Philadelphia Eagles News

Eagles Locker Room: Offense

QB Mark Sanchez

On his two interceptions:

"I thought on the first one Coop [WR Riley Cooper] and I just weren't on the same page.  I was expecting something a little bit different, and I think he was too. That kind of stuff happens from time to time and those you can live with. On the second one, there is no excuse for it. [TE Zach] Ertz made a great play. Ertz and [WR] Jordan [Matthews] were both open and I was throwing to Ertz and I just air-mailed it and missed. I just basically missed the throw. You can't have those late in the year. It's just a frustrating thing. But more important than all of that is that this was a huge win at home, an awesome job by special teams, and an awesome job by our defense. The running game got going and that was big for us. We got [RB] LeSean [McCoy] running a little bit and the offensive line played great. There are a lot of good things to take away from this thing and we have to turn around fast."

On the challenge of having a short week of preparation for the game in Dallas:"It's just a race against the clock. The good thing is that we're finished up and now we can make really good decisions and study and get some rest tonight. We'll watch the Dallas game tonight and see how that goes and get into our prep tomorrow." On what it means to the offense when the running game is able to get going early:

"It's huge. It helps with the play-action and it helps with all of the run-action stuff. It's huge. The offensive line did such a good job. Those plays that got extended were really a result of Coach Bick [wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell] and the receivers out on the edge. You see it all over the film around the league. Guys get lazy down the field and they don't want to block the safeties or the corners. That 50-yard run that LeSean breaks becomes a 12-yard gain which is great, but that's not what we want. So that was really good to see." On why he felt the Eagles had been close to breaking big runs in the running game:

"We've been tripped up with shoe-string tackles and stuff. We've been just a half-a-man behind someone and they kind of get an opposite team jersey coming up the hole and it kind of gets the back moving another way or they're just barely getting a hand on a guy. It's been close all year and hopefully this is just the beginning for us." On his impressions of the Eagles defense:

"They were tough to play against all offseason that's for sure. It was different than anything that I had ever seen in New York. They have pressure packages and they have coverage packages. They have stuff where they can kind of fool you up front with games, and they have guys that can just pin their ears back and rush the passer. You think you have an easy completion in the flat and there goes [LB] Connor Barwin just batting the ball down. I think he and [Houston Texans DE] J.J. Watt are among the leaders in the league in terms of batting balls down. That's huge. They're a tough group."

On the importance of RB LeSean McCoy having a big day in the running game:

"I think he's been pushing hard just like all of us. It's not always a perfect day like today whether you're a receiver or a back or a tight end. I've heard the phrase before, but sometimes it's a shot-glass, and sometimes it's a rain barrel. Today he got a rain barrel, so that's great." On whether he will focus more on his 30 completions in today's game or his two interceptions:

"Maybe a couple of years ago those two interceptions would have just eaten away at me. But there's no time to worry about it. There's time to fix it this week and really work on it. Some of those throws are throws that I've made a million times. That's the most frustrating thing. I'm sure it's like a golfer who has made that easy four-foot putt all the time and then one day it lips out. That's not cool. That's not fun. We'll get it right because I know those guys are going to be open again and it's my job to put it on them." On the importance of the games in the final stretch of the regular season:

"If you squander too many opportunities, you might miss out on the playoffs. Obviously we don't think really big picture like that. I've been on both sides of that where we've really taken advantage of opportunities and backed into the playoffs at 9-7 and just got into the tournament.  Other times, we've had to win the next three games at the end of the season or we're going home. You would rather not be in that position, but whatever it takes. That's big picture obviously and I'll probably get in trouble for talking about it with [head coach] Chip [Kelly]. The most important thing is what is right in front of us in terms of what we can control." On what he has been exposed to in terms of the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry:

"I've seen it played on Thanksgiving before. I know it's a big-time rivalry. We're in the third quarter and people are screaming about the Dallas game while this game is still going on. But I'll get into it throughout this next week." On how much he looks forward to the challenge of facing tough teams over the course of the next three weeks:

"I think the most important thing is that as lofty as our goals are and as fun as that stuff could be in terms of potentially winning three games in a row, you can't win the three without this first one. I know it seems so cliché but I promise you that's the way the guys in the locker room feel. That's from the top down from Coach Kelly to all of our position coaches to the players. That's the way we feel." On whether he is concerned with the number of turnovers that he has accounted for:

"For anybody to be successful, we have to take care of the football no matter what. We can't be on the wrong page, and I can't miss the ball down the field to [TE Zach] Ertz. We'll take the win and be happy with it, but we have to get better."

RB LeSean McCoy

On being able to exploit Tennessee's defense today:

"Watching tape, knowing they are a good team. They are a very tough aggressive group, especially up front. Tons of safeties that like to hit, they fill the gaps very well and quickly. I just thought we could be patient in the running game. They actually did a better job with the power runs that we scheduled to run against them. They must have seen what we saw on tape of evaluating the game against the Steelers and they kind of changed it. That was one of the things that we looked forward to really taking advantage of and they actually did a good job of making adjustments."

On the difference in the run game this week:

"We just stuck to it. Coming off a terrible loss to Green Bay, everybody focused in and had a terrific week of practice and we just stuck to it. I think everybody executed, they got the backs in one-on-one situations. The guys up front really, really blocked well. Even the guys outside, the wide receivers, they blocked well too so it was just all together. I think [QB] Mark [Sanchez] played good and made the right calls and the different reads, got points when we needed points and drove the ball well. Overall, we did well."

On eliminating turnovers on offense:

"Yeah, I mean to be a good team, our record shows that we are a good team, but to be better, I think the turnovers from everyone [need to get fixed]. We can't drive the ball, make plays and get turnovers. That is something we are working on. I think [head coach Chip Kelly] has been stressing that since day one. He has really been focusing in on that lately. So that is something we need to get better with." 

On people questioning the way he's performed this season:

"I don't know and it doesn't matter. Obviously you guys and everyone else are going to make their own opinions and write what they want so I am fine with that. As long as the guys in the locker room, they know what's up, we are a team. If the running game isn't going, I'll take the blame or whatever, it doesn't really matter, as long as we are winning games. And that's what we've been doing this year."

On the team's need to win against a great team on the road, like the Cowboys:

"Every game is a big one to win. But I actually have to give them a lot of credit, they have been playing well. They are a good team. We'll watch them on tape. I am just actually talking off of watching them on TV and looking at the stats. We have to go in this week, really focused. It's a short week, it's a big game, Thanksgiving is coming up, and it's a division game at that. So I think you add all those things up together, it's a must win type of game. I look forward to that. We always have these battles with Dallas. They have a good team and so do we. It's a game we must win."

On how important he thinks it was for him to have a good game like this:

"I don't want to say important for myself. It's [important] for the team that we all played well. You look at our offense, we threw the ball well, we ran the ball well, we made different plays when we needed to make them. Guys were blocked up, guys missed tackles. I don't look at it like a confidence type game if that's what you're talking about. I just think overall it was a good game for us."

On whether there is any meaning behind backs getting more yards later in the year:

"I mean, it gets colder, the ball is a lot harder to catch. Due to different weather, you might have to run the ball more and you pound the ball late in the year. Even though everybody talks about it starting to be a passing league, I think late in the year, you really count on the running game to kind of take some time off the clock, to manage the game, take control over the game and kind of dominate it a little bit. So I think late in the year, you have to count on your running game." 

On whether it was tough not to look past Tennessee with Dallas coming up:

"It's hard. I will never understand that, because it's hard to look past a team when you see them on tape and they are making plays, playing tough and aggressive. I think sometimes you see a bad team on tape and they are not playing well, they are not coached well, they are making so many dumb penalties – that could kind of be easier to look over. But a team like this is hard. This could be a team where, as you've seen with the Chiefs, which is a great team with a great coach, they lost to the Raiders and that was their first win. So you can never look past an opponent." 

On what the kickoff for a touchdown to start a game does for the offense:

"Yeah, that's obviously nice too. I think, with special teams putting points up before we touch the field, it's going to be a good day."

C Jason Kelce

On the difference in the run game and the offenses ability to get things going early:

"I think that we just blocked better in the first half. I think that guys really did their jobs and opened up some holes. The running backs ran tremendously well, like they have been, and we were able to get some yards. We still obviously have room for improvements, especially in the second half when they were doing some things schematically to take away the run. But we have to do a better job of grinding it out and sealing the game."

On his feelings about RB LeSean McCoy's performance:

"I'm happy whenever Shady [McCoy] gets numbers. I think a lot of things have been made out in the media that have been a little bit of an insult to him. Quite frankly, LeSean is the same guy he's always been; He's just been waiting for us to really get going. Early on today we got going, and it went so well that they ended up erasing their nickel personnel completely in running situations and just ran base. Whenever you can dictate that to a team and force them into a certain personnel that they are not used to running throughout the game in certain situations it's an advantage for us." 

On what he meant when he said "We are close" following the loss to Green Bay:

"Whenever you watch a game and you have a lot of good blocks and one bad block that makes a play go wrong, you know that you are close. In Green Bay, if you really watch the film, there were a lot of really good things you can take away from that game. There were some really good combination blocks and good seal blocks. Coming into this week, we knew as long as we could get all of us on the same page and eliminate that one sloppy block that results in a tackle-for- a-loss or no gain--you don't even have to destroy the guy, just do your job-- and that hole will be there."

WR Josh Huff

On the opening kickoff:

"It was a great setup by my teammates. There were one on one blocks up front that were executed. They made a hole for me to find my way down the sideline. After they cleared the way for me I really wanted to get through those last two guys and find my way into the end zone. The return was able to set the tone, especially after the way we played last week. We wanted to give the fans what they want."

On Eagles head coach Chip Kelly's conversation with him after the kickoff return:

"Before every game he asks me if I am scared. That was one of his messages when I came to the sideline: he forgot to ask me if I was scared. He said, 'Obviously you weren't scared. Now that you know you can make those plays, continue to make those plays.' I have to continue to get better as the season goes along and hope for the best. Chip asking me if I am scared is a thing that goes back to my days as a true freshman at Oregon."

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