Doug Pederson says he was on board with the Jalen Hurts selection
Monday night’s broadcast of the Seahawks-Eagles, due likely in part to the fact that one of the broadcasters was once fired by Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman, became a Roseman bash session. That attitude apparently spilled over into Tuesday’s press conference with coach Doug Pederson, as reporters tried to drive an apparent wedge between Pederson and Roseman.
“Were you on board with the Jalen Hurts draft pick when it happened?” Pederson was asked by Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Yes, I was,” Pederson said. “Why?”
“Because I’m wondering because it hasn’t exactly played out the way you guys -- at least the way that . . . Roseman originally said that he would be utilized on offense. It seems to have undermined you to some extent, and Carson Wentz,” McLane explained.
“I don’t understand where you’re coming from,” Pederson said. “Every year we look at quarterbacks. Every year we -- if we have an opportunity to take a quarterback, we’re going to take a quarterback; at least look at the position. Every position is looked at and studied, and wherever we can help and add talent and depth, we’re going to do that. The quarterback position is not exempt from that. This is a sport where there is only one quarterback that plays, and Carson is that player right now, and we go to work. We continue to coach Jalen and get him prepared if he has to go in and play.”
Hurts played sparingly on Monday night (two snaps), creating the impression that Hurts played not because Pederson wanted Hurts to play but because someone else wanted Hurts to play.
“Well, as you guys watched the game, and of course as we were living it out in real-time, one of the things -- for us I guess to use any of our personnel, and in this case, we’re talking about Jalen and Carson, for me it’s about getting in a rhythm, getting into the flow of the game, getting in a consistent flow where we’re positive on first down,” Pederson said.
Getting into a rhythm becomes harder to do when, for example, Hurts is jammed onto the field for a snap or two before being pulled for Wentz. It was awkward and ineffective and created the impression that Pederson wasn’t fully on board with giving Hurts reps.
“It’s kind of how our whole first quarter and a half went for us, just no rhythm,” Pederson said. “So, for me, would I like to get into a flow and use Jalen in a couple of situations? I think that’s feasible. It’s possible. It’s been productive for us.”
Pederson referred to the arrangement at one point as a “rotation,” but it’s not really a rotation. It’s Wentz as the starter and Hurts getting a cameo rep or two.
“If it were Jalen in there, maybe he goes a couple plays in a row; obviously if Carson is in there, he takes the bulk of the action,” Pederson said. “They’re both professionals and they understand and expect nothing less.”
Fans expect something something more, regardless of whether it’s Wentz or Hurts or someone else. Whatever the Eagles currently are doing, it’s not working. And it’s increasing the belief that major changes could be coming for the Eagles, sooner than later, if the Eagles can’t make the same kind of late-season run that they made in 2019 to win the division.
The more practical reality is that major changes won’t come after the 2020 season, but that everyone will be on the hot seat come 2021, Wentz included.