Q. Can you explain to us the decision to accept the field goal after the penalty instead of going for it on 4th and three? (Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: I felt at that time we had some momentum, took the ball down the field. It was going to be a fourth and three, I believe, and wanted to keep it to a one-score game at that particular point. I felt like we had some momentum and made the choice to keep points on the board.
Q. I think they ended up with 191 rushing yards. For a play action team like that, that obviously is tough. What was the biggest problem dealing with their run game today? (Paul Domowitch)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, until, again, as you guys know, until we can look at the tape and really look at it, it looked like it was just a downhill rushing attack. They did do some things. They are a stretch-running team and they did some things on the perimeter to us and got outside.
With all the moving parts on offense with the jet sweeps and the different things that they do and the tosses, it’s something we’ve got to obviously do a better job of. We definitely pride ourselves here on stopping the run and we didn’t do a very good job today.
Q. Can you take us into QB Carson Wentz’s interception in the end zone? That seemed like a big momentum changer. What did you see there and were you able to discuss that with Carson? (Pat Gallen)
COACH PEDERSON: I believe it was first-and-10, and just wanted to get Carson out of the pocket on the play. Again, just a situation where we’ve just got to continue to keep working. If plays are not there, don’t look to try to make something happen. Just throw the ball away in that situation or run.
Unfortunately, it was a turnover in the end zone and we’re just going to continue to correct and move forward.
Q. Overall, what did you think of Carson’s performance today? It looked like there were some opportunities to make plays but without seeing the film and knowing what the intentions were? What did you think overall? (Rob Maaddi)
COACH PEDERSON: Again, I thought there were some good plays there. Some good decisions. He did a nice job handling the run game with some of the checks that we had going on, and got us in and out of some throws from the standpoint of bad defenses into good, positive plays. So he handled the game that way.
The one thing that, again, we all have to take a look at, especially offense, is the turnovers. We had the fumble early and of course the interceptions. That’s been, I think these first two weeks of the regular season, that’s been sort of the tale of the tape.
Q. You lost G Isaac Seumalo in the game and you got T Lane Johnson back. As a whole, how do you think the offensive line held up coming off last week, and obviously from a sack/pass protection standpoint, it seems a lot better? (John McMullen)
COACH PEDERSON: I thought they, overall, played well. Played better than the week before and again, it’s a good defensive front that we played. We know [Rams DL] Aaron Donald is a tremendous football player and our guys handled him and what they were doing really well. So hats off to those guys. They worked hard during the week to prepare for that, and I thought overall did a nice job.
Q. After the decision to kick that field goal or keep the field goal, the Rams drive 75 yards on three plays. What happened on that drive and how disheartening is that that you’ve put your faith in your defense and they can’t hold up there? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, I mean, that’s the thing. We had some momentum. We got the three points and I believe we got it to a five or six-point game at that particular time, something like that. Really felt like the momentum was on our side.
Defense was eager and ready to go back out on the field. We just needed to find a way to get a stop at that particular time and get the offense out.
That’s the one thing we’ll take a look at, and we’ve got to do better there. We’ve got to coach it better and play better in those situations to where everybody understands that you get one stop in those situations, and give it back to your offense, you’ve got a chance to take the lead on maybe the next possession.
Q. WR DeSean Jackson wasn’t targeted in the first half and then it seemed like you were conscious of getting him involved in the second half. What was the meaning or why wasn’t he involved so early? (Jeff McLane)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, we had a couple things designed up early. Ball just didn’t go his way from a progression standpoint. Made a conscious effort at halftime as one of our adjustments to get him going in the second half. Felt like we did a good job there. He’s an explosive guy that can make some plays. A little bit was the coverage. Other times, it was play design. The ball was going somewhere else. But we’ll continue to get him involved with the offense.
Q. What went into the decision to bring QB Jalen Hurts up to the No. 2 QB after having him inactive in week one and what did you see on the three plays that you had him in there? (Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: The decision, we always do what we feel sometimes is best for the football team each and every week. We felt this week with him up, they could give us an opportunity to possibly use him in those situations that we did, and obviously he went in, executed them well, and it’s a starting point as something we’ll evaluate each week.
Q. It looked like you guys had about six or seven passes that went longer than 15 yards, and looked like a lot of stuff was underneath. Was it a concerted effort heading into this week to try to go with a short passing game, or was it something the Rams secondary and back end did to prevent that from happening? (Chris Franklin)
COACH PEDERSON: It’s a little of both. The other thing, too, is when you’ve got such a good player in Aaron Donald on the other side, you want to make sure that you’re not back there necessarily holding the ball or having lengthy, lengthy routes where it’s more five and seven steps, or the quick passing game, get Carson on the edge, movement stuff, to allow him to see the defense. We had some success there in the first half with that and kind of came out in the second half and did the same thing. Again, got DeSean involved a little bit more.
It’s week-to-week. The way game plans are constructed. Today, we just didn’t make enough. We need to hang onto the football a little bit better.
Q. How concerned are you about the defense? Going back to the second half against Washington, you guys have allowed 64 points in the last six quarters. (Martin Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, listen, it’s not about one player or one unit. The offense has to do their part obviously and not turn the football over and we’ve got to put points on the board when we have opportunities. Field goals are great, but when we get into the red zone like that, we’ve got to come away with more scores, touchdowns.
And then, yeah, the defense has a part in that, too. They pride themselves on getting off the field and trying to help the offense. These things go hand-in-hand. It’s not one unit, one guy. It’s things we’ve got to address, and we’ve got to address them quickly.
Q. You had a lot of defensive turnover with key players over the last couple years — Malcolm Jenkins most recently and Kamu Grugier-Hill — you had some guys the year before, has this caught up to you do you think and do you need to get these players more up to speed? (Nick Fierro)
COACH PEDERSON: No, every year, you’re going to have turnover. That’s just the way this league is and the way the business goes.
For us, we do have some young players in some of those roles, right. You look at linebacker, there are some young players there. Receivers, we’ve got some young players there. We’re playing with some young offensive lineman. That’s going to happen. That’s part of this business. I don’t think you can just hang on the fact that these guys are young anymore. We are coaching them each week and we are getting them prepared to play, and now they just have to go out and play games.
The more obviously game experience they get, the better they get, and these players will help our offense and also help our defense. One of the areas you’re seeing some of the young players shine is obviously on special teams, and they are doing a heck of a job there.