One lingering question following Sunday’s Eagles loss was who had the final say on any possible decision to make a quarterback change. Head coach Doug Pederson was adamant about not benching Carson Wentz for fear of sending a “bad message.” But he seemed to sidestep whether the buck stopped with him or someone else in the organization.
Pederson, who remains the main play-caller in Philly, cleared up the notion that maybe he had to defer on personnel decisions to GM Howie Roseman or owner Jeffery Lurie on Monday during his weekly call-in to SportsRadio 94 WIP. If it’s time to bench Wentz, he alone will make that move.
“I have the final say because I am the head coach and I get to make those decisions,” Pederson told host Angelo Cataldi. “But again Angelo, it comes with careful consideration, by myself. That will be my decision if that happens.”
The calls for Jalen Hurts are getting stronger and stronger from the fan base. There was a #FreeJalenHurts hashtag making the Twitter rounds and a WIP Morning Show poll showed 76.7% wanted Wentz benched in favor of the dual-threat rookie. The debate doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
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Eagles Officially Add Jordan Howard
Meanwhile, the Eagles made an expected roster move on Monday when the team added Jordan Howard to the practice squad. The veteran running back came in for a tryout late last week and had been waiting to clear COVID-19 protocols. Apparently, there were no issues and Howard is back with his old club.
Pederson admitted to wanting to employ a running-back-by-committee approach to his backfield last week. The Eagles have been using Miles Sanders as the feature back — 16 carries for 66 yards against Cleveland — while mixing in Boston Scott (five touches for 24 yards). Howard could serve as the team’s goal-line vulture and third-down back.
“I know it didn’t work out for him per se in Miami, but not going to focus on that as much as how he can come in and learn our system and be familiar with what we’re trying to do,” Pederson told reporters last week. “I mean, he’s obviously a talented player who has helped us win some games here, and we’re excited to get him back. It adds depth, adds a little value. A veteran player obviously in that room.”
Hurts Preparing as Backup Quarterback
When asked specifically about whether he ever thought about naming Hurts the starter, Pederson doubled down on his post-game comments. Wentz is the quarterback for Week 12 and moving forward. The Eagles are determined to get it fixed with their $128 million man. Hurts will continue to prepare as the backup and be ready to play if Wentz gets injured.
“Jalen is preparing himself each week to play and that’s what a backup quarterback should do,” Pederson told SportsRadio 94WIP. “My perspective is we have to get it fixed with Carson Wentz. That’s where my trust and faith lies, we can get it done. That’s where I am at. By no means am I saying that I don’t have trust or faith in Jalen. It’s a matter of getting the corrections done with Carson.”
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