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Eagles Locker Room: Offense


On whether the first touchdown was a direct result of fast pace offense: "It was fourth and less than one, and as soon as that triggered we had every intention even though we didn't verbalize it we were going for it and we certainly caved them in enough to get the first down and then I think, they're a single safety team and they didn't have any safety in the middle, so I think they got their wires crossed and that's maybe a benefit of playing for us."

On whether RB Darren Sproles gives a different kind of dimension that was not there last year: "Well, he's an outstanding football player and we saw his contribution in the kicking game and certainly on that long run.  Very dependable guy and a pro, I mean he's really dialed in on the sideline, so his feedback after plays is just outstanding.  Some of that goes unnoticed certainly, but I mean he's a true pro and I think as we go through the year we're going to see and feel his impact even more."

On what he saw from WR Jeremy Maclin on the field today: "Well I thought he did an outstanding job, he was where he was supposed to be, he blocked, he played the game start to finish and I don't think he felt any effects from the injury, and he certainly made a big play at the end there."

On where he thinks they are after coming back from a 17-0 deficit compared to last year: "We just try to play, play after play and try to put a bunch of good ones together.  Unfortunately, we put a lot of bad ones together to start the game.  We couldn't play a much worst first half when we came out, however we were fortunate enough to score points and win the game.  So, you know I think if you're going to win a lot of games during the year, there is going to be maybe a day or two like this where if you're not a team developing into a good team you don't get it done.  But, we were fortunate to do it today."


On adjustments that he made after a rough start in the first half: "I didn't play well in the first half and obviously I had a couple of turnovers. That really hurt us because we gave the Jaguar offense the ball in pretty good spots and they capitalized on them. But I think the big thing is that as a team we stuck together. My teammates stuck with me and we never wavered. We just kept fighting and that's why I love these guys. They're going to keep fighting and we're going to keep believing in each other. There is definitely a lot of stuff to work on from this film. It feels good to come out with a 'W'. That's a great Jaguars team and they really did a great job of getting me out of my norm at the beginning of the game. I'm glad my teammates really stuck with me and we played good team football in the second half."

On what Jacksonville was doing defensively in the first half to give him trouble: "I just made mistakes. I really just have to get the ball out a little faster. It's as simple as that. It's on me."

On whether Jacksonville did different things defensively than he was expecting: "No, they did the stuff that we had seen on film. They executed well but I put us in a bad position at the beginning of the game. It goes back to sticking together and playing team football and I was proud of my teammates."

On how he handles himself as a team leader when things are going poorly in a game: "You just have to keep your composure. [Quarterbacks] Coach [Bill] Musgrave and the other quarterbacks were great. We were talking through everything. We go through the play sheets and it's very critical to recognize what went wrong while seeing how the defense was moving around on the pictures. Then going to talk to my teammates and just communicating with one another, everybody sticking together. We came in at halftime and made corrections and just knew that it was a new game in the second half. We went out there and played Eagle football, played team football."

On losing G Evan Mathis and G/T Allen Barbre in the game due to injury: "The big thing is that I love those guys and I'm going to go check on them as soon as I'm done with this [press conference]. We just kept playing. We were playing for those guys. Those guys fight for me every single day and I was just going to keep grinding. The guys that came in [C David] Molk and [T Andrew] Gardner did a great job. They really gave me some protection and opened up some seams in the run game. They were fighting for those guys that went down. We have a great group of guys."

On what he and his teammates can take from this game: "I think you take a lot. There are going to be a lot of corrections. When you face adversity, what are you going to do? How are you going to respond? There was a lot [of adversity] in the first half. There was a ton. But the big thing I take from this is that I have a great team, great teammates and great coaches. We're going to stick together throughout it and we're going to finish this game. We're going to play together and that's what we do."

On whether he was frustrated with the performance of the offense in the first half: "You can't get frustrated. It's definitely frustrating for a second but then you know that you have to keep your cool because your teammates are looking to you in those situations. We made corrections and we kept playing and we knew that we would eventually open it up. We just kept grinding."

On the play of RB Darren Sproles: "Darren did a great job tonight. He really did a great job and made some big plays. I was excited to see that. I knew he would do that and I know that he's going to keep doing it. I'm excited."

On why the play that resulted in 68-yard touchdown pass to WR Jeremy Maclin was successful after not working several times earlier in the game: "We had hit a couple of crossers and I missed a couple of crossers with some inaccuracy. I think that we started running the ball really well and the safety bit down hard on the crosser on a play fake and I was able to slide in the pocket a little bit and Mac did a great job of staying open and making a great play and finishing in the end zone."

On what specifically he corrected personally following the first half: "I think the big thing is that you just go back to fundamentals. You saw that I was getting out of my norm and maybe missing a read or I was inaccurate. When you hit your drop, hitch up and don't just sit back there on your back foot. Just little things like that. You just keep going through your routine. You don't get flustered because you know that there is a lot of time in football. There are four quarters and you have to just keep playing. You can't give up in the beginning. You have to finish all four quarters."

On whether he sees today's comeback as a defining moment early in the season: "I don't really think of it that way. I just think about the next play and learning from the previous play. I just continue to work forward and not let the last play really affect me. I know that I had two fumbles back-to-back and you just want to go out there and keep playing. You want to really hit some big throws and help your team out. We started connecting and we started running the ball and throwing the ball well. Defense did an outstanding job. On special teams, the young kid [K Cody Parkey] did a great job kicking the ball and I was excited to see him hit a 51-yarder and keep us close."

On whether he injured his hip: "It's fine. I got hit a little bit and it bruised up, but it's fine. It's football."

On the fact that QB Mark Sanchez started warming up after he appeared to injure his hip: "Any time that there is a situation where a quarterback could be hurt, you always want to be ready. So Mark has to warm up his arm and be ready, but I'm fine and I feel great."

On whether the celebration in the end zone after the Maclin touchdown had extra special meaning due to all that Maclin been through recently: "You're in the middle of the game and you're just excited for that moment. You're excited to be up and you're excited to be in that situation. Now looking back on it, it's a huge moment. He's come a long way through injury and rehab. I love having him out there. He made some great plays tonight. It's something really special – him sticking it in [the end zone] and us making the other plays as well."

On taking a one play at a time approach offensively after being down 17 points at the half: "You can't score 17 points in one play so you just have to keep playing. You gave to get some points on the board however you can do it. Each drive you want to end with a touchdown but it doesn't always work out that way. You have to get field goals and you have to get some points on the board. That's how we really approached it. We calmed down and guys did a great job tonight."

On whether he heard anything on the field when G Evan Mathis was injured: "I know he was in a lot of pain. He's an extremely tough guy. I'm praying for the best for him."

On how he tries to rebound from periods when he is struggling with his play: "You just have to stick to your fundamentals. You just have to trust yourself. You're your own worst enemy in those times. Literally it's just thinking back to your fundamentals, thinking about the plays that were called, and trusting your preparation throughout the week. If they don't give you something [defensively] you have to check the ball down and be smart with it. I really just started checking the ball down when they really got out of there and it started getting me into a rhythm and getting us into a rhythm as an offense, and we just went from there."


On how long it seemed like the ball was in the air on that touchdown: "A long time. A lot of the time, those are some of the toughest catches to make when you are that wide open. But it was a good play called and a good job of Nick [Foles] finding me and the rest is history."

On being thrown to a lot and having no success early on –why did that play work out: "There were plays earlier on where I got free. It was just one of those games where we had to battle through some adversity a little bit and that's how it's going to be. Obviously we want to get off to a faster start but fortunate for us our defense kept us in the game and we were able to execute in the second half."

On after what you went through last year – how good did that feel and did that sink in at all – with how tough it was for you last year and to come out and score that touchdown: "Just being able to play football was what I was looking for on its own. I'm blessed, I'm fortunate. But like I just said we got a lot of room [to improve] and we need to get better."

On what he thought some of the problems were in the first half, getting on track offensively: "Obviously turnovers, when you turn the ball over its really hard to win in this league no matter who you are playing. I feel like we were just offbeat a little bit. The thing about this offense is that we can score fast and we can score a lot. Like I just said, credit to our defense for keeping us in the game and we executed in the second half."

On if he felt good to get that first game back, on your knee, behind you: "Yeah, I wasn't really worried about it, I was going out there and playing football. The knee is behind me now so I am looking forward."

On not seeing a lot of Darren [Sproles] in the preseason – when you see what he is able to do and turn the momentum of the game, what goes through your mind: "He is a tremendous playmaker. He is a guy that can score any time he touches the ball. He sparked us there with the run and then also had the punt return so credit to him for having the ability to that and also for us to get him the ball."

On the fact that the knee is behind you for you but did anybody say anything to you about the fact that you scored the go-ahead the touchdown and it being your first game back: "Just congratulations. Obviously everybody was excited. I think that came at the right time, I think it kind of sucked a little bit of the life out of them. So, it was a big one."

On how were you able to get so wide open on that: "There were multiple times throughout the game where that was big and fortunately everything kind of fell into place and we were able to actually complete the ball down the fall. There were a few other times earlier on where it would have been the same result but that's football so I am glad we got that one."

On given that there had been other opportunities, did you feel it was it only a matter of time: "Yeah, you just have to be patient. I thought early in the second half there were probably two or three opportunities I would like to have back. Me and Nick [Foles] missed on a little hitch route, we weren't on the same page. Obviously the deep one in the corner end zone, I do whatever I can to go up in the air to get my hands free and go up and make that play. But I was happy the way things turned out."

On what, if anything, do you guys say to each other at half time during games like that, talk about making adjustments, pep talks?: "We didn't change anything, we just have to execute. I think it was just a matter of time before we did it, obviously we like to start faster but nobody quit. Nobody for one second doubted that we wouldn't win this game. I think that goes to show the character that we have in the locker room, the type of environment Chip [Kelly] has built around us, so everybody was all positive all game but it was just a matter of time before we start clicking."

On if it is hard to explain why there was no execution: "They lace up their cleats just like we do. They play in this league just like we do. Some of it goes to them, some of it's on us. Like I said earlier, turnovers. When you turn the ball over it is really hard to win in this league no matter who you are playing. But one thing about this offense is we can score fast and we can score quick and we can score a lot of points. We were able to get that clicking and have success."


On the first half of the game: "It was bad. We just weren't executing. We made mistakes and they caught us by surprise. We practiced hard and smart, we just didn't execute early."

On whether head coach Chip Kelly was calling the same plays in the second half: "He called the same plays. We just executed. We made the right reads, blocked and ran to the right spots. We just played better. You can have the same calls, but if you don't execute, it doesn't matter."

On QB Nick Foles struggling in the first half: "I think we all struggled. I don't think it was just Nick. I don't think I played my best game. I didn't make the plays I usually make. In the beginning of the game, we were all struggling, not just Nick."

On whether the Jaguars defense tried to stop him especially: "I am used to it. That happens, but we can do better. I think that just because a team tries to stop a certain aspect of our offense, it does not mean that we can't produce there."

On the passing game struggling early: "We are at team, no matter who they are trying to stop. We have to do it together. We mixed a little Sproles in there and he did it for us in all phases of the game. He gave us that spark. The guys up front played well. We have to do it as a team. [WR Jeremy] Maclin played well. [TE Zach] Ertz made plays. It's about us together."

On what he has learned about RB Darren Sproles since he has been an Eagle: "I didn't know he had that much fight in him. Every time that I saw him, it was for a play here or a play there, a punt return, a couple routes, maybe a run or two, but playing with him from camp on, he has so much more fight to him. His role is bigger here. By committee we are going to do it together. He looked real good. He gives me that extra push that I like. I know that if I come out or it's his package, he can still make big plays. He is elusive and he's very tough."


On his touchdown run: "We knew that they were getting tired, so we tried to hurry up on them. They were not even set and left a big hole in the middle of the field."

On seeing that much daylight ahead of him: "That is what you want to see as a running back."

On whether they caught the defense off guard on the touchdown run: "Yeah. We saw they were tired, so we tried to catch them and we did."

On whether he felt as though his touchdown run was the turning point in the game: "Yeah, we started slow. But, I think that that was the turning point. That got us going."

On his 22-yard punt return and whether it was a momentium changer: "We knew we could get something going there. They like to kick line drive punts, so we had a return call."

On getting more carries today than he has had in the past: "Yeah, it's been a while since I have had that many carries. Liked it a lot."

On how important it was for him to make a good first impression: "It was big. People ask if I still have it, being 30-years old. I wanted to come out and prove I still have it."


On the team's morale in the locker room at halftime: "We were relaxed and fearless. It was no different than it was at the beginning of the game. We always have that mindset that we are going to win the game, no matter the situation. We came in, regrouped and did not try to change anything. We didn't deviate from the plan, kept it going and we were able to come out with a win."

On what he has learned from RB Darren Sproles this year: "You got to be versatile and do it all and Sproles can do that. He can run, but most importantly, he is a leader on and off of the field. He comes out and has big games and changes the momentum and it doesn't surprise you. He does the same thing in practice. He takes all his reps. I don't think that I have seen him miss one practice since he's been here. It's a testament to how hard he works."

On the offensive line, playing in the second half with second team players: "The line was resilient. Again, it's a testament to everyone in the locker room. We practice at the same speed and level. [Head] coach [Chip] Kelly does a great job of making sure we practice hard. So our twos and threes get a lot of reps. Everyone get reps. So we know that whoever is playing is prepared. We were able to do that today."

On getting a comeback win in his first NFL game: "It felt great. Individually, I felt extremely confident. The guys around me played great. [QB] Nick Foles has been telling me all week that I was going to play well and to stick to the game plan and do my job. I was able to do so. As a team, I think everyone saw that we were able to play confident. We never let the circumstances rattle us. We were just able to get a win."


On today's game: "There were a lot of positives and negatives to take away from today. Anytime you lose two starting offensive lineman in a game, that is a scary thing. But, the guys that came in, kudos to them, they played a great game. We saw that in the preseason, the second team played great for us. When they stepped in today and we needed them, they stepped up and we were able to put points on the board."

On the offense's problems in the first half: "There were a lot of problems. I think that from an offensive line perspective, we could have done a much better job holding blocks in the running and passing game. But whenever an offense stalls like that, it is usually a collective effort. Everyone played like crap. Luckily, we were able to come back and get a win out of it, but you don't want to start games like that. Luckily, our defense played well and kept us in the game."

On how the offensive line came together in the second half with second stringers playing: "I think our backups on the offensive line are tremendous. If you looked at the preseason, they did a great job for us then. They have played well since they have been here and they did a nice job today."

On whether he believes the offense's struggles in the first half could be attributed to QB Nick Foles play or if it was a team effort: "I don't think it's fair to point out Nick. We did a poor job blocking for him at times. He was getting hit way too much. We will go back, watch the film and make corrections, but I think it was a collective effort in the first and second half."

On whether going for it on 4th-and-1 caught the Jaguars defense off guard: "It absolutely caught them off guard. They didn't have a safety back there. Once we broke through the hole, it was smooth sailing."

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