Pederson, Roseman Put a Bow on Eagles’ Season
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - For the few who were wondering Eagles coach Doug Pederson put an end to any perceived quarterback controversy during his season-ending press conference on Tuesday.
Pederson, speaking alongside the team's executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, was asked about the Carson Wentz/Nick Foles dynamic and firmly put any uncertainty to bed.
“Yes, Carson is the quarterback going forward,” the coach affirmed. “And in Nick’s case, we’d love to have everybody back throughout the roster but -- as I’ve said many, many times -- it’s not about one guy. It’s about the team and we’re going to do what’s best for the team.”
Wentz, of course, missed the final five games of the 2018-19 season with a stress fracture in his back and Foles came in to win three straight regular-season games to get Philadelphia to the postseason for a second consecutive campaigns, winning a Wild Card weekend game in Chicago before being out to the top-seeded New Orleans Saints in the divisional round.
In 2017 Foles also took over for Wentz late in the season and led the Eagles to a Super Bowl LII championship.
"We have a lot of confidence in Carson and his ability to be our quarterback and to be hopefully a 19-game starter if we look at the season and what we’re trying to do," Roseman added.
Foles has a mutual contract option coming up in March where the Eagles can agree to pay him $20 million, something Foles can decline by paying back $2M in already-earned incentives.
"It's always gotta be what's best for our football team, the Philadelphia Eagles," Roseman said. "We've got to make decisions based on that. There's also a respect factor for guys that have done a lot for us. Part of it we try to factor that in as well. Bottom line is we've got to do what's best for our football team going forward."
Foles said Monday that he wants to be a starter and lead a team but understands it has to be a good fit.
"Everything is open," Foles said when asked about his future. "It’s always about the people you’re with, the atmosphere. So much is put on the quarterback but great teams are great teams. If you expect the quarterback to go in there and do everything, you’re probably not going to be successful.”
The other newsworthy items from the season-ending bull session was Pederson confirming his three coordinators, DC Jim Schwartz, OC Mike Groh, and special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, will be back in 2019, and Roseman assessing the trade deadline deal for receiver Golden Tate, in which a third-round pick was sent to Detroit, as a success.
"No question [it worked]." Roseman insisted. "When we made the trade we were 4-4, we were looking for a spark, we were looking for more firepower on offense. ... we're always going to put our foot on the gas. It doesn't mean we're always going to be right but we don't look back with regret."
Finally, Roseman addressed his changes in the team's medical and training staffs before what turned out to be an injury-marred season.
"We had three changes on our medical staff. All those reasons were different, all three were personal in nature," he explained. "Those were guys who had been here as long as I had been here. When you’re coming off a Super Bowl victory, it’s not something you’re anticipating. Making a lot of changes in that area. Shortened offseason but by the same token we put people in place that we have a lot of confidence in. We have to let them grow in their jobs and continue to show faith in them because we do have faith in them."
However, Roseman did admit that the team is wary about the long list of injuries.
"There are a lot of players on that IR list, there’s no doubt," he said. "We have to study we have to figure out ways to continue to get healthier and keep our players on the field. It’s something we don’t take for granted and we want to improve on because we know it affects our record."
As for Wentz and how his injury was handled, Roseman refused to get into specifics only saying "we complied with NFL rules” and deferring to Wentz's comments from Monday which were murky as well.
"My understanding is Carson talked about the injury yesterday and coach Peterson has talked about it as well. I stand by that," Roseman said. "We all meet together. We meet as a group, I stand by what both of those guys said. When we walk about injuries, injuries are a personal nature. I don’t want to get involved in timetables and go backward with it."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen