FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson discussed a number of topics on Sunday afternoon, including which one of his quarterbacks will start against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night.
When asked if Carson Wentz or backup Nick Foles would get the call Thursday night, Pederson said he isn’t ready to make that decision public quite yet.
“You know I haven’t made the decision publicly; it’s an internal thing,” Pederson said. “We’re going to take each day as it comes, and we’ll find out later this week.”
Pederson also shared his thoughts about facing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, linebacker Deion Jones, Atlanta’s receiving corps and more.
Pederson on the Falcons receivers: One of the best in the NFL
Not surprisingly, Pederson said he’s watched the Falcons during the preseason and took notice of rookie first-round pick Calvin Ridley – and what the receiver out of Alabama brings to an already potent Falcons receiving corps.
“I’ll tell ya, I laughed because I think it’s a great receiving corps,” Pederson said. “It’s probably one of the tops in the National Football League. We obviously know about (Mohamed) Sanu and Julio (Jones) and what they can do.
“But Calvin Ridley – I remember him coming out and there’s an element of surprise with his speed,” Pederson said. “I think this guy has got some really good, kind of sneaky speed, catches the ball extremely well and had a really good college career at Alabama. He just makes this group that much harder to defend with the other two guys.”
Pederson on dealing with Deion Jones: He’s hard to block
Pederson was asked about the Falcons defense, specifically third-year linebacker Deion Jones.
“The speed really shows up sideline to sideline,” Pederson said. “(Jones is) a physical, downhill guy. He’s hard to block, quite honestly, even if you have proper angles. He is so quick and a young, talented player that is valuable obviously to that defense.”
In the Falcons’ 15-10 loss to the Eagles in the division round of the playoffs back on Jan. 13, Jones finished with three tackles.
On whether the Eagles expect to see Ridley in the return game
Pederson said there wasn’t a lot of film on Ridley, but the Eagles coach said his team is preparing to see the rookie line up anywhere – including back as a returner.
“The first game, I tell ya, you have to expect anything,” Pederson said. “You’ve got to expect him being back there like you would, possibly, a Sanu pass. There’re things that we’ve got to anticipate and he’s one of them.”