Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder
Opening Remarks: "As you guys remember, last summer (DT) Mike (Patterson) had the (seizure and discovery of the arteriovenous malformation) here at Lehigh, and then in January, he had the AVM corrected through a surgical procedure with Dr. Robert Spetzler out of Phoenix, Arizona. As part of that process, he went through the healing process and worked out. We didn't allow him at mini-camp or the OTAs, and that was on the doctor's advice. As part of our timeframe, we were instructed to get an x-ray and CT scan of his head to look at the healing and send it off to Phoenix, and then a possible decision would be made about him returning to this camp. We anticipated that he would return for this camp, but the doctor in Phoenix has decided to hold him back right now. He will not participate in this training camp, and will be placed on our non-football injury list. It's just part of the procedure and process that we go through as a medical staff. As you know in the National Football League, player safety is of upmost importance. The group - Dr. Spetzler, Mike's agents, and our medical staff - was all together on the same page and decided that it's not best for him to be in this camp right now. We don't really have a time frame for when he'll be back with us. Right now, he's on our non-football injury list."
On what the group saw on the tests that brought them to this decision: "What the physician wanted to see was how the healing was in the area that they took a piece of his skull away when they did the procedure. He wasn't totally happy with it. He liked the healing, but he's concerned about some very small situations that he could get into playing football, and right now he's going to hold off."
On whether this setback is common with AVM surgery: "I think if you look at the history of the National Football League, not a lot of players have had craniotomy's where they've had a piece of their skull taken off and put back on. It's something that we thought he'd be ready since it's been six months since the surgery, and he's not. That's just what happened with the healing. Everyone heals differently, and we anticipate he'll heal up fully and be back playing. It's just not today."
On whether there is a chance that this could be a career-ending situation: "I think we're all optimistic that he's going to play again, it's just not today."
On whether there is any precedence of how long this could take: "We are talking about this preseason as a month, and then we'll re-evaluate it from there. It could be a couple months or more. We don't know, and like I said, nobody knows how everybody heals and it's really back on his physician because he has to make the initial call that he can play and he feels it's safe. Then, our medical staff of Dr. (Pete) DeLuca and Dr. (Gary) Dorshimer will get involved."
On when the decision was made: "We did the x-ray and CT scan earlier in the week. It was sent off to Phoenix, and then the decision was made on Friday night."
On what he can do in the interim: "He's been training fully with Barry Rubin, our strength and conditioning coach. He's going to be up here doing some training with Barry again and with my crew. He'll jump in with (T) Jason Peters on some stuff and he'll be up here. He won't do any of the football stuff, and on the non-football injury (list), he can't do any of the football stuff with the team."
On how Patterson feels about the decision: "Mike's been evaluated up here today and he had his physical. I think he wants to be back with his teammates, but he also wants to be back on the field safely as we all do. I think he's comfortable with the decision, and his desire to play is great. As coach will tell you, we thought he would be ready for the regular season and ready for this camp, and Mike thought he would be ready, but there was a chance that it might not happen and that's what happened. Nobody is alarmed by it. I think Mike is disappointed because he had set this week as his goal, and he understands."
On the details of the craniotomy: "I have that in the op report, and I don't remember the exact numbers. The craniotomy part of it is that they have to take a part of his skull away to get to the AVM and then they put it back in. They cut it a certain way and all that, and they heal up but it just takes a little bit."
On whether he can be in meetings: "Yes."
Head Coach Andy Reid
Injury Report: "Let me continue on with some of the other players. We'll start (S) Colt Anderson on P.U.P. He's doing very well right now and he's very close, so we'll see how he continues to progress. Effort has not been the issue there, as you can expect. With Jason Peters, it's likewise and he'll start on the NFI also. He'll be up here working out and doing the things that he can do. Again, he's doing well but it's a little too early in the process to tell exactly where and how long this will take. These are guys who practiced in the OTAs and should be fine: (LB) Jamar Chaney. (LB) Keenan Clayton did not practice but he should be okay and you'll see him out here for this camp here these three days. (LB Mychal) Kendricks had a little bit of inflammation on knee but he's fine and it looks good today. (TE Brent) Celek had the hip surgery and he looks good. He did fine going through the OTAs. (LB) Moise Fokou had the ankle surgery and he's doing fine, as is (C Jason) Kelce who had the foot sprain at the end of the year and he did the OTAs also."
Transactions Update: "We also traded for a defensive tackle today in Ollie (Ogbu). He'll join the defensive line group, and (CB) D.J. Johnson was the one who we made the trade with the Colts for to get Ollie. That's a new addition as is WR Tiger Jones, who you are familiar with. That's one of Ron Jaworski's guys and we welcome him aboard here. He was a good player for the Soul. Kee-ayre Griffin, who you also know about because he was with us in the tryout camp, is from Temple and he's a cornerback, and we signed him. We are bringing him back for this camp here and we're giving him an opportunity."
Opening Remarks: "Again, we're very fired up to be back and get things underway. I mentioned to you that when we finished OTAs, the team was in a good place mentally. I thought they worked their tails off in the offseason and we expect them to continue to do that. I wouldn't expect them to do anything different with expectations coming in high this year, as they always are. We are excited about that and respect that challenge. We also realize that there's only one way of doing it as a football team, and that's making sure we get ourselves dirty in practice and make sure that we practice hard and aggressive. The camp that they're presented with is going to be as tough as it can be under the current regulations, so there'll be contact and hitting once we go through the ramp-up period here that we're given. I'm expecting good attitude and aggressive football."
On who will take DT Mike Patterson's spot on the depth chart at the opening of camp: "(Antonio) Dixon's here. We've got Dixon in the mix. We've got a bunch of players in that position, but we'll see how it all works out. We're going to rotate four guys so we've got four that we can do that with. (Cullen) Jenkins is in there too and then (Fletcher) Cox also. We'll just see how the rotation works out."
On how the absence of Patterson affects how they view the defensive tackle position: "I think coming into it with Mike's situation, we were under the assumption from the doctor that did the surgery that it would take six months for recovery. So we planned it. But at the same time, we took precautionary measures and we made sure that that position, we didn't come up short with. So, I think when you look at the players that we have there, we have players that were with us last year that contributed. Then, we added a couple of new players in there, Cox being one of them and the primary one, that can help us out. So, I think as you look at the position, even though you take Michael out of it, you're still looking at a strong position. I think we're going to be okay there."
On what is expected out of first-round selection Fletcher Cox as a rookie: "Well, you said it. First-round draft picks, you expect a lot out of. We've had success there, Mike Patterson being one of them, Corey Simon being another. We've had success with that position and guys getting in and playing early, so I would anticipate when he gets in there, he'll be working with the ones and doing that."
On whether Cox could make enough progress in camp to start: "I consider the four guys starters. So, I would say that you put four guys in the mix and that's what you'd like to come out with and then those four, you're going to play them. Try to get them equal opportunity."
On whether he feels any added pressure this year than he has before entering camp: "Every year, expectations are up. I don't take it any more than that. Listen, when you set, as we do, the Super Bowl as your goal and not only to be there, but to win it, that's what you do. The expectations aren't any higher than that. That's what it should be and that's what we do."
On the air surrounding camp after a "drama-free" offseason and how much that helps in camp: "It's different, really, because of the rules that have been set up as far as the rookies go. I think it's easier now to sign rookies than maybe what it's been in the past. But that's good. You eliminate that part of it and then you concentrate more on the football part. Hopefully, the reps that some of your rookies normally don't get, they have an opportunity to get those reps, particularly in these first three days. It's a great little review session for them so that when they hit it in pads with the veterans, they can play instead of doing a whole lot of thinking."
On whether they are scheduled to be on the field for the full allotted time as allowed in the CBA: "We're right about up to the edge of it. Between the walkthrough and the practice, we're right there."
On how much the lack of a physical training camp last season hampered the team and how different this camp will be: "I think you're going to see the normal amount of light periods that you saw before last year and that's the way it's set up. Practice is a little bit different just with the morning practice; we shifted that from the afternoon, the light practice. But, listen, there are no excuses for last year. Last year, everybody was dealt the same cards. So we didn't fill the expectations that we set for ourselves but we're going to go back. We're going to go back and do this thing, again, within the rules that we've been given and we're going to maximize our efforts here and do a better job."
On whether LB Mychal Kendricks will still be listed as the starting strongside linebacker: "Yes."
On Kendricks' knee injury: "He had the surgery in the offseason and then we just got him monitored during the mini-camps, the offseason program. He had a little bit of swelling there but then it would go down, then it'd come back, go down and come back. We're just going to continue to monitor that. If we have to back him off a little bit, we'll back him off and just make sure that he's good."
On what he likes about training camp: "I think for a couple of things. I like the whole bit about coming up to Lehigh. I love that you're able to develop some camaraderie. We're stuck in the dorms up there for a few weeks here so you get to know the guy next to you. You understand your teammates and you develop this relationship there. Then, you do the same thing with the physical play on the field. I think it's important. I think you find out, from a coaching standpoint, you kind of find out who's going to be with you during the tough times. Every game, you're presented with the highs and the lows. Who's going to be there during the lows? Who's going to push themselves? No matter how you work this sport, you've got to be mentally tough to do this thing, no matter how you cut it; new rules, regulations, everything. You've got to be one tough son-of-a-gun to do this thing and you develop that out here. Then, the other part of that is, this game is about blocking and tackling. Again, no matter how you cut it, it's about blocking and tackling and the further you go in the playoffs, the better team you are, the better you are at blocking and tackling. You see those teams that finish up the season, those are normally your best teams that can do both of those things. So, we work on that here and we're going to continue to do that."
On whether the tight salary cap has any effect on how you practice, with less room to bring in new players: "I think we've worked through that over the last few years. I think we're okay there. We've got 90 guys, which is a plus. I think we're okay there. There's a way of doing it too. Listen, we're not out here cut-blocking like you might do in a game. We're trying not to tackle down low. That's not what we're doing. We're not taking the cheap shots; holding a guy up and driving him in the ribs. That's not what we're doing. But we're going to work the fundamentals. I think if you do that right and everybody's on the same page and know what you're doing during that particular period. Is it live, is it thud, is it a walkthrough, do you know what we're doing there and then work it that way, normally you come out okay on the injury side of it."
On what potential CB Nnamdi Asomugha, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and DT Cullen Jenkins will have in their second year of camp: "You heard their comments during the OTAs. 'Oh man, this was great. The OTAs were great. We had an opportunity to slow things down and learn.' So, I think you'll hear that same thing through this camp. I think this will be a positive thing for them."
On his thoughts of QB Michael Vick's 'dynasty' comments: "Listen, I know (Comcast SportsNet's) Derrick Gunn fairly well, so Derrick was doing the interview I presume and so they were talking. That's one of Derrick's strengths; he's able to talk to the players and Michael mentioned a few teams there. Derrick said does that present you with a dynasty and Michael said, 'If that's what it is, then let's go and I am all in for a dynasty,' and I'm okay with that. I know the player though. I know this player and I know he loves challenges, he's as competitive as anyone you've ever been around, and he wants to win. He is willing to do whatever it takes physically and mentally to do that. I can't help but love that as a coach."
On whether "Dream Team" or "dynasty" comments opens the team up for more criticism: "You know the two different players there. That was a new player coming into town here, it was a different situation and did it without any communication into that or know-how into that. I'm not worried about that."
On whether he thinks the Eagles can be a dynasty: "I appreciate you asking that. I think the one thing that I'm into, and this is what I know Michael is into also, is you take one play at a time, one practice at a time, you bust your tail and you work hard, and then good things happen. And so that's what we are going to do and that's what I believe in. I think you guys know that and that is how I approach it."
On why Juan Castillo is better equipped to handle the defense going into this season: "Well, listen, I think Juan is a good football coach and has a good feel for the game. I thought actually you finished eighth in the National Football League and it's not quite good enough but it's not the worst either. We want to be first. I know Juan is driven to be first and not eighth. So that's the way he has taken on the off-season. I think he has a great feel the players and the players have a great feel for him. There is great communication amongst them and I think all those are plusses."
On the importance of Michael Vick staying healthy this season: "I think he knows that. I heard his last comments that he made to you guys and he's aware of that. He knows that he needs to stay healthy. He still needs to play competitive football though, and aggressive football. There is just a time and a place for everything in life and on the football field and he understands that."
On whether safety O.J. Atogwe was brought in to compete for a starting spot: "I want everybody competing for a starting position. That's not taking anything away from Nate (Allen) or Kurt (Coleman); those are good football players. But (Atogwe) is here to do that just like the other guys are. They are here to do that. (S Jaiquawn Jarrett) is here to do that. I want that competition. I am going to give them that opportunity at all positions to do that. Get out, do your best, and compete."
On the stage of Jason Peters' Achilles rehab: "I am not sure he is going to do too much out here. He is going to be working with Barry Rubin. Most of it will be inside. We'll see how it progresses here."
On whether Peters has been ruled out for the entire 2012 season: "Haven't done that. Too early. We'll just see how it goes. See how it works out. I think he is a long shot."
On whether there are more complications to the rehab process since Peters has suffered two Achilles injuries: "I think he is okay there. You don't want to tear it a third time, right? You want to make sure you do things right as you go through this rehab process and so he is doing that. It looks like he is in the right frame of mind for sure and looks like he is in decent shape. We will just see how it goes."
On whether training camp is about a survival of injuries: "Well that sounds barbaric. I don't know if it is survival but it's working at your job to the best of your ability. Not counting the numbers in line but keeping it very competitive."
On whether the Eagles front office did the necessary things in the offseason to compensate for potential injuries: "Yeah, I feel that way. I didn't mention (Derek) Landri who is a big part of that defensive tackle position too. I'll make sure I add him into that mix. He did a heck of a job for us last year. (General Manager) Howie (Roseman) has done an excellent job with the depth of this football team. That allows you to put together an aggressive camp. It allows you to play aggressive on the field, to substitute players in during games with players that you feel might have been just as good as the starter in that particular game. All in all throughout training camp and throughout the season that's a plus for you."
On his take on the third cornerback spot: "They'll compete. Joselio (Hanson) is coming off of a good offseason. He stepped it up in the offseason. One of the things you get a pretty good look at in the offseason is your secondary since most of the camps are passing camps. You get an opportunity to see where your secondary is at. He did well. Boykin will give him a run there."
On whether DE Vinny Curry is healthy: "Vinny curry will be out there. He had the ankle sprain. He is about eight weeks out from the ankle sprain. He is doing well and you will see him out here tomorrow. He is doing ok."