An earlier item based on a real-time tweet suggested that Eagles coach Doug Pederson isn’t happy with reporters over the ongoing effort to find out whether Carson Wentz or Nick Foles will be starting at quarterback on Thursday night against the Falcons. The transcript and the video make it clear: He isn’t.
In a session that may say a lot more about the pressures of being the hunted than Pederson ever would admit, he displayed a surprising amount of frustration and multiple flashes of anger as he faced questions about whether it will be Wentz or Foles in only four days.
You can watch the video, or you can scan the transcript that was distributed by the team. The relevant portions appear below.
Q: Have you made a decision on who will be your starting quarterback? If so, who is it?
A: First of all, I appreciate y’all putting words in my mouth this week. Therefore, I’m not going to discuss it.
Q: How were words put in your mouth?
A: You saw the reports. Next question.
Q: Who here put the words in your mouth?
A: Next question.
Q: What reporter here put words in your mouth?
A: I’m not answering the question.
Q: I know, but you said, “You.”
A: As a group.
Q: That makes no sense. You’re not going to lump us all together, are you?
A: Appreciate it. Yeah, thanks a lot. I’m going to lump you all together.
Q: What is the point of this?
A: Exactly. What is the point of this? It’s my decision.
Q: You’re not going to discuss your decision?
A: No, not publicly. Not publicly. I don’t do that. I don’t do it with any position on this team. I will not do it.
Q: Was Carson Wentz cleared for contact?
A: He is not. Not yet. Not yet.
Q: If he hasn’t been cleared, is it your decision to even make?
A: My decision to make?
Q: I mean, if he hasn’t been cleared for contact, wouldn’t he. . . .
A: We got a lot of days left.
Q: So, if he is cleared today or tomorrow, he has enough time to prepare for the Falcons, if that was the scenario?
A: We’ll see.
Q. Is your refusal to talk about it based on competitive advantage?
A: A little bit. Yeah, a little bit. [We are] trying to win a football game. I don’t want to put my game plan out there for everybody to see it and read it and teams can scheme. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, I appreciate it.
Q. Who will take the first-team reps today?
A: I’m not going to discuss it. . . .
Q: When will your quarterbacks talk with the media this week? Are you concerned that you’re placing them in a situation in which they’ll have to answer questions about who is taking which reps?
A: I’m sure that day will come. I’m sure. I’m sure you’re probably going to ask. . . .
Q: The quarterback who you’ve decided upon has taken pretty much all the reps at practice today, tomorrow and Tuesday. Is that correct?
A: That’s usually how it works. Yes.
That last answer makes this entire exercise even more bizarre. Someone will say to someone else whether it’s Foles or Wentz. (Someone already has, to a reporter who works for a media outlet partially owned by the Eagles.) And one or both of the two quarterbacks will be available to reporters, and they’ll be asked the question of whether and to what extent they’re preparing to play by practicing with the first-team offense.
Yes, Pederson would like to use this situation to his advantage. But it’s impossible to keep it secret until kickoff on Thursday night, and he’s only going to drive himself nutty by trying to figure it all out.