Philadelphia Eagles News

Eagles Locker Room

QB Michael Vick

On whether starting his first game on opening day since 2006 is significant for him: "That's the same question you asked me on Monday [laughing]. You know, it's great to have an opportunity to have a starting role again in this league. And I'm excited about it, opening day, it's been a long time. I know the excitement that comes along with it, not only for myself, but my teammates are excited as well. So this is what it's all about."

On how much he thinks he's grown since the Green Bay playoff game last season: "Well, I think I've grown tremendously over the last three or four months as far as football is concerned. I had a lot of time to think about the mistakes that I've made, a lot of time to look over everything that needed to be corrected. You know, it all remains to be seen. Experience is the best teacher like I've always said and we have to go out this week and show improvement. So [I] can't dwell on the past, can't dwell on what happened last year, it's all about moving forward."

On what he sees from St. Louis defensively: "They have a lot of guys on that defense who are straight ahead, guys fly around, you know look like their confident in what they're doing. And we're just going to have to attack them and just make sure that we're fundamentally sound in every area of the game and everything's precise. And we're on the road, crowd noise, [so] we have to deal with that. So there's a lot of elements, but good football teams find a way to prevail and we're looking to do that, hopefully we'll do that."

On whether he's been in touch with S Quintin Mikell and his thoughts about going up against him: "I haven't been in touch with [Quintin]. But one thing I do know about him is that he was a great teammate. I enjoyed him when he was here, and I know that he's one helluva football player, so it will be good to go out there and play against him. In this league change is inevitable and things are going to happen, guys are going to move around, and it's all about going out there and putting your best foot forward."

On his thoughts about how WR DeSean Jackson is handling his contract situation: "I think DeSean has done great. I think his attitude exemplifies that. He wants to be the consummate teammate, he wants to earn everything that's going to come his way, and if you see him out on the practice field or you see him in the locker room he's a happy individual. And you can only control what you can control and things will happen when it's time and I think he understands that."

WR Jeremy Maclin

On what it means to play Sunday in his home town after all he's been through: "It means a lot. Going back to when I got the news all the way to where I am now, it means a lot. Not only do I get to play, but I get to open the season in my home town. That's pretty special. I'm definitely looking forward to this not only because it's back in my home town but I'm ready for football. In training camp, they really hit on a lot of this stuff but I wasn't really a part of it, so it'll be nice to get back out there and hit somebody else."

On how long he has been looking forward to this: "I knew that this is a game that was going to be special to me because I'm playing in my hometown and it's the start of the season. It's our first chance to go out there and show the nation what we're all about and set the tone for the season."

On how important it is to realize how he feels on the field in his first time back: "That's any time, regardless of what's going on. You never want to put yourself in a position where you hurt the team. You always have to be honest whether you are hurting and you're tired, and that goes for anyone on the football field. Like I said, my conditioning is fine and everything, so I'll be OK."

WR Steve Smith

On how the slot position in Philadelphia differs from New York: "It's similar, but it's different, too. There are a lot of vertical routes here. That's what I've been working on."

On whether he is working with a limited package of plays or whether he is going with the full game plan: "I don't know. I'm just getting ready and preparing myself like I'm playing the full game. Whatever the coaches ask me to do."

C Jason Kelce

On how he thinks communication on the offensive line will be affected by crowd noise in the Dome: "For the most part guards are going to be able to hear what I'm saying, tackles maybe not, but we have to echo the calls across the whole offensive line and make sure that everybody's on the same page. If we get some big plays happen that's a good way to silence the crowd a little bit. So I really think we've been doing a good job in practice simulating a very loud environment and we've done a good job so far."

On how tough it is to build chemistry with all of the changes: "Well, like I said to these guys over here, we've been working with new guys I think all throughout preseason. I think there have been a lot of people rotating in with the ones throughout the whole preseason. We really didn't even set a starting unit in the preseason until that very last week so I think that guys are used to working with different guys, guys are used to being with adversity and everything thrown in there. So to answer your question, I don't think it really matters who's in the game. I think we all know what we're doing."

On whether there is a conscience effort to ignore the hype and focus on the Rams: "No question. And I think we do a good job here of really not focusing too much on the media and not really buying into the hype, at least I know the offensive line does. We know we have a lot of really good players and we know that we can be very good, but the only way you're going to be successful in this league is you have to do it each and every single week."

On whether he is like a kid in a candy store to play in his first NFL game: "I mean, it is a business, but I think we all know that playing football is fun. And to be able to do that at the highest level and to be put in an opportunity to play against the best of the best, no question there's some excitement."

RT Todd Herremans

On how chemistry among the offensive line is building: "We're all in the game plan to get ready for St. Louis. That's what we're focused on."

On having to face DE Chris Long in his first game starting at right tackle: "He's a good player in his third year. He had a good number of sacks last year, and he's one of those motor players who is always running and chasing something down. You have to know where he's at, where he's coming from, and just keep blocking him."

On whether it is a problem that everyone is new or different at positions from last year: "I don't think so. If it was a problem, they wouldn't have done it. They're trying to fix the problems that we had last year. As far as the answer, I'm going to do my best to go out there and be the answer."

CB Joselio Hanson

On whether he was surprised to be let go: "I mean, I really thought I was going to get traded but when that didn't happen I knew that they would probably let me go and I was going to be a free agent. So I kind of expected something was going to happen."

On how many teams talked to him: "We talked to quite a bit, maybe five or ten. It's tough though getting released around this time because everybody kind of has their teams set for the first week. So I weighed my options and I felt like this made the most sense to come back here."

On what made the most sense to come back to the Eagles: "I know the environment, know the coaches, know the playbook, know my teammates, everything. So this made the most sense to me right now."

On whether he came back thinking he will be the starting nickel cornerback: "You never know. I 've always thought that I was the best nickel here, but it is what it is. I'm just going to wait my turn, really. If they want me to go in, I'll go in."

On whether he came back because he thought he'd see playing time: "Yeah, I'll see time, at least on dime. So I'm looking forward to playing. I just want to play football."

LB Casey Matthews

On how excited he is to make his first NFL start: "I'm really excited and obviously looking forward to the opportunity. Playing in a game that really matters, and obviously the preseason matters as well, but these are the ones that count. I'm looking forward to seeing how well we can perform out there. Obviously, we know what we're capable of doing and it's just a matter of executing."

On the progress he's made through the preseason and up until this point: "I feel I've progressed pretty well through camp. Obviously, we didn't have any OTAs and offseason mini-camps, it was tough coming in day one and trying to run the defense. I feel more comfortable, and obviously you're going to feel more comfortable the more reps you get. That's the one thing I've noticed is that things are starting to slow down and I'm starting to learn what other people do out there other than my position. I feel like it's coming along, and I can only get better."

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