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What They're Saying: Philadelphia Eagles

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On Wednesday, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz spoke to the Washington, D.C., media about their upcoming matchup against the Redskins.

Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson

On if he could have expected QB Carson Wentz to play this well when QB Sam Bradford was traded:

"Well, you hoped, you know? You go into the season hoping that he plays this well obviously. You coach him up to play this well. But for a rookie quarterback, anything is possible obviously early, early in his career. He's had a lot of help too around him. He's had good offensive line play, the ability to run the football, field position, special teams, things of that nature. And for the most part he's done a good job at protecting the ball and not turning it over outside of the two-minute drive last week. Other than that, you know, we just coach him up every single day, a different set of circumstances each week and get him ready for Sunday."

**On Wentz adapting to NFL so quickly:

**

"Well, number one, he's had a lot of success at every level. The way he prepares, the way he works during the week… Nothing is too big for him. The spotlight's not too big. He's played in some big football games in college and, you know, he just handles things so well. He's very mature for his age. Has a good feel and command for the huddle. And guys, even on this team that were probably doubting the decision early in the season, have really bought into not only Carson Wentz but have seen—just have seen the way he prepares and the way he handles himself during the week."

On WR Nelson Agholor:

"Well, Nelson is a guy that we do a lot of things with him. We ask him to do blocking, route running, things of that nature. You know, he's done a good job for us. I can't say anything negative. He's really done a good job. I know he has the occasional drop and a mistake that way but a lot of players have those types of issues, but he's a kid that's worked extremely hard. He was a kid that was sort of beat up by the press here during training camp but has really fought through it and is a mentally tough kid and has really helped this football team get to where we are."

On being back in Philadelphia:

"Yeah, it's been great. [I'm] very familiar with obviously the area and the organization, and a lot of the guys on the football team – I say a lot of guys, I think it's nine – that were here when we were here before. But it was a very welcoming feeling coming home for me and my family, having spent a year playing here and then obviously coaching here for four years. It's just been a lot of fun and it's been exciting."

On the difficulty of their upcoming schedule:

"It's something you look at on your schedule and you always try to find that block of games that is going to be your grind and we're coming into it right now. Obviously, three out of the next four are division opponents, and like you mentioned, Minnesota's stuck right in the middle and they're playing extremely well right now. The way I handle it and the way I approach it with the team is that we've just got to do our business. It's one at a time. I don't look to next week or two weeks from now. I just worry about today and get the guys ready for practice today and stay focused that way and grounded that way… You hear it all the time – it's sort of a cliché, but it's very much true – you've just got to go one day at a time, one game at a time."

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz

On his adjustment to the NFL:

"Yeah, you know, obviously it's been a little bit of a whirlwind. You know, we had the bye week there to kind of just take a deep breath and regroup, but so far it's been good. Obviously, we are 3-1. Obviously, we'd love to be 4-0 but we like where we're at, we like this team. We've just got to keep getting better every week. So, so far things are going well but we've got a big one this Sunday."

On his preparation:

"Obviously preparation in this league is huge. To be able to go out on Sundays and have the game slow down, I mean, you've got to be prepared. You've got to put in the time, you've got to watch film, and, you know, Chase Daniel, myself and Aaron Murray as well, we all do it together. We come in real early in the morning pretty much every day each week  and really just grind through the film. That's really what it takes and a lot of really good discussions about defensive tendencies and different things, so I really credit those guys and I think we do a really good job of getting all of us ready."

On biggest thing he learned from Chase Daniel that he didn't do in college:

"Probably just the routine. You know, in college I was big on preparing but I was kind of all over the place depending on what the day brought. Obviously here you don't have school and everything so you really just get a routine and start getting used to it with how you prepare and how you go about watching tape and breaking it down. So that's really what I've learned through Chase."

**On the difference in mindset as the starting quarterback:

**

"Obviously things change a little bit from an outside view, but for me, you know my mindset has always been the same. I've always approached everything as if I was the starter, as if I would be out there on Sundays. So, it was one of those things, for me it was kind of a natural transition. I felt very comfortable with where I was at. I didn't feel the need to kind of press, so to speak, and really just force myself to get ready. I had felt ready for a while. So obviously the mindset and the things from the outside looking in have changed but my approach and everything has been the same throughout."

On having good statistics when teams send five rushers:

"You know, I think this offense as a whole… When teams blitz, it takes everybody. It takes the O-line picking up guys, getting their jobs done and then receivers winning. It takes receivers, tight ends, running backs. It takes them winning and getting open early. I think we've done a really good job of that. We are all playing on the same page, playing fast so I've really got to credit all the guys around me that really have just made my job easier."

On the offensive line after the suspension of T Lane Johnson:

"Obviously, Lane was a big part of this team. He was playing really good football. It's unfortunate what happened but at the same time, we are kind of just 'next man up.' It's one of those things you don't have time to dwell on it kind of like when I took over as the starter. You don't have time to dwell on it. You just went to work and you just have confidence in the next guy that he'll do his job and we're excited for 'Big V' [T Halapoulivaati Vaitai] to finally get his opportunity. We have confidence in him, coaches have confidence in him, and I think the O-line, between the O-line and myself and this whole offense really just getting him ready, encouraging him… Again, we have confidence in him and we are excited for it."

On pronouncing Halapoulivaati Vaitai's name:

"I don't even want to try. It's 'Big V' since I got here."

On if he needed to prove himself to the veterans after the trade of QB Sam Bradford:

"I mean, that really goes back to the offseason, the OTAs, the minicamps, the training camp. It really all starts when you get here. You've got to earn the respect. I've been trying to earn the respect of the guys with how I work, with how I go about my business with being around them, communicating, you know, hanging out with them, I mean you name it. That goes back to the offseason. So I think everyone around here had confidence and at that point I had already earned a lot of the respect but obviously the respect goes way up if you can go out and prove it on the field. So obviously, I wanted to go out there and do well for myself, do well for my family, but I think it was huge for me to really just kind of win over some of these guys on this team and really show them that I could handle this and that we're going to be a good team."

On how that has changed after the first four games of the season:

"I don't think it's changed a lot. Obviously guys have just… we went out there right away and won three games and that was huge. I think it was huge for everyone's confidence around here to show that… I think at the beginning of the season no one really had expected us to do much, you know, and we went out right away and won three games. Now we are 3-1. I think we've shown that we're a good football team. We've got a long way to go and we realize that but we feel confident with this group of guys."

On reflecting during the bye week:

"The bye week was nice. It was fun to go back home to North Dakota to see some family and friends and have a little fun, go out hunting and everything, so that was fun. It was good to reflect on everything that has sort of happened, so to speak, but now ever since we've been back, I was kind of champing at the bit to get back and go play on Sunday, so yeah, it was a good bye week but I'm excited for the next 12 weeks."

Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson

*             *

On if he could have expected QB Carson Wentz to play this well when QB Sam Bradford was traded:

"Well, you hoped, you know? You go into the season hoping that he plays this well obviously. You coach him up to play this well. But for a rookie quarterback, anything is possible obviously early, early in his career. He's had a lot of help too around him. He's had good offensive line play, the ability to run the football, field position, special teams, things of that nature. And for the most part he's done a good job at protecting the ball and not turning it over outside of the two-minute drive last week. Other than that, you know, we just coach him up every single day, a different set of circumstances each week and get him ready for Sunday."

 

On Wentz adapting to NFL so quickly:

"Well, number one, he's had a lot of success at every level. The way he prepares, the way he works during the week… Nothing is too big for him. The spotlight's not too big. He's played in some big football games in college and, you know, he just handles things so well. He's very mature for his age. Has a good feel and command for the huddle. And guys, even on this team that were probably doubting the decision early in the season, have really bought into not only Carson Wentz but have seen—just have seen the way he prepares and the way he handles himself during the week."

 

On WR Nelson Agholor:

"Well, Nelson is a guy that we do a lot of things with him. We ask him to do blocking, route running, things of that nature. You know, he's done a good job for us. I can't say anything negative. He's really done a good job. I know he has the occasional drop and a mistake that way but a lot of players have those types of issues, but he's a kid that's worked extremely hard. He was a kid that was sort of beat up by the press here during training camp but has really fought through it and is a mentally tough kid and has really helped this football team get to where we are."

 

On being back in Philadelphia:

"Yeah, it's been great. [I'm] very familiar with obviously the area and the organization, and a lot of the guys on the football team – I say a lot of guys, I think it's nine – that were here when we were here before. But it was a very welcoming feeling coming home for me and my family, having spent a year playing here and then obviously coaching here for four years. It's just been a lot of fun and it's been exciting."

 

On the difficulty of their upcoming schedule:

"It's something you look at on your schedule and you always try to find that block of games that is going to be your grind and we're coming into it right now. Obviously, three out of the next four are division opponents, and like you mentioned, Minnesota's stuck right in the middle and they're playing extremely well right now. The way I handle it and the way I approach it with the team is that we've just got to do our business. It's one at a time. I don't look to next week or two weeks from now. I just worry about today and get the guys ready for practice today and stay focused that way and grounded that way… You hear it all the time – it's sort of a cliché, but it's very much true – you've just got to go one day at a time, one game at a time."

 

 

 

 

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz

*             *

On his adjustment to the NFL:

"Yeah, you know, obviously it's been a little bit of a whirlwind. You know, we had the bye week there to kind of just take a deep breath and regroup, but so far it's been good. Obviously, we are 3-1. Obviously, we'd love to be 4-0 but we like where we're at, we like this team. We've just got to keep getting better every week. So, so far things are going well but we've got a big one this Sunday."

 

On his preparation:

"Obviously preparation in this league is huge. To be able to go out on Sundays and have the game slow down, I mean, you've got to be prepared. You've got to put in the time, you've got to watch film, and, you know, Chase Daniel, myself and Aaron Murray as well, we all do it together. We come in real early in the morning pretty much every day each week  and really just grind through the film. That's really what it takes and a lot of really good discussions about defensive tendencies and different things, so I really credit those guys and I think we do a really good job of getting all of us ready."

 

On biggest thing he learned from Chase Daniel that he didn't do in college:

"Probably just the routine. You know, in college I was big on preparing but I was kind of all over the place depending on what the day brought. Obviously here you don't have school and everything so you really just get a routine and start getting used to it with how you prepare and how you go about watching tape and breaking it down. So that's really what I've learned through Chase."

 

On the difference in mindset as the starting quarterback:

"Obviously things change a little bit from an outside view, but for me, you know my mindset has always been the same. I've always approached everything as if I was the starter, as if I would be out there on Sundays. So, it was one of those things, for me it was kind of a natural transition. I felt very comfortable with where I was at. I didn't feel the need to kind of press, so to speak, and really just force myself to get ready. I had felt ready for a while. So obviously the mindset and the things from the outside looking in have changed but my approach and everything has been the same throughout."

 

On having good statistics when teams send five rushers:

"You know, I think this offense as a whole… When teams blitz, it takes everybody. It takes the O-line picking up guys, getting their jobs done and then receivers winning. It takes receivers, tight ends, running backs. It takes them winning and getting open early. I think we've done a really good job of that. We are all playing on the same page, playing fast so I've really got to credit all the guys around me that really have just made my job easier."

 

On the offensive line after the suspension of T Lane Johnson:

"Obviously, Lane was a big part of this team. He was playing really good football. It's unfortunate what happened but at the same time, we are kind of just 'next man up.' It's one of those things you don't have time to dwell on it kind of like when I took over as the starter. You don't have time to dwell on it. You just went to work and you just have confidence in the next guy that he'll do his job and we're excited for 'Big V' [T Halapoulivaati Vaitai] to finally get his opportunity. We have confidence in him, coaches have confidence in him, and I think the O-line, between the O-line and myself and this whole offense really just getting him ready, encouraging him… Again, we have confidence in him and we are excited for it."

 

On pronouncing Halapoulivaati Vaitai's name:

"I don't even want to try. It's 'Big V' since I got here."

 

On if he needed to prove himself to the veterans after the trade of QB Sam Bradford:

"I mean, that really goes back to the offseason, the OTAs, the minicamps, the training camp. It really all starts when you get here. You've got to earn the respect. I've been trying to earn the respect of the guys with how I work, with how I go about my business with being around them, communicating, you know, hanging out with them, I mean you name it. That goes back to the offseason. So I think everyone around here had confidence and at that point I had already earned a lot of the respect but obviously the respect goes way up if you can go out and prove it on the field. So obviously, I wanted to go out there and do well for myself, do well for my family, but I think it was huge for me to really just kind of win over some of these guys on this team and really show them that I could handle this and that we're going to be a good team."

 

On how that has changed after the first four games of the season:

"I don't think it's changed a lot. Obviously guys have just… we went out there right away and won three games and that was huge. I think it was huge for everyone's confidence around here to show that… I think at the beginning of the season no one really had expected us to do much, you know, and we went out right away and won three games. Now we are 3-1. I think we've shown that we're a good football team. We've got a long way to go and we realize that but we feel confident with this group of guys."

 

On reflecting during the bye week:

"The bye week was nice. It was fun to go back home to North Dakota to see some family and friends and have a little fun, go out hunting and everything, so that was fun. It was good to reflect on everything that has sort of happened, so to speak, but now ever since we've been back, I was kind of champing at the bit to get back and go play on Sunday, so yeah, it was a good bye week but I'm excited for the next 12 weeks."

 

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