Q. As QB Jalen Hurts will start for you guys this week. What are you looking to see from him not just on-field production, this week at practice and Sunday against the Saints, but also from the leadership aspect as he steps into the starting role? (Kristen Rodgers)
COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, I mean that’s big for Jalen to just go out there this week and obviously take control of the huddle like quarterbacks do and just lead the way he knows how. I’m not nor do I want him to — I can think about when I played, they said ‘hey don’t go be [Former QB] Brett Favre be Doug Pederson’. So, that’s my message to him, be Jalen Hurts right and do the things that he can do. I think from an offensive perspective just run the show right, just run it how he sees it and we’ll coach him up through the week and get him prepared.
Q. How good do you think QB Carson Wentz can still be? What does he have to do to sort of hit that level to continue to improve and what is your plan right now to get him on that path?(Marcus Hayes)
COACH PEDERSON: I think Carson Wentz can be an exceptional quarterback in this league and he’s proven that, right? Back in 17′ 18′ and last year. We got to continue to battle and fight and work and work with him individually, work with him within the confines of the offense, the structure and just get [him] back to being Carson Wentz and back on track. So, that’s my focus with him, to just get him back to the level of play that we all know that he has shown us and that he is capable of doing.
Q. Are there specific things he needs to improve on? Things that you’ll focus on for the rest of this season and going forward? (Marcus Hayes)
COACH PEDERSON: Well look, I can’t predict what’s going to happen next week or the last three games, but I know this week we can begin that process of just beginning to improve and getting better and seeing things a little bit differently without getting into a lot of specifics. You know this is not the time to do. That’s just the way I envisioned it, that’s the way I will communicate that to him as we go this week.
Q. Beyond QB Jalen Hurts not being more than himself as you mentioned with the Former QB Brett Favre comparison. What’s going to be his biggest challenge Sunday, and how important is it going to be for you to find ways to get him some early success?(Paul Domowitch)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, I think in order to get him success right, you’ve got to attempt and try to establish a little bit of the run game, that helps. Then he can be a part of that, I think and just go out and maybe try to find some easy completions, right? The quick [passing] game or a screen here and there, something that can just kind of get him into the flow of the game. This is the number one defense, it’s no easy task. Obviously, he’s facing a really good opponent this week, so it’s our job as coaches, it’s my job as a play caller to try to help him that way and get him into the flow of the game and then we’ll see what happens from there.
Q. A quick follow up. They have not faced — looking at their schedule and the quarterbacks they face this year — they really haven’t faced a quarterback with his running ability. Does that present a little bit of an advantage at all? (Paul Domowitch)
COACH PEDERSON: Not for us, because all eyes are on the quarterback. You’re right, they haven’t seen this type of quarterback this season so we may, you may see more zone coverage, you may see maybe a little more man on the outside and spy a safety or a linebacker. There’s all kinds of things that the teams will do. We have to be prepared for everything as coaches and then as players we just go play.
Q. I know you didn’t make the final decision on drafting QB Jalen Hurts, but you said you’re on board. So, did you ever consider this scenario playing out with QB Carson Wentz playing so bad, that he would be benched by game 12?(Jeff McLane)
COACH PEDERSON: No, I mean, Jeff no. I never thought that — were talking way back in April. Am I sitting here thinking that this was going to happen? No. It’s kind of a hypothetical.
Q. Given where he was drafted should you consider that? Shouldn’t you consider that? Shouldn’t that be something — because it’s actually has played out that way? (Jeff McLane)
COACH PEDERSON: No. Are we where we want to be as a team? No. Are we beat up and banged up and got a ton of guys on injured reserve? Yes. Are we not playing well? Yes. We’re not coaching well? Yes. We need to do a lot of things better. Take [QB] Carson Wentz out of it. I didn’t expect us to be in this situation, back in April. So, let’s just start there. Has nothing to do with Carson has everything to do with obviously the team and where we are and my expectation was definitely and it still is, extremely high for this football team. But I didn’t expect us to be here, no.
Q. You said after the loss to Cleveland that benching QB Carson Wentz would send the wrong message to the locker room, that the season is over. So, are we to take that you feel like the season is over now that Wentz is on the sideline or what changed?(Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: No, that was a comment a couple weeks ago. My expectation is to go out and prepare and try to win every game we play. Listen just like I said after the football game Sunday I was looking for a spark from our offense and a lot of times it comes from putting your quarterback on the bench for the backup and that’s all I’m looking for here, I’m looking for a little spark, a little shot in the arm to kind of pick the offense up. Everybody around [QB] Jalen [Hurts]or around Carson has to elevate their game, we can’t do this, they can’t do this alone right? They can’t do this, it’s impossible to attack an opponent with just one guy so. But I fully expect our guys to go out, play hard and do everything they can to try and win.
Q. When we spoke to you on Monday, you still hadn’t reached this decision. Can you take us through how you came to this decision? How you communicate it up to the quarterbacks and what factors were considered? (Zach Berman)
COACH PEDERSON: I’m not going to get into all that because that’s personal with me and them and I’ll just say that I communicated with both of them on Monday night and came to this conclusion.
Q. When you were speaking to Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro yesterday, you seem to make a point of just using the phrase “this week”. How are we to take that? What is your plan here going forward? Do you see this as something just for this week or what?(Les Bowen)
COACH PEDERSON: Les, I don’t have a crystal ball, I can’t predict the future right. All I can focus on is today and getting our team prepared today and getting our guys ready for Sunday.
Q. For however long QB Carson Wentz is not the starter, what do you expect from him? What do you want him to gain from this experience? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: You know I would expect him to be a professional and obviously support his teammates and support [QB] Jalen [Hurts] through this and then continue to work on his craft and continue to improve. That’s what leaders do, sometimes it’s not always the easiest thing. In my position you make tough choices and tough decisions and then as players, whatever the decision is made, you have to own that and take responsibility yourself. So, I expect him to rally his troops, rally the guys, be supportive and lead the team as well.
Q. You’ve said for several weeks that this isn’t all QB Carson Wentz. That there’s a lot of blame to be spread around with the offense and the struggles that you guys have had. A move like this would indicate that you’re putting more blame on Carson. Is that the case or do you just feel that you want to allow him an opportunity to take a step back and will he be the backup QB on Sunday, or will he be inactive and just take a mental break? (Rob Maaddi)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, we’ll see how the week goes as far as that, to answer that part of the question we’ll see how the week goes but I would expect him to be that.
Q. When you make a move like this, it appears that the blame is now being put solely on QB Carson Wentz. That he’s the reason for the offensive failures. When you said all along that, that’s not the case? (Rob Maaddi)
COACH PEDERSON: I don’t believe that. I do think that obviously there is a lot of issues with the offense. Obviously, the quarterback position is just a part of it. But listen we all got to be part of the solution now, not part of the problem right. So, we’re looking ahead we’re looking to fix things and not dwell in the past. So, this is not all on Carson and it’s something that I did express to him and I have expressed to him throughout the course of the season. But we all understand we have to coach and play better and that’s where we’re at. So, we’re just taking it one day at a time, but we’re trying to get everybody — there’s a chance for another offensive line change potentially I mean, there’s all kinds of things that — receivers — there’s all kinds of stuff on offense. So, it is what it is, it’s where we’re at and we’re not going to make excuses, we’re going to work hard today and prepare.
Q. You mentioned kind of leadership and what you expect from QB Carson Wentz moving forward and always that position is defined by leadership. What have you seen behind the scenes from QB Jalen Hurts that makes you think he can lead this team and how difficult has it been for him in this environment, where so much is virtual? (John McMullen)
COACH PEDERSON: I’ve seen a lot of leadership especially with some of the young players that are kind of in his class right and the guys that came in with him. I mean he works with them every day, with the scout team and providing the look to our defense and he leads a lot by example. He’s not a vocal type guy but he leads more by example and how he plays, and I think that’s something that’s going to carry over now into this opportunity for him.
The virtual, as far as that goes again, we’ve made it work and the walkthroughs have been beneficial to all our players to get more snaps in the walkthrough session, then we will say practice and all of that combined. We haven’t had any issues with when it comes to learning the information through the virtual aspect of the day.
Q. You mentioned some possible offensive line changes as you as you look for a spark on offense are their changes, you’re going to make elsewhere I think specifically with T/G Jason Peters and WR Alshon Jeffery?(Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: Well with those two guys I got to see today just how they’re feeling. I know both those guys are sore and I haven’t made a firm commitment yet either way. So, it could be another change, it’s always a possibility. Like I said we’ll have the next guy up, we’ll have them ready to go and hopefully these guys get healthy this week and can give us something in the game.
Q. After the game on Sunday, QB Carson Wentz said he personally didn’t really see the need to take a step back, to look at the big picture of things. How do you make sure that this experience for him turns into a positive? What do you need to do behind the scenes with him? (Daniel Gallen)
COACH PEDERSON: We just got to keep communicating and just talk and work through these issues. Got to get him back to the level that he’s capable of playing at. Got a lot of belief and a lot of confidence still in him. This is just an opportunity to kind of look at it with different eyes, through a different lens and then sometimes that can be beneficial. He has to embrace that to right. He has to understand and kind of look at it that way and in order for us to kind of work through this.