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Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Injuries: "(T) Jon Runyan is the only one who didn't practice today. (RB) Brian Westbrook did a partial—he came out. We are making sure we keep the swelling down in his knee. Everyone else practiced."

Opening remarks: "We look forward to the challenge of playing the Giants up in New York and we know what kind of football team they are. We prepared ourselves properly this week. It's a matter of finishing up tomorrow with the preparation and having ourselves ready for Sunday."

On the situation at fullback: "We have (RB Correll Buckhalter), who is working in at fullback. Obviously, when he's not in there, when Brian's not out there, then (FB) Kyle (Eckel) is working some."

On FB Dan Klecko's availability: "Dan was just able to work today, so he did a little bit today and we'll see how he does here as tomorrow comes. We kind of tested him out today."

On what type of energy the team has shown over the past couple of days: "They respect the New York Giants, they understand they're a good football team, and they're getting themselves ready. I think they're excited to play and ready to play. You have to go through the process before Sunday."

On whether he has been at this point in a season with this healthy of a team: "I don't know that. I would say we are probably as healthy as anybody right now. It's a few bangs and bruises, but I think everybody has that. I can't relate it to the other years. I'd be wrong to do that. I don't recall who we had going in and not going in."

On how Eckel has been able to pick up the protection schemes: "He's fine."

On how much the team is feeding off of the support of Philadelphia: "It's great to have the support. Our players enjoy that. Mayor Nutter talked to the team the other day, Wednesday, and I know the guys appreciate all of that. The fans, I've always said, are the best in the National Football League. We appreciate when they are on the road with us and everything they do there."

On whether he is amazed by Runyan's streak of consecutive games played: "That's pretty amazing, especially because of the way he plays. He's not out there doing a pillow fight. He is out there getting after it. He's an amazing guy that way."

On whether he worries about Runyan's health down the road, if his injuries catch up to him: "I haven't thought much about it. I'm sure some day it will. I haven't thought much about that. He's upbeat and positive about it. It's just a matter of making sure he feels alright here. That's why we've kept him off the turf."

On the wide receivers: "They are a solid group. There's not a big-name guy in the bunch, but they all play big and do a nice job, collectively."

On WR Jason Avant's improvements: "I think he's had a good year all the way around. He understands his role and he works great in space as an inside receiver. He has the confidence of the quarterback."

On the change in the offense of not throwing as many passes down the field: "That's a complex question, because you're dealing with the coverages you see also. We've always been a big-shot team, down the field. Teams play us a little differently than maybe they did a year or so ago. I don't think anything has changed with (QB Donovan McNabb's) game, other than he is doing a nice job in there, which he has done. He has just had more opportunities in the intermediate area there."

On whether it's still beneficial to take shots down the field: "If people are creeping on you, then you have to back them off and that's the way of doing it."

On why the pass protection has been so good this season: "I think it's important that we're good this weekend before I say anything. It's going to be a big challenge this weekend, obviously. We had enough sacks for five years worth last year against them. Anything I say, I preface with that. But, the guys have worked very hard at pass protection. They've just done a nice job up front and (offensive line coach) Juan Castillo has done a nice job with them."

On TE Brent Celek's improvements since his rookie season: "He did a nice job for us last year as a rookie. He had an opportunity to play, and that's half the battle as a rookie. Then, that second year you can take a little bit of a bigger step forward. Not to slight the kid; he's a smart kid, a good athlete, has good hands and is a good route runner."

On G Shawn Andrews' participation this week: "He has gotten out there and taken some pass sets, which I think is important. You have to start to walk before you can run. That's how he's approaching it and we are approaching it with him. He will be out this week, but he is further along than he was last week, at least from a football standpoint."

On whether he can remember a year when so many players were able to fill in for other players so well: "I'd probably say no on that. I can't remember where we've had quite as much influx with younger players, in particular. Then you have the injured guys in there too, the ones who have stepped in. I can name other years when we had injured players who went down and other guys stepped up. But where young players ended up working into the lineup, I haven't had another year like that."

On whether it takes extra coaching to be able to have players who can step in easily when called upon: "The players have been very diligent of learning. The coaches have done a nice job coaching them. It takes two to make that thing happen."

On how the coaches keep themselves from being overwhelmed by such a big game: "I didn't realize I've been amped up (jokingly). I think we are all excited to play every week. When you get into the playoffs, you're excited to play. It's important that you keep yourself mentally light, where you can function at the highest level. We stress that to the players and they stress that to one another and the coaches. They go through that same thing. You have to be able to focus mentally out there and think. If you get too out of control, not only will your game go, but your mind will go also."

On what it is about being an underdog that has brought the best out of the team: "I don't know that. I haven't really analyzed that, but I can say that it's obviously a privilege to play and coach in the National Football League. If you have an opportunity to make it to the playoffs, that's an honor. If you have an opportunity to play the world champs, that's another honor. You put together your best gameplan as a coach and you put together your best game as players and you go out and play."

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