On whether the team is looking to perform well knowing they are going into a bye week after playing the Lions: "Yeah, you want to go into the bye week with a good feeling. You want to try your best to focus this weekend on everything you have to do right and the best you can try to go out and get a win so you can feel good throughout the bye week."
On the challenge of playing the Lions this weekend: "Despite what their record shows, that's a good football team. If you look all across the board they have good football players over there and it's going to be a good game. It's going to be a physical game and they're going to come to play and we just have to make sure we take care of things on our end."
On what he remembers about the team's last meeting against the Lions in 2010: "A tough football game on the road against a team that was up and on the rise, very hungry and trying to make a statement around the league. They've gotten better over the course of the past two years and they're going to continue to get better."
On whether he is looking forward to games that the Eagles put teams away instead of games coming down to final possessions: "I'm waiting. That responsibility falls on, first and foremost, me as the quarterback of this football team (and then) the offense putting it all together as a team. We want to start fast as a team on offense. That's been our goal and we're going to put it together at some point but you have to do it on Sundays and you have to get it done."
On why the offense is able to drive down the field late in games but struggles in the early quarters: "We just want to put ourselves in a position to win the game. (We) don't want to leave any stones unturned and sometimes you may be trying things in the first half that may not work. In the second half just taking it back to the basics and (doing) some things that we all know how to go out and execute. Not saying that we don't know how to execute the game plan but we take our chances and try to be as aggressive as we can to put points on the board. That's our philosophy, that's how we play, and that's what we believe in."
On whether he is now the owner of a new family dog: "I'm here to strictly talk about football. What goes on in my personal life is not to be talked about. What's most important right now is the Philadelphia Eagles and getting a win this Sunday."
On whether the offense is focusing on ball control and time of possession this week: "We want to come out and try to put pressure on a defense, sometimes we want to push the pace, and sometimes you want to slow it down. You never know. It all depends how the flow of the game (goes). We want to stay in tune to what we're doing (and) we want to stay in a rhythm, which is the most important."
On whether he is impressed with WR Calvin Johnson's play: "This season I haven't been able to keep up with what he's been able to do. I've followed him over the last two or three years and he's been very productive and he's a good football player."
On why there have been so few successful plays down the field this season: "Defenses are playing a little different. They're giving us some things that we can take advantage of and at some point we'll get our shots down the field. We get one or two a game but it hasn't been like it has in the past. That's why we play, that's why we scheme, and that's why you have to play at a high level."
On whether he expects opposing players to focus on forcing him to fumble: "Absolutely. I expect everybody who gets close to me to be reaching for the football. It's totally my responsibility to take care of the football and especially for the sake of this football team. It's something that I (have to get) corrected. I set a goal for (reducing) interceptions and now I have to set another goal. That's the least that I should be worried about right now at this point in the season. It's just a situation that I created for myself and I definitely have to take care of it."
On what is the reason for his improved play against opposing blitzes: "Just trying to take advantage of what the defense gives me. The thing is you can't take steps forward and then take steps back. In spite of all of the good things that happen, I (have) to focus on the things I haven't been doing so well. That's what is important to me right now and I'm still going to go out and play with confidence and go out and play the game and have fun doing it. At the same time in the moment just (being) the best I can be and orchestrating the offense and protecting the football."
On whether the lack of turnovers created is preventing the defense from being a great unit: "I mean, you get pressure on the quarterback. If you get sacks, that's good; but as long as we're getting pressure, making the quarterback move around, that's fine. But turnovers, we can pick it up in that area."
On what the defense has to do to create more turnovers: "You just have to be focused on getting the ball out when the ball is up in the air. It's your opportunity to go up and get it and make a play on it. We've got to find a way to come down with those."
On whether he feels the scheme should allow linebackers to blitz more often: "The scheme is fine."
On being close to creating several turnovers: "Those things, when turnovers start to happen, they come in bunches. You start to get two and three in the game and when you're not getting them, it's like you're so close and you think about things you could have done better to make that play. But the turnovers, they'll come."
On whether increased blitzing would help create more turnovers: "That's up to opinion. We can get pressure with our front four. If we blitz, we can get pressure that way, but that's up to opinion. It doesn't matter. As good as our d-line is, we get pressure with our front four."
On the main focus of the defense being points allowed rather than sacks: "That's it. It's all about not letting guys get into the end zone. That's the biggest thing for us, not giving up touchdowns, holding guys. If they're down there, holding them to three points if possible. But that's the most we want to even give up and that's if we happen to let them down there, but we're not trying to give them turnovers. The focus of this game is winning. That's the only thing we care about. Sacks, blitzing, all that stuff, it doesn't matter to me. As long as we outscore our opponents, that's all I care about."
On what kind of challenge Detroit WR Calvin Johnson presents to a defense: "He's one of the top receivers in the league. He's a big time threat, big target and he gets a lot of opportunities; gets a lot of attempts thrown at him. He's a special player, a very special player and we're going to have to make sure we cover him."
On whether he is surprised at the lack of turnovers created this season: "Yeah, I mean, it's surprising that we're not getting more. We're playing hard. You watch the film; guys are giving it up for each other, playing all out, playing hard. So like I said, those things, when they come, they'll come in bunches and hopefully they can start coming this Sunday."
On whether there is a simple answer to getting more sacks: "We've just got to keep doing what we're doing. We're just going to keep fighting and they're going to come. It's not just us. There's other teams out there having the same situation. But like I said, this happens. It happens every year so it's nothing surprising. You go on little dry spells. But like I said, we're going to get there. We're going to do what we've got to do and, as a team, we're just going to keep fighting. We've just got to tweak a couple little things and then we'll be back on road to winning."
On how tough it is to rush the passer when the offenses constantly max-protect: "It's tough, but like I said, it's not going to stop us from trying to move towards our goal. We're going to fight. I don't care if I have to take two guys the whole game. I'll take two guys; it doesn't matter. Like I said, we're out there to try to win games and we're going to fight as much as we can."
On whether he and DE
DE Jason Babin
On whether the defensive line is better this year than last year: "Absolutely, I think they're better. Watching the way we work together, the way we rush, the way it looks, the way our footwork is, and our second (unit) is, there is no question in my mind. Do the stats reflect it? Absolutely not."
On whether he feels more pressure to get a sack each time he plays because of the drought in bringing down the quarterback: "I felt the same amount of pressure last year that I do this year. I put that pressure on myself. Despite what someone says to me, the media, or coaches, I hold myself accountable. I know the guys on the D-line hold themselves accountable so that's the way we take care of our business."
On whether he can tell teams are chipping and giving tackles help more often: "You look at a guy like (DE) Trent (Cole) and a guy like myself and you're an offensive coordinator, what do you do? That's the thing. You look at (Colts DE/OLB Dwight) Freeney and (Colts DE/OLB Robert) Mathis, that production went down a few years ago as well. Guess what teams were doing to them. They realized how good they are. They're not going to let them run wild. It's just something as a team (and) as a defensive line that we're going to have to deal with and work through."
On whether running more stunts on the line would help give him more space to rush: "My pay grade goes to practicing, playing and performing. That pay grade, making calls, is a little above me."
On whether the offense is hungry for an explosive play on Sunday to get things moving: "No, I'm not necessarily hungry. I'm hungry about winning the game and I believe there's multiple different ways of winning the game. We played against the Giants; we didn't have many big plays but we protected the football and were able to win the game at the end of the game. You want to be in position to win the game at the end of the game and that's my biggest thing. I don't really go out there and say, ‘Okay we need five big plays.' That's not what I'm about. As a team, we want to just go out and put ourselves in position to win in the fourth quarter."
On what makes him confident QB Michael Vick will correct his fumbling issues: "When you look at some of the things like the one in the end zone, he had both hands on the ball. It's just one of those things. I believe that he's an integral part of our team and if it's being talked about and called out and those type of things, I'm pretty sure it's going to give him more motivation to make sure that he's protecting the football. We have total confidence in him."
On where he feels the problems lie in the offense in terms of finishing drives: "Well, I think (turnovers are) the biggest thing. It's big, and a lot of those turnovers have been in the red zone in scoring situations. I think that you can try to take it away, but you can't really take the turnovers out of the equation. I think that defenses are doing more things to stay deep. They know that if we can just keep it in front of them, eventually we'll bat a ball down. Eventually, someone will miss a block. Eventually, somebody will miss a pass. It's a harder game like that but you have to prove that you can keep drives alive consistently, so defenses can come up and you can get a play behind them."
On whether there needs to be improvement in the intermediate passing game: "I think that the execution of it; all of it is there, but the execution has to be there. It has to be perfect assignment; protection has to be perfect, route progression. (There) also has to be good routes on the back end. So, I think that at certain times, it's clicking, and then there are certain times where, like I said, a ball is batted or there's a block missed or a route that's not run precisely and it's caused us to be stagnant at times."
On whether the defense looks at statistics each week to see where they rank as a unit: "We really don't pay attention to stats. I mean, obviously, we see them, but stats don't mean anything and wins and losses do. Last week was a great indication that, you held a team to under 17 points and you didn't get a win. Obviously, it fell on the defense's shoulders to really get the job done and we didn't. Stats really don't mean anything. The wins and losses, that's the only thing that we really care about."
On whether the lack of turnovers created is preventing the defense from being dominant: "I really think the turnovers are going to happen, but teams are max-protecting against our guys so it's not allowing our defensive line to really impose their will on opposing QBs. But as a defense, whoever they throw it to, whoever has the ball, the second guy coming in has to be able to try to jar the ball loose; do something, because we've got to be able to create field position for our offense to go down and get scores."
On Pittsburgh's final drive last Sunday and whether that was a learning experience for the defense: "I think it's a combination of things. (Pittsburgh QB Ben) Roethlisberger is a two-time Super Bowl winner. I mean, he knows what to expect. He's not fearful of that moment. He did a great job of leading his team down there. But really, I think what it all comes down to is how we play, play within ourselves and understand how they're going to attack us. I think we had several opportunities to get off of the field, watching the film. We put ourselves in the right position; we just didn't make the plays. It's a good learning experience. I think three out of four closing out the game, that's good, but we want to be four out of four. Going forward, we learned from our mistakes and we're not going to make them again."
On whether the fact that the defense is holding teams to low point totals bodes well for the remainder of the season: "I think, regardless of the points, all that matters is the wins and losses. They can score 30 points; if we get the win, I don't care and I think that's just kind of the consensus in this locker room. So whatever we've got to do to allow our offense to win the ball game, that's what we have to do. We had a shot last week and we didn't get it done."
On where he feels the problems lie in the offense in terms of finishing drives: "Really, turnovers are the biggest thing I see. Sometimes, there might be a miss-executed play. Top ten (in yardage) and second to last in points, that's turnovers for the most part and just executing when we get down in the red zone really. We've played through five games. We're going to have to turn it around for the last two-thirds of the season."
On whether the intermediate passing game needs to be better: "You can always get better at those things. If they're taking away the deep game, then yeah, we're going to have to pick it up in the intermediate passing game and work on those shorter routes and just become experts at that. Converting and taking what they give us, so to speak. That's something we've worked on. We've got those plays in. Every route usually has a couple of underneath outlets, so we're just getting better at that."
On whether he feels the offense can be elite if they shore up the turnover issues: "I mean, it's a little bit frustrating, but we know how good we can be if we just protect the ball and then do those things. If we stop the turnovers, we'd be top 10, top five, one of the most explosive offenses in the league. And as players, we think we are. We think we're one of the best offenses in the league. Just a couple of turnovers, a couple miss-executed plays and we're right there. When we look at the film and see where we mess up and (what we) did wrong, you usually correct one or two things and you're right there. So, we're still confident going in and still think that we're one of the best offenses in the league."
On where he was when the Eagles called him: "I was back home in Chicago."
On how hard it is to stay in shape not knowing if a team will call you to play: "Patience really isn't a virtue of mine so it was hard the first couple of weeks. After a while I was left alone with my thoughts so I kind of starting thinking about life after football and things I could possibly do. I started helping out with my little cousin's football team, helping out their defense and stuff like that. Pretty much just trying to keep myself busy and keep my mind off the reality."
On whether the team has talked to him about his role on special teams: "I'm going to be starting on all four phases. Pretty much I'm going to maintain the same role I had on past teams. I'm a special teams guy. That's what I love doing so I'm ready to help that unit."
On how much special teams experience he got in college: "Even in college I started on all of the special teams. Except in college I had a little more leverage with the coaches so I really didn't have to start on everything the entire game. My whole senior year I started on everything. I would probably play the first half then I would take myself out (joking)."
On whether he worked out with any teams since being cut by Carolina in August: "Yeah, I worked out with New England like right after the preseason. Then Philadelphia."
On whether he knows why he didn't get signed until now this season: "No, not really. I'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. I understand the business. I understand it (was) a numbers game when I was in Carolina, so I don't have any ill feelings about that. I understand that it's a business and stuff like this happens. I believe in myself (and) I know that I'm a good player and I'll help out the team. Philadelphia was the first team to jump at me so I'm going to do everything I can to improve this team."
On whether it is difficult physically and mentally to go from sitting at home to playing in a game a week later: "I don't know, I guess we'll see on Sunday. I've never been in this position where I've had to sit that long so obviously game speed is going to be one factor. I don't care how long you're at home you can't train to be in football shape without actually playing football. Aside from that we'll find out Sunday."
On at what point he started embracing playing on special teams: "Honestly, I didn't buy into special teams until I got to Carolina. When I was in Dallas I was a stubborn, hard-headed rookie. After they released me it was kind of a learning experience (and) it humbled me a lot. It made me grow up a lot more so when I got to Carolina I embraced the role completely and that was my thing when I was in Carolina."