On whether there will be opportunities for the team to hit big plays in the passing game since Tampa Bay has a stout rushing defense: "We’ve got to run our offense. You can look at statistics all you want but the big thing is for any offense is really (to) just go out there and execute our plays, (whether) that’s running or throwing. We’ll have to do both throughout the game successfully to put points on the board and give us a chance to win."
On whether they have to take what the defense gives them: "I say that’s a big part of the offense. With what their weaknesses are you want to play (to you strengths). You want to exploit that but at the same time you have to have the self pride and have confidence in yourself to run your offense and run it effectively."
On his progress using silent counts when the team is in opposing stadiums: "I feel more comfortable than I did in the preseason. Every day you get more and more comfortable."
On whether he can improve his confidence using silent counts in practice every day or in game situations only: "Oh, it’s work you can do during the week. That stuff you work on in practice. You work on the fundamentals in practice. You work on the plays in practice and you get different looks. You play out different scenarios in your head. All those different things you practice all week and then when you get to the game you don’t want to work on it during the game. The work was done in practice. You just want to go out and play at a high speed."
On the challenge of running the ball against the Buccaneers this week: "Yeah, more on the blocks means it’s tougher to run. If they do (bring more defenders close to the line of scrimmage) it’s a great opportunity to throw the ball. We’ll have to run the ball effectively as well."
On what he has picked up with the increased workload the past few weeks: "I think the big thing is the confidence of playing at this level. There’s always that confidence but then the more you do it (then) the more you pick up the speed. Just the feel for the game. I think that’s the big thing. Everybody says it’s a fast game which it is but you start feeling it more. You start getting more reps with your teammates. You build a bond in the huddle and the locker room. The more and more you play, the more and more you’re out there, that (feel for the game) just continues to grow."
On what he has seen out of Vick the past few weeks: "Mike is great. When I’m around him he’s been great. It seems like he is progressing really well. Like I said before, Mike is Mike to me. Our relationship will stay the same. He’s still the same guy I met when I first got here. You know he’s doing well."
On whether Vick is frustrated not being able to play: "Mike and I are the same. Nothing is really different for me and him. When we’re talking I wouldn’t notice anything different. He’s always been really supportive of me and I’m extremely supportive of him and he seems good."
On his on-field connection with WR
On at what point during the season he stopped feeling like a rookie: "I think when you start the season. I think after preseason you can’t have the mindset (of) being a rookie. This is our first year but you can’t have the mindset, ‘I’m a rookie, you can afford mistakes.’ You can’t. We’re here, we played in college (and) we’ve played a lot of football. It’s a different league but in your mind you can’t be thinking that way. Like I’ve said, I’ve learned from the veterans, I’ve learned from Mike, I’ve learned from (QB) Trent (Edwards), so really learned how they approach things with all the other guys in the locker room. (I just) put in the work and go out there and play with a lot of confidence."
On what it is like to have two veteran quarterbacks to learn from: "It helps tremendously. To have the support of both of them to help me along the way has helped tremendously. They’ve been there for me every step of the way with anything I’ve needed. No matter what, I’m cheering them on too. I’ve been very fortunate to have two great veteran quarterbacks right there with me."
On whether he prefers playing on the road or at home: "No, I just want to play. Of course you would love playing at home. Home games you get to play in front of your home crowd. There’s something always special about that. I love playing in Philadelphia. But then you get road games and you go into their territory and hostile territories are always fun too. I just love playing the game no matter where we play. Neutral site or wherever, I just love playing the game."
On whether there is more pressure at home or on the road: "No, you’re just sort of with your guys out there. I’m always in the same huddle so that’s my sense of comfort right there. No matter where it is I am comfortable in the huddle so that’s all I really think about."
On what motivates the team after losing eight games in a row: "We’re still here. We’re together. We’re fortunate to do what we do. We love the Eagles, we love playing for this organization, our coaches, the owners, and we love playing football. We have an opportunity to go out there and play football again. What could be better than to go to Tampa Bay right now and play against them? To have the opportunity to continue to play (is great). I’m 23 (years old) and I’m still able to play football. That’s something that’s pretty special. (You) just have to enjoy it every day and work as hard as I can."
On how much added pressure there is for him, being the only player with experience in defensive line coach Tommy Brasher’s scheme: "The guys have done pretty well for a short turnaround, trying to get used to him, this new system. (DT) Mike (Patterson) is not here but we’ve got guys that are going to step up. They have to step up and that’s what it is. We’ve got some young guys and I believe in these young guys that they can get it done."
On how tough it is for younger players to switch schemes in a short period of time: "They’ve just got to be professional. That’s what we do here. We’ve got to adjust to what’s going on and that’s being professional. This is a learning curve for all of the guys, for all of us. Also, this is going to help them in the future as well."
On whether it is natural to expect a little bit of confusion in the scheme early in the game: "We don’t want that, but expect anything to happen. Like I said, we don’t want that and we’re going to try our hardest for that not to happen. You’ve got to look at it as if you have a hard time with something, just play as hard as you can and go to the ball. That’s pretty much what it is. If you don’t know your play and you’re right in the middle of the game and it’s too late and you’ve got to go, then you’ve got to go play ball and go make a play."
On the biggest difference for the defensive ends in the new scheme: "Now we’re reading. We are reading. It’s a little bit slower play but I will say it’s more disciplined play. Like I said, from (former defensive line coach Jim Washburn) to Tommy, as players, we’ve got to get out there and play ball. That’s what it comes down to. It’s not the coaches. It’s just us as players. We’ve got to go do what we’ve got to do."
On whether the new scheme allows him to get back to a player that can affect both the run and the pass better: "We’ll see come this game. This will be a start back to the old days, we would say. It’s restarting. I’ll be excited. It’s something new. Not new, but new after two years of doing something different. Like I said, I’m looking forward to this game and we’ll see what happens from there."
On whether he feels the defensive line can be more creative upfront now outside of the wide-nine scheme: "It’s got its advantages. Pretty much, what we’re going to do is whatever (Brasher) tells us to do and Tommy’s going to put his stuff in there and we’ve got to go out there and do it."
On how excited Brasher will be to return to the sidelines Sunday: "I don’t know. I might be right, I might be wrong. It looks like he’s excited. I think he’s like, ‘Man, I’m back.’ This is from what I’ve observed. It’s his first time back in a minute and, like I said, I had him when I first came in. I thought I was a pass rusher when I came in but he broke me down and made me a real pass rusher when I came in."