Eagles HC Doug Pederson conference call (11.18.20)

Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson conference call

On playing QB for the Browns in 2000: 

“I just remember there is so much history with the Browns organization. Of course, back then, (former Browns QB) Bernie Kosar was around the team and a big influence on me. I played with Bernie in Miami, and then of course, he is the ultimate Brown at the quarterback position. I just remember the rich tradition and the history of the city. A great sports town. It is an exciting place to play any kind of professional sports, whether it is basketball, baseball or football. I loved living there. Really thought Cleveland and the city itself, my wife and I remember our kids were young, taking advantage of the city, dinners and things like that. I know the team was not as good, but at the same time, it was a great experience for me.”

On beating Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick in 2000: 

“That was obviously one of the high points of that season. I believe we ended up 3-13 that year, but that was definitely a high point. I had an opportunity to start a couple of those games that year and learning a new system. It goes back to it is a lot like Philly. When you win in Philly, it is an exciting place, and it is the same way in Cleveland. When the team wins, it is an exciting place, and I can imagine right now… I know there are not a ton of fans in the stands, but it has to be a great place now that they are winning. That was a great moment for us back then.”

On what stands out about the Browns rushing attack: 

“Obviously, it starts up front with the offensive line. That is where any run scheme has to take place. These guys do a great job and displacing D line. You put the ball in these two running backs’ [hands], and these are big powerful guys. It is a stretch run game off-tackle. Just a power run game that is hard to stop. It is tight ends and it is the offensive linemen that get the job done, and these two backs, they are hard to stop. They are hard to put on the ground because of their size.”

On how much more difficult it is when an opponent has two RBs carrying the ball and not just one:  

“It is really hard because it keeps those guys fresh. They do it for four quarters and they can sustain it. When you have one guy doing it, that guy tends to wear down towards the end of the game. With two guys, I just remember back in ’17 when we had (former NFL RB) LeGarrette (Blount) and (free agent RB) Jay Ajayi and we had two guys where it was difficult to stop and keeping guys fresh. That is what you see.”

On Eagles QB Carson Wentz’s season thus far and outlook for the rest of the year, understanding the Eagles offense has been impacted by injuries: 

“He is doing really well. He has obviously battled through some of that. He is such an aggressive style of player that sometimes it kind of can get him in trouble from time to time with some of the aggressiveness. He learns to manage it. He handles it. We have had some injury up front in the offensive line. We have obviously had some young players at the skill positions and receiver spots that are playing. It has not been all perfect and sometimes you can force the issue at times. I thought last week he played a lot better. We did not turn the ball over. We just did not capitalize on third down and in the red zone. I think he has really handled it. He is working through it. He is working through it not only with himself but he is working through it with the offense. That is what is encouraging. We still have seven games left and we will see.”

On the Eagles trading with Cleveland in the draft to select Wentz and if he would make that trade again and still view Wentz as the ‘elite quarterback of the future’: 

“Oh, heck yeah. I would do it all over again. He is the guy we wanted back then. He is still the guy we want today. I love everything about Carson Wentz. He is a great leader for our team and our city, and I would do it all over again.”

On Eagles RB Miles Sanders: 

“Obviously, he played behind (NY Giants RB) Saquon Barkley, who obviously we know with Giants. We see Saquon twice a year. Unfortunately with his injury, he has not played. Coming out of Penn State, this guy was very similar to Saquon in college. He was a downhill, dynamic, one-cut, good out of the backfield hands catcher that really flashed on tape. His college tape caught our eye and caught our attention. We were really high on Miles. His rookie season, coming in and kind of learning from (former Eagles RB) Darren Sproles a little bit on how to practice and how to play and really was a bright spot for our offense a year ago and even this year coming back. He has been hurt a little bit season, but he is a guy you can put the ball in his hands 15- 20 times a game, and he can carry it. He is tough, and he is explosive. We have seen that already this year with some of the long runs that he has made. He is just getting better each time he goes out.”

On his experience with Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry at the Eagles: 

“Andrew, obviously, here for a short time, but really got to know him. Obviously, a great person and a great family. Just a smart guy. He understands the needs of teams. He understood what we needed. He worked well with (Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager) Howie (Roseman). Just a likable person. He is smart. He knows ball. He is going to do a great job there in Cleveland for them.”

On QB Baker Mayfield and if the Eagles’ goal will be to pressure Mayfield a lot of Sunday: 

“I think the goal is to… Obviously, the run game is going to be a focal point. The thing is and where Baker excels is he is such a good athlete that you get the run game going – it is really with any team but particularly with the Browns – it just opens up so much stuff. It opens up the bootlegs for the quarterback, the play-action pass. Baker is such a good thrower outside the pocket and then he can extend plays and run with his legs. He is in that dual-threat category quite honestly. I love the way he plays. I love his attitude and his aggressiveness. He is a spirited guy. He is a high-energy guy. He definitely leads that football team. That can be difficult if the run game gets going like it has for them the last couple weeks.”

On what is most impressive about DE Myles Garrett: 

“It should be the other way – what is not so impressive (laughter)? Just a tremendous athlete. Quick off the ball. He is long. He is powerful. He does a great job of swiping at the quarterback’s arm. He knows how to bend. This guy, he is one of those freak athletes that just high motor and relentless effort, and that is what you see on tape. That is why he is leading the league in sacks, quarterback hits, knockdowns and things like that because he is relentless that way. You see him split double teams. You see him beat tackles. Teams chip him and use tight ends and all kinds of stuff to try to slow him down, but he always finds a way to be around the quarterback or make a tackle in the backfield. Again, he is another one of those players that you enjoy watching until you have to play against him, and then it becomes a little more of a problem for us.”

On if Garrett looks like a Defensive Player of the Year-caliber player: 

“I do, I would say that. I would say that he has to definitely be in the conversation with some of the top defensive guys out there. He is surely making a case for that right now.”

On preparing for an opponent with multiple players on the reserve/COVID-19 list: 

“I think it is something that every team is having to deal with and work through. We have had our COVID-related issues with players and coaches and close contacts and everything. Even myself, I had it back in August. Nobody is immune obviously from the virus. It is going to find a way into your building and onto your team. You just have to manage it the best you can. The protocols are in place obviously for players’ safety and coaches’ safety and try to keep everybody protected the best they can, but I think as the season has kind of worn on here, you are seeing more and more teams either go into the intensive protocols or coaches and/or players are contracting the virus. It is just something we have to be prepared for. It is kind of a next man up mentality if it happens. You kind of treat it like an injury and get the next guy ready to play.”

On his coaching approach with Wentz who is a ‘mature young man’ and how much he has had to keep Wentz’s spirits up this season: 

“That is just it, in my career, I have learned how to handle the heat, whether I played here in Philly or even my time in Cleveland actually where we were not very good as a team, and you are the starting quarterback and you are taking all the bullets and you are standing up for your team. One thing I really appreciate about Carson is he does not make excuses. He wants to get better. He takes a lot of it upon himself. That is really what good quarterbacks and leaders do. I can help him that way through some of my experiences as a player and then obviously been on teams where as a coach where we have not had as much success and we have worked our way through it. That is kind of where we are right now. We are working our way through it. He is standing tall, and he is still leading this team.”


On ranking third in the NFL for sacks and if that is a big part of the team’s defensive identity: 

“I think the biggest thing there is our guys have been for the most part healthy. I would say last year, we had some injury there and the last couple years. (Eagles DT) Fletcher Cox is playing really well, (Eagles DE) Brandon Graham, and I think of (Eagles DE) Vinny Curry, (Eagles DE) Josh Sweat, those guys and (Eagles DT) Malik Jackson. Those guys are playing good together, and with all the line games and stunting and things that they do, that takes time and it takes time together. I think that is the biggest thing is just they are playing well together as a group. Again, it is a group that plays extremely hard.”

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