Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Falcons: Head Coach Andy Reid

On injuries sustained during the game: "(TE) L.J. Smith has a concussion. (WR) Jason Avant has upper back spasms. He got twisted and we couldn't get him out of the spasm part. (QB) Donovan (McNabb) got poked in the eye on the play on which he was down, but he was okay. (CB) Asante (Samuel) came out for a couple of plays because he got hit in the quad, but he's okay there."

On the win: "I thought it was a good football game. There were plenty of good things, but plenty of things that we can work on. We feel good about (the win) against a good football team. I thought it was nice to have (RB) Brian Westbrook back in there, and obviously he had a big day. It was nice to see (CB) Lito (Sheppard) come right back after being called for the pass interference. We always talk about that – rebound, short memory, strong mental attitude – all of those things. He came back with an interception and made a couple of nice plays down the stretch there. We started slow, but I thought we finished strong. It's something that we will continue to build on as we get ready for our next opponent. I will say this – the Atlanta Falcons, (head coach) Mike (Smith) has done a great job with that football team. They have some young players there that I think are tremendous players."

On why Brian Westbrook was able to have success running the ball against Atlanta: "You have to dial him up first. He was dialed up, and he did a nice job. I thought our offensive line did a nice job in there. I mentioned before that (Atlanta DT) Grady Jackson is an immovable object and he's tough to run against. Our guys were able to cover him up at times and get bodies on bodies, and Brian took care of the rest."

On how he feels after capturing his 100th career NFL head coaching victory: "That's a good question. I'm glad we won, and I don't get too caught up in the other stuff. It feels like the first one."

On whether he had a good view of the final punt muffed by Atlanta's Adam Jennings: "I got as good of a look as I could from the sideline. The guys upstairs obviously saw it. They had a better picture, they saw it hit him, and that was the deal."

On whether he feels fortunate that the Falcons were out of timeouts and not able to challenge the ruling on the muffed punt: "That's a good thing. I'm not going to say I don't feel fortunate, but saying that means that the officials weren't right, and I'm not going to say that. I thought it was a good call."

On whether Donovan McNabb played with a different mindset after suffering an eye injury: "We started out a little bit slow all the way around offensively. He had some throws there that he'd like to have back, but with great quarterbacks, that's going to happen. You have to allow them to continue to fire and throw the football so that they can work themselves right into rhythm. That's what he did, and I thought he had a heck of a game."

On whether he is disappointed the Eagles struggled offensively in short yardage situations: "These one-foot things, we have to change this. We're going to keep working on it. We've been working on it, but we're going to keep working on it."

On whether the officials blew a third-down short yardage play dead prior to Brian Westbrook reaching his arm past the first down marker: "I don't know that. I can't answer that."

On why McNabb was able to run effectively against Atlanta: "I think he feels better. He's coming off the chest (injury), and it was very tender there for a couple of weeks. He was able to get more involved and move the ball with his legs."

On McNabb's decision to run on key plays against the Falcons: "It was just a matter if it was there. He's healthy, it was there, and he took it."

On the Eagles opening the day with a victory prior to Game Four of the World Series in the sports complex: "I'm glad that we had a chance to start it off right. I know (Phillies manager) Charlie (Manuel) is going to finish it up right, and The Who are going to be out of this world."

On the concussion suffered by L.J. Smith and the personal foul penalty assessed to Atlanta safety Lawyer Milloy: "You saw by the players' reaction on both sides of the ball that they knew that it was one of those things where it was a bang-bang deal. It is an emotional game, and sometimes things happen. I hated to see it happen to L.J. He was having a heck of game. That's part of the game. Lawyer is not a cheap-shot guy, that's not his deal. He's been in this league a long time and he's a clean player. For whatever reason, that one slipped by."

On Brian Westbrook's return to the lineup following a rib injury: "I think he felt pretty good. I thought he got a little bit tired towards the end. We spotted him with (Correll) Buckhalter, but there was a point there on the last series where he didn't want to come out. He wanted to stay in, he wanted the football, and we gave it to him."

On the Eagles establishing their first winning streak of the season and the team's continued success following a bye: "I don't get into all those things. We took care of business today, we did what we needed to do to win the football game, and now we'll get ready next week for a road trip up to Seattle. We'll take that one as it comes. I don't get caught up into streaks and the byes, and other stuff. You guys (the media) can take care of all of that."

On the contributions of Brian Westbrook in the win despite limited practice: "He's a great football player. Great football players step up when their team needs them, and Brian did that today."

On whether he considered using a replay challenge on the third-down play during which McNabb was marked inches short of the goal line: "My guys upstairs said that we weren't there. It didn't look like we got it from the sidelines, nor after we checked the replays."

On the effectiveness of the Eagle offense when McNabb is a threat to run: "Obviously the threat of his running ability is important. As a (defensive) coordinator, there are certain coverages that you're a little nervous to play with a mobile quarterback. (Atlanta) sort of mixed those coverages in there in the past, so that was a help."

On what a coach does when a quarterback is struggling to find a rhythm early a game: "You keep dialing him up, and you give him his best stuff. If you haven't been doing that, then that's what you do."

On the personal foul penalty assessed to Eagles defensive end Trent Cole on a first quarter sack: "I can't answer that. Go back and look at the tape, and if they have a close-up of me, you'll know how I felt."

On the return of wide receiver Kevin Curtis: "I thought Kevin did some good things. I thought he got a little bit tired, but that's okay. He'll have time to rest for next week and he'll be better off next week."

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