Very few people in the NFL are closer to Eagles coach Doug Pederson than Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, whom Pederson backed up on a Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers team. So when Favre was quoted this week as saying that the Eagles should have gone with Nick Foles at quarterback instead of Carson Wentz, after Foles won Super Bowl LII, this piqued interest, more than, say, any thoughts Favre might have had about voting by mail.
Pederson was asked about Favre’s comments early in his Wednesday news conference, and his first two answers didn’t clear anything up in relation to Pederson’s own feelings about the franchise quarterback, who has struggled mightily in the first half of the season.
Here is the question Pederson was asked: “Brett Favre offered the opinion yesterday that you guys should have kept Nick Foles over Carson Wentz. His comments arguably have a little bit more weight since you guys are tight. Just curious what your reaction to his comments are.”
“I respect Brett’s opinion,” Pederson answered. “We are friends, but I haven’t talked to him and he’s entitled to that. That’s about it.”
Later in the session, another questioner tried to clarify: “You said that you respect his opinion, but his opinion in this instance is that you should have kept Nick Foles and gotten rid of Carson Wentz. I’m assuming that’s not your opinion?”
“I respect Brett’s opinion,” Pederson said. “He’s entitled to his opinion, and that’s fine. I’ll leave it at that.”
This raised some virtual eyebrows in the Zoom session, so a third reporter entered the fray, and asked this:
“Before it gets blown out of proportion and everyone runs with ‘Doug didn’t support Carson today and stood by what Brett Favre said,’ just want to give you a final opportunity to clarify: Those were Brett’s thoughts, they weren’t your thoughts, when the decision had to be made in the organization [to release Foles], even though personnel decisions like that are usually tough, was it that difficult for you guys? Was anyone beating down the door to do a different thing?”
Finally, Pederson provided this answer: “No, Carson’s our guy. Carson was our draft pick. Carson’s the guy that’s going to carry us and lead this football team. Listen, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, those aren’t my words, those aren’t Howie’s words, Jeffrey’s words, those are [Favre’s] words. I respect that opinion, whatever he wants to say, that’s fine, and we’re going to remain friends. It doesn’t bother me one way or another.
“All I know is that Carson Wentz is our guy, and it’s my job to get Carson Wentz to play better, to do better, to help this football team win, as it is to get everybody else to play better. Again, I respect [Favre’s] opinion, and his words, those aren’t mine, please don’t put words in my mouth, or we’re going to have a problem. And Carson’s our guy, bottom line, end of story.”
This seemed harder than it needed to be.
Wentz said he hadn’t heard Favre’s comments, but brushed them off. “At the end of the day, it’s really whatever,” he said. “Everyone has their opinion, so I don’t know.”
Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was a full participant in Eagles practice Wednesday and could be on track to make his season debut after a Lisfranc foot injury and hurt calf sidelined him for the team’s first eight games. Cre’Von LeBlanc (quadriceps) and Craig James (hamstring) were also full participants.