Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson
Q. What did you tell players after the game?
DOUG PEDERSON: I told them that I really appreciate everybody in that room for how they handled this season and how they handled themselves during this game. Even with as much adversity as we faced all year, to put ourselves in this position, win the NFC East, and have a home playoff game, that I was really proud of the effort all season; even tonight.
We'll move on from here.
Q. What did you say to the referees after Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney hit QB Carson Wentz in the back of the head? (Sal Paolantonio)
DOUG PEDERSON: I didn't see it; I didn't say anything.
Q. You didn't see the hit from Clowney on Wentz? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: No comment. I really didn't see it. I was looking to call the next play actually, so I didn't see it.
Q. What were you hearing from the team in terms of the hit? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: There is nothing I can do about it. It's out my hands. It's got to be called on the field.
They didn't call it, so obviously they didn't think it was a penalty.
Q. Did you have any discussions with the officials about how they were officiating the game? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: No. I'm worried about coaching the team and trying to win the game.
Q. What changed with the offense from Carson to QB Josh McCown? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: A little bit. We eliminated some of the motions. We just kind of got back to some of the core plays, some of the things Josh was comfortable with in the run game and the pass game, and just we did some good things.
Just kind of stalled out in the red zone a little bit tonight. Had opportunities, but just got back to some of the core stuff for Josh.
Q. What's the most remarkable thing about being able to be within a score of a very good playoff team, especially with the offensive personnel that you had on the field at the end of the game? To you, what's most remarkable about that? (Marcus Hayes)
DOUG PEDERSON: For me it's about just how resilient our team is and giving ourselves an opportunity like that, to be down one score against a really good football team in a playoff game.
It's just remarkable for me to see our guys battle, how the defense kept us in this football game. And the offense moved the ball, but we just failed to score.
But to still be within a score of at least a two-point conversion to tie the game shows a lot of character and resiliency of this team.
Q. I'm sure you are disappointed for everybody in that room, but Carson in particular, four years and he lasted eight plays in the post season. That's an awfully disappointing blow for him. (Bob Ford)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yes. I feel for him. I feel bad for him.
Q. Have you spoken to Carson? (Marcus Hayes)
DOUG PEDERSON: I just briefly saw him in the dressing locker room after the game.
Q. How was Carson? What did he look like? (Marcus Hayes)
DOUG PEDERSON: Obviously I'll let him speak for it, but I'm disappointed for him. I wanted this for him obviously, and I think a lot of his teammates did, too. The team, the organization did. He's battled through a lot, but we'll learn from it and move on.
Q. From your perspective, is this a different game if Carson is healthy? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: I don't know. Hard to say. I would say yes if he's healthy. With the game plan that we had I think so, but it is hard to speculate.
Q. Carson didn't come out right away, did you get a call from upstairs? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: No. I just had [Associate Head Athletic Trainer] Joe O'Pella, one of my trainers, come up and said they were just going to evaluate Carson. Defense was on the field and that was it. Then they came to me later on and said they were going to take him into the locker room and evaluate him further.
Q. So it wasn't the independent NFL the spotter that told you? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: I don't know all of that. I mean, I'm in the game. I'm coaching the football game, so I just have -- the trainers are communicating with me, and they said they were evaluating Carson at the time.
Q. On the second to last fourth down in the fourth quarter, did you consider kicking a field goal there or were you thinking you needed a touchdown? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: I was, but I was also trying to maintain the aggressiveness there, try to get the first down, stay on the field, and score.
Q. What was the issue with the third down defense? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: Obviously [Seahawks QB] Russell [Wilson] had broken some runs there, too, and so we're trying to keep him in the pocket. At the same time when he's holding onto the ball, it's kind of hard to hang onto the coverage a little bit.
Guys got some separation and made some plays. Credit them. I think they had a really good percentage on third down, I think 8 of 15 or something like that on third down.
Probably the story of the game really.
Q. TE Zach Ertz played, RB Miles Sanders played, and DE Brandon Graham came back. You had the same thing happen a few weeks ago where guys who might have stayed out came back. What does that say about the level of commitment from some your marquee players, and how does that affect the rest of the room? (Marcus Hayes)
DOUG PEDERSON: These guys are tough guys. They do everything they can to get themselves back on the football field and they want to play and they want to help their teammates win.
It just shows I think the character of each individual, the type of people and men we have in the locker room and on this team. It's a credit to them to do everything they can during the week to prepare themselves more mentally than physically, and then put themselves in a position to play in this game.
So it's hats off to those guys that battled through some injury this week and got themselves ready to play.
Q. Take us through the final play. Josh McCown was sacked. What was the play call there and from your vantage point, why did he have to eat it there? (Sal Paolantonio)
DOUG PEDERSON: We had two plays called, and we alerted -- we got to the second play, actually. He alerted to the second play, and...
Q. At the line of scrimmage? (Sal Paolantonio)
DOUG PEDERSON: At the line. And I guess not everybody got the alert, so we had a couple of busted assignments on the play. It's just unfortunate, especially on a fourth down call to try to take advantage and get the first down.
So something we'll learn from and get better.
Q. There was an alert earlier in the game. Carson pitched back to Miles and it went by him. Was that another one that wasn't picked up?(Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah. That was, again, a miscommunication. Miles either didn't hear or see the signal for the check and just missed it, made a mistake.
Q. As you're on the sideline and you find out Carson is not coming back, what's going through your mind and what's your message to Josh?(Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: My message to Josh is we're going to still maintain our aggressiveness as best we can. I just told him, as we look at the call sheet I'm going to eliminate some of the motions and shifts and just try to line up and let him see the defense.
Felt like we had to utilize the run game a little bit for him and help him out and then get to some of the play-action stuff, which we did and it was successful. Really trying to get him into the flow, a rhythm. Been a while since he's been out there.
Just try to get him into that rhythm with [C Jason] Kelce obviously, and then the flow of the game for himself. Just trying to get back to some of the core stuff that he was comfortable with.
Q. What were your first thoughts when you heard Carson was not coming back into the game? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: Listen, I was into the game. I was getting Josh ready to go. I felt for Carson, but at the same time, we still had plenty of football left, three and a half quarters.
Eagles Quarterback Josh McCown
On being emotional coming off the field and what was going through his head:
"Yeah, just the finality of playoff football. And just being done and not getting it done. Those things hurt. A lot of people put a lot of time and energy into this game and it just hurts when you don't get it done. You want to be there and help rally the team and get going and we just didn't get that done. So it just hurt for that."
On whether he said anything to RB Miles Sanders after that fourth-down play:
"Oh, it was just me. I have to make a better throw. Miles is a heck of a player. He is going to be a special player in this league. I love that kid. Just have to give him a better ball and give him a chance to run and I didn't do that. We nailed the protection call and everything about it. Just didn't get the ball on him and that's on me."
On how he felt when he finally took the field:
"I felt good, you know, I felt good. Procedurally some of the things, in a little bit more of an advanced game week, different than the preseason. I think some of those things was trying to get up to speed and handle a little bit better. But I felt good. [Eagles head coach] Doug [Pederson] is always excellent in the headset with just helping with different things. So I felt good. When those things happen you are kind of flooded with a lot different emotions. Obviously you don't want to be on the field under those circumstances. But then it's like, 'Okay, here we go, we've got to get going.' Kind of started a little slow, wish we got going a little bit faster. But the guys around me, and Doug and the coaches, helped me settle in."
On when he knew something was up with QB Carson Wentz and that he would be going in:
"Right, well we talked on the bench and obviously he expressed concern and told me to stay ready. When you are dealing with these things as a player, it's tough. Carson Wentz has put a ton into this season and to get to this moment, especially the things that he's gone through. It's a tough call. But he is sitting there not feeling right and obviously knew he needed to get checked. I think for the state of our game and the questions that come around those types of injuries, I think it's a step forward, its progress because it's the right thing. He was smart by getting checked and doing those things and making sure he was alright. So you go through that and then you turn the page and as bummed as I am for him, and then you have to go do your job and go try to move the team."
On what perspective he had on DE Jadeveon Clowney's hit on QB Carson Wentz:
"Yeah, you know, it's a fast game. Guys are playing hard. Always, you hate to see guys, when a guy is going down, to add on and to finish on top. But those guys are playing hard. Without seeing it on video yet, it's hard to make a full comment about it. But you always hope there is no ill intent on that stuff and I don't believe that to be the case but it's just unfortunate."
On what happened on the delay of game and whether it was a matter of guys being lined up wrong to start:
"Yeah, I'll take that one on me again. Just getting in and out of the huddle better. And that's what I mean, some of the stuff in an advanced game plan in this type of week, the management of the huddle and getting in and out a little faster, we could have done a better job of. So I'll put that on me."
On the last fourth-down play:
"We had an audible on the play, and we alerted it. If it didn't get communicated clear enough, that's on me. We didn't get it done. They did a good job of covering the guys we wanted, and I tried to step up to buy a little time and hopefully get something open. We just didn't get that done."
On his emotions after the game:
"There's a lot that goes into this. Everybody that sets foot into [the NovaCare Complex] puts a lot into getting this thing done. When you put everything into trying to win that game and it doesn't get done, it's just painful. It hurts. From my standpoint, it feels like as a quarterback you want to do more, and you feel like you can do more. You start replaying these plays in your mind of maybe where you could have been better. I always just have that perspective of I could have been better. You feel like you let those people down that come to the building. That's a hurt feeling. You don't want to have that. So, it was just a reflection of that."
On his future in the NFL:
"I've had the time of my life. I told those guys [in the locker room], I'm so thankful. I'm so thankful that they called me. [Eagles WR] Alshon [Jeffery], and other guys that hit me up and coaxed me to come out. I've chased this my whole career. I've been in moments like we were five weeks ago, when you're coming home on a plane ride from Miami and you feel like all is lost, and this is a dark place. Then you talk and ask if we can win all of these games and get in. I've been in those moments a few times in my career, and didn't get it done. What an honor it was to be in that group and watch [Eagles head coach] Doug [Pederson] lead this team; watch the veterans in the locker room lead this team; watch [Eagles QB] Carson [Wentz] play the way he did down the stretch. That's special. More than anything, it solidifies in all of those moments when I thought if the belief in the group can rise to a certain level, we can run the table. We did that and we got in. This year has been nothing short of special for me. I've really enjoyed it and have learned so much from so many people. I'm thankful to be a part of it. As far as the future goes, we'll see. I haven't made any decisions yet. I'll get with my family and talk with them. I retired once, so I know how to do that. We'll just see. I don't know yet."
On whether he thought about this being his first playoff appearance in his 17-year career:
"I'll probably reflect on that later. Again, it's probably with a sour taste, but I'm thankful. My wife and family have moved around a lot and have been there for me. To go out there and get to play in a playoff game was special. I can't thank them enough for their support. It was a heck of a ride. I left it all out there, I know that much. It is different playing at [age] 40. Your body talks to you a lot. I'll reflect on that later, but it was fun to be out there for sure."
Eagles Running Back Miles Sanders
On how the Eagles offense changed when Eagles QB Carson Wentz left the game:
"We're [still] in the game. We can't really feel bad for each other. I hope [Wentz] is alright, but it's next man up. It's the playoffs. I appreciate how [Eagles QB] Josh [McCown] came in and fought. It shows a lot, leading how he was last year. But it's just next man up."
On the fourth-quarter, 4*th*-and-4 incompletion when he was targeted by McCown at the Seattle 24:
"I have to execute that no matter how the ball came. It hit my hands so I have to catch it."
On whether he could have done anything differently to come up with the catch on 4*th*-and-4:
"Maybe. I just have to execute that play."
On the Eagles' season ending on Wild Card Weekend:
"Very difficult. Starting with the postseason, really, we fought against a lot of [stuff]. For us to get here and get the home field advantage and come up short is very disappointing. [There's] no doubt in my mind everybody on this team will come back hungry – including myself – [we're] definitely going to come back hungry."
On whether he's played on a team that has dealt with the number of injuries the Eagles have this season:
"Yeah, I'd say yeah. But, like I said, we're all in this league for a reason. It's next man up. That's all it is. [It's] definitely difficult."
On his injury on the final play of the first half:
"I stayed out there, I couldn't let my boys go out like that. I owed them, at least, to fight. I'm going to do my best this offseason to get right and come back healthier on a personal level, too."
Eagles Left Tackle Jason Peters
On how the offensive game plan changed when QB Josh McCown replaced QB Carson Wentz due to injury:
"It was pretty much the same as far as the game plan. The cadence was just a little different. That's why you saw guys jumping off sides. But once we had a series or two with him we started to get into a rhythm. Josh [McCown] came in and he did okay. We just couldn't get it done. With all of the injuries we had, to even be in this position speaks highly of [head coach] Doug [Pederson] and all of the coaches getting us prepared for the game."
On whether the injury to QB Carson Wentz was just one too many injuries for the Eagles to overcome:
"I didn't look at it like that because we still had a chance to win. We just didn't get it done. I made a couple of mistakes in the protection and we got stopped on fourth down. We just didn't get it done. We had a chance to make plays and we didn't make them."
On what his lasting memory will be of this season:
"All of the practice squad guys coming up, stepping up, and getting us to this point."
On his future with the Eagles:
"I haven't really thought about it. I got asked about it Friday, but we just have to see. I told them that I want to play another year. I still can get it done. If I couldn't get it done, I would just walk away. But I can still go."
On whether he wants to play in Philadelphia next year:
"I want to be here. This is all that I know. But the nature of this business is that sometimes they move on, so we'll have to see."
On whether the Eagles are the only team that he would come back and play for next year:
"I'm not going to say that. You don't want to put yourself in a box because if they don't want you any more, that's just part of the business. I definitely want to come back and play."
Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz
On if he had a lacerated kidney:
"I am not going to get into the details of the injury. You guys can ask the doctors. I don't want to get misquoted on some of the stuff, but I know my God is a healer and He is the reason I was able to play so fast. They said it was a remarkably fast healing, but I knew I was able to play."
On why he fought so hard to get back after a serious injury:
"It was tough. Monday, after the Cowboys game, I couldn't get out of bed on my own. I knew everything this team has gone through the past six months to get where we started last April. Like I said, I knew if there was a chance I could play, I always get the best cover guys. The defense always has to account for me and so I knew if I could be out there, even if I wasn't 100 percent that the defense has to treat me like I am 100 percent. I couldn't look at myself or my teammates in the eye, knowing everything they have sacrificed over the months, if I was able to go and didn't go. As long as everyone was good with it from a health standpoint, I wasn't going to miss the game."
On how emotional the last two weeks have been:
"It has been tough. It has been real tough. It hurts. There have been a lot of highs and lows, but my faith has kept me through it and kept me grounded. Knew that there was a plan for me, and I just wanted it to be black and white. Honestly, I took the emotion out of it. I said 'Hey', and I just prayed that I wanted it to be clear. I didn't want it to be a gray area where it was an emotional decision. When it was unanimous that I was able to play, I knew that there was a plan and a reason, and that's why I was able to go."
On his reaction to Seattle DE Jadeveon Clowney's hit on Eagles QB Carson Wentz:
"I kind of saw it from the side. I thought it was late and I knew something was wrong right away. Just the way he [Wentz] got up. I am devastated for my guy. Really tough."
On whether he thinks the Clowney hit should have been a penalty:
"Yes, if a quarterback gets hit to the head, but, it is what it is. I am sure there was somebody in the way or something. They are doing everything they can to protect players and I am sure that there is a reason that they didn't call it."
On his thoughts about what the team has gone through with injuries and its ability to still get to the playoffs:
"Obviously, this team embodies this city. It is a resilient city, a tough city, and I feel like the character of this team the past couple of years has been a reflection of this city. We do everything we can to try and win on Sundays and sometimes we just come up a little short. Today we had chances to make plays and we just didn't make enough of them. Seattle is a really good defense and they are really well coached and hats off to them."
On his lasting memory from this season:
"I feel like the past four weeks, the way this team rallied together is what I look at. You are down 17-3 against the Giants and if we lose that game, the season is pretty much over. Guys never pointed fingers, guys never question what is going on or why are we dealing with so many injuries. Guys just got back to work and it is a testament to all of the guys for being prepared. Everyone wants to say, why don't we have a nickname for the practice squad guys, but they are just great football players. That is the bottom line. Proud of all of those dudes for finding a way to get better. Greg Ward [Eagles WR], what a player. The work he has put in, in his preparation, and the lack of ego the guy has that asks me pregame questions about running routes and catching footballs. I am like dude, you got this, and you are a great player. Extremely proud of all of the guys."
On not many people having to go through what he did and how he played through it:
"It is football in Week 18. Obviously, it is a little more extreme what I was going through. All of the pads were very uncomfortable. By the end of the game, it didn't feel very good. Just trying to give everything I have for the team because I knew all of the guys were trying to do the same for me. We just came up short today, but proud of the group."
Eagles Defensive End Brandon Graham
On his emotions following the game:
"You know what, we all hurt. I'm proud of how we fought, but it's a hurt feeling. You have to go home. It was a one game season. We all said we all wish we could take some plays back, but it is what it is. Seattle came out and they got it done. We just came up short."
On what made him feel the need to say "We'll be back" as he walked into the locker room:
"Because, you know, we have to stand tall through it all. This is the hardest part. It's easy to go in there and not talk to anybody, but I'm going to embrace this feeling because I know next year with this offseason, with [Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager] Howie [Roseman], you know get everybody together, the players come back that we need, I'm excited. We dealt with a lot this year."
On what his lasting memory of this season will be:
"Winning the NFC East. You know, we got that done, but we came up short. We fought through so much stuff that wasn't going our way. One thing I can say the culture in this locker room is A-1. We're going to keep that going. I'm excited for what's to come. Looking ahead, you know, we're going to bring this team together even stronger for next year."
Eagles Cornerback Jalen Mills
On the defense's performance tonight:
"They made some splash plays here and there. We had a couple of those third-down missed tackles, but at the end of the day, I feel like we did a good job. Even though we didn't have our starter out there in [QB Carson Wentz], we still had a chance to go out there and win."
On not stopping the Seahawks on third down:
"At the end of the day, we have to get off [the field]. That's been the identity of this team the past four weeks; the defense getting off on third-down and putting our offense on the field. [Seahawks QB Russell Wilson] converted on a couple of runs. Like I said, we missed a couple of tackles and they converted."
On the performance of the team and his level of frustration:
"One thing I want to say is, regardless of the injuries, regardless of us barely getting into the playoffs, at the end of the day, this is a great team, and it shows. We had practice squad guys who stepped up and made plays. Guys were banged up and we had guys step in and make plays. At this point, it's very frustrating. We know we have the talent to go out there and win it all, but we just came up short today."
Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins
On playing the Seattle Seahawks for the second time this season:
"It was a tight [game] last time so we knew we had to play it pretty tight. We just made one mistake that they took advantage of in a big way, but I think for the rest of the game we battled well. We just didn't make the plays."
On whether or not he saw the hit on Eagles QB Carson Wentz by Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney:
"I didn't even know Carson was out until a couple drives later. But no, I didn't get a chance to see it."
On the spy coverage on Seahawks QB Russell Wilson:
"We didn't do it as many times as last time. We had a lot more third-and-long situations that puts me in coverage. We did it a few times, but like I said, when we were in man, he didn't really scramble much, and he stayed in the pocket and made sure the spy game didn't get involved. Hats off to him."
On Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson's message to the players post-game:
"The hardest part about this one is that it's so final. What this team has been through – we fought to get here. It's tough because we know the locker room always changes every year. That was the last time we all got to go battle together. For it to end in the way that it did, it's just tough. We're definitely proud of so many different guys in the locker room that had to step up just to get us to this point."
On whether there was a different vibe or emotional swing on the sideline once Eagles QB Carson Wentz went to the locker room:
"No. Honestly, I didn't even know Carson was out probably until maybe a drive or so late in the second drive that Josh [McCown] started. Everybody just kind of went on as scheduled. We've been too familiar with situations with injuries."
Eagles Safety Rodney McLeod
*On the injury to Eagles QB Carson Wentz: *
"The injuries continued into the postseason. Carson worked so hard over the past month to put us in this position. He goes down early in the game, and not being able to lead this team, I know he's got to be feeling down about it. At the end of the day, it's next man up. That was our approach. We were confident in [Eagles QB] Josh [McCown] back there, knowing what type of quarterback and leader he is. We see him at practice all the time and have complete confidence in him. He battled, and we came up just short."
On whether the defense felt more pressure after the Wentz injury:
"No. We already knew what type of game it was going to be. A grind-it-out type of game. There was good defense on both sides, and both teams like to run the ball. It's the playoffs, man. We knew it was going to be a fight, so our mindset didn't change. We have to do our job, which is to keep points off the board."
On the long completions to Seahawks WR DK Metcalf:
"We have to live with that. Wish we could get it back, but unfortunately that's how this game goes. It's always two to three plays that determine the outcome."
Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Wild Card matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.