Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Injuries: "The people that will not practice today are (T) Jon Runyan, with a knee sprain, (FB) Dan Klecko, with a shoulder contusion, and (RB) Brian Westbrook, with knee swelling. (DE) Victor Abiamiri, he'll be out there today and practicing. He was cleared by his doctor. (G) Shawn Andrews will be out there. We'll just gradually get him back and see what he can do day-to-day. He hasn't done anything, football-wise, for a number of months, so we're not going to force anything there or do anything ridiculous. We'll just gradually work him in and see how he feels. Everybody else should be fine."

Roster move:"We made a roster move. We put (G Mike) McGlynn on IR with a torn hamstring and Dimitri Patterson, a cornerback, we brought up and signed from—his last stop was the Chiefs."

Opening remarks: "We look forward to playing the Giants. It will be a great challenge. They're NFC East rivals and everything else you want; it should make for a heck of a football game. We understand that this is different from the season. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times here in the last couple of days, I've been asked the question, 'Do you know this football team?' You do, but you have to go through the process. While preparing for them, every game is different. Each team has it's own wrinkle for that individual game, so you have to go back, you have to do your homework, you have to take Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and prepare yourself. If you skip one step of that process, you're making a big mistake. That's what we're doing right now; we're taking Wednesday as Wednesday and preparing ourselves for our base offense, defense and special teams."

* On who will take McGlynn's reps in the upcoming game:*
"We've been working (G/T) Winston Justice in there all along. Winston knows the offense and we feel comfortable with him going in there, if needed."

On how big a role momentum plays in a game like this: "I don't think any of that matters for this game. I think you put the past in the past and you get ready for the future and get yourself right. Right when you start feeling complacent about the past, your future is not going to be very good, so we're not going to do that."

On players being banged up at this point in the season and what he does to make sure they're ready for each game: "We just came off of walk-through, so I had a chance to see guys move around a little bit. The guys are moving around pretty well and feel pretty good. They understand that it's a single-elimination tournament and that, when you get to this time of year, everybody is banged up a little bit and sore. Even with a few days off like the Giants had, underneath that there are bruised bodies. That's the way it is. Everybody's got the same issues and you work through it and take it one play at a time."

On the depth of the defense:"Everybody has had their little phase that they worked on and contributed on over the last few weeks. We've had some young guys that we've been able to work in and they've done a nice job. I mentioned some of them. (DT) Trevor Laws would be one that I haven't said much about over the last couple weeks, but Trevor's worked in and taken some very valuable reps for us; along with (LB) Akeem (Jordan) and the rest of the linebackers there."

On whether the secondary is the deepest he's ever had: "I would say so. I would say it's a good group. When you've got (CBs) Lito (Sheppard) and Jose (Joselio Hanson) back there and guys that can step in and do certain things for you, I think that's a tribute to the depth of the crew."

* On how pleased he is with the play of the young linebackers on the team:*
"I've been pleased that they've improved every week. That's really the important thing. I knew there would be a maturation process that would take place and not every game was going to be a pretty game, but they continued to improve and learn from their mistakes. They turned out to be a pretty good crew. I've been happy with them, but they've got a great challenge this weekend; both in the pass game and the run game. They've got to make sure that they prepare themselves properly."

On the importance of the running game in the Eagles-Giants matchups this year and whether he expects that to continue in the upcoming game: "We'll see how it all works out. It could go either way. Maybe it goes a different way. Who knows?"

On the weather in New York and whether he hopes for no wind: "(Jokingly) I would like it just to blow in the direction I want it to blow in, but I can't do that."

* On the inconsistency in the running game last week and how confident he is that it will work when needed:*
"I'm confident in it. I think, the latter part of the season, we've done better with it. I have faith that, if and when we need that, that we can bank on it. The same way with the pass game."

On whether Dan Klecko could be ready for Sunday: "There's a chance. It's going to be a day-to-day process here, but there's a chance he's ready. If not, (FB) Kyle's (Eckel) been working in and practicing there. He could do that."

* On whether he sees similarities between the 2008 Eagles and the 2007 Giants that won the Super Bowl:*
"It all starts with the defensive line on the defensive side of the football. I think (Giants head coach) Tom (Coughlin) would tell you the same thing with his crew. I would say that they've been playing well the last half of the season and continued to improve through the season. Like I said about the linebackers, they've got a huge chore this week and it's important that they prepare properly for them."

On whether he sees FS Brian Dawkins as a trailblazer for new safeties like Baltimore's Ed Reed and Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu: "I think people would argue that there have been ones before Brian. I'm not taking anything away from Brian here because Brian, he's a heck of a player and he's going to go down as one of the all-time greats to play his position. We're talking about a guy that should be in the Hall of Fame, when it's all said and done. I don't want to slight the guys that were before him either that did the same types of things, but Brian is very versatile. Brian's one of the guys that you don't see a lot of. You saw it with (former 49ers S) Ronnie Lott and Brian that if you needed him to play corner, he could go over and play corner for you. There aren't a lot of guys that are that versatile out there."

On whether he's amazed by Dawkins' ability to elevate his game when it's most important: "He's so strong mentally. He's as tough as you can imagine. I've got a lot of guys that love to play the game, but I would say that there's nobody that loved to play as much as him. He loves every part of the game. You can tell by the way he comes out of that tunnel that when it's time to go, it's time to go. You have to love that from a coaching standpoint and I know his fellow players respect him for that."

* On whether Dawkins' passion has a tangible impact in the locker room:*
"He's a big part of it. He's a very big part of it."

On whether TE L.J. Smith will be back this week:"L.J. is coming back off the shoulder. He's not back 100%, but he's going to work in right now as the number two guy. We'll just see how he does; progressively better than he has the last couple weeks. We'll just see how he feels as he goes through the practice here."

On whether he sees a connection between QB Donovan McNabb's benching at Baltimore and his improved play in recent weeks: "You're talking about one of the all-time greats here that has ever put on an Eagles uniform. That thing is, it's all about him. I mentioned before, sometimes you just need to take a little bit of a step back and you can take a big step forward. This guy is phenomenal, a great, great player."

On what the difference is in McNabb that causes him to play better: "You saw what he was doing at the beginning of the year and he's just continued on with that throughout. He started the season as hot as any quarterback in this league and he's finishing it that way. It's a tribute to him."

* On how the Giants are affected by not having WR Plaxico Burress:*
"I think (QB) Eli's (Manning) utilized the other wide receivers. Those guys are making plays for him. I don't see that big of a difference there. Listen, Plaxico is a good player, so I don't want to take anything away from Plaxico, but Eli has spread the ball around to the other guys and they've stepped up for him."

On whether there is a danger of changing your philosophy when playing a team for the third time in a season: "You can't get into playing a team for the third time, that's not what it's all about. That's why we started this, you have to go through the process. You start getting to that point where you think you know and all of that; you don't want to do that."

On whether bringing up a cornerback to replace McGlynn means he hopes Andrews might be active this week: "No. Shawn won't be active this week. I have no idea, to be honest with you. I've got to see how he does here. He's been cleared to participate, but I'm not going to just throw him out there. I can't do that. He hasn't lifted and played football and done all those things; he just hasn't been able to do that. He's in great cardio shape and that whole bit, but he's just got to take it one step at a time here and not rush."

On whether he has ruled out any chance of Andrews playing this year: "I would put him on IR if that was the case."

On why he signed a cornerback: "He was, what I thought, the best player out there available."

* On whether he thought a playoff run was possible when the team was 5-5-1:*
"Because of the length of the season, nothing's impossible in the National Football League. If you're hanging around by halftime there, after the eighth game and through Thanksgiving, then you have a chance. You just have to make sure that you believe, keep up with the process, and that you have good guys on the team that trust that and trust each other. I never felt like we were down and out. I didn't feel that way. I will say that, the last game, we had to have a couple stars line up right. Anything's possible in this league and I've been around long enough to know that."

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