Philadelphia Eagles News

GM Howie Roseman

Opening Remarks: "Let me just start out by saying that this is the hardest days of the year. We had a tremendously competitive training camp, and we let go of a lot of good players. At one point or another, one of the players that we let go today was one of the players that we fought for, we scouted, and we wish them all the best of the luck."

On what the team gave up to acquire S David Sims from Cleveland: "It's a conditional draft pick."

On who the team released to make room: "(G) Julian Vandervelde."

On what attributes Sims brings to the Eagles: "He's athletic, a solid tackler, and can play on special teams. He's a guy that we've been following throughout the course of this preseason. We played the Browns in the preseason, and we have scouted him a lot as we get ready to play their game. We were happy to acquire him today."

On where he fits in on the depth chart: "Right now, he'll backup at the safety spots and try and learn the safety spots. We'll hopefully get him up to speed on special teams as quickly as possible."

On whether the confidence in CB Brandon Boykin led to the release of CB Joselio Hanson: "It was a matter of confidence in Boykin. We drafted our players, in this day and age in the salary cap era and because of the nature of the salary cap because it's flat, you need young players to play. We have a lot of confidence in Brandon and I think he demonstrated a lot of those skills during the games and during training camp."

On the decision to release DT Antonio Dixon: "That's a hard one. Antonio Dixon is a guy that we got this time of year. He brings great personality to our football team. He's someone we care about personally and professionally. Sometimes on these days, you have to make tough decisions and that was certainly one of the hardest ones."

On whether Roseman is comfortable with only carrying eight offensive linemen: "You always want a lot of offensive linemen. I think in the next 24-48 hours, that is an area that we'll look at both on the active roster and certainly on the practice squad. When we talk about our roster, we talk about our 61 man roster – the 53 plus eight (practice squad players). For us, we're going to have enough depth at that position that we'll feel adequately covered."

On the most difficult position to sort out: "I think we talked about the defensive line, and the defensive line is an area that we put a lot of resources in just in terms of draft picks and money. For us, we want that to be one of (our strengths) if not the strength of this football team. As we went through this process, that was something that we wanted to maintain."

On what QB Trent Edwards did in order to make the 53-man roster: "We talk about at the beginning of training camp, and really at the first mini-camp, we talk about competition. It doesn't matter where you come from – we're going to let our eyes dictate the roster decisions. That was a great example of that there. Trent came in and he was the fourth quarterback. He wasn't getting a lot of reps in mini-camps, and he continued to persevere and learn the offense. He didn't complain about anything and he was the consummate professional and teammate. When he got his opportunities, he continued to perform.

On whether the coaches felt that Boykin outplayed Hanson outright: "Joselio Hanson has been a very good player for us for a long time. He'll continue to be a good player throughout this year and through the coming years. We just felt like this was a move that Brandon was going to play for us. He was eventually going to fill this role, and he had shown enough that he was ready to go right now."

On whether he tried to trade Hanson: "We didn't. We brought him in today, we spoke to him, and we just felt like once we made that decision this morning, we just wanted to talk to him. By holding onto him and trying to shop him, that would take away from some of the process here. We just wanted to look him in the eye and be very honest with him and not prolong it."  

On whether the team was worried Hanson might go to a team in the NFC East: "You have to assume that these players, the good players you let go today, they're going to go somewhere that you're going to play against them. That's part of this. Teams have good players in this league. It's the same thing during the draft process. You know that you're going to lose some good players in the draft. They're going to go to some of the teams you face but we were concerned about our own roster and putting together the best 53-man roster and we talked a lot about continuity now and going forward and trying to build a core group of players that we can go forward with."

On whether the team feels better about the safety depth now that Sims has been acquired: "I think you also have to add in that (S) Colt Anderson and the progress that he has shown for us to activate him off of PUP today. We'll see when he is ready to go but we certainly think that by doing this he'll be ready to play and contribute before that six week period would have started. If you add that in too David Sims, I think that gives us a jolt. We think Colt is one of, if not the best special teams players in the National Football League and he's gotten some opportunities at safety and will continue to grow there. We're excited to have him back on the practice field."

On where S Jaiquawn Jarrett fits into the safety puzzle: "Well after you talk about the starters he's the one that has had the most experience. Jaiquawn had some adversity during this training camp (and) he responded to it. We look for him to continue to grow as a player."

On at what point Jarrett redeemed himself to earn a spot on the roster: "Well I think in any profession, especially the National Football League, you look how people respond to adversity. He could've gone in the tank and instead how he responded (is) he continued to work hard and continued to get into his playbook and study it and he responded."

On whether Sims is a strong safety or a free safety: "In our defense those guys are interchangeable (and) they can play either spot so we'll get him in here and see where he is most comfortable and where our coaches feel he is most comfortable and we'll go from there."

On whether Sims is more of a hitter or a coverage guy: "He can do a little of everything. He can cover. I mean he's five-nine and a half so I'm not going to tell you he's going to cover six-foot-six tight ends all the time. He's got good feet. He's got good athletic ability and he's got a good feel for the game."

On how he feels about the depth of the safety position: "It's interesting because when you talk to people around the league during this time of year and people talk about the positions they are looking for you always hear O-line (or) D-line, but now you hear safety. They are really hard to find. We've addressed this publicly, we've talked about this with our scouts, you talk about this around the National Football League, (and) it's just a position where guys who used to play are moving to other spots. Some of it is the advent of the spread offenses in college football and others because other positions are being glorified and being possibly or at least the perception is it is paid more money."

On why it was necessary for the team to keep a fourth running back in Chris Polk: "Well you talk about production and potential with Chris Polk and every time he touched the ball something positive happened. He really has the skill set that fits this offense. He can catch, he can pass protect, he can run inside and outside, and so for us once you get past really 40 (players) we're trying to get the best guys that can come on our team and maybe last for a long period of time as we try to build it. Chris just did everything that was asked for to make this football team."

On whether Polk would have been picked up quickly had he been cut by the Eagles: "I think that is safe to say."

On whether there will be a problem with carrying only five wide receivers as Riley Cooper is still hampered with an injury: "Well again you talk about the practice squad and your whole 61-man roster and being able to bring those guys up at some point if you need it. We've gone deeper at that position in the past but we feel comfortable going into this game and certainly we'll wait and see how long Riley is going to be out."

On what it means that at least 24 players on the team have one year of NFL experience or less: "Well I think we wanted to get the best players. As we look at it going forward, we have a roster with a lot of guys who make good money because they are good players. When you have that kind of roster you have to have young players supplement it. If we had a veteran player that we thought was going to be better than the young player then we are going to take the veteran player. Obviously we were encouraged by how some of the young players did and the growth potential we think they have and it's a great credit to our personnel staff and our coaching staff."

On what player would take over in the slot if CB Brandon Boykin were to get injured: "Well (CB) Brandon Hughes has played it before. (CB) Nnamdi (Asomugha) has played it in the past as well and then right now we have other guys like (CB) Trevard Lindley who we think can work in there. Obviously you talk about nickel and you talk about dime and Brandon Hughes does have experience playing inside."

On whether CB Trevard Lindley can work in at safety: "He can. He's a solid tackler; he's got a good feel for the game. So that's one of the things you look at is his versatility that he could play that position. Now that we've got five safeties on the roster, we'll see if that happens. But he could do that stuff. He can play inside, he can play outside, he can play safety."

On what it means to keep DE Darryl Tapp on the roster: "Well, we talk about pass rushers and how important it is for us to have the defensive line as one of the strengths of our team and Darryl's a guy that, every day, showed up to practice. When we played, he's one of the leaders on our defense. He brings a tremendous amount of energy and he's a good football player. So, we're excited that he's on this team."

On whether, by keeping six defensive ends, they can activate five on Sundays: "Yeah, sure, you can. Really the way that (defensive line coach Jim) Washburn plays our defensive line, we've got a bunch of starters and they've got to play fast and the more guys we can have rotating in and playing at a high level, we certainly think the better that they'll be able to play."

On whether he anticipates this will be the final roster on Monday: "I'll tell you what: we're in the office at 9:30 (right now) and we're going back. We have long days. If we see anything that we think is an upgrade for our football team, we're going to look at that. So, to promise you exactly what's going to come out, I couldn't do that. We like our roster, we feel very comfortable that this is the roster that goes in to play Cleveland and that's a really positive thing. But at the same time, we're going to have a lot of names in front of us here in the next couple hours and we're going to explore all of that."

On what delayed the release of P Mat McBriar: "That's a tough decision right there. You're talking about a guy that's been an incredibly successful punter in the National Football League and as we looked at all the numbers, we wanted to make sure that we had all of the information. So we've taken every punt that they had during training camp, you're taking every punt during the game, you're taking field punts, you're taking punts inside of the 20 and you're evaluating that. At the same time, it's funny because I was just thinking about it, we had a game 24 hours ago at this time, we're playing. So you're still in the process of going through that and playing the game and watching the tape and looking at all these decisions you have to make and we just wanted to make sure that we made the decision that we felt was the right one."

On P Chas Henry being congratulated by McBriar for winning the job yesterday and whether there was miscommunication there: "No, I don't think so. We told Mat that Chas was going to punt in the game and hold and that Mat was not going to be at the game. But at the same time, we didn't cut Mat at that point. We wanted to go through the decision and Chas ended up being the punter."

On whether he thought QB Trent Edwards had a legitimate shot at making the team two weeks ago: "I think two weeks ago, yes. I think if you would have said two months ago, was that the expectation, probably not. But that's the great part about training camp. That's the great part about the preseason games and I think that's a great lesson to all of our scouts and all the players that we have, so next year when we stand in front of them and say that we're going to go with what our eyes see and it doesn't matter where you came from; if you're the best player, we're going to put you on our roster. I think we can look them in the eye and they'll know that's the truth."

On whether Edwards' relationship with QB Nick Foles and his ability to mentor him was an asset when evaluating which quarterback to keep: "Mike Kafka has a great presence around everyone in the building, around his teammates, so I don't think that was a deciding factor, the relationship there. But there's a great relationship with all the quarterbacks. At the end of the day, Trent had a very, very exciting preseason. He did a great job and he deserved a spot on this 53-man roster."

On the specific changes made to the Injured Reserve rules yesterday and how that affects this team: "Well, right now, it doesn't. You have an opportunity to keep a person right up (to) this point. For one game, you have to keep them through this cut and then place him on the IR list with a designation that you may want to bring him back. So, there's strategy involved in that. I think it's going to take a little time for us all to figure out the strategy involved in it exactly. As your guys get hurt, you have to figure out which ones that you think the injury is going to give them a chance to come back and when you want to do it."

On whether the fact that the team has defensive ends that can move inside makes the situation less concerning than one involving inflexibility along the line: "What we do this time of year is we study; we study what we've done in the past, we study what other successful teams have done and when you look around, there's not a lot of teams carrying five defensive tackles. We've done it because we have a heavy emphasis on our defensive line and, again, I point to that 61-man roster that we talked about. So, even though you have four maybe on the 53 (man roster) and four that may be active on your 46 (man roster), that doesn't preclude you from going out and getting another guy."

On what FB Stanley Havili did to win the fullback job: "Really, all the stuff that we looked for when we drafted him. He's an incredible athlete for that position. He wasn't hesitant at all to stick his nose in there. He can run, he can catch, he can block and he was good on special teams."

On how close S Colt Anderson is to being active: "Well, I would say we wouldn't have activated him unless we thought that he can contribute before the six-week window was up. He's making tremendous progress. We've worked him out a bunch of times here in the past couple of weeks. Our training staff has done a terrific job, as well as our medical staff, with him and he's a fireball. He's somebody that brings a tremendous amount of energy and he's a heck of a player."

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