Q. First, have you named — are you going to name a starting quarterback? Is it going to be QB Jalen Hurts week 17? Also, you mentioned on the radio this morning you’re fully confident in returning. Is that a personal belief or is that something you got from the organization? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: I am going to start [QB] Jalen [Hurts] again this week going into week 17. Definitely want to continue to evaluate, not only him, but the rest of the team and where we are moving forward.
In regard to my status, obviously Jeffrey [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie] and I have a lot of conversations throughout the season. Our main focus is on this season right now currently. We still have one game to play.
And really my confidence lies in myself, that I know exactly how to get things fixed. We’ve won a lot of games around here. Been in the post-season three out of the five years I’ve been here and a championship and all that. I’ve seen it, I’ve done it.
That’s where my confidence lies. So these conversations that we’re talking about will be at the appropriate time.
Q. The stuff about job security, do you ever have those discussions with players or are some of the veterans ever talking to you about things like that? (Bo Wulf)
DOUG PEDERSON: I don’t, and I don’t really feel the need to talk to the players. I just think that if you were to ask the players, I think they will be honest with you on how they feel about me and the things that we’ve done around here.
I don’t feel the need to necessarily address the team or ask certain guys on that.
Q. I know you take a ton of pride in this team and city and what you guys put on the field. The fact that you’re three years removed from the Super Bowl and ended up with the worst record in the worst division, that’s got to weigh on you like crazy. Can you talk about what a personal hit this is to have a season like this? (Jamie Apody)
DOUG PEDERSON: This season has been tough for myself personally as the head coach here. Obviously as the team and dealing with the pandemic and just everything that’s really hit us through injury and not playing well, it’s very disheartening.
I just sit here today and just have to apologize to the fans. Really just this is not what we expected. It’s not what I expected back in training camp and the early part of the season.
But I know in my heart that this is a great place to play, a great place to coach. We do have the best fans. When we win, it’s unbelievable. It’s exciting. I know we can get back to that level.
Like I said earlier, I know what that looks like. I know what it takes. Me personally, I’ve been in three Super Bowls, been on three Super Bowl teams, and I’ve seen exactly how it can be done. We’ve got to get that back. We’ve got some great players, some great young players, and they’re getting valuable experience right now playing.
It’s just unfortunate that we’re not winning these games. I think of yesterday’s game. It’s kind of like how our season has gone. We’ve had opportunities, right? We’re in the red zone, in the scoring zone, and we just come up short. That’s kind of been the way our season has gone. It is unfortunate, but I know we can get it turned around and get it fixed.
Q. You spoke about your confidence in yourself and what you’ve accomplished the last five seasons. How do you explain the three-year regression that we’ve seen with the Eagles under your stewardship the last two in two of the worst divisions historically the NFL has ever seen? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: [Jokingly] I appreciate the confidence, Jeff. You got to look at the injuries, No. 1, and the amount that’s piled up on us and the amount of guys on injured reserve. That, to me, has been one of the biggest things that has affected our football team.
And then so many young players — and you look at our team yesterday and there are so many new faces out there, so many young players out there playing. It’s been that way the last couple of seasons. That’s the part that is the most challenging to deal with when you’re dealing with a roster that way that gets hit with the amount of injuries.
You look at the offensive line. Let’s just start there. You lose [G] Brandon Brooks in the off-season; [T] Andre Dillard goes down; then [T] Lane [Johnson] and J.P. [T Jason Peters], and your entire O-line. [OL] Isaac [Seumalo] is out for eight weeks. Where are you going to find continuity? How are you going to get continuity there?
So that, to me, has been I think the last couple seasons and really last year we had a chance to win that Seahawks game, that playoff game, and [QB] Carson [Wentz] goes down in the first quarter and who knows what’s going to happen after that.
You can’t sit here and just say, ‘Hey, it’s been such a demise.’ This has been a strange year all around. So I look at things a little bit differently.
Q. Why are you guys then one of the most injured teams the last three years? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: Football is a rough sport, man.
Q. Obviously you guys do have a game to play this week. How do things change? Do you try to evaluate some of the younger guys a little bit more? Do you give them a chance to step up? How do you make sure that everyone stays engaged with no playoffs on the line? (Kristen Rodgers)
DOUG PEDERSON: I mean, that’s obviously my challenge this week, is to keep everybody engaged.
As far as the young players go, the young players have been playing and we’ve had a chance to evaluate them here the last couple weeks, and we are going to continue to do that.
But at the same time, we got some veteran players that need to play, and we’re going into this week hopefully going in there and trying to win the game. That’s how we play.
There is a lot of pride in the locker room, and I know the veteran guys that are still playing are going to keep things together and help me get that message across.
Q. You said you know how to get this fixed. How do you do that, and who is the quarterback to do that with you? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, obviously I can’t answer the second part. Moving forward we don’t necessarily — we’re not there yet as far as answering all those questions. Things can obviously change, and we’ll answer that at a different time.
I just know that we’ve got to get back to fundamentals, back to basics. Having a missed off-season, we got to get back to that. We got to get back to the teaching of the basics and the fundamentals and having OTAs and having practice and getting back to the things that we’ve had success here in the past.
Being smart that way and really leaning on our past just a little bit and those things that have helped us win games and win a championship. That all comes with the off-season moving forward.
We know there will be a lot of decisions to be made moving forward, and that’s obviously at a different time. But I know that we can get back to that, get back to the fundamentals, basics, get back to who we are, start our identity in the off-season, and that’s where you build the foundation.
Q. The play that T Jordan Mailata suffered the head injury, did you get to see that? What you did you make of it? How is Jordan doing? Are you sending that tape to the NFL? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: We’ll take a look at it, send it in and see what happens. Jordan is in the [concussion] protocol, so that is all I can comment on that.
As far as the hit and all that goes, those are things that happen. You don’t want to see that obviously. Looked like a helmet blow type play.
Again, it’s unfortunate that that happened, but he’s in the protocol and we’ll see where he is each day this week.
Q. Not to belabor yesterday, but I know you went in with the intention of running. Obviously the first series showed that. You got down in the third quarter and just seemed like that disappeared, even though you had a lot of time left and you weren’t down that far. Was it something that Dallas did? Was it the penalties? What got you away from that plan that you went into the game with? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: You start out and you get — you want to establish that run. That was the thing that we wanted to do and the one thing that really — as the game progressed, and you really look at the second half, and it’s kind of the tale of two halves again. The mistakes that were made in the passing game, mistakes that were made in the run game, the penalties, the pre-snap penalties, are all things that really cost us the opportunity to score points.
Having gone back and looked at the game again today, we had five or six drives to the — inside the 50-yard line that stalled out due to those mistakes and the inability to stay on the field.
There is enough — some of it’s on the quarterback, some on the offensive line, receivers offensively obviously, and so we all had a hand in the failure.
But with these guys, it’s a great learning experience. It’s a lesson to be learned I think to how important it is that each play, as the game wears on, each play becomes that much more important.
Q. Wanted to ask if you had any other injury updates from yesterday, like maybe WR DeSean Jackson? Do you think he got hurt on that first play, the touchdown play when he did the flip? (Nick Fierro)
DOUG PEDERSON: I don’t think he got hurt on that particular play. I do know that he got — the foot, the injury became more sore as the game wore on, and it just affected him more and more to the point where he couldn’t be himself so we had to keep him out.
I mentioned Jordan [Mailata] is in the protocol this week.
[DE] Derek Barnett from last week is pushing through his injury. Happened at the end of last week, and he’s going to push through and see where he is come game time.
[DT] Fletcher Cox, similar. Got injured early in the football game. Going to see where he is as the week goes on.
So we’re a little nicked up again. [LB] Shaun Bradley is a little a banged up. He’s going to be more day-to-day this week.
Hoping to get [LB] Davion Taylor back. I think we’ll get him back this week. [LB] Duke Riley back.
We also get some guys – [TE] Richard Rodgers is doing well, so anticipate him coming back this week. See where he is on a daily basis.
But we’re going to battle through. We’re going to get these guys ready in practice and prepared for Washington.
Q. When you’re evaluating this week, especially your coaching staff, and there isn’t the playoffs on the line, how important is it that you’re seeing that they’re not just going through the motions and they’re really taking this opportunity to develop the young talent and the guys around them? (Mike Kaye)
DOUG PEDERSON: That’s one of the things that I go all the way back to the off-season when I have really kind of one of my first staff meetings with them. I basically say, ‘Listen, our jobs are based on how well our players play, and it’s all about developing our players and getting them prepared to play.’
So, I know they take a lot of pride in that, so that’s obviously — that doesn’t change, right? We have to prepare this week and still have an opportunity, great opportunity to go and play and compete.
So, I fully expect that the coaching staff is going to get their players ready and go play.
Q. You talked about fixing this team going forward. When you look at the roster right now as it’s constructed, how many major changes do you think there need to be to do that? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Are you asking based on where we currently are, or do you factor in the injured guys as well?
Q. You can factor them in. I guess you have to take into account some of those players have been injured before and maybe they’re prone to injuries. I don’t know how you factor… (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Listen, you know as well as I do the roster changes every year. There will be guys that go, guys that come, add new draft picks.
It’s really hard to sit here and say that this team right now currently, factoring in all the injured players, we’re going to be the same team. That’s just not the case. I think, again, just use the offensive line, for an example, right? You are going to have [T] Andre Dillard and [T] Jordan Mailata. You are going to have [OL] Isaac [Seumalo], see where [C Jason] Kelce is at.
You got [G] Brandon Brooks possibly in there as well. [T] Lane Johnson back in there with [T] Jack Driscoll. I mean, you look at that and on paper you kind of go, ‘Wow, you got some talented guys, and you got young guys that have had valuable experience playing this year that are going to give you great depth moving forward.’
You think about all the young secondary guys. [DB] Grayland Arnold got a lot of time yesterday. [DB] Elijah Riley gets some time. The linebackers, young linebackers have had time.
And then you’re missing guys like [CB] Avonte Maddox, [S] Rodney McLeod. The list goes on and on. Yes, I would say that we have the pieces, the makings of a foundation of getting things back on track.
It’s just a matter now of let’s add some new pieces to it, right? The draft picks, free agents, and have an off-season and training camp and develop all this and then go play against next season.
Q. Speaking of those draft picks and free agents and acquiring talent, how do you feel now after five years about your role in bringing in personnel, and is it possible — is that something that you would evaluate wanting to have more input, more say in the talent that you guys bring in? (Rob Maaddi)
DOUG PEDERSON: That’s one of the things — you get into this business, especially as a head coach, and you do it because you love being around the players and you want to teach football.
I want to be a part of the solution. I want to be a part of the evaluation process. I want to be a voice that’s heard, and I want to have that collaborative communication with [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and his staff and be a part of that process.
I don’t necessarily want to cross that line because it takes you away from doing your job as the head football coach. I like being on the football side of things as a former football player and obviously now a coach. That’s where my passion lies.
But yet, I want to be part of the solution. I want to help evaluate and help bring guys in here that can help us win.