Q. Running game, you guys are averaging well over 5 yards a carry in the first three quarters, but that number goes down to about 3.3 in the fourth quarter. I wonder how much you’ve looked at that trend and if that’s kind of shaped your play-calling by not dialing up as many runs late and what’s happening so that you’re not able to sustain a running attack late in games? (Reuben Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, it is something we look at. I would say the obvious answer to that is we’re playing from behind in the fourth quarter so we’re having to throw the ball to work ourselves back into the football game. You’re right though. The running game has been probably one of the positives, probably the positive offensively. But it is something that I do consider a little bit more in the fourth quarter, even though we are behind and we’re trying to work ourselves back into the football game.
Q. We’ve talked a lot this season about your messaging with QB Carson Wentz and maybe how you give that message has changed and evolved over the course of the season. I’m curious, what kind of changes do you make when you give that message at this point of the season with where you guys are at right now? (Kristen Rodgers)
COACH PEDERSON: I think the messaging – honestly, it is specific between he and I, but I also want to make sure that the offense, as a whole, understands the messaging too, right? Even though the focus is on me and the quarterback, I think there’s — and we’ve talked about this a lot, I think that each position group can also have specific messaging as well, that we’re all doing the same to improve and to get better each day, each week. I continue to talk to Carson and continue to talk to all the quarterbacks and still direct and lead the offense and lead the team in a way that everybody has to understand. Coaches and players have to understand that the things that we’re doing, the mistakes that we are making have to stop.
Q. Is it something though where you have to simplify things when you communicate with him at this point in the season? (Kristen Rodgers)
COACH PEDERSON: The short answer to that is yes but, and then here’s the but, we also simplify because of some of the mistakes that we’re making at the skill positions with some of the young guys too. So, it kind of goes hand in hand with yeah we want to simplify overall, maybe for the quarterback position, but we’re also simplifying for the rest of the offense so that guys can — especially this time of year when fatigue and bodies are sore and the minds kind of get tired that we keep it simple for them also.
Q. We saw that really productive stretch from WR Travis Fulgham and then in the last two weeks obviously the production hasn’t been there. To what do you attribute that, and at this point in his career, he’s such a young player, do you really know what you have with him?(Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, I attribute probably the lack of production for just the way that defenses are scheming him. We have seen a top defender, corner, at least go to his side of the field or at least guard him. It’s something that he has to, as a young player, he has to understand because the more – and if he wants to be an elite receiver in this game, and in this league, he’s going to know that’s always going to be the case every week, and he really has to focus in and detail his work and practice hard and fast and just prepare himself for that. That’s how you see some of the great players in this league, particularly at the receiver position, how they handle that. Just knowing that they’re going to gain the respect around the league the more opportunities and the better they become.
Q. Is TE Zach Ertz trending in the direction to play? Then you said last week that you’ve been more effective out of 11 personnel than 12 personnel, but you haven’t had Ertz and TE Dallas Goedert together much. When they’re back, are you expecting to get back to what you did early in the season, and really play 12 heavily?(Zach Berman)
COACH PEDERSON: Zach is trending in the right direction. He’ll be back out there today in our walkthrough and our practice this afternoon. So, I’m optimistic and hopefully he comes away and feels good after today’s practice.
As it pertains to 12 or 11 personnel, as you guys know too sometimes, based on analytics, based on coach’s film study during the week and how the games kind of unfold, I like 12 personnel. I like when Zach and Dallas are in there. I think [TE Richard Rodgers] Rich Rod has been a very positive complimentary piece in Zach’s absence right now. I’ve been very happy with how he’s played, and he’s played well. So, I do think that I think maybe 12 or 13 personnel could be a little more involved in our game plans, but at the same time, I do like 11 personnel as well. I still like having some of those young guys on the field with the speed and being able to attack in that way as well.
Q. Where does C Jason Kelce stand in terms of his injured elbow?(Jeff McLane)
COACH PEDERSON: He’s sore but he’ll be fine and would expect him to play Sunday.
Q. So if Jason plays Sunday that would be his 100th consecutive start, which is a pretty impressive feat. What has he meant to this team over that span and obviously this year with so many moving parts at the offensive line?(Jeff McLane)
COACH PEDERSON: I’ll tell you, this guy, I got so much respect for him as a football player on and off the football field. He’s somebody that does things right all the time and his game may not be perfect each week, but this guy, he practices, and plays hurt. He gives of himself for his teammates. He’s a great leader, not only in the offensive line room but I think on this football team. It’s one of the reasons I make him a captain every year and the team respects that and the team looks at that. I know over the years, probably in his career, we try to — whether it’s through the media or the team we try to find ways to move Jason Kelce on, but I’ll tell you what, I love this guy. What he can do as a center, how he moves, how he gets to second-level defenders, how smart he is in protection. It’s just amazing to me. I’ve never really been around a player, an offensive lineman of his caliber that does what he does day in and day out and a ton of respect for Jason.
Q. You talk about like right now you’re talking about C Jason Kelce in the media, about what you love about him, stuff like that. There’s always noise around the football team, right? And this week all the noise is you should bench QB Carson Wentz, why aren’t you benching Carson Wentz. Experts say you should, experts say you shouldn’t. How do you filter that stuff out? I mean, I know you guys don’t listen to a lot of that, but I’m sure that you’re aware of it and I’m sure that you know Carson is aware of it and there’s a lot of pressure being the football coach and the quarterback of this football team. So how do you kind of filter out the noise? (Jamie Apody)
COACH PEDERSON: For me personally, I don’t listen. I don’t listen to the radio. I don’t read print media. If [Director of Public Relations] Brett [Strohsacker] doesn’t tell me what’s going on outside of our building, I don’t know. If [Vice President of Team Security/Chief Security Officer] Dom’s [DiSandro] not informing me on what our players are doing, I don’t want to know, right? Because my focus is on the team and helping our football team get better and improve and that’s my job. Listen I understand my job is also to make tough decisions with the roster and who plays, who doesn’t play and things of that nature. Every coach, every player here, there’s a ton of pride. Everybody’s an expert, everybody’s an arm-chair quarterback, everybody has an opinion, and I respect that. People are entitled to that and I have to do what I feel is in the best interest of the Philadelphia Eagles, [Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Lurie] Mr. Lurie and the players in that locker room. Again, it comes back to sometimes having to make tough decisions. One of the things that I’ve learned as a player and I’ve seen as a coach, is that the tough decisions have to be made in this business. Whether it’s a tough decision to move on from a player in the offseason or the decision now to whether you’re going to make the move at quarterback or not. I mean these are all decisions that have to be made by me, but for the most part I just focus on the players. I focus on getting better each day.
Q. You’re not making that move right Doug? To a different quarterback? (Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: Not today on Wednesday, no.
Q. Possibly for Monday? (Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: I’m focused right now on getting better today. I don’t know. I mean, I would say, no, no, no.
Q. QB Carson Wentz is your starter for Monday? (Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: Yes.
Q. What have you done? What methods have you guys employed to help get him right. Do you have him looking back at some old tape where he was successful and what kind of methodologies are the coaches using to try and get your quarterback right?(Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: I mean we keep going round and round with this. I’ve gone back and looked at ‘17 and ‘18 tape, our coaching staff has, I know he has. We’ve looked at everything from play calling, me, am I different? Am I using personnel right? Am I making decisions that are beneficial for the team? I look at a bunch of that stuff. It comes down to just each person, each player, each coach taking a look at yourself, looking in the mirror, see what you see. If you don’t like what you see, we got to change, and you got to make improvements and you got to get better. So these are all the things that we’re doing and we’re helping him. We’re helping the offense. We’re helping the offensive line. We’re helping the receivers. We’re helping everybody get better and we’re using everything we can to make these adjustments.
Q. Given the challenges this year Doug of everything going on and having less face-to-face time with your players, how do you go about making sure you have the same pulse of the locker room that you would normally have?(Bo Wulf)
COACH PEDERSON: Well, for me it’s about reaching out to individual players and just talking right? Talking to my coaching staff and seeing what guys are talking about. Then when we get them here in the building, being able to pull them aside and talk to them then and just have an idea of what’s going on. I’ve been very pleased with even the struggles that we’re having, I’ve been very pleased with the energy, with the enthusiasm, the attention to detail that a lot of these players and this team has had and that is something we got to hold on to and work our way out of this.
Q. Your hesitation to answer that question about the starter on Monday is going to be overanalyzed and micro analyzed, and I know you’re not paying any attention to it, but can you explain why there was a hesitation? Are you thinking about it? Has that even crossed your mind?(Rob Maaddi)
COACH PEDERSON: I think about a lot of things. The question was, ‘Is [QB] Carson [Wentz] my starter?’ He’s my starter, end of story. You guys can blow it up however you want it and that’s fine. I’m focused on this team, these players, this coaching staff and the Seattle Seahawks.