Philadelphia Eagles News

Game vs. Steelers: Head Coach Andy Reid

* On injuries sustained during the game:*
"(RB Brian) Westbrook has an ankle strain and he'll have an MRI in the morning. (FB) Tony Hunt had a concussion. (TE) L.J. Smith has a lower back sprain, and we'll see how he does tomorrow. (QB Donovan) McNabb had a chest contusion. He came in and worked on it (at halftime) and he was able to come back."

* On the victory:*
"I'm not sure which one to congratulate first – our crowd or our defense, but they were both awesome. Our defense played their hearts out and the crowd screamed their hearts out. That was quite a display right there. I love bringing teams in here, especially teams like the Steelers. The defense had nine sacks, three turnovers, and a safety. They really got after the quarterback. It was something to watch. I thought (QB) Donovan (McNabb) started the game off great with 15 completions, and I thought he played very well. I thought (WR) Hank Baskett had a career day today and played his heart out. We were down to two running backs, so I thought those guys (Correll Buckhalter and Lorenzo Booker) did a nice job likewise, especially coming off of a short week. (P) Sav (Rocca) had a real nice day as did (K) David Akers with that last field goal which was very important."

* On whether he knows the severity of Westbrook's injury:*
"I don't. Off the x-rays, it is not fractured, but we'll do the MRI tomorrow and see what the deal is."

* On how much the injury to McNabb affected his play in the second half:*
"He was stiff a bit and he was in some pain."

* On the play of the Eagles defense:*
"Defensively, I just thought it was a phenomenal job. (Defensive Coordinator) Jim (Johnson) had a great plan and the players executed it and they played their hearts out. They were coming off of a game in which they were disappointed in their performance last week, and to be able to rebound like that coming off of a physical game against Dallas, I can't say enough for them. I'm very proud of them."

* On whether McNabb managed the game more conservatively in the second half:*
"I was a bit conservative too in the second half. Our defense was playing very well, and they were playing very deep on us with a cover-two look. I tried to run the ball a little bit more and bank on our offensive line a little bit."

* On C Jamaal Jackson starting at center despite missing a week of practice due to the death of his brother:*
"That's not an easy thing to do. First of all, he was playing with a broken heart due to his brother's situation. He also missed some practices. It was a tough thing because he was very close with his brother. That's not an easy thing to do."

* On what his team showed him with a win following a short week of preparation after a Monday Night loss at Dallas:*
"They have big hearts. We're not the biggest team, but we have big hearts, and that will take you a long way."

* On whether he was surprised Pittsburgh did not attempt a field goal trailing 15-9 on its final offensive possession of the fourth quarter:*
"I'm not going to get into all of that. They played their hearts out, and it was a heck of a football game. We've had a couple of games here where it was two heavyweights going at it. They are a heavyweight in the AFC, and (Pittsburgh head coach) Mike Tomlin does a great job. I'm not here to criticize their team."

* On Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson's comment last week that he was disappointed that he didn't blitz more in the loss to Dallas:*
"He made up for it this week."**

On why the Eagles blitzing was more effective this week than last week at Dallas: **

"Some of it is the fact that the crowd noise helps along with the different schemes. It was very hard for (Pittsburgh) to communicate, and you saw how many penalties their linemen had with procedure calls, and then they were late off the ball. That's tough. It's like when we played (at Heinz Field) in 2004. That's a tough place to play because it's hard to hear."

* On the final three punts of the game by Sav Rocca:*
"They were unbelievable. You don't very often talk about a punter being a weapon, but he sure was a weapon tonight. He's been punting very well this year."

* On whether the Pittsburgh defense played more cover-two following the injury to Brian Westbrook:*
"They did that a little bit the first half also. We could have run the ball a little bit better. If I had to do it over again, I would have dialed up a couple of different (running plays). But it still was cover-two with quarter-quarter halves."**

On whether it was hard for him to take a conservative approach offensively:**

"I was semi-conservative. I was still trying to get it down the field, but (Pittsburgh) was playing so stinking deep that we had to go with our underneath stuff."

* On the play of safety Brian Dawkins:*
"He's a warrior. He's a tough-minded guy and he helps everybody around him. I know he's getting old, he knows he's getting old, (the media) knows he's getting old, but he just comes out and plays his heart out."

* On the improved play of the Eagles secondary:*
"The front seven makes the back four better, particularly the front four makes the back four better. The more pressure you're able to put on a quarterback, the better your secondary is going to play."

* On Donovan McNabb breaking the franchise's career record for touchdown passes:*
"There isn't enough time to go through all (the accolades). He's going on 10 years here, and that's a tough thing to do. To bounce back from the different things he's had to bounce back from physically and to be able to play the way he is right now, every record he gets, he completely deserves. I'm proud of him for this one here."

* On whether the injury to McNabb will affect him this week:*
"I'm sure he'll be sore, but I think he'll be alright. He's not going to be going out and doing any gardening tomorrow."

* On the significance of the victory following the Monday Night loss at Dallas:*
"You had two good football teams playing each other, and if you look at the things that this team did coming off of a short week, losing to an NFC East rival, in a tough, tough battle (in Dallas) on a Monday night, there are a couple of things going on there that could have been negative. The guys buckled down all week and they didn't flinch over the Dallas game. They learned from their mistakes and they pushed on. I'm proud of them for that. It takes a special quality to do that."

* On whether he took fewer risks offensively due to the play of the Eagles defense:*
"That, along with the fact that our punter was punting well. I wanted to score, and I don't want to downplay that. We wanted to score and we needed to. We didn't play as well (offensively) in the second half as we needed to and I could have done a better job of putting guys in better spots to do that. There wasn't a lot of change from what (Pittsburgh did defensively) in the first half to the second half. Still I don't want to take anything away from our defense. It's pretty easy for (offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg) and I to call the game when the defense is playing like that."

* On McNabb's management of the game overall:*
"I thought he did a great job and he handled it very well."

* On the improved play of the Eagles run defense:*
"You've got the linebackers and the front four playing well. Every once in a while we were bringing a safety up into the box, whichever one it was Q (Quintin Mikell) or Dawk (Brian Dawkins)."

* On the play of quarterback Kevin Kolb following the injury to McNabb:*
"I thought he did okay. What he was asked to do, he did well."

* On whether wide receiver Reggie Brown could have been used more following his return from injury:*
"He could have been used more. He was feeling good. The important thing was that he came out of this game feeling good. As much as you practice hard, once you get the juices flowing in a game, it's different. I just wanted to make sure he came out of this game healthy, and that's how he feels. We'll use him more now.

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