Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Wednesday about how Jalen Hurts will have to prepare for another defense against Arizona on Sunday, and how they hope to carry over the spark that the young QB gave the team for the rest of the season. He also talked about the dynamics of the quarterback room and what the offensive line will look like next Sunday.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
To Jalen Hurts
Pederson was asked what they should do differently this week now that there is a game and a half on Hurts. He said the QB should understand that they are facing a whole new defense with a different structure, different staff and different plan. So what was successful against the Saints may not apply to the Cardinals this week.
“So in Jalen’s case, all he has to do is study the tape. He must of course study himself. He really needs to study his mannerisms, right? No defensive indicators and don’t give away things be it via TV copy or movie or coach copy that defenses can really have a clue to and are trying to gain an advantage. Nothing is ever easy at this level, but I think this week will be a great opportunity for him to go back and just study himself, make corrections, clean up what he needs to clean up and try to present the same again Sunday. “
Pederson also spoke about Hurts’ first fourth down attempt on Sunday, saying the young QB saw something defensive and communicated that with the head coach. He noted that, like Carson Wentz, Hurts has ideas and suggestions and communicates them throughout the game. Pederson said it shows how confident the rookie quarterback has in that regard.
“It shows that he understands the game plan, he understands how we try to attack the opponent. For me, I’ve talked a lot about the trust of players and they are the ones who play the game. I have to trust them and put them in positions to be successful and that was a moment. “
Now that Hurts has settled on the offense a little more, Pederson hopes the spark he gave against the Packers two weeks ago is now more of a flame.
“We want to keep that spark or flame burning, and we want to use that as soon as possible when we’re done in the next three weeks.”
As for the quarterback room relationship, especially considering that meetings are virtual and there has been no opportunity to gather outside of the facility, Pederson admitted that not having that face-to-face between the group makes it harder to build that report. It is a challenge not to be able to watch a film together after training, or watch tape with players from other positions or go through protection plans.
“We are talking about socially distant, but we try as best we can to be more socially together. Whether it is Saturday evening in the hotel on the road or even during training during walk-throughs or practice. “
On the offensive line
Pederson was unwilling to commit to Jordan Mailata as the future of the left tackle position, noting that they haven’t really had a chance to see Andre Dillard in that spot just yet.
‘He’s helping himself, I’d say. Jordan has played well enough to maybe compete in that spot, but I think it’s a bit unfair to sit here and say he’s a full time starter moving forward without seeing Andre enough that we’ve clearly lined up for that spot to take. “
The head coach also confirmed that Matt Pryor will be the starter on Sunday in the right tackle against the Cardinals, and will face a fast, agile speed demon in Haason Reddick.
Pederson also noted that they don’t know how long rookie Jack Driscoll will be out with an MCL injury, nor are they sure if he needs surgery, but he’ll definitely be missing some time.
To Travis Fulgham
When asked about Fulgham’s reduction in snaps, Pederson noted that they still have a game plan for the receiver, and despite Alshon Jeffery getting healthier and playing better, they still have specific games for Fulgham. However, it was pointed out that Fulgham saw just 11 snaps last Sunday and Pederson acknowledged they needed to do better.
“Listen, we know we need to do better. He should do better. He has to play better, but at the same time Alshon is also playing better, so we’re going to play the guys in that particular game who are in the game. That’s based on a game plan, so you can’t put it on Travis. You can do it to me. I’m the play caller, I’ll call the personnel groups, so give me up. “