Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
What are some of the challenges facing an offense like the Saints that have so many different packages?
“The challenge is trying to slow them down. They do a great job with personnel and and great route combinations and then of course the ability to run the football. The play action pass has been a staple of Drew Brees’ over his career and he does a great job of that. The other thing I think (is) Drew just understanding defense and getting the ball out of his hand. That’s why his completion percentage is as high as it is and only the one pick, so it's a difficult, difficult task.”
The Saints are scoring on 61 percent of their drives. How impressive is that for you to see as a play-caller and coach and former quarterback?
“I think it's tremendous. I have a lot of respect for that. I can think back to a year ago our offense was (great). I don’t know if we were quite that high, but when you are scoring that frequently it's definitely equals to a lot of wins and they're doing it for a reason and it is admirable and from my standpoint, as a former player and obviously a coach watching it. (I) have a lot of a lot of respect for it.”
Have you noticed anything yet that makes it more difficult as Super Bowl Champions to succeed following winning it?
“The biggest thing as a coach you worry about is maybe a little complacency, like we’ve arrived. Maybe we don’t have to put in the hard work and preparation. Those types of things. I would say that that's not the case. I think that our team comes to work every single day preparing themselves and getting ready to play. I do think that you get everybody's best each week. I sit back and remember some of the conversations I had with my team last year saying, hey we played some really good teams and (I) said listen if you want to be one of the best teams in the league we have to beat the best and I know teams are saying that about us and we just haven't lived up to how we're capable of playing in a couple of situations this year. The team understands it, listen you got to be ready each week.”
What are some of the reasons that the defensive coaching staff would want to ignore what happened in Seattle with Brandon Marshall, where he ended up being let go and be concerned about him?
**“**I think number one, I think Brandon coming in there he's got to pick up the offense and know the terminology and some of the combination routes that Drew (Brees) likes to throw and Coach (Sean) Payton likes to put together. I think that's a challenge for him this week. I think he's a big target. He's got some experience, he's I think a red zone threat with his size and so I think that's where we will see him a little bit is down there. But he's another big physical receiver, hard to defend and our guys definitely have their work cut out this week.”
What does Golden Tate add to your offense?
“He's a dynamic player. He's strong after the catch. He’s pretty good (with) short to intermediate route running and he is someone that brings value and depth to a position that was depleted with injury earlier in the season and now it gives us some depth and there's some stability at that spot. He is another one that’s just getting to work with Carson (Wentz) and being on the same page and understanding our playbook, just like Brandon Marshall is trying to do their in New Orleans.”
How would you assess Carson Wentz’s play the last few weeks?
“He's played well. He's done some really nice things. There's obviously some throws I think he would like to have back and do all over again. But that's why we play these games and then he learns from it. He's continuing to grow, he is playing at a high level and it's good to see from somebody that's coming off a major surgery like he is and performing at the level that he is. It's encouraging, we just have to get everybody else on the same page.”
What are the difficulties in slowing down Cam Jordan?
“Well again tremendous pass rusher. First and foremost and it seems like these last couple of weeks for us I mean we've faced some really good pass rushers. Whether it be Demarcus Lawrence from the Cowboys or Jacksonville, Carolina. It’s no shortage of pass rushers and he's right there in that elite level. You have to do things with tight ends, with backs. He knows and understands that teams are going to chip him and things like that, but I think one thing the Saints do well and Coach (Dennis) Allen does a nice job of moving him around on the front. Whether he's inside, outside, left tackle or left defensive end, right defensive end. It plays to his strength, to move him around the formation and we've got to be conscious of that.”
Drew Brees seems to rely more on Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara than other players on offense. Is it very difficult to contain both of them on the same play?
“That’s the thing, it doesn't take a guy like Drew or Coach Sean Payton long to figure out if we're going to double one and not the other or vice versa, whatever it is, or just play straight coverage. It doesn't take long to figure that kind of stuff out. We've seen it over the years with Alshon (Jeffery), teams that want to double Alshon, it frees up somebody else and that’s where Drew and his knowledge of the system and understanding where guys are at (comes in). That's why he's as good as he is because he's able to spread the ball around and find the other receivers. It's definitely a challenge this week. But our guys are looking forward to playing a good football team.”
This actually might be an odd question, but I was talking to Chase Daniel a few weeks ago and he said that when he was up in Philly he passed along some tidbits that he learned from Drew (Brees) onto Carson (Wentz). Have you ever heard Carson say anything about things that he learned secondhand about Drew or approaching the game like Drew?
“I haven't heard him talk about it as much. They probably did it in a meeting setting or when I wasn’t around or something like that. Chase (Daniel) was a great mentor to Carson (Wentz) early and it’s great for somebody to be behind a great quarterback like Chase was to be able to take that knowledge and pass it along to Carson, a young rookie quarterback at the time. it's definitely a position that you know I played. I respect the position and watching great quarterbacks is a fun thing and I know Carson has taken some stuff away from Drew (Brees).”
How big of a role do you think Demario Davis is playing in the Saints run defense this year?
“Well he’s another one. Being a linebacker like he is, he’s got size, he can run. That is why you know their defense is as high as they are with the rushing stats just because of players like that (where) you know he's a run stopper. He’s a downhill guy. He's a really good open field tackler. So you know he's another one that we've got to make sure we get you know whether it's a lineman on him or a tight end or whoever it might be you know being able to block guys like that. They're tough. He's a good player.”
Are your guys looking forward to wearing those green jerseys on the road this week after winning the bet with Coach Payton?
“Well it won’t be the first time we've done it this season. But yeah they're looking forward to doing that.”
What makes you prefer the green?
“Well, it is our home jersey. It is our home color. And so we are excited to wear that. We’ve done it a lot this year on the road, wearing our home greens on the road. So you know it's something that our guys enjoy.”
When you made that bet did Sean (Payton) say the Saints would go with their color rush or was it just any white jersey?
“He didn't say one way or the other. I would imagine it would be the whites, but he did not say.”
With Alvin Kamara, how tough is it defending him because of how the Saints move him around the field?
“Difficult. This guy can come out of the backfield with the ball in his hand. He can he can run pass routes. He's difficult to bring down. This guy's a challenge. He's a load, not a very big guy, but he’s a load. And he's really good player. So it’s a challenge this week and when you do have a chance to tackle him you have tackle him and bring him down. Otherwise, he'll get plenty of yards after the catch and after contact and makes it a challenge for your defense.”
Are you excited to come back to Louisiana? Are you going to see any of your Monroe or Shreveport people?
“Yeah we've got a group of family and friends coming down from Monroe and there's always a group of Shreveport fans that come down. Obviously, Saints fans and want to come watch the game so I'll see a few family members while we're down there.”
When your staff is watching Saints film and they see to some Taysom Hill lining up and do the things he does and then Cincinnati comes right back with Jeff Driskel and does it, is that a kind of thing where coaches might start to wonder if there's a better use for the third quarterback than you know just if you’re going to carry three maybe have one who does that?
“Well you know if you watch that play in Cincinnati what that guy did and I think you know Taysom is the same type of player. That's another challenge that defenses have is when they do that. I mean it's almost wildcatish even though it's a quarterback back there and someone with the ability to throw. Not only run and big physical guys, but throw the ball. It’s another element that you have to defend and you know Sean (Payton) uses it obviously in the right spots at the right times and it's another challenge. It's another layer of defense that you have to be ready for and it can be a difficult thing.”