Why the heck did Doug Pederson hesitate to say Carson Wentz is the starter?


Doug Pederson hesitated. 

Maybe there's something to that or maybe he's still just not very good in a press conference setting even in his fifth year as an NFL head coach. But when asked if Carson Wentz is his starter for Monday's game against the Seahawks, Pederson hesitated before confirming that Wentz is still indeed his starter. 

Here's how it all happened: 

Pederson on Wednesday morning was initially asked about how he deals with the noise from outsiders who have opined that Wentz should be benched. Pederson started his answer by saying everyone is entitled to their own opinions and then he said this:  

"I have to do what I feel is in the best interest of the Philadelphia Eagles, Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie and the players in that locker room. And again, it comes back to sometimes having to make tough decisions. One of the things that I've learned as a player and I've seen as a coach is that tough decisions have to be made in this business. Whether it's a tough decision to move on from a player in the offseason or to the decision now to whether you're going to make a move at quarterback or not. These are all decisions that have to be made by me."

That response from Pederson led to a very strange back and forth with ESPN's Tim McManus, who aimed to clarify that a change was indeed not coming. 

Reporter: "You're not making that move, right Doug, to a different quarterback?"

Pederson: "Not today on Wednesday, no." 

Reporter: "OK ... possibly for Monday?" 

Pederson: "I'm focused right now on getting better today. I don't know ... I would say no. No, no, no." 

Reporter: "Carson's your starter for Monday?"

Pederson: "Yes." 

Perhaps, Pederson was just frustrated about having to answer more questions about his struggling franchise quarterback but that was certainly an interesting exchange. Anytime a head coach hesitates to name his starting quarterback, it's going to raise eyebrows. And, for what it's worth, it was a valid follow-up series after Pederson referenced tough decisions that sometimes need to be made. 

So a couple of questions later, Rob Maaddi from the Associated Press aimed to clarify Doug's remarks and hesitation during that strange exchange. Pederson this time was asked about his position and if he has considered making a change. 

"I think about a lot of things, Rob," Pederson said. "The question was, 'Is Carson my starter?' He's my starter. End of story. And you guys can blow it up however you want and that's fine. I'm focused on this team, these players, this coaching staff and the Seattle Seahawks."

Wentz shortly after was asked about that entire exchange and said he hasn't had that conversation with Pederson yet, but it's his understanding that he's starting on Monday night.

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