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Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg

Posted Nov 29, 2012

Opening Remarks: "Little review on the last game – we did some things very well. Our line played well, especially in the running game. (RB) Bryce Brown broke out just a little bit. Young running backs, not always but normally, learn the hard way with the ball security thing. This league is different that way. We talked just a little bit very briefly that now he is no longer a rookie, that he’s learned from it, and we’ve moved on that way. We did make some critical mistakes during the football game that certainly cost us, but I’m proud of the way that the guys battled because they battled, battled, battled. I thought we had a very good first half with a few exceptions there. We missed a couple of things there early. We moved the ball fairly well, we got some yards, we got a few points, and then in the second half we just didn’t get it done like we expected to.

"Let’s move on to the Dallas game. We have a great opportunity. When we’re in this situation, there are many great opportunities to be had. Our players want to take advantage of those. We’ve got quite a challenge as well. Number 94 (OLB DeMarcus Ware) as you know, and we’ve talked about it a little bit several weeks ago, is the best in the game and he can wreck a game if you allow him to. They have a host of other pass rushers and excellent defensive players, especially on that front, that you just simply have to account for.

"They are beat up just a little bit on the second level and the third level – the linebacker level and the secondary. We’ve got a great opportunity coming into Dallas. We also have a few challenges here as we lost a few men as well. Everybody knows what to expect here – the next man to come in and play here at the same level or even better, heck there’s a great opportunity for that player. We will certainly see different thoughts and philosophies on defense I would suspect. We certainly will attack it just a little bit differently as well. We’ll open it up to questions."

On Mornhinweg’s evaluation of QB Nick Foles: "He’s come and he’s getting better every day. It’s clear in practice. Certainly, in the past couple of games there have been a handful of plays that he would like to have a little do over. There are no do overs. You learn from your mistake, you correct it, and you move on to the next time. Really good players rarely make the same mistake twice, and so that is his goal there in getting better every day. He’s done some excellent things, as you’ve seen, and there were a couple of plays early there that he’d like to have back. However, he’s done an excellent job of managing as well. That’s an important part. Now, he’s got to play at a high level which he (has proven) he can do and make it on a consistent basis, play after play."

On who will take WR DeSean Jackson’s spot in the lineup: "We’ll have players all over the place. You’ve seen us do this before when we have a player that goes down, that it’s by play and by personnel group. You’ll see several different people at the flanker spot."

On the situation at center: "I doubt it (that Dallas Reynolds will be available for practice). I’ll talk with (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) here over the next few days. He’s a tough young man, Dallas Reynolds now. That thing was a pretty good injury and he finished the game and gutted it out. That’s how our players are reacting to this thing. We have a lot of players just gutting it out and Dallas is certainly one of them. We may very well have a new center. We have great confidence in Evan (Mathis). He’s practiced there just a little bit during the season. That will be our third center. Going on the road with the crowd and all those things, that’s important. We’re focusing in on that. We have excellent confidence in Evan. The reasons why is, first of all, he’s a really good player. Second of all, he’s a sharp man. We’ve had several blitz meetings already and he’s got it down that way with that part of it."

On why they decided to put two new players on the offensive line instead of plugging in reserve OL Matt Tennant at center: "That’s a good question. We’re trying to get the best five guys. He has practiced there and he has been with us. He knows all of the calls and all of those things. That’s the best thing to do at this point going into a road game. Certainly, there were some thoughts about a lot of different combinations."

On whether he envisions a different setup when RB LeSean McCoy returns with the success that RB Bryce Brown has had: "You saw how we tried to play that thing early in the season. Bryce didn’t have quite the success numbers wise. We always had great confidence in him because the few opportunities that he got, we just didn’t block it very well for him. Then, (he and) the quarterback put the ball on the ground in the red zone against Baltimore. So, here’s just a classic example of a young man getting an opportunity and making the most of it. You mentioned it, and he certainly has to make sure that he certainly has to take care of this ball. I will tell you that Bryce does not go down easy. He’s a very physical, hard runner. It’s a little bit more risk with the ball, and he has to understand that and take care of that thing when he’s grinding it for extra yards. It’s as simple as that."

On how he will work with Brown on ball security: "You certainly anticipate it with a young runner, receiver, and anybody who may have their hands on the football. You anticipate it, very simple. You discuss it, you drill it, you discuss it more, and then you drill it more. There is no substitute for league games, however. It’s just different that way. I would think most backs learn the hard way. It’s much different than preseason as well, the regular season league games. He’s learned and we’re moving on. I suspect that he’ll do a good job taking care of the ball."

On why Tennant is not getting a shot to play: "There is a host of reasons for that. We have an excellent guard (Danny Watkins) who is back healthy, so we are moving him back to left guard. He’s had experience and Evan has had great experience within our system. We think Matt is an excellent player and will certainly help us here, and it may be very, very quickly. He is still in  a learning curve and all those things, but he may very well help us here."

On whether Tennant can play guard: "Yeah, absolutely."

On whether he will be plugged in at guard: "We’re down to our third center. If we go to our fourth center, it depends, or a guard, sure. He’s going to be an excellent player."

On whether there are any further injury concerns with G Danny Watkins: "Danny is there. Danny is really close to being there."

On whether the transition from right guard to left guard is difficult: "I will tell you that he’s comfortable on the left side. It was a little bit of an adjustment when he came here going to the left guard spot. I have discussed that with him and he is comfortable on the left side there at the left guard spot."

On whether he envisions using McCoy and Brown the way he used Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter earlier in his tenure: "Sure. All of the above. We’ve known this for quite some time. We knew it since we drafted him, but we didn’t quite know during the mini-camps and training camp. We’ve had some excellent backs here on our roster, and that could happen. It is in the future so we don’t know and all those things. We have some good backs here."

On how many games it takes to properly evaluate whether or not a quarterback can play in this league: "They’re all different. Every young man is different with his evolution. There are some quarterbacks where it is really almost seamless. If it is a rookie year, typically that is a situation where they’ve known that he was going to be a starter so you have all mini-camps and all training camp. He gets a lot of experience very quickly. There are some who are just seamless. I had (Jeff) Garcia there who had several years of experience of pro football up in Canada, and that counts. Some great quarterbacks, it takes them longer than expected, but when it hits, it hits. He’s right in an evolution and a progression of playing that quarterback spot. He’s doing a fine job. Certainly, he’s missed some things, but you can only expect that, that he’s learned from it, and that he doesn’t make the same mistake twice or rarely does. Now, you have a pretty good player there."

On whether his work so far and the rest of the regular season would be enough of a sample size to grade Foles’ play: "It certainly will be an evaluation. Now, you have to take all different things into account. There are some things here. The other thing is that young quarterbacks tend to play a little bit better when they are on an excellent team that is fully funded and everyone is on board playing and all of those things. But certainly it will be a great evaluation. Everything that we do is important – every player and every play. Everything that he does is important to his evolution here and his progression."

On specific areas where Foles has progressed since he began taking first team reps: "He did an excellent job on several, and a couple of the play passes, on his reads and going through his progression. Just excellent. He did some excellent things. Now, there were a couple that were right there. So, you go back, teach, correct, re-teach, correct. Ultimately, he has to make the adjustment and play at that high level on every play basically that’s what we’re saying."

On whether you have to coach the players differently to battle through being 3-8 and suffering multiple major injuries: "That’s a very good point and that’s 100 percent true. I think one thing in coaching, and I’ve been in this thing a little while now, is that motivation aspect. It’s key and it’s every day with the motivation aspect of it. Now, we certainly are in a spoiler type role here and that can be very rewarding. So, we have discussed that and it’s very rewarding that way. There are also some things that we can do as a team and as a unit offensively. Also, there are things individually that are important. So, we have discussed those things this week and there are a host of reasons to go out and get better every day. It doesn’t matter how we get it done, but we’re going to get it done. All of those things combined, there are some great reasons to go out and play some solid football."

On whether teams will play the Eagles differently without the deep threat that WR DeSean Jackson brings: "Absolutely no question about it. Then, certainly we’ll play it differently as well. DeSean is quite a threat. No question about that."

On whether not having Jackson will add to their difficulty of getting the ball down the field: "That’s cyclical just a little bit. You see them play it a certain way the last ballgame and you saw it a certain way going back to the last time that we played the Cowboys. Nick is a very good deep ball thrower. He’s very good at it. You saw that last time and the deep ball that we had was a penalty. I would suspect, and it would depend on his read and progression and everything we talked about before, that he would get the ball down the field. He did against Dallas. Many of them, we got some penalties on. He’s very good at it, so I’d expect us to be able to schematically drive the ball down the field just a little bit more than it appears that we’ve been doing."

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