Doug Pederson Offers Strange Explanation for the Lack of Carson Wentz Rollouts and Pocket Movement

Photo credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson’s first midweek press conference of the season.

Today we got an injury update and some tidbits on the offensive line and other areas of concern. The most interesting topic came last, so we’ll do it in chronological order.

Notes:

  • RE: Javon Hargrave: “he’s getting closer, not gonna put a timetable on it.”
  • On Jalen Hurts, it’s a week to week discussion as far as determining the backup quarterback. “I would say that if he were up, he doesn’t have to be part of the game plan in any specific way.”
  • They don’t specifically game plan one defensive player (Aaron Donald in this case), but it’s more about “awareness for where he lines up.”
  • Jamon Brown will be in the mix at right guard, but he has to pick up terminology and they need to feel comfortable putting him in the game.
  • Bringing up two guards doesn’t necessarily mean that Nate Herbig is going to lose his starting job.
  • He expects Miles Sanders to practice on Wednesday.
  • Brandon Graham remains in concussion protocol.
  • Optimistic that Lane Johnson can play, but if not, Jack Driscoll gets another start.
  • Derek Barnett will get reps at Wednesday’s practice.
  • He tends to leave contract negotiations between players, agents, and the front office. He says he has to continue to talk to players and get them to focus on football and the next game. The “powers that be” handle those issues.
  • Carson Wentz’s lower body injury did not affect play calling in terms of moving his quarterback out of the pocket.

 

There was a follow-up question to that last bullet point, asking why the Eagles don’t do more to get Wentz out of the pocket in general. Theoretically, if the line is struggling, you try to move the quarterback, right? To not get him killed?

Doug’s answer:

“You know, I’d love to be able to sit down and maybe show you guys game film and study the tape and talk about scheme and stuff like that. There are opportunities. Carson’s a great outside-of-the-pocket thrower, and we understand that. But when we have 13 snaps that are second down and seven-plus – we didn’t do a good job on first down, whether running or passing the football. Utilizing an out of the pocket throw, a movement type throw when it’s 2nd and 13… I don’t know, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. But I think you have to push the ball differently down the field. Drop back, play-action, whatever it might be. Screen. But everything we do it obviously starts with first down, and if you’re not positive on first down, it now affects what you do on 2nd down, then 3rd down and 4th down. I would love to have Carson out of the pocket more. He is dynamic outside the pocket, great vision and all of that. But we have to better on first down in order for a lot of those plays to take place.”

Can they…. roll him out on first down? Seems like the obvious follow-up question, but the media session ended after that answer. Maybe the Eagles would prefer doing that on second and third downs, when he can run for the sticks if necessary. Not entirely sure what the philosophy is surrounding these types of plays. I think fans and media look at it and say, ‘they should try to move him because the pocket is literally collapsing in two seconds.’

It’s certainly true that they got behind the sticks on offense in week one, which I logged in Monday’s column.

Starting at 1:37 in the second quarter, with the Eagles up 17-0 and cruising, they did the following on the first play of each drive to finish out the game:

  1. interception
  2. incomplete pass
  3. run for a five-yard loss
  4. interception
  5. run for a seven-yard gain
  6. incomplete pass
  7. sacked for 10-yard loss
  8. pass for a 10-yard completion
  9. fumble

 

They put themselves in a lot of untenable positions. Hopefully that doesn’t happen Sunday.

Here’s the full video from Wednesday’s presser:

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