Philadelphia Eagles News

Eagles Locker Room: Offense

Eagles QB Mark Sanchez

On how quickly he was able to settle in and get into a passing rhythm:

"Sometimes it takes a little bit. I would have liked for it to happen a little sooner, but [Carolina] played pretty tough when we got that quick turnover. We ended up getting three points. I knew we had three points in the bag with a guy like [K Cody] Parkey. There was no need to take any chances. Just be real smart and we'll try to get six [points] next time. I thought we got going there a little bit. I just thought it was an outstanding performance by all phases. [RB Darren] Sproles scores again, and special teams. That guy is a monster. He's pretty special."

On whether there was one key throw that made him realize that he was back playing quarterback in the NFL:

"There were a couple where we had plenty of time in the pocket. Guys really pushed their guy to one side and gave me a clear lane. I had a chance to step up and get vertical in the pocket, and those are the ones that feel the best, where you move forward and really just cut one loose. I think there was one to [TE Zach] Ertz, one to [TE Brent] Celek, one to [WR] Jordan [Matthews], a couple in there that just kind of got me going again. Those feel real good when you have time like that and they respect your run so much. People are talking like, 'Oh you didn't rush for a lot of yards.' Everybody respects the run that we have, so we ended up doing it through the air a little bit today. That was fun."

On whether he was nervous prior to the game:

"I guess just anxious, a different kind of nerves. Not, 'Man I don't know how this goes. I wonder what it is going to be like on Monday Night?' I've been through a lot of that stuff before. I talked about it during the week. I've been through some tough times, I've been through some great times. I just try to keep a level head and stay calm, rely on the guys around me, and at the end of the day come through. They were big time."

On the offense not having a turnover:

"After playing for a while you learn a lot. You've made a lot of mistakes, and I've made plenty of mistakes and I've had plenty of games where I was throwing interceptions and hurting the team. But the most important thing that [head coach] Chip [Kelly] talked about during the week was for the offense to take care of the football, to communicate really well and to establish our tempo. If we can do those things, generally we'll be successful. It's not a 100 percent deal and trust me there are plenty of things to clean up. I don't care how many yards we threw for, there are a couple out there that I can't miss and a couple reads that I need to be much better at. So by no means is it perfect." On what made the match-up with WR Jordan Matthews appealing:

"Jordan just finds a way to get open. It was kind of him and [TE Brent] Celek tonight it looked like. That's at least the way it showed up in the stats. But that's because you have guys out on the edge like Coop [WR Riley Cooper] and Mac [WR Jeremy Maclin] that can run and can blow the top off a defense and scare guys with their speed and their route running ability. Jordan will be the first one to say that he's not getting open without all of those other threats that we have. We all did a great job and we're proud of that, but Jordan had a heck of a night." On how he has changed in the two years since his last start:

"I'm obviously getting older. I think when you take a step back, you appreciate it so much and you miss it so much. I just kept telling myself when I was out that if I get a chance to get back out there, I don't ever want to be out again until I retire. I want to keep playing. You just have so much respect for this whole thing and the preparation and what goes into it. I'm just happy to be in the system that we have here with so many good offensive coaches. [Quarterbacks] coach [Bill] Musgrave and the way he prepared us, everything we saw tonight we saw on film and we saw it with him in our study guides and an our tests and everything. It was all in there and nothing caught us by surprise. It doesn't always happen like that, but more often than not when you have the coaches that we do, that's the way you feel going into a game. You feel prepared."

On whether tonight's performance will answer questions about him from the outside:

"I don't worry about that. I have a bunch of guys in our locker room that I'm accountable to and everybody in our building that I'm accountable to. Those are the most important people. We're happy to play well in front of our fans and play well on Salute to Service Night. That's very important for us and for all of the troops and people watching across the country and around the world. We appreciate your service, we love you, and we're praying for you. We're accountable to the guys in the building and we don't listen to the outside stuff." On what he talked to head coach Chip Kelly about as the final seconds of the clock expired:

"Ask Chip. It was a good conversation and it was fun. It was just an exciting time after a big win and something to celebrate, but we sure don't have a heck of a lot of time. I saw Green Bay win pretty big last night, so we have a ton of work to do in a short week and we're already behind, so we have to go." On what defensive and special teams return touchdowns mean to a team:

"The most important thing is momentum-wise especially when you're in your own building. The crowd goes nuts. Nobody goes crazy on a 3rd-and-10 when the quarterback throws the ball away. Everybody goes up and gets a hot dog and refills their beer and whenever. But when you get a return like that, it's awesome. It just sends so much energy throughout the entire stadium, the players feed off of it and guys get excited. It's a fun time. Fletch [CB Bradley Fletcher] made a great play and Sprolesy [RB Darren Sproles] made another play. He's got 10 guys out there blocking their butts off for him. It's just an incredible team effort and it's fun to be a part of." On whether the offensive pace during the 91-yard touchdown drive was the fastest he has ever experienced:

"We were rolling pretty good. You guys saw on Friday that I was doing some extra running just to get used to the pace. You take on the back-up role for a few weeks and you don't quite get as many reps and then you get thrown into the game. Last week in Houston there were a couple of times where we were chasing the ball after a big play and I was kind of huffing and puffing over there and thinking, 'Dang, am I out of shape or what? What's the deal?' It's just because we were running so dang fast. It makes it exciting going that quick. We sure don't win the time of possession, but it's still fun." On when he last felt as good as he does now following a game:

"I don't know. It was just a great night. It was so fun. It was so fun to get back out on the field. I'm very blessed and I thank God for the opportunity. It was really cool. It's been a while, and I've been out of it for a little bit and away from the game. It's good to get back. It's good to get back in an environment like this in front of this crowd and in front of all of those guys that work so hard during the week. It's so fun to watch it pay off. Even young guys like Jordan [Matthews], you can't say enough about him. I don't want to say too much because he'll get a big head and his hat won't fit. But he's just such a talent and he has learned so much from Coop and Maclin and even from Ertz and Celek and those guys in terms of how to run routes, how to study, and how to prepare. I promise you right now, we have a couple of guys in our skill group that will go out right now and want to run routes. That's just the kind of players that we have. Mr. Roseman put together one heck of a team, him and Chip and Mr. Lurie. We're just very happy and very thankful." On what stands out about rookie WR Jordan Matthews:

"Number one, he's a great talent, and that's almost a prerequisite to get to this level. But he works. He works really hard and he's a competitor. He wants the ball and he fights for the ball. If it's that early one on the route toward the sideline that got contested a little bit, he's pissed. He wants that ball. Not in a way that's bad body language and affects the team with negativity, but he wants the ball. That's the way all of our players are, so that makes it fun."   

Eagles RB LeSean McCoy

On the team's ability to dominate while dealing with key injuries:

"We got a good team. When you make a roster you have to fill up with depth. Obviously, you have to have some big time starts but you have to have depth and that's what we got. Defense played tremendous and so did the special teams. For the offense we just need to capitalize on some mistakes."

On QB Mark Sanchez's first start:

"He looked good. We are comfortable and confident in Mark Sanchez. He has been a starter in this league and he has been proven. It's hard to look at Mark Sanchez as a backup. He showed poise and was the leader for the offense. He directed us in the right direction when we really needed him to. He played lights out today."

On finding the end zone for the first time since Week 2:

"It felt good; it just felt good to win the game. They did a great job against the running backs, where we thought we were going to bash them. They played a different front then we thought. It was no surprise though, every team comes in here to try and stop us."

On how good this team really is:

"This team could be really good. All three phases are playing well. You saw what happened tonight, when the defense tries to take out parts of our offense the other part makes up for it."

On the versatility of the offense:

"We put points up and yards up. Mark and the wide receivers played well. Credit to their defense. Coming in, they really wanted to stop us and they did. But we made plays over the top which helped us win the game."

Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin

On Eagles WR Jordan Matthews saying he felt like Jeremy Maclin tonight:

"He's just playing around."

On whether there was anything that Eagles QB Mark Sanchez did tonight that was especially impressive:

"He just went out and played football. He played like we know he's capable of playing. He looked real good."

On whether it was nice to see Sanchez play so well:

"Yeah, but if you look at how he played in the preseason, he played tremendously. So, like I said, Mark can play football."

On the versatility of the offense:

"They never know what is coming. We are going to take what the defense gives us. There was a lot of space on the inside tonight and those guys won their matchups. It's going to be like that sometimes. I am not always going to go for 150 yards and two touchdowns. I don't expect to do that. My thing, is to go out there and personally help my team be successful. I am just as happy when I have a big day as I am when Jordan [Matthews], [Eagles TE Brent] Celek or [Eagles TE Zach] Ertz [does]. It's all about the team.

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews

On how much fun he had tonight:

"It was fun. It was a great win. I feel like we were clicking on all cylinders: offense, defense and special teams. The most important thing is that we got the win tonight. It's a short week coming up, so we have to put it behind us and keep moving forward."

On getting significant yards on crossing patterns:

"It's just [Eagles Head] Coach [Chip] Kelly calling plays and getting me in position to go out there and make plays. [QB] Mark [Sanchez] trusted me and gave me opportunities. When you have those situations, when your coach and quarterback both trust you and have your back, you have to have theirs too. I knew I had to go out there and make some plays. That is what I tried my best to do."

On when he knew he had a connection with Sanchez:

"Of course we had something going on in camp. We kind of had to. We were both on the second team at the time. So, I took the majority of my reps with him. After practice, I made sure I got extra reps with him. I knew that if I wanted to break into the lineup, I had to look good with the second team first. That was definitely a point of emphasis for me back then. We continue to have a great relationship. I started building one with [Eagles QB] Nick [Foles], but now it's Mark's opportunity, so I have to go out and make plays for him."

On what it means for him to have such a big game on national TV:

"I felt like I was [Eagles WR] Jeremy Maclin. At the same time, you have to put it behind you. Like I said, I have a bunch of great guys ahead of me who show me how to be a professional. If you take too much time looking at the stats and drinking the Kool-Aid, you lose your appetite. I just try to put it behind me and move forward."

On the play of Sanchez:

"I mean, he's a baller. Like I said, he's a franchise quarterback. We are probably one of the only teams with two franchise quarterbacks. We are very fortunate to have that. They both have been to big games, both played in the playoffs, so we are lucky to have them. Like I said, we just saw him go out and be elite today."

Eagles TE Brent Celek

On his impressions of QB Mark Sanchez's first start for the Eagles:

"I thought he played real well. I thought he played real well. We'll go back and watch the film, but we scored a lot of points. There are always things that we can improve, but overall we did pretty good."

On whether Sanchez's recent play has built even more confidence within the team:

"I think we've always had the confidence in him. He's a great quarterback. I think we knew that the day he came in. So he's just doing what we thought he would do."

On whether he sensed Sanchez was still calm after a rough start:

"Yeah he's been there before; he's started a lot of games in this league and he understands how it goes. He settled down and started playing really well."

On whether he noticed early chemistry being formed between Sanchez and WR Jordan Matthews:

"I don't know. I'm sure there's chemistry there, you know. I think it just comes down to what the defense is giving us. I think Jordan is a great player, I think Mark is a great player and Matthews was able to get open and Mark made some great throws and he made some great catches.  Both are good players and the defense was giving us some stuff on the inside."

On whether the simplicity of the offense allows quarterbacks to step in and not miss a beat:

"I think it's that and the fact that we get so many reps in practice.  Guys get a chance to get a lot of reps and when it comes time to get called into the game, guys are ready."

Eagles C Jason Kelce

On whether the Panther's defensive formation was similar to what they saw on the tape:

"Yeah, they had been playing a lot of 2-high safeties for most of the year. Tonight, they played us the way a lot of teams have played us who have done a good job against our run. They brought an extra safety down, played Cover One and really packed the box. We just have to get better running the ball against that."

On whether the Panthers were hoping that Eagles QB Mark Sanchez couldn't beat them through the air:

"I don't know if it had that much to do with Sanchez. I think that it had more to do with us not running the ball well and when that happens, our offense tends to struggle. I think they just really tried to stop the run."

On how that strategy worked for the Panthers tonight:

"We still put up points. We were successful from an offensive perspective, especially as the game got going and we got familiar with what they were actually doing defensively. We have to be able to run the ball better than the way we did."

On the play of Sanchez:

"He played great. I don't think of him any differently than I did before the game. I think he did a good job of going in there and running the offense."

Eagles G Evan Mathis

On the dominant win tonight:

"A win is a win. There was a little less pressure with that type of lead though. We had the freedom as a team to call what we wanted to call."

On continuing to win with all the moving parts on offense:

"This is what we expect out of ourselves. We prepare like this, the coaching staff prepares us like this. [QB] Mark Sanchez has been preparing like he is going to be the starter, just like when [QB] Nick Foles was No. 2 last year he had to prepare the whole time like he was going to be the starter. You are one play away at all times; everyone has had to step in this year and we have done an admirable job at every position. Everyone has done a tremendous job at preparing for their opportunity."

On what Sanchez's impressive night means for the offense:

"For him it's just a starting point. We will build off of this. There will be plenty of stuff for us to learn off the tape and still plenty of things to correct. There is a lot to capitalize on and keep moving forward with. It was a really good starting point for him."

On his early thoughts about the Green Bay Packers next week:

"Green Bay is a high scoring offense and a very talented team that's well coached across the board. Playing at Lambeau Field always presents a challenge."

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