PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Doug Pederson didn’t mean to fan the fires of a quarterback issue, but the head coach may have unwillingly thrown gasoline onto the fire.
When the Eagles head coach met with the media on Wednesday, he was asked if there still weren’t plans to make a quarterback change, as Carson Wentz continues to struggle.
He hesitated at first, with comments like, “Not today on Wednesday, no,” followed by, “I’m focused right now on getting better today. I don’t know.”
Pederson finally stated that Wentz will start on Monday night against Seattle, but the coach was reminded of how his hesitation could be interpreted by those outside the NovaCare Complex.
“I think about a lot of things,” said Pederson. “The question was, ‘Is Carson my starter?’ He’s my starter — end of story. You guys can blow it up however you want it, and that’s fine. I’m focused on this team, these players, this coaching staff and the Seattle Seahawks.”
While Pederson insisted there is no controversy, it is easy to understand why his hesitation in his answers would create speculation. While the floor is open for discussion for fans and the media, Pederson said his focus is on his football team.
“I don’t listen to the radio,” Pederson said. “I don’t read print media. My focus is on the team and helping our football team get better and improve, and that’s my job. I understand my job is also to make tough decisions with the roster and who plays, who doesn’t play, and things of that nature.”
Meanwhile, Wentz also insisted he is not reading into anything more with what is being said. He understands the criticism from the outside world, but Wentz said Pederson has not talked to him about a potential change with his position.
“We really haven’t had that conversation, quite frankly,” said Wentz. “I’m preparing the same. I’m the same and I’m approaching the week, attacking the week, and going to do everything I can to be ready for Monday night.”
It won’t get any easier for the struggling Eagles on Monday night. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks will be in town, so Wentz may be forced to put up a lot of points to keep up with the Seattle signal-caller.
Meanwhile, Pederson and Wentz will continue to try and shield themselves from the criticism outside of the locker room.
“Everybody’s an expert,” Pederson continued. “Everybody’s an arm-chair quarterback, everybody has an opinion, and I respect that. People are entitled to that, and I have to do what I feel is in the best interest of the Philadelphia Eagles.”