Q. You had nine guys who were out with illnesses over the weekend that coincided with the false positives from the lab in New Jersey. Were those nine guys false positives, and more importantly, if something like that happens during the season on a Sunday, how would you handle it? Did you know when you went out to practice Sunday that if that’s the case that those guys were okay? (Reuben Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, yeah. Nine guys seems like a lot that we had out for illness. We have guys certainly out for other reasons, medical reasons, as well. And guys that were resting.
Listen, it’s where we are. It’s what we’re in, and it’s something that we have to — as we’ve mentioned before, we continue to prepare for those situations.
Can’t control it. You know, obviously the guys that — when they do come back, they’re obviously negative from a testing standpoint, which is positive for us, but listen, this is why we have the protocols in place and the protocols have been working. It catches players. It catches coaches if need be, and we make the necessary adjustments.
We’re in a good place when it comes to that right now.
Q. Obviously TE Dallas Goedert is a big part of the offense. The way you used 12 personnel last season and how often you used it, is that the template for this season or can that package evolve and expand as a way to get Goedert more involved? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, it’s definitely a big part of our offense, the 12 personnel with the two tight ends is something that we feature quite a bit. It’s hard to tell exactly how the season is going to go. We could be more 11 personnel this year or possibly even 13. Listen, it just depends on the opponents that we’re playing each week and the structure and how we as an offense are playing, and guys — I love having the two tight ends. I grew up with two tight ends in this sort of West Coast offense when I was in Green Bay, and it’s something that we’re blessed to have these two guys in our system, and we’ll continue to explore opportunities for both of them on the field at the same time.
Q. I know you’re not putting a timeline on WR Alshon Jeffery, but could you give us an update on what he’s able to do physically at this point, and is PUP in play for the season or is that not a consideration? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, obviously won’t get into those decisions right now, but he’s working extremely hard. He’s doing his on-land running. We’ve increased that. He’s looking really good. He’s feeling really good. And we’re hoping to get him out there soon with the team at some point here in the near future.
I’ve been impressed with his workout, with his treatment, with his rehab, and we’ll see here in the next couple of weeks, but obviously as you mentioned, not going to put a timetable on him or make any decisions at this time.
Q. We’ve already seen a couple injuries to the offensive line. You don’t have T/G Halapoulivaati Vaitai anymore. How is the depth there? Do you feel comfortable going into the season with what you have? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: I do. You know, obviously we’re in camp and things happen and injuries and guys are going to miss a day or two here and there. The other thing is with the new protocols and having to basically release 10 guys prior to training camp, a couple of those guys were offensive linemen.
We’ve got to be smart. I’ve got to be smart with how we practice and the length of practice and keeping guys healthy. But I don’t have a concern at this time, obviously. We want to make sure guys are healthy and fresh obviously going into the season.
Q. Speaking of the offensive line as we were a minute ago, you’ve got T Andre Dillard and you’ve got T Jordan Mailata at left tackle. Can you give me an assessment of where you think those guys are at this point and is that a good situation for you, that left tackle, do you think? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, I’ve been real impressed obviously with Dillard and his growth, obviously his strength and what he did this off-season coming into camp mentally and physically prepared. He’s done a really nice job for us. He has really stepped in and embraced that role at left tackle. Mailata is doing some good things. He flashes from time to time. Again, keeping in mind that football is relatively new to him. He doesn’t have a lot of game experience, obviously, outside of preseason games in the past, but is doing a really good job for us there at left tackle, as well, and could potentially be someone that maybe could swing from left to right if need be.
Q. Eagles senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello said yesterday that QB Carson Wentz had done a lot of work on his mechanics this off-season. What have you seen in that regard, and what is different about Carson’s throwing motion? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: You know, without being sarcastic, you know what, I wasn’t with Carson in the off-season. I honestly don’t know what they were working on. He works on a lot of different things. He works on his feet. He works on the mechanics of his arm motion, head and eyes. Listen, I wasn’t at those workouts. I don’t know. All I know is that he’s come in stronger. He’s come in in the right frame of mind. I can tell he’s worked on his feet and getting his feet in great position to make strong, accurate throws, and things that every quarterback works on in the off-season, particularly the summer leading up to camp.
Q. I wanted to ask you about RB Adrian Killins, Jr. He’s gotten a lot of snaps early on mainly because you’ve had some guys that have been out, but I want to ask you about the way you’ve been using him. You’ve been kind of lining him up wide a lot, using him like you did former Eagles RB Donnell Pumphrey that first camp. He didn’t catch the ball a lot at UCF. Do you see him in that role, though, in this league? (Paul Domowitch)
DOUG PEDERSON: I do. I really — obviously he’s getting, as you mentioned, a lot more reps because with [Eagles RB] Miles [Sanders] being out right now and then [Eagles RB] Boston [Scott] being limited in practice and making sure he’s good and whatnot there. But [Killins] has really come in — I’ll tell you, I’ve been impressed from the standpoint of his knowledge and understanding. We’ve made him a running back. We’ve made him a receiver. We’ve put him in some tough situations. He’s handled it extremely well, and he does a nice job as a receiver in that receiving role out of the backfield. He’s got really good speed and quickness that is definitely, for a guy his size, beneficial.
So I’m just looking forward to — again, it’s unfortunate not having preseason games to be able to watch these young players play, but just being able to see him in practice and what he can do and where he can possibly help us this season if that’s the case.
Q. On guys like WR Quez Watkins and WR John Hightower, is there a difference between them flashing in training camp to you being able to trust them in a game, and without preseason, what can they do to sort of build up that trust from you? (Bo Wulf)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, obviously that’s been kind of a battle spot for us at that receiver position, those two guys kind of competing as receivers. It is unfortunate, again, as I mentioned, but we’re making the most of it in these practices to put them in positions to succeed.
And quite honestly, it’s just the nature of where we are. If one or both, or none, but I guess if one or both are up on say game day, then yeah, I’m going to trust them. We have to trust them, right, they’re part of our 53 [man roster]. Maybe they’re part of our active unit on game day, and we’ll see.
But I like where both of them are. They’re making progress each and every day, and it’s an interesting battle as we come down to this last week of camp.
Q. The Lions canceled practice yesterday to protest and discuss the shooting of Jacob Blake. What did you think of the powerful statement that they made, and what kind of discussions were you having with your players, with team leaders about anything that they may want to do in the coming days and in the coming weeks? (Rob Maaddi)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, I think it’s a great sign of unity, a sign of strength and support as a team, obviously, in these tragic situations. Our team continues conversation and dialogue. That’s something that we’re going to continue to do. It’s something we’ve agreed to do and continue to talk with our players quite a bit about.
You know, again, it’s just where we are as a country. You’ve got to put football aside. This is human life, and this is about all our lives, and these guys have a message. They have a platform. They have something that needs to be said, and so I’m here, obviously, to listen, to listen to their ideas and their comments and the things that they’re dealing with every single day, and so for the Lions to do that and to show a sign of unity I think is a very powerful message in our society today.
Q. When we were talking to Eagles senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello yesterday, he had mentioned Carson was an elite processor, kind of compared him to Falcons QB Matt Ryan pre-snap, post-snap. As somebody who’s been with him obviously since day one here, how much has he improved? I think he was ahead of the curve, but how much has he improved in that aspect of the game over the years? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: You know, Carson is — Rich is right. He’s not only a smart, quick thinker but he’s a deep thinker when it comes to football, and he does process things extremely well, extremely fast.
You know, obviously now that he’s going into his fifth year with us and understanding our system, understanding our offense, things process even faster for him.
What I like where Carson is at is he’s been able to take that knowledge of him, what he knows, and he’s been able to communicate that to guys like [WR] DeSean Jackson even and Alshon [Jeffery] when he’s out there watching practice and even our young players, our young receivers and backs, tight ends that you see him being able to translate that information and have conversation with these players because it’s so important that they’re on the same page, right, whatever the play is, run or pass.
Carson is mentally in a really good state right now, frame of mind, and it’s fun to be around guys like that, especially at your quarterback position.
Q. In the playoff game last year you guys used the roster spot on RB Elijah Holyfield after bringing him in from the Panthers practice squad. After an offseason with him and seeing him so far in camp, what has jumped out to you? What did you like about him back then and how have you seen him progress? (Daniel Gallen)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, obviously last year, needing that running back position, needing a spot on practice squad and being able to get him was great for us. Again, unfortunate not to have an offseason, OTAs, but I’ll tell you, he’s really — again, with the running back situation where we are and Miles [Sanders] resting right now and getting healthy, it’s allowed him just like [Adrian Killins, Jr] to get more reps and get more time, and he’s really taken advantage of his opportunity when he’s out there in practice, whether he’s in the one huddle or the two huddle, making the most.
He’s improved. Yeah, you watch him, even in his pass blocking drills, which are tough drills for players to go through, especially one-on-one, but he’s done a nice job there. He’s carried over into the team setting and been impressed with where he’s at and how he’s understanding our offense. He’s learning. Obviously he’s asking great questions with [Eagles assistant head coach/running backs coach] Duce [Staley], and having [Eagles personnel consultant] Darren Sproles out there, too, has been beneficial for all of our running backs. But Elijah has done a nice job for us.