Here are some highlights from Eagles coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Nick Foles' postgame press conferences after the Birds' season-ending 20-14 playoff loss to the Saints in New Orleans.
On whether he would have made any particular changes or adjustments in the second half:
Not really. I think It’s a credit to them, obviously. You see, I think, sometimes, you know, just the ebb and flow of a game. And you know, they got some breaks in there. We were moving the ball again. We had the turnover, the throw to Zach Ertz up the sideline there, that got intercepted and just kind of momentum changed. They went down and scored on that.
So, nothing that they did. We just didn’t make enough plays to either stay on the field or continue drives, execute and score.
On his message to Alshon Jeffery after the game:
It’s hard. It’s really hard, because he’s so down. But for me it’s about staying positive. Listen, he’s made many, many big catches for us this season, and he will continue to do that. I just told him he’s got to keep his head up and don’t let one play define you.
It’s not who he is. He’s too good of a player. He’ll embrace it, obviously, and he’ll be better for it. But I told him just to keep his head up and keep playing.
On whether he thought the Eagles would mount a game-winning drive after the Saints’ late field goal miss:
I thought that we were on our way. We had that [roughing the passer penalty], it just felt like the momentum at that point, it was in our favor — kind of in our hands. It’s been that way all season, and felt like, sort of, that magic was going to continue.
On whether he had any special message for Nick Foles after the game:
Nah, I just told him I appreciate everything he’s done, and everything that he’s done this season. For him to come in and step in the way he has. I just told him I loved him and we’ll probably visit in the next couple days.
On what it says about the Eagles’ potential for next year that this team made the divisional round of the playoffs in a year when so many key players were injured:
Well, I’ll tell you, you’ve got to have a lot of confidence in the guys and the coaches. To get to this position, to be in the divisional round, two games away from the Super Bowl again, it’s tough. In this league, it’s tough to win games.
And even back when a lot of people were counting us out, you know — in midseason and after the Dallas game, things like that — that’s why you play 16 games. To give yourselves a shot to be in this position. It’s a credit. Looking forward, you know, it’s a good football team, and we’re going to learn from this. We’ll be better for it.
On whether it felt like his last game with the Eagles when he walked off the field:
I’m not really going to worry about it right now. I’m just going to do what I can to enjoy this flight back with my teammates, and we’ll see what happens. I do know that we went out there and gave it everything we had tonight, and that’s where everyone’s got to keep their heads held high.
Because that’s what it’s about. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but ultimately if you give everything you have, that’s what it’s about.
On his and his teammates’ message to Alshon Jeffery after the drop that was picked off to the loss:
You just tell him you love him. That’s what it’s about. This game is tough. Not everyone can do it. In those moments, just tell him, “I love you, let’s keep going,”– amongst other things that I’ll keep to myself. But that’s the general message, and that’s what this team is about. That’s what’s playing this game is about, developing those relationships.
The tough part about it, like I said, is when it’s over, it’s over. But I don’t regret anything. I’ll always play this game to develop relationships, because that’s what makes a strong team.
On whether he wants to stay in Philadelphia:
That’s a tough question. It’s a really unique situation, something that — honestly, I need time to step back. I love the city, I love playing there. We have three guys in that quarterback room that can play in this league, and that’s the part about it.
But I’ll tell you this, no matter what happens, it’s been a joy. Playing in the city, being in that quarterback room with Carson and Nate, going to work every day. And I know we talked about it earlier, but the city means so much to me and my family and it always will.
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