Opening Remarks: "(S)
"Obviously I made a change in the coaching area here with (defensive line coach) Jim Washburn and brought Tommy Brasher back in to coach the defensive line. I’m not going to sit here and go into great detail on the whys that I am doing it other than I think it’s the best thing for the Philadelphia Eagles and this football team that I made that move. This is a move that I made. Nobody else made this move and that’s important for you to understand. This isn’t a move to save my job. That’s not what that is. This is a move I think needed to be done now and so I did it now. That’s about as far into depth I’m going to go with that. Having Tommy Brasher back here again brings back a very loyal, loyal assistant.
"(He’s) a coach that I’ve had here for a number of years who understands exactly what I’m about and what I’m trying to get done with a young defensive line. For these next four weeks, Tommy is going to coach the defensive line. Obviously his experience will also benefit (defensive coordinator) Todd (Bowles) and the other young coaches that we have. A lot of you were here when Tommy was here and you can understand why I chose to bring him back in here.
"The Dallas game, again, we strive to win every football game so playing better isn’t good enough unless you’re winning the game. I did appreciate the effort that the players put out. I thought some of the young guys really stepped up and made some nice plays throughout the game. Although the obvious turnover with the fumble and one of the blown coverages came back to one of the young guys. Again, (QB Nick) Foles and (RB)
"We had pressure on the quarterback and then we didn’t have pressure the second half and the big plays started taking over. We had a couple blown coverages there. Four big drives in the second half and that’s including the last one in the second quarter where touchdowns were scored. That’s a ridiculous number that you can’t have. So we go back as coaches, again I take full responsibility, and we try to make sure we’re putting these guys in the right position. The players are working their tails off if they’re in the right position to make plays and make sure we’re working our angles better, especially our tackling angles (and) our pursuit angles. We have to do a better job there. So you work that in practice. You practice faster and harder and do those things that you need to do so that once you get in the game all that becomes second nature.
"As far as changes at different positions, I haven’t quite gotten that far yet. The players have today off and tomorrow off so I’m going to take some time and look at that. I know there are some questions on our secondary and I’m looking closely at that making sure we have the right people in there to do a better job these last four games. There is one, because Mike (still) hasn’t passed his (baseline) test, today I’m going to name Nick as the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. Mike is on the fast track here so hopefully we might even be able to get him back this weekend but we’ll see. We’ll see how that goes but I can’t tell you here that he’s going to be able to practice come Wednesday yet.
"Number one is (Vick’s) health obviously and number two, which is also important, it gives one of our young players the opportunity to play the next four games as the starter. Each week he’s come in and he’s kind of been the replacement guy. Now he is the starter and we’ll see how he does with that on his plate and see how he handles it. I don’t expect much to change with him. He handles things in a pretty cool manner and I think he’ll continue to do that. And again, he was one of the positives in yesterday’s game. It will be good for him."
On whether Foles will be the starting quarterback even when Vick is healthy: "That’s right."
On what made him change his mind about the quarterback position: "I think where we’re at right now in the season that gives this kid an opportunity to play and finish it up. Number one, I just think he’s playing well enough to where I think he can win football games for us, and two, I think where we sit at this position in the season, (and) I think it’s the right thing to do. With Michael we need to make sure he gets healthy. This thing has carried on a while here now and I want to make sure he is good to go."
On whether he has spoken to Vick about the quarterback decision: "I didn’t mention that I spoke to Michael but I did speak to him. He was very positive about it. Completely understood and was on board."
On what strides Foles has made that he is able to be the starting quarterback: "Listen, you guys have seen him. Just the progression. You see the footwork is better when he’s throwing the football. It’s allowing us to add more into his repertoire of throws and he’s been working very hard on that. The (drop backs), that’s the thing that young quarterbacks have to learn and then coordinate (the drop backs and footwork) with the secondary they’re seeing, and they have to do this within a couple (seconds) and get it right. I’ve seen improvement there."
On whether the wide-nine scheme is now out of the defensive game plan and what he is looking for out of the team the final four weeks: "Well we want to win games. That’s what we want to do. As far as the wide nine goes, it just won’t be as prominent. Will there be a time and a place when we use it? Yes. Will it be every snap? No."
On Washburn’s relationship with former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and how much that played into the decision this morning: "I’m not going to get into all that stuff. I will tell you there were just things that I was disappointed in and, as time went on, that I knew. I just thought it was the right thing to do right now for this football team."
On whether it was his decision to start Foles for the remainder of the season: "Yes, this was my decision to (start) Nick. Like I’ve told you many times, the one great thing about the Philadelphia Eagles organization and (Chariman/CEO) Jeffrey (Lurie) and when (former president) Joe (Banner) was here and (general manager) Howie (Roseman) and the other general managers that were here, that they’ve allowed me to make the decisions. I stand here and tell you this. I understand where you’re coming from and that you need to know that. These were my decisions."
On whether there have been any discussions about his job security over the last few weeks: "We haven’t even gone there. I’m sure we’ll talk about it at some time, but that’s not where we’re at right now. We’re trying to win football games and I can appreciate that."
On whether the decision to bring Washburn here in the first place was his decision: "Yes."
On whether he second-guesses the decision to hire Washburn before hiring Castillo as defensive coordinator: "No, I don’t think so. That’s not how I feel. No."
On what impact defensive coordinator Todd Bowles will have on the defensive scheme going forward: "Todd will have an influence on that, yes. Just as he has been."
On whether it will be difficult for the defensive line to adjust to a different scheme this late in the season: "I think we should be okay. The things that we’ll ask them to do, Tommy (Brasher) has been around. He can blend things. He’s very flexible which is important."
On whether the culture of the organization seems different now than it did earlier in his tenure: "When you have change, things happen. So, one of my responsibilities is that if I feel like it’s going too far one way, then I correct that. That’s what I’ve attempted to do and that’s how I feel about that."
On whether Vick will be the backup quarterback when he returns to full strength: "I haven’t got that far, but most likely, he’ll be the second guy. We’ll see how that goes. Listen, the number one thing I want him to do is get healthy. That’s what I want. This obviously has taken a bit and he’s working his tail off to try to get it right and I just want him to get that right so he can have a nice, long career here. He still has three, four years that he can really get out there and wing it. Let’s get him healthy and going in the right direction there."
On whether Bowles has asked the defensive line to do more reading and reacting in the last few weeks: "Very little."
On when the decision was made to let go of Washburn: "It was done this morning."
On what made the timing right to let go of Washburn: "It wasn’t all about this game. That’s not what it was. It was just something that I had been pondering and working through and I just thought it was the right time now."
On whether Washburn’s firing was not football related: "He’s a good football coach. He’s a good football coach and I think it was just a give and take. I think he’s going to have a great career down the road with somebody else. He’s had a great career and he’s going to continue to have a great career. That didn’t quite work the way I wanted it to work."
On how offensive line coach Howard Mudd is taking the news of Washburn’s firing, considering they were close friends: "Howard is close with Jim. Howard is also very close with Tommy and they worked together in Seattle for a number of years. They know each other well. Howard understands. He knows this business. He’s been around it a couple of years, so he knows how it works."
On whether he expects Mudd to remain on staff until the end of the season: "Yes."
On whether he would have made the decision to fire Washburn regardless of Sunday’s outcome: "Yes."