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Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Packers: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

On the contribution of RB James Starks: "It was huge. The way that (RB) James Starks was running the ball tonight was maybe one of the most important factors in this win. He set up some of the play action that we did and when it was second and ten there in the second quarter, he gets a 30-yard run. He ran great and I am so happy for him. He is a great kid and he has really grown a lot in the past couple weeks. He was big tonight."

On whether or not he expected such a contribution from the run game: "No, I didn't to be honest. I thought I was going to have to play a good game and be efficient and do a good job on third downs, which we did. I thought that we were going to have a few more passing attempts, but the way that (RB) James (Starks) was running, we just stuck with it."

On whether or not RB James Stark is the RB they have been looking for all year: "Ryan Grant is the back we have been missing all year, but (RB) James (Starks) stepped up and did a nice job. You have to give (RB) John Kuhn, (RB) Brandon Jackson and (RB) Dimitri Nance some credit for running the ball this year, but coach has gone with the hot guy and the hot guy today was James (Stark) and he did a great job."

On being able to communicate with the line:"(C) Scott (Wells) did a good job with the declarations and the adjustments and it was a really good communication game tonight. That is the most important thing when you are playing a defense like that. There are so many different pieces and different blitzes they can bring and we did a good job picking them up and being efficient passing the ball."

On finally winning his first playoff game: "Well in all my time being a football fan I have never seen one player win a game all by himself. It is a good team win for us and I will let you guys write what you want on that."

On how he felt when WR DeSean Jackson caught the final punt: "I think everybody in the stadium held there breath when (WR) DeSean (Jackson) caught that ball. Being a former Cal player, I have been watching DeSean and following his career and seeing the run he had that really helped us get into the playoffs against the Giants. When he caught that ball I think everybody was just hoping that somebody is going to tackle him. He also had that big catch on that drive. He is explosive and the team is explosive and thankfully (CB) Tramon (Williams) came up with a big play for us, like he has all season. He has been a Pro-Bowl player, but unfortunately he did not get the nod. He has played incredible one-on-one coverage this season and I am not surprised that he made a play like that."

On his feelings after the final interception:"A lot of relief I think. It is a tough position as a quarterback to be on the sidelines and not be able to have an impact on that play, just hoping that the defense comes up with a stop."

On the play of the defense taking pressure off of the quarterback: "I think so, yeah. When you have (RB) James Starks running for 123 yards, that takes some pressure off the passing game. That was unexpected, but with the defense playing as well as they have, you don't want to take it for granted, but it has kind of been expected over the past few weeks. They have played excellent."

On the feeling after the win: "It feels great. It is disappointing to lose your last game like we did last year, but there are a lot of resilient guys in the locker room and a lot of guys, like I said last week, who stepped up and who we can expect a lot of things from, a prime example being (RB) James Stark tonight. We have had a number of contributions from players who at the beginning of the season were not expected to play big roles for us, so I think that shows what kind of character we have in our locker room"

On the importance of the second Packers drive of the half (after the Eagles TD): "That was one of the most important drives of the game. The Coach (McCarthy) had a good call on third down there and you want to give some time to dial it across the middle. It was an important time of the game. The crowd was just getting into it and we needed to give our defense a break and make it a two-score game again."

On dealing with the crowd noise:"The crowd in Philly is great and it is a great sports city. They know when to cheer and when to be loud, and it was something we had to deal with, but as I said (C) Scott Wells being my extension at center made some great calls tonight and adjustments and we did a pretty good job under pressure. When we had to, we converted those third downs."

On the importance of long scoring drives: "That really has not been our forte this year, but I think all three of our scoring drives were over ten plays and we cashed in our opportunities in the red zone three for three. So, that is what we are looking for when we prepare for a game and talk about our goals and that is being good on third down, being good in the red zone, and not turning the ball over. I had one turnover tonight, but other than the other couple we did a good job tonight."

On the second TD pass: "It was actually a screen pass and they covered it up pretty good. I moved to my right and (CB) Asante (Samuel) may have lost where (RB) James (Starks) was and he kind of moved to the pile and I didn't throw him a very good pass, but he made a great catch on that."

On when he first realized that RB James Starks could make a contribution like he did tonight: "Tonight. I think we saw the potential in him way back when he got here, being athletic, long strides, elusive, but we hadn't seen much until the San Francisco game when he was getting his feet wet and ran for 73 yards. Then the next week he doesn't get a whole lot of action, I think it was Detroit, and then he was inactive for a game. I think he really learned the last month or so how to be a professional and that this is a seven day a week job and you have to practice well if you are going to play on Sunday. His practice habits have really improved in the last month and he has been reenergized and had a big game for us tonight."

On the importance of the win streak that they entered the playoffs on: "No doubt about it. This team had its back against the wall. We had two games we had to win and we came up with two great efforts. We had to win two games with two tough opponents in the Giants and the Bears and to beat the Giants the way we beat them, and then the Bears game we struggled, but we won the game. We have a really resilient team, especially on defense to hold the Giants to 17 points and the Bears to three points, and tonight the effort they put forth. We had a lot of effort and a lot of confidence and hopefully we can carry that over into another game."

On the success of third down conversions:"Well a couple of times we had some small coverage stuff where they got some pressure, but it left a couple of guys open. The other times we ran the ball better than we have on third and short tonight. (RB) John (Kuhn) had a big conversion and (RB) James (Starks) as I said was running the ball very well. To get to above fifty percent for us was big. We have been average to below average on those conversions on third down and we did a better job tonight."

On the challenges of a short week going into Atlanta: "Well I think the greatest challenge is to see where we are at health-wise. Hopefully we come out of this game pretty healthy. I think guys can handle the short week as long as we are feeling good and healthy. It is nice to know we are going to be back on the field in six days."

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