketing his brand.
All the things he does off the field that we’ve seen him do, just a tremendous leader. Guys just gravitate to him and just a really good person.
And then as far as making the decision, listen, this is the National Football League. Every week is difficult. Doesn’t matter that — it just so happened that he’s going up against the No. 1 rated defense.
But it’s hard to win games. You’ve heard that before. It’s hard to win. Probably easier to lose them than it is to win, and that goes without saying each week.
So it really doesn’t matter the week that you pick or I select to make this move. This is the NFL.
Q. Earlier in the week you brought up some potential changes on the offensive line, obviously we’re going to see that. You also brought up some potential changes at wide receiver. With Jalen Hurts having so much work on the scout team, would it make more sense to get some of the younger guys involved that he’s worked with a lot more this year? (Mike Kaye)
DOUG PEDERSON: How much younger do we have to get than [WR John] Hightower and [WR] Travis Fulgham? You know, [WR] Jalen Reagor. Listen, I know what you mean. They’re all young. It’s a good point, because I think [WR] Quez Watkins has a really good relationship with Jalen. They’ve been throwing a lot together on the service team.
With [WR] J.J [Arcega-Whiteside] now coming back and getting in the mix; he’s been working a lot with him. So it does make sense, to your point. That’s something we’ll look at today. We’ve got another day of practice, red zone today, and we’ll make that final determination going into the game.
Q. Other than a win from Jalen Hurts on Sunday, what are some things you would like to see from him in order to consider it a successful start? (Ed Kracz)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I think there are a couple of things. Obviously, we want to take care of the football, right? Ball security is something we talk about each week. We want to see him execute the offense, how he executes it, right? Again, I’m not going to ask him it be Carson Wentz. I want him to be Jalen Hurts, how he views the offense.
And so just execution. We got to get in and out of the huddle. My job is to get him the play in a timely manner. He’s got to be able to communicate, get it out of the huddle, get the snap, all of that, and then we need to score points.
That’s the thing. We got to continue to stay positive on first down. We got to score when we get in the red zone, because we know the Saints can score as well on offense.
Those are just a few things that I would like to see coming out of this game, besides the win.
Q. I was wondering if in your conversations with Jason Peters he indicated that he would like to continue playing beyond this year? (Reuben Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: You know what, I have not had those conversations with him at this time.
Q. The quarterback change, how challenging has this been for you to get Jalen Hurts ready, and how excited are you about seeing how all this is going to work out on Sunday? (Bob Grotz)
DOUG PEDERSON: I guess the challenging part of just now him taking the offense this week commanding the huddle, directing the show, like I mentioned earlier, calling plays, running the offense.
All of that is the challenge of this week. Finding a set of plays that he’s really comfortable with within our playbook, and then going out and executing during the week.
That, to me, has been the hardest or the most challenging part, is just getting that together for him and then going and preparing against this great defense.
Then as far as just the excitement, I’m looking forward to him playing and seeing what he can do. Again, we all know this is going to be a really good test. It’s going to be a test for our offense, for our whole team, not just him.
This is a good football team. Obviously, a playoff team, Super Bowl caliber team. They’re well-coached. It’s a great opportunity for every member of our staff, my staff, and the players.
Q. You speak very highly of Malcolm Jenkins. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has spoken very highly of Malcolm. He expressed this week that he felt undervalued by the decision makers. How disappointed were you that this business decision was made to move on from Malcolm? (Rob Maaddi)
DOUG PEDERSON: Listen, we have a lot of respect for Malcolm and we all know there are a lot of tough decisions that have to be made every year. Great players are going to come, great players are going to go.
Again, just goes back to I have a lot of respect for Malcolm, what he did for this organization. Obviously helped us win a championship.
And yet we do realize that sometimes the business side is the ugly side of what we do. Sometimes it’s unfortunate and good players, good people, coaches the same way, have to move on, and it’s just the way our business is.
Q. How does Jalen Hurts’ ability in the read option and everything, how does that help the run game, particularly RB Miles Sanders? Does that make the Saints have to guess more? (Martin Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: When you look at the Saints offense, too with [Saints QB] Taysom Hill, he’s a running quarterback, right? So, you have to be alert for [Saints RB Alvin] Kamara and Taysom.
And the guys, the zone read, it’s just another running back on the field playing the quarterback position when you elect to do that, and it’s the same with Jalen, a quarterback that can run.
It can help your other running backs free up some things. If you have success doing that, it can help the other guys positively because it does kind of slow the defense down, or at least keep them in a position where you can maybe take advantage of that.