Injury Report: "(RB)
Opening Remarks: "There were some good things and there were some bad things in the game. Obviously, you don’t want to lose a football game, number one, no matter how you work it. You know you’re going into a tough place to play with a team that’s had their week off and so on, (getting) their players back and momentum. I thought our guys went in there and attacked them aggressively. You can’t have the turnovers that we had in the first half. That is not helping our scoring cause during games. It’s hindering our ability to score.
"It’s keeping us down in that latter part – the second-lowest scoring team in the National Football League right now. We’ve got to make sure that we fix that. Turnovers are something that you have to focus in on at practice. You have to make sure that you are aware of that during the game, that your ball security is right. We’ve done well with the interception part of it, and we’re doing a better job with the protection part of it, with the decision-making part of it. We have to do a better job taking care of the football.
"Then, we have to be able to get off the field on that last drive. I know that I was asked yesterday about sacks and pressures and all those things – I think we’re doing a decent job with the pressure part of it. I know we are measured here on sacks, and what you’re seeing teams do right now is utilize their three-step drop with a five-man protection. Then, they’re quick-hit five throws off of the five-man protection go beyond that with the five hitches and the five hitch, hitch with the long throw downfield and seven step drop, you’re seeing either maximum pro which is seven-man protection or you’re seeing that six-man protection. We saw a majority of that between the six-man and seven-man yesterday.
"What we saw last year was maximum sacks and a lot of scoring. What you’re seeing this year is not a lot of sacks and we’re keeping the scoring down. However, that last drive you have to be able to get off the field on the third-and-12. That was actually one where we did have pressure and had an opportunity to sack (Pittsburgh QB) Ben (Roethlisberger), and he did a good job of shaking us off when our defensive end got free there, and stepping up in the pocket and making a throw. I mentioned yesterday that was two-man – that was straight cover two right there. The following third-down was two-man. Both results weren’t good enough and we have to be more aware on the back end of that and do a better job.
"Those are the primary problems there. There are no excuses there at all. We have to do a better job offensively in the first half, as I said, and have to do a better job special teams wise and continue to work. Right now, it’s more fundamentals and technique than it is anything else. We need to make sure we work on that and do a better job coaching that during the week here. We’re going to do that and try and get that fixed. As far as the punter goes, he didn’t have his best day and he’s better than that. It’s important that he does a better job there."
On whether the pressure from the defensive line should result in more interceptions: "Well, listen, we haven’t had the turnovers either the last couple games. We’ve got to do a better job there, which does help. If you’re not, in theory, I mean you can do the math on it. If they’re keeping people in to protect and they’re running three-man routes, you’ve got to take care of it on the back end. But again, the scoring is down. That’s a positive that you take out of this. When I say there’s good and there’s bad, last year the scoring was up; okay, we had a lot of sacks that looked pretty (good) as far as the sack bar goes. The score is the ultimate thing here. I thought the defense really, overall, until that last drive there; you had first-and-20 at the 10. That’s a good position to be in. Then, you have third-and-12, that’s a great position to be in. You’ve got to get off the field.
"As coaches and players, we’ve got to figure that out and get off the field. So, we can do a better job there. But up to that point, I thought we played a good, solid football game defensively. (Steelers QB) Ben (Roethlisberger’s) numbers weren’t great. The rushing, they did a pretty good job rushing the football. They got their ball carrier going, in particular, that last drive. That was a long drive. Each team only had the ball for one drive in the fourth quarter really; there were two plays there that they had the ball early, but really it was two drives, one for each team. So, we’ve got to do better."
On why the big plays are not showing up in any phase and how hard it is to win without the big plays: "Listen, when you’re playing good football teams, you’re going to trade punches here. That’s how this thing works. You might not get the big play. That might not happen. Again, good football teams playing each other. So, you have a minimum of good plays, but you surely can’t have mistakes on your side. You’ve got to get rid of those. You eliminate those, now what does the game look like? What does it look like if you don’t fumble on the three and fumble it into the end zone? What does the game look like there? What does it look like when you’re fumbling it around the 30-yard line? You’ve got to eliminate those and then we talk. But you’re playing good football teams and a lot of these games, when you have these good teams playing each other, there’s not a big discrepancy in score. So, you can’t give them anything and we’re giving things up there that we don’t need to do."
On whether the team should have blitzed when the Steelers were backed up on their final drive: "You’ve got to look at the protections. On one hand, they’re honoring your defensive line by giving you, what I consider, blitz protections. They’re keeping tight ends in, sometimes two tight ends, running back-tight end combination in. Now, you’ve got to bank on your coverage here a bit to do that. There are a couple things you can do up front to try to give yourselves an opportunity to get your defensive lineman home in one-on-one situations. But like I said, you saw on that third-and-12, we were in a one-in-one. We had a one-on-one situation that we won. (Steelers QB) Ben (Roethlisberger) made a nice play getting out of it. (DE Jason) Babin had him right in that area that you want to get Ben in and that’s around the waist or below. You hit him high and he just kind of shakes you off. You get him down in the leg area. He did a good job with it. He made a big play at a crucial time."
On whether he treats a well-played, close loss differently than other losses: "You surely don’t feel good about a loss, but what you do is you’re real with it. That’s my responsibility. I sit there and I evaluate it and I give it to the team like I’m trying to give it to you and the fans, what’s real. So, there are a lot of good things that you can take out of this football game. There’s a lot of good things. The errors that we had are fundamental errors that we can go back and we can correct these things. We’ll get this right. So, from that standpoint, it’s a bit different than the Arizona game where I thought all three phases, we didn’t play well in most areas there. So, this is a little bit different than that."
On whether the issues on the offensive line were results of missed assignments: "They give you a lot of different combinations, so we went back through that. We did on the sideline, then we did it again today, but we had a couple assignments that were off that we need to take care of. But I thought for the most part, the blocking was pretty good up front, in particular with all the different combinations. Listen, you ask about the blitz and you look at our last couple of drives there when they were doing just what you’re asking if we should have done more of. They did, and we were able to hurt them with that and they’re one of the better blitz teams in this league. There’s a give and a take in all of it."
On whether they are doing more to help with protection since the injury to C
On whether LB Mychal Kendricks’ injury was hampering him in coverage on the Steelers third-and-12 play on their final drive of the game: "No, he was okay on the third-and-12."
On whether there is anything that the coaches can do to help Vick reduce turnovers: "You emphasize it. As a coach, you emphasize it. You continue to emphasize it in practice. That’s what you do. And as a player you make it happen. You have to make sure you keep the ball high and tight and that you cover it in traffic. When things are live and they are going fast in the game you make sure you go back to those fundamentals to get it taken care of."
On whether he will call plays differently due to the amount of turnovers committed: "I would tell you no. You saw us come back with a QB draw after he had a couple fumbles. I’ve got trust that he’ll get this thing right. Like I said with how I felt with the interceptions, not that he’ll never throw another interception, that’s not what I’m saying, but he’s kind of got that worked out. He’ll make good decisions there. That’s part of the game. He’s got to take care of it. He knows it."
On whether the protective equipment on Vick’s ribs may hinder his ability to secure the football when running: "I looked at that. I don’t think it is. I don’t think that’s the case but I did look at that. That’s a good question."
On whether the QB draw near the goal line was a called play or improvisation by Vick: "It was called. It was a play. They’re a big two-man team. They two-man it then walk the linebackers up on the ball or they bring the inside linebackers and exchange with the outside guys. We felt that as long as we got a body on a body there (it would be) smooth sailing. They did bring the inside guys but we didn’t get it taken care of so it didn’t work out."
On whether the decision to run a QB draw instead of handing the ball to RB
On whether he feels the Eagles are at a disadvantage playing three consecutive games against teams coming off of their bye week: "I don’t feel that way. You’re dealt things in the National Football League, you’re dealt things in the game, each play you’re dealt things and you just go about your business. You do what you need to do. We were right there in that game. Bye week, no bye week, (or) playing at home, all those things you can analyze and look at all of them. We were right there to win the game. I don’t worry about that. I worry about us taking care of our business. That’s where the primary focus has got to be. There’s small, fundamental things we have to take care of. We need to do it in practice, we need to do it in meetings, coaches and players need to take care of it."
On whether the first five games have given him an indication about the direction of the team more than other years when opening a season: "I like the grit of this football team. I like the toughness of this football team. There’s some fundamental things we have to get taken care of. I like it. We’ve got some young guys that they’ve got to grow fast. There have been a few like I said before you’re going to have some hits and misses in there. You’ve got to figure it out. You’ve got to figure it out fast. I like the makeup of this football team. We’ve got to take care of a couple of things. They’re a competitive and tough bunch. We’ve got skill and good coaches and that combination is a good thing. That part I know after these five games."
On whether getting to the bye week with a winning record indicates the team is heading in the right direction: "That’s hard because you go into every game thinking you’re going to win the stinker. That’s how you go in. You can’t think anything less than that. Are you disappointed after a loss? Absolutely man, you put a lot of time and effort into it. I don’t look at it that way. We’re trying to as players and coaches to win every game. So that’s how you look at it."
On whether the offense has gotten too conservative the past few weeks: "Listen, I’ve tried to look at all of the different areas. I’ve looked at that area there. I don’t think we have. You saw us take shots down the field and we were off just a bit. I think doing the right thing. Offensively we’re playing against good defensive football teams so there’s certain things you have to do and we have to do them better. You’ve got to have a good mix. You’ve got to have the blend of shots down the field, you’ve got to have that threat, you’ve got to have your short-intermediate game going, you’ve got to be able to move the pocket a little bit, and you’ve got to be able to run the football. We just have to do it better. We’ve got to eliminate against good football teams, you’ve got to eliminate turnovers. That’s what you have to do. Defensively, we’ve got to create a few more (turnovers)."
On the reason that passes down the field have not worked like they have in past seasons: "I think teams understand that that’s what we’re going attempt to do. You see the depth of the safeties, number one. That’s part of it. That’s allowed us to work our short-intermediate game. Really we haven’t been stopped as much as we’re stopping ourselves so we have to make sure we take care of ourselves. When I come back to say that I’m not saying that in an arrogant way by any means. I’m giving you what’s real so take care of yourself first and make sure you get it right and then we go from there."