Q. You brought back QB Josh McCown, kind of. Can you tell me how that came together and what’s his week going to be like during the season? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: With the new practice squad rules and being in a pandemic, being in a situation that’s a little not normal from a season standpoint and players, it just made sense to have a guy that we’re familiar with. He’s played on this team. He knows our team. He knows our system, that we can keep on practice squad and keep him plugged in, and we’re going to continue to work out the details of his week here in the next few days.
Q. We’re six days before the season opener. Who is your starting left tackle? Is it still a fluid situation and if you can give us an update on Cordy Glenn, if he were to come in, would you be comfortable with a guy coming in who has not been here and putting him in the starting lineup that quickly? (Rob Maaddi)
COACH PEDERSON: As it relates to Cordy Glenn, obviously I won’t comment too much on him. He did come in for a workout. He did well, and I’ll leave it at that.
As it pertains to our left tackle, I can actually share some news with you that Jason Peters came into my office this morning and he has decided to slide over to left tackle. Listen, this is the unselfishness; this is who he is.
When we talk about guys and we talk specifically about Jason Peters, this is who he is. He sacrifices not only his body, but for the football team. He did an outstanding job for us at right guard. It was valuable experience for him to play over there on the right side and get some interior work, but as he looks at not only where we are but where he is, he came in today and he was excited to move to left tackle and so I can announce that. I’m thrilled to death.
Q. As a follow-up to that, is G/T Matt Pryor now the right guard and what does it do for the offensive line knowing that you have Jason Peters at left tackle? (Zach Berman)
COACH PEDERSON: First of all, we have to get JP caught up. He is comfortable there, but we’ve got to get him caught up, back with the terminology and working with Isaac again and all that. That’s kind of the first thing.
At right guard, [G/T] Matt Pryor is an option there. We do have some other younger players. I mean, [C/G Nate] Herbig has been working in there. [T Jack] Driscoll has been working in there. We’ve got some options at the right guard position. But with this move with Jason Peters, it really kind of solidifies that left side for us and really puts us in a little bit better position moving forward.
Q. Wanted to ask you about your wide receiver situation right now. You have four healthy on the roster, but I assume because of the practice squad rules, you can easily move WR Deontay Burnett over. Right now, with WR DeSean Jackson back, first game against Washington last year, he was prolific. What does he bring back to that offense regarding explosiveness, explosive plays that you did not have last year without him? (Paul Domowitch)
COACH PEDERSON: I think you just hit the nail on the head right there with explosiveness.
One thing with DeSean, he feels good, he feels healthy and he’s ready to go for the regular season. Getting him back in the offense is just a boost. Obviously, a veteran player who can still play and play at a high level. That’s a really good thing for our offense to have him back in the lineup.
And then with the other guys, it’s a young group but [WR] J.J. [Arcega-Whiteside] has got experience. He’s played for us last year. [WR] Greg Ward has played for us last year. He’s played in some big games. He made some big catches. Those two guys there, feel real comfortable obviously in how they performed in camp.
And then looking at [WR] John Hightower who has done a good job in camp and really earned a spot on our roster and really looking forward to him. He’s another one we’ve got to get caught up obviously with the game plan and narrow some things down with him.
But as you mentioned with the practice squad and the way the rules are, there is some movement there that could possibly happen on game day, but obviously that’s down the road a few days.
Q. When Jason Peters came into your office this morning, can you tell us a little more about that, was there any discussion of his contract or any thought on your part? (Les Bowen)
COACH PEDERSON: Obviously he knocked and it’s a big man walking through my door, and I was happy to see Jason Peters.
I was just thrilled to death when he shared the news. I’m not going to get into the contract stuff. That’s not my area, but I was excited that when he shared the news that he was moving over to the left side and sliding over to the left side, I was thrilled. I mean, I couldn’t have been happier, not only for him but I think for our team. It just shows a sign of great leadership by him and gave him a hug and said let’s go.
Q. Had you expected this? Did you think Jason Peters would do this? (Les Bowen)
COACH PEDERSON: I had not expected this. We continued to talk to Jason and all that but listen we were comfortable with him at right guard. We had made plans to move forward and get ready for the season that way. It’s just one of those pleasant surprises that we all kind of hoped would come true.
Q. Out of some of the guys who did not go on injured reserve who have been out for a little while, RB Miles Sanders, DE Derek Barnett, DT Javon Hargrave, T Lane Johnson, WR Jalen Reagor, do you anticipate any of those guys being available for you Sunday in Washington? (Reuben Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: In regard to injury right now, they are all day-to-day. We will put out an injury report on Wednesday and give you a further update then, so I’m really not going to speculate on game availability at this time. We still have several days before the game, but that’s where I’m at on those guys. But they are doing well.
Q. You guys signed a running back, Jason Huntley, claimed him from the Lions roster. Curious what you thought of him and how he can fit in, especially in the rotation with RB Miles Sanders, RB Boston Scott and RB Corey Clement. (Martin Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: He was a guy, a player that we had actually targeted back in the draft and through the Draft process. He was on our draft board with many guys but obviously he caught our eye back then when we were evaluating running backs. We are excited about this player. Excited about [RB Jason] Huntley, excited to get him in the mix. He’s joining a really talented room with the three guys you mentioned plus the practice squad players.
It’s a good group and a group that can be kind of interchangeable throughout the week. Excited to get him in. He’s obviously got to pick up our playbook and get himself prepared and ready, and just look forward to the week ahead.
Q. You get to see CB Darius Slay play his first game as an Eagle coming up this Sunday. He went up against Washington Football Team WR Terry McLaurin last year with mixed success. Did you get to watch that match-up at all and what kind of benefit is it having somebody like Slay back there for you? (Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: That’s the thing with having Darius Slay on your roster. Obviously, we’ve talked a lot about this, and he can take and match their best receiver. I’ve always liked Terry McLaurin. I think he’s a talented receiver. Very explosive, and it’s always a good match-up when you have two really good players going against each other and obviously something to watch in this football game.
We’ll see what Jim’s [defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz] scheme is later in the week and what’s going to happen there and if that is the scenario or if that is the case. But Darius, I’m excited to have him, to watch him in game action, and he definitely gives us a lot more depth and a boost in the secondary, especially at corner.
Q. We talked earlier in the off-season about the difficulty for teams with new coaching staffs and you play one in week one here. What is the process like for you in trying to get the team ready to game plan against a team with a new coaching staff and you don’t know exactly what they are going to look like? (Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: For us it’s difficult from the standpoint you don’t know if it’s Ron Rivera influence, if it’s Jack Del Rio influence on defense. Same way on offense. What’s going to be the identity, I guess, on offense.
So those are just things that are kind of the unknowns right now. But you know, for us it’s just a matter of we’ve just got to prepare during the week. We can obviously watch games where both of those gentlemen have coached before and maybe get some ideas, but it’s not really until you get into the game to see exactly how they are going to attack you, how they are going to come at you, on both sides of the ball and then obviously in-game adjustments are going to be important.
Q. Is QB Carson Wentz back practicing? Is he back full? (Jeff McLane)
COACH PEDERSON: Yes.
Q. The strength of this Washington team has been their defensive line for a while and it got better obviously with the addition of DE Chase Young. So for the defensive linemen who are already there, what do they do well, and as for Chase Young, is it hard to prepare for guys like him that have no pro game film yet? (Jimmy Kempski)
COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, this is a talented group up front. You know, a lot of first round draft picks and talented guys in that mix, not only the D-Line but linebackers, as well. We definitely have our work cut out for us protecting against this front four, front six, front seven-type guys, and it’s a group, too, that we know, they are going to rotate guys and they are going to keep guys fresh and healthy.
Chase, we just kind of have to go off what he did in college and study his college tape to get a feel for him as a pass rusher, as a defensive end, an edge setter and go play. And then make those adjustments as we go.
You’re not sure if he’s going to be on our right or our left but at the same time, we have to go play and execute and do our jobs and stay within our rules and all of that, and do the best we can against that. And like I said, in-game adjustments are going to be important in games like this.
Q. I’m not sure if you can share this, but will there be a package of plays for QB Jalen Hurts? (Nick Fierro)
COACH PEDERSON: You’re right. I can’t share that.
Q. You reiterated your message a few times to us during this training camp. Can you reiterate it again and kind of appreciate how fans are finally going to get the sense of normalcy that they have been dying for come this Sunday? (Kristen Rodgers)
COACH PEDERSON: It is unfortunate, obviously, that they can’t be in these stadiums. The players, we all feed off of the fans, the excitement, the enthusiasm whether we are at home or on the road, it’s just a natural feeling to have the fans.
But I think for them to have football back, we saw it this past weekend with college football, to be able to turn on the TV and watch that was exciting this weekend. Now, to kick off this Thursday night, to kick off the NFL season and to carry it into Sunday and Monday night, it’s just exciting for our fans, and those that are football fans and to have football back.
My hat’s off to our players and really, the NFL in general for the protocols that have been put in place through the Players Association, through the NFL, to be able to create these bubbles.
It’s our job now during the regular season to maintain this, and the players are all on board with it. The coaches are all on board with it, and it’s exciting times, having football back and we are just a few days away from kickoff.
Q. You and Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera have been two of the most aggressive coaches in the past few years in terms of going for it on fourth down and play calling overall. What goes through your mind when it comes to going for it on fourth down and do you believe yourself that you are the gutsiest head coach in the NFL? (Chris Franklin)
COACH PEDERSON: I learned from the best obviously. I’ve studied the best and Ron is obviously one of those coaches that has made some great decisions and his teams have benefitted from that. He’s a guy that I’ve studied and looked at his teams and the times that he’s gambled and rolled the dice a little bit, whether it be a two-point conversion on fourth down or maybe a situation where it’s a trick play or something like that.
But for me, I’ve got to listen a little bit to the analytical side. I’ve got to study the numbers, the tendencies there. There’s obviously personnel things that we have to — that I have to decide upon, and who is in the game, who is not. So there’s a few scenarios or a few, I guess, criteria, let’s say, that go into those decisions.
But being able to follow guys like Ron and what he’s done previously, places he’s been, Carolina, obviously we don’t know much yet about Washington, but we do know his history. Those are things that we have to be prepared for because we know he’s a guy that’s willing to go for it on fourth down or possible two-point conversion. So we’ve got to be prepared come Sunday.