Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Packers: Head Coach Mike McCarthy

On if he was satisfied with a win in Philadelphia: "Well we have a lot of respect for Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles. I know there is some historical significance, of not winning here since 1962. But I can't say enough about the program, Andy, as a place here. I thought it was a very gutty performance on both sides of the ball. I know they had I think five players leave the game, we had a number of guys go down—you know, with the injury to (DE) Justin Harrell, we came into this game with primarily sub-defense. There's a lot of back and forth. I though it was a gutty performance on both sides of the field. We feel very fortunate to come out of here with a win. This is a tough place to play and it's a tough football team to play against."

On to what extend he prepared for QB Michael Vick: "We prepared for Michael Vick more in the wildcat type packages. And I thought that he did an excellent job. He adds a whole other dimension to the game, particularly with his running skills and the ability to extend plays. That goes back to, I thought, our defense. We stressed all of training camp playing adversity defense and to the end game on a 4th and 1 with a quarterback in the backfield when you have a number of different options, that's a big play by our defense. And Michael Vick is still a very dynamic player."

On the rhythm of the offense in the 3rd and 4th quarters: "Well I'm the offensive coach, so it's never in sync enough. I thought we had some bursts that we played the way we feel that we can play. I was particularly happy with the third down production in the fourth quarter when we needed to extend drives. I thought (RB) Brandon Jackson came in and did a very good job, particularly with the run-blocking unit there in the second half with his opportunities. We have to extend series in a football game--especially that particular time. Our defense was on the field way too much in the second half. We're short defensive lineman and we're playing against a very mobile quarterback. That was a tough, gutty performance by our football team. I thought our special teams played excellent--that was a major emphasis coming into the game. We have a lot of respect for Bobby April and the job that he does here on special teams. We feel very fortunate and pleased. We came in here to win, but we also want to grow as a football team. There is plenty of film to look at, correct, and get ready for Buffalo."

On RB Ryan Grant's injury: "Ryan Grant had an ankle sprain and he did not return, so I can't tell you exactly how long he'll be out. Also we had (DE) Cullen Jenkins had a broken hand, he did return with a cast. (DE) Justin Harrell looks like he had a significant knee injury, and he did not return. And (S) Nick Collins had the bruised ribs out there in the 4th quarter, and he did return."

On if Ryan Grant could have played in case of an emergency: "They just told me he was done. I didn't speak to him. The medical staff, they make those decisions, whether players are up or down. That's why they take their helmets."

On what he expected from Vick on the 4th down in the 4th quarter: "That's a tough call, especially when he goes to the gun. Because, are they still going to run a traditional quarterback sneak? Or he has the ability to bounce the ball to the edge and now your short yardage defense takes on a little different characteristic. We went with a sub-defensive, a sneak defense, and it was just an excellent job by the front line, holding their gaps, not letting him penetrate. Obviously, biggest play of the game."

On his impression of Kevin Kolb: "Kevin, a little bit like us on offense, I felt. He probably didn't get to the rhythm that he would like and it looks like he took a pretty big hit there. But he's got a lot of excellent football in front of him. And I think he's going to be everything that they think he is. He can make all the throws. When he did throw, the ball came out with velocity and so forth. This was the first time I had seen him play in live-action, but I think he has a great future."

On if he thought a 56-yard field goal was within K Mason Crosby's range: "Oh no doubt. We talked about it. We get a progress report every pregame, and he kicked the ball extremely well in pregame, so I would have probably extended him out to 59 frankly, if you're talking about that particular situation. He nailed it. He hit the one earlier, in the first half, very well also. So I thought he kicked the ball very well. He had that one kickoff where he pulled the ball to the left, but I think Mason performed very well today."

On G Clay Matthews' performance with only one week of practice: "It's a credit to Clay, it's a credit to the coaching staff, and really a big credit to the medical staff getting him ready to go. Just, we were a little nervous coming into this game with the repetitions that our defensive unit did not have with everybody there. I tell you, I thought it was a very gutty performance by our defense, especially in the second half and Clay is a big part of that. (Outside linebacker coach) Kevin (Greene) did a good job of rolling the linebackers in and both (LB Frank) Zombo and (LB Brady) Poppinga did a nice job with their opportunities."

On his concern about the lack of depth on the line: "Well, there is nothing you can do about it. It isn't like you change it. So I thought our coaches did a very good job of rotating the players and trying to keep them fresh. And once again, I hate to be redundant, I though it was a performance that we can definitely build off of because they were extended plays and Michael (Vick) can do that to a defense."

On the special teams' performance: "I thought (P) Tim (Masthay) did a good job punting. He probably wishes he had the last one back, the one he kicked down the middle of the field, that was not the plan. I thought he did a good job putting the ball on the sideline. I thought our coverage units were excellent. I can't say nothing about the commitment really of (special teams coordinator) Shawn Slocum and (asst. special teams) Chad Morton have made with the changes on special teams. It's gratifying to go out there in Week 1 and have the production that we had in the return game. I thought (WR) Jordy Nelson did a very great job running the track and trusting the blockers. And he had some creases to run through today. I am very pleased with our overall special teams performance."

On if he was concerned with the running back situation: "We have five running backs and we have three that primarily do the running. It's the NFL and injuries are part of your journey. We had a number of guys go down today. We'll regroup tomorrow and we'll see where we are and be ready for Buffalo."

On if he saw something in RB Brandon Jackson he hadn't seen before: "I think Brandon really showed his ability to perform at this level at the end of last year. I thought he really came into his own at the end of the season. He had the injury in training camp last year and has really had a great spring and a training camp. He is a complete player, first and second down, he's outstanding in pass protection. He did a nice job in the check down on the 23 protection out there in the flat. He's doing a good job of the ball control, breaking tackles. You know, he's so strong from the waist down. He's got tremendous leg strength and has the ability to make guys miss. I think Brandon has been playing at this level now since the middle of last year. "

On his overall impressions of QB Aaron Rodgers:"I'm sure Aaron will answer those questions for himself. We'll look at the film. He had the one interception that slipped away. I didn't have a good view the first one, the one down the middle, that was tipped. The second one, just the ball slipped out of his hand, he has (WR) Donald Driver open on the B-line route. I'm sure there are some decisions he wishes he had back. We try to get into a rhythm with the quick passing game early and some seven man protection throws that we did not get off to a good start. But we were able to generate 27 points, so it's definitely a performance we will build off of and improve on."

On if DE Mike Neal was close to playing today: "Didn't ask how close. It's a yes or no by this point. No, they didn't feel that. A lot of times when you get into muscle injuries, you probably do more damage working a guy out--same thing with hamstrings, same decision, really, with (LB) Desmond Bishop. To take him in there and work him out, now you're putting him a position to fatigue it even more over the course of the game."

On the Eagles inability to go vertical, particularly to WR DeSean Jackson: "Well, I can't really comment on it. I'm not sure exactly how they wanted to go after us, from an offensive stand point. We had a lot of two shell, we had him covered up a lot when he was in the one slot, when he was lined up out wide. He had a chance to get a number of opportunities underneath. I thought we did a very good job of containing him today."

On the Rodgers sacks that happened early in the game: "The negative plays hurt us—three negative plays in the first half affected us from a point of production. But I felt the ability to run the ball the second half gave us a little more balance, which helped. We were a little pass-heavy in the first half and that's going to happen sometimes, just from the way we operate at the line of scrimmage."

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