Injury Report: "(S) Kurt Coleman has a quad contusion. (DT Brodrick) Bunkley is making improvement with the elbow sprain. But if he had to practice today he wouldn't be able to practice. (T) Jason Peters is making progress with the surgery he had on his knee. Again, if he had to practice today he wouldn't practice. (WR) Riley Cooper with the concussion situation, he'll practice Wednesday. He feels good today. (QB) Michael (Vick) is making progress, but again, if he had to play today he wouldn't be able to play; he would be able to practice a little bit, but he's not, obviously, full speed yet. (WR) DeSean Jackson has a concussion and has quite a little bit of soreness in his shoulder and neck area and so on. He took a pretty big blow. Any time you see a blow where two guys are down, that's normally not a good thing, but he's in the training room today. He's up and moving around and in good spirits in the training room. But I will tell you that it would be a stretch for him, a real stretch for him to make it this weekend. So that's how we sit with the injuries."
Opening Remarks:"As far as the game goes, it was a real team win. I just thought that all three phases did well. Are there a lot of things that we need to work on? Yeah, there are. But I thought all three phases came together and played well. I thought the players played their hearts out and played aggressive football in all three phases. And I thought the coordinators - their gameplans were top-notch, man. They had a great scheme and the players executed very well, and the coaches relayed the messages to the players; it was just an all-in-all good job. Offensively, the obvious is that (QB) Kevin (Kolb) played very well at the quarterback position, 23-29 (completions), over 300 yards (passing), 133.6 quarterback rating, that's a good day. And with all those numbers, I think the thing that he probably did best that doesn't get noticed is the way he managed the game. He kept everybody involved and with the exception of the one illegal procedure there, everything worked very smooth just from a management standpoint.
"I thought the (offensive line) played well; anytime (RB LeSean) McCoy has the numbers he had and the production he had, and I thought he played very well. Again, you have to remember that he's playing with a broken rib as you look at this thing and he's one tough nut. And (RB Eldra) Buckley, when he had an opportunity to come in and play I thought he did a nice job. But it starts up front there with the offensive line and I thought they were playing against a very good defensive line; I still feel that way with Atlanta. That they're quick, they're explosive, strong and they've really thrown fits against other offensive lines on grass and on turf. So I thought the offensive line stepped up. And my hat goes off to (T) King Dunlap for the job that he did. That's a tough situation he was coming into having come off the week at San Francisco (49ers) where a couple three of those plays got magnified, and he was able to come back against a power rusher (Falcons DE John Abraham), a combination rusher really, but a guy who has one of the best bull-rushes in the National Football League and King was able to answer that.
"I thought (TE Brent) Celek – Celek had the initial drop, but he came back and he finished so strong. He had two huge plays for us down the stretch there and really was very decisive, accurate route and strong with the ball. And then the receivers played well. Before DeSean got hurt he was having a great day. And I thought (WR Jeremy) Maclin, not only has he played well all year, but he played well in this game, very well, and (he played) just smart, aggressive football. (WR) Jason Avant, you saw the one block he had, and that's Jason to a tee. He does everything the right way. He caught the football. He blocked. We get him in the box and ask him to block. Downfield blocks, he just did a good job. And then (WR) Chad (Hall), it was a nice opportunity for Chad to get in the game. We had a couple little things for him and Marty did a great job with that - utilizing all the personnel. And Chad stepped up and made some nice plays.
"Defensively, again I thought the defense played well, but the defensive line, I thought they were just solid in there against the run and the pass. And (DE) Trent Cole is just playing at such a high level right now. And then the addition of (DT Antonio) Dixon. I thought Dixon really had a very good game in there, along with the other guys. But Dixon really stepped up and solidified some things against the run game. Linebackers, it was probably their best game as a group. (LB Stewart) Bradley worked on a few things - I know I've mentioned we've worked on a few things - and really just came out and played very well, as did (LB) Ernie (Sims). Ernie was flying around, man. He was all over the field. And (LB) Moise (Fokou) had a very physical game in there. So as a group, I just thought they played well.
"Defensive backs were good. (S Quintin Mikell) had probably his best game; I think he's playing at a very high level, but I thought that was his best game. (CB) Asante (Samuel) was around the ball all night. (CB Ellis) Hobbs made some plays on the ball and played aggressive and had a couple nice tackles. And then I thought (S) Nate (Allen) did some good things. And then the last part of it is special teams, there. The coverage units – I thought the coverage units were excellent. And that's something that we've struggled on and we've had some inconsistencies there. I thought we had a good plan. The players – who I talked to you last week about the discipline and maintaining your lane integrity and leverage, and I thought the guys did that and played a good game.
"I thought (K) David's (Akers) kickoffs were phenomenal; one of his better days with kickoffs. I know he missed a couple of field goals there, but he came back strong and that field goal at the end was very, very important, and he drilled that thing. And you won't see David have too many days like he had in the field goal department (because) that's just not his "MO" there. And then (P) Sav (Rocca) I thought was solid all the way around, and (LS Jon) Dorenbos' snaps were good."
On Jackson's post-game symptoms and a possible timeline for his return: "Well, listen, with every concussion when you get hit like that you're not going to remember everything, but it wasn't like amnesia set in. He remembered his touchdowns and all the things that happened. He didn't necessarily remember the hit when it took place. That was a heck of a hit. And listen, it's one of those – it was a rough one on both those guys. But as far as the timing goes, that's not accurate, and the memory loss, I don't know to what extent (because) I didn't hear all these comments, but it was a concussion and these are the things that happen with these concussions. But he got a pretty good jolt, now. That was a big hit. I'm not sure I've seen one here quite like that one in our stadium. That was a big hit for both guys."
On Kolb taking some of the blame after the game for the hit on Jackson because of a high pass on the play: "Well, they were in Cover Two, so he had softened up, and then he came back down. Kevin on that route – DeSean's not the primary player on that route, so Kevin's looking downfield for our vertical game there, and then he comes back to that, and then he had to move a little bit to the left which made him hang onto the ball a little bit. He had some pressure off of the right side and he moved to the left and threw it late. And so, his eyes, Kevin's eyes were down-the-field and then came to DeSean as the underneath throw. Had he not had the pressure off of the right side (then) maybe he gets it to him a little bit sooner."
On whether he has ever seen a hit like that ever before: "Well you see them throughout the league on highlights, but I'm sure I've seen – I saw Don Beebe take a pretty good shot against Detroit (Lions) one year that was similar to that. Listen, very seldom do you see, this was like a Rocky Movie, very seldom do you see two guys collide, and then both of them are on the canvas, there. So, that was a heck of a shot."
On whether he is confident Jackson will have a chance to play against the Colts after the bye week: "We just have to take it (one step at a time)."
On whether he has any reason to think Jackson would not be ready against the Colts: "No. I didn't hear any of that. Maybe somebody knows something I don't know, but I doubt it."
On whether he is confident in the wide receivers if Jackson can't play: "Yeah Jeremy's playing at a very high level right now. And if DeSean can't go I'm sure he'll keep playing at a high level. Last time we played the Falcons, DeSean wasn't able to play in that game and Jeremy stepped up, did a nice job. When (former Eagles wide receiver) Reggie Brown was here, he stepped up and did a nice job. So I would expect the other guys to do that. Jason Avant is a heck of a player too."
On whether he has to monitor a player's health differently if they have recently had a concussion:"Well, listen, these concussions are all under close supervision by the doctors and your trainers, so they take all of that into consideration and just keep a close eye on it. I think the base procedure's the same, but you're obviously going to look at it closer."
On whether Jackson's concussion is the most severe concussion a player on the team has suffered this year: "Well, I'll tell you that was a violent collision and that's what I'll tell you. We've had a couple others that were pretty good ones, but this was a pretty violent one. And the thing about it is, the next question goes, 'Well, if Riley's been out two weeks, you know, DeSean (should be out longer, too?)' I think they're all different, and so you just have to go on the symptoms and see what happens, and listen to the doctors, and listen to the player and the trainer. So, we'll just see how it all works. But that collision, that was a rough one."
On whether he did anything to keep Kolb's spirits high after naming Vick the starter and whether it has paid off for him now: "Well, listen, I give the credit to the kid, here. This kid, he trusts his teammates, he trusts himself, and he trusts the coaches. And so, I can't tell you that he was real happy with me when I made that move – so I don't know if that's where you're going (with the question) – but I wasn't the most popular guy in his life at that particular time. But, you would have never known it when he left my office.
"From the time he and I had our discussions – we met for three different times – so from the time we had those discussion to the time when he left, he was just all positive. I think what you saw on the sideline that next game (against Jacksonville) when he was cheering for Michael (Vick) was real. And that's not saying that he didn't want to be in there, but it's also the respect that he has for Michael and the team player that he is. You're dealing with one of the most competitive guys you're ever going to meet, so does he want to play? Absolutely, he wants to play. And does he want to be a starter? Absolutely. Does he know he can be a starter? Absolutely, and so on. So all those things, that's what he is."
On whether he thinks he will be less popular in Kolb's eyes if he goes back to starting Vick: "Well, listen, that's part of this job. I'm not really a popular guy all the time. So that's how, sometimes it just works, but that's alright."
On what has to happen between today and Wednesday for Vick to be able to practice: "He's not ready to go right now."
On whether he is far from being ready to go: "I don't know. We'll have to see how far he is."
On how much of his decision to name a starter has to do with the current 2010 season: "Well, listen, I try to evaluate everything. I try to think about it and then make the decision. Sometimes you're right, sometimes you're wrong, but I try to think about it in all different variables, and then roll with it."
On his decision to keep Vick off the sidelines during Sunday's game: "I thought Michael could benefit from – he was already getting treatment, really. And then, if an absolute emergency came about, I mean an absolute emergency, this is like a one percent chance that he would even have to take a snap. So I really wanted to get him treatment and at the same time he could stay loose in there and do that, and if we needed him we could bring him out of the bullpen."
On whether he kept Vick off the sideline because he didn't want Vick and the fans to be a distraction if Kolb was struggling: "That's not where I was."
On his reasoning behind having Vick come so late to the game: "Well, he was there to get treatment. His opportunity to play would have been this: if somehow we were going to run the ball on short yardage and goal line and two quarterbacks were injured, that's when Michael would have played. Okay? That's it. Other than that I wanted him to get in and get treatment. I told him exactly what time to be there and Michael came at exactly that time. It was that simple. I've done that with less popular players in people's eyes, but that's what it was. And so that was an absolute emergency, emergency situation that would take place. But the primary thing I wanted him to do was to get in and get treatment and make sure that we could move on here and go."
On whether he thinks it is a reach for Vick to play on Sunday: "If he feels like he does today (then) it will be a reach. There's a pretty good chance Kevin's the guy this week. There's a pretty good chance of that."
On whether DE Victor Abiamiri will begin practicing this week: "Not this week, no."
On whether he will use Avant inside in three wide receiver sets: "Yeah, probably. It depends on the formation that we're using. But that Zebra position, that would probably be his position."
On the deadline to make a roster move with Abiamiri and whether he is leaning any particular way: "Yeah, we have a little bit of time here. We have a couple of weeks, here, so we'll be alright."
On whether Abiamiri is ready to play: "He's making progress. But, he's not quite there yet. He's not quite there yet. But he is upbeat and he's making progress and that's a plus; with that surgery that he had that's a plus."
On whether Sunday's game was the best offensive gameplan this season: "I thought (offensive coordinator) Marty Mornhinweg was phenomenal. I mean he had a phenomenal plan – not that he always doesn't have a phenomenal plan, but he was right on here and he called a great game, and the players executed. Kevin believed in (the gameplan), the players believed in it, the coaches believed in it. I thought he was right on."
On whether Sunday's game was the most complete game the defense has played all year: "Listen, I would come back and tell you I thought (defensive coordinator) Sean McDermott had a great gameplan. That's a very good offense, now, and they were fully loaded; Jenkins had come back, and they were fully loaded. And so, he had a couple of neat little packages in there where he put in (DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim) and was able to get some pressure on early. Again, I thought he did a nice job with it and the players believed in it, they executed it, he got everybody involved and they played their hearts out. Sean, on the defensive side was playing with some young guys. You're seeing the Colemans out there, the Nates, the (DE Brandon) Grahams, and so on."
On whether he is entertaining or seriously would consider entertaining calls about his quarterbacks with the trade deadline approaching: "No. I'm pretty happy with them."
On whether Kolb is a rhythm quarterback and whether playing three games in a row has helped him develop a rhythm: "Well, listen, I think with young quarterbacks they need time to grow, so some of this is just maturation taking place. And then I (also) think (there's) a little maturation with the offensive line taking place, and so on. So everybody kind of grows together with a young quarterback; it's not just him, but it's the whole group doing their thing. I think that the guys feel very comfortable with him. I mean, he's done that. He's gotten better as it's gone on. Listen, are there some plays that he needs to get better at? Some things he needs (to learn)? Absolutely. But it's hard to argue with what he did yesterday."
On whether there is anything the league can do or should do to try to make the game safer and avoid big hits like the Jackson hit: "Well, listen, I think there are certain plays. That was a tough one, there, from both sides. The league has put a lot of emphasis on removing the helmet out of the contact point, in particular around the chin or neck area. But some of these are bang-bang, that was a bang-bang deal right there. That wasn't something this kid had planned. I mean, he wasn't going to go in and knock himself out, and that's not what he was trying to do here. But the more, and in a case like that, the more the head is out of the picture, and in particular out of that neck area, that's something that the league has been striving to work on."