Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Can you talk about how much Malcolm Jenkins meant to that team?
"Malcolm (Jenkins) meant a lot. He brought a ton, a ton of leadership. Obviously his play speaks for itself on the football field, helped us win a championship here. But, his leadership, both on and off the football field, I haven't really seen that from a player in a long time and it's a lot of credit to him. Because he cares about the community that he's living in or where he's from and he always represents that well."
I know, there's always a lot of thought that goes into when you make a quarterback change, but what are some of the things you believe that Jalen (Hurts) adds positively to your offense?
"Yeah, obviously, you guys probably heard me say coming out of the game Sunday, just looking for something to just kind of get the offensive rhythm, try to click and it's unfortunate, but usually the quarterback position is the one change you have to make. And I made it on Sunday. And then of course, this week. But, in Jalen's (Hurts) case, he does have a unique skillset. He's mobile and much like Carson (Wentz), and a good arm and things of that nature. But I just need him to go in there and just execute and run the offense, just be Jalen Hurts and do the things that got him to this level, won him a couple college championships and just be him."
What have you seen from his (Jalen Hurts) growth process? Since he first stepped into the building to now?
"Well, I think the biggest thing is just his communication, just understanding our offense and communicating it, not only to the players, but the fact to us as coaches is his understanding of what we're trying to get done. It's a lot of information for young quarterbacks to take on at this level. And he's done a really nice job with that. But he's in a good position. Like I said earlier, I'm not going to ask him to be Carson Wentz. Right. I'm going to ask him to be Jalen Hurts, and do the things that he can do and he's had a good grasp of our offense since day one."
I might be reaching a little bit, but are there any similarities to the way he (Jalen Hurts) was used earlier this season for you guys, to the way Taysom Hill was being used before he had to step in as a starter here in New Orleans?
"Definitely looked at some of the stuff Taysom has done in New Orleans. He is definitely a great player, and wears a lot of hats for them. And we did take a look at some things, we looked at, you know, some other, you know, active mobile type quarterbacks around the league, or, in the past. A lot of Jalen's (Hurts) tape and just to see, kind of things that he did in college or what other teams have done. So, there are some comparisons there with Taysom and Jalen (Hurts) as far as some of the similar run stuff."
How do you guys approach this week, knowing that Drew (Brees) is eligible to come off of IR? Do you have to prepare for both him and Hill?
"Oh, yeah, you've definitely got to prepare for both and you don't know what's going to happen, obviously. But prepare for both, Taysom's (Hill) played, well, obviously in the starts that he's had and winning these games. But yeah, you definitely have to understand that Drew could come back and pick up where he left off."
Has that made it difficult, just because of how different they are as players? Or the offense that they're running with Taysom is just kind of similar to what Drew was doing that it's not that big of a change? How do you feel about that?
"Well, it's similar. I would just say that it might be probably running the ball a bit more with Taysom (Hill), kind of controlling the clock and then being a little more selective with some of their throws. With Drew (Brees) it's a little more wide open, passing game as far as, that is said. But, still you're seeing some of the same route combinations and the running style with (Alvin) Kamara, all of that. So, it's probably a few more runs with Taysom (Hill) than it would be with Drew (Brees), but that's really about it."
When you look at the film of Taysom (Hill), what have you seen that made him so good on third down throughout the year?
"I think the number one thing is just his ability to run. He is tough. This kid, he runs sometimes like a fullback. I mean, it's just, it's amazing just to watch him. It's kind of fun to watch him, because he's an electric player. And some of the things, even when Drew was healthy, and him and the offense running the wildcat, or all the QB powers and things that they do. That's probably the biggest thing that you're seeing with him, especially on third down. Now as a defense, it kind of, keeps you a little more honest, you can't always defend the pass. And you have to be prepared for the run. And that's where the play action passing gets you."
Obviously the Saints are on a pretty good run defensively. What really jumps out at you watching them? Why do you think they've been so successful?
"Obviously, the best defense we'll probably see all season. Good group, play fast, they're healthy. They feed off their coordinator, Coach Allen. I mean, it's just, it's something, they got the right pieces of the puzzle, running the right scheme and when you have that going for you, a lot of things click. And they look like they're having fun out there, just flying around and making plays. And that's a sign of good things for a team. And obviously playing with a lot of confidence and it is a physical group too. They can get after the passer with their front four and then really good in the back end. So, just an all-around obviously solid defense that's playing well."