Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Injury Report:"(FB) Dan Klecko has a shoulder contusion. (It's) not quite as bad as what we anticipated last night. We'll just see how he does here over the next couple of days. (G) Mike McGlynn, however, has a torn hamstring and will be very doubtful for this week. (T) Jon Runyan made it through the game with a knee sprain but it is sore. Then, (WR) Greg Lewis, who we saw come off the field before the game, he stepped on (CB) Lito (Sheppard)'s foot during warm-ups and tweaked his foot actually. I initially told you last night we thought it was his ankle but it's more of the foot area. It's not a Lisfranc. He should be okay. We're calling it a foot sprain, so he feels pretty good today. (CB) Asante (Samuel) came out of the game with a hip sprain, and he should be fine. Then, (DE) Victor (Abiamiri) is actually meeting with the foot specialist as we speak. (G) Shawn Andrews is actually flying out to California today to have a recheck on his back."

* Opening Remarks:*
"All in all it was a good win. They are all good wins right now. And when they're not, then it's over, so it makes them even better. I'd like to just thank the fans. I didn't do this yesterday, but thank the fans for the support that they showed in going all the way down, or up there, down there, however you want to look at it, to Minneapolis. Just for all of their support. They do a great job with that. They were outnumbered a little bit, but they fought as hard as our football team did. So, it was great to have them there. (It was a) tough, hard-fought game against a good defensive football team. I was proud of our guys for their effort, perseverance through the game. Defensively, any time you can stop (Vikings RB Adrian) Peterson the way we did, you are never going to stop him all the way, but you limit him to what we did there, I think is a tribute to him. I thought we could do a better job on third down (defensively). The first half we didn't do very well of getting off the field on the third downs. I thought we did a much better job the second half. I really thought the success of stopping their run game, and at the same time putting pressure on the quarterback, is due to our front. I don't give credit probably enough to (DT Brodrick) Bunk(ley) and (DT Mike) Patterson for the job that they do inside. I thought they had an exceptional game this game, and they'll need to continue that for a couple of good runners, a group of three good runners that we are playing this week. I thought our linebackers also played well, played good downhill football. I thought they did a good job in their coverage part of the game, and really when the quarterback, when he did throw the ball, he normally had pressure. I thought Asante and (CB) Sheldon (Brown) were very aggressive on the outside. Sheldon was very close on about three plays and as long as he continues to challenge like that, those will end up going his way. He's really playing good football right now. Then, Asante had the return. I thought (FS Brian) Dawk(ins) and Q (SS Quintin Mikell) did a great job in their run support. They were very physical as they approached the line of scrimmage and did a good job in the pass game. Offensively, like I said, I was proud of the way the guys kept battling. That's a good defense that they are playing and they kept fighting all the way through. My hat goes off to (Vikings defensive coordinator) Leslie Frazier for the job that he did and for the job that (Vikings head coach) Brad (Childress) did from the head coaching spot there. We, obviously, we need to do better on third downs. We weren't quite as good as we have been over the last few weeks. We need to do a better job there, and we also need to do a better job in the red zone, which we were doing better at over the past few weeks. We'll get back to practice on Wednesday, and we'll get those things straightened out as we go through the week. I thought (QB) Donovan (McNabb) did just a beautiful job in the passing game, managing the game there and the passing game. He had quite a little bit of pressure there. They were blitzing him about every down. He had quite a little bit of pressure in his face, and I just thought he handled that so well. When we were in backed up situations, he was able to get us out of those situations, and we might not have scored but at least we were able to change the field position around. I thought our wide receivers did (well). I mentioned (WR) Jason Avant yesterday, I thought he did a nice job and so did the other wide receivers. Then, (TE Brent) Celek at the tight end spot, I thought he played well. (RB) Brian (Westbrook) had the nice run on the screen. We probably could have screened a little bit more as you look back at it but they do a pretty nice job of those, although they didn't on that one. So, looking back we probably could have done that a little bit more. The thing that was impressive on that play, not only was Brian's run, but the blocking downfield. You saw the receivers doing a great job of blocking downfield. You saw (RB Correll) Buck(halter) block the middle linebacker for really the whole play and then was able to put him on his back there. Then, the offensive line, the big guys got out and made contact down the field. Then, special teams, (K) David (Akers) and (P) Sav (Rocca) I thought kicked the ball extremely well. (WR) DeSean (Jackson) did a nice job with punt returns. I really thought our coverage units did a nice job. Again, it was obviously a great win, but as I talk to you here, we've all moved on to the Giants. Most of the coaches came back here last night and knocked the film out and started cranking on the Giants even though we played them four weeks ago. But still the preparation will be very important from a coaching standpoint and player standpoint."

* On whether there is a chance that Andrews might practice Wednesday depending on how his recheck goes with Dr. Watkins in California today:*
"Well, we'll see. We'll see what the doctor says. We have not talked to the doctor yet, and Shawn's not there yet. If he okays it then we would allow him to get back out and start practicing. He's been doing a lot of cardio work so that part of being in shape won't be a problem. Just the actual football shape we would have to kind of start off slow, get back in the swing of it, again if Dr. Watkins is okay with it."

* On whether Abiamiri's appointment with the foot specialist today is the result of a complication:*
"No. It's just a recheck. Victor's been out, so it's just a recheck to see where he's at, if he can kind of resume with the football part of the injury. He hasn't practiced at all, so we'd like to get him back out there practicing."

On whether it's unlikely that Abiamiri will be available for Sunday: "We'll see. He's feeling better. He's not 100 percent right now but he's feeling better."

* On the offensive line and the game they played yesterday:*
"They kept battling and that's the important thing that you can take out of this. They are not all going to be pretty. There are going to be times where it's a knock-down-drag-out battle, and you're coming off a game against the Cowboys where everything worked. This was a game where everything didn't work, so it was important that you kept focus on that next play to try and make it work, and I thought that's what the guys did. You try to learn from your mistakes during the game, blank it out, don't hang your head, and keep battling, and I thought you had a chance to see that yesterday."

On what the advantages and disadvantages are to having a bye in the first round of the playoffs: "Well, one advantage of having time off is that you give your guys an opportunity to rest, in particular the injured guys. But old trends showed that that mattered and the new trends show that that doesn't matter, so who knows. I think you just take each game by itself. It's important that we get ourselves back and the guys that are banged up a little bit, get their treatment. (Head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) does as good a job as anybody in the National Football League of rehabbing guys and getting them ready to play. And then I'll take care of the practice part of it and schedule the way I think is best for the players to be in position, both mentally and physically, ready to go on Sunday."

On why he thinks there is a new trend: "I don't know that. I honestly don't know that. I think it probably just goes in cycles."

On the shorter Thursday practice schedule that the team has had the past two weeks and whether that adjustment to the schedule is important for the players physically: "There is a good chance that we do that again this week as far as the practice schedule. Really when you look at it, I know when you looked at the Thursday practice it didn't seem like as many plays, but it's as many plays, it's just condensed in a little different way. When it's all said and done, the number of plays is just about the same."

On whether the short practices are more for the mental good or the physical good of the players: "There is a big part of it that is mental. In particular, in this game here, where you're going back and playing a team for the third time. You want to make sure that you have covered all the bases in the film room with your coaches, but at the same time you want to make sure that physically you are ready to go."

On how Westbrook is feeling today: "He's doing fine today. The knee is a little sore but no different than it's been all year."

On whether he stuck with the run yesterday in order to slow down their pass rush: "Yeah, we were trying to get it going. (Jokingly) I can't even believe that you asked that question, but I kind of feel good that you did. We tried to keep it as balanced as we could so I wouldn't have to answer that question, but that's all right."

On whether he approaches Westbrook and his injuries on a week-to-week basis: "He had the high ankle and that's the way high ankle sprains are, and then you add the knee into it. And he has a knee that bothers him and we knew that when he came here as a rookie, that he had had a couple of surgeries on the knee. So, with the age and time and games played, you have to manage that the right way. Then, he has to be very honest with us and he is. He shoots us straight. He wants to practice every snap but at the same time he understands that he can't do that, in particular when you start going inside and practicing indoors on artificial turf."

* On how the Eagles' defense always seems to play better in the second half and whether that is a tribute to schematics, adjustments, or physical fitness:*
"I think that schematics are a part of it, a big part of it, but I will say that I think (defensive coordinator) Jim (Johnson), as well as anybody in the game, does a good job with adjustments. I also think that the players, to their credit, that they learn from the first mistake and try not to let that happen again, whatever that mistake might be. I think that Jim does a heck of a job with adjustments."

* On what areas he thinks the defense has improved in since week three:*
"I've seen the defensive line be more consistent playing on the other side of the football. I think our linebackers have gotten better every week. It's a young crew and it's been a learning process throughout the season, and I think they have done a nice job. I think Asante has become more settled in the defense than what he started at. You have the (S Quintin) Demps' that have worked in and become a factor and certain personnel groups have done a nice job in there, so we've gotten better there."

On whether he is surprised that DeSean Jackson has been able to contribute this late in the year as a rookie: "I'm not surprised by it only because of what he did at the college level. I know most people looked at him as a, 'we brought him here as a return specialist,' but he was a heck of a wide receiver at the college level. I think his size got in the way of maybe what people saw him as. His production was phenomenal there. He's always played bigger than what he probably measures, and he's very intelligent. He has picked this up as well as anybody in their first year and just has a great knack for, a great football sense. I'm really not surprised. I'm fortunate that we have him, but I'm not really surprised by it."

* On how after the game last night Dawkins said that this is one of the tightest teams that he has ever been a part of and whether he thinks it is because of the adversity they faced throughout the season:*
"I think you hit it. I think you have to have good people first, and then you have to go through the trials and tribulations of the season. It all starts at Lehigh and you hope that you grow as a football team as you go through and that nobody turns their back on another player, rather than that, that they rally each other. And I think this football team has done that, and Dawk is one of the primary reasons that that's happened. He's playing great football, but he also does a heck of a job in the locker room."

* On whether he expects to face a different Giants team this Sunday:*
"I think they will be as good as ever this weekend, and I would expect a knock-down-drag-out NFC East brawl. And they will be ready and we'll be ready."

On what kind of adjustments he thinks the Giants will make: "I really think they do a heck of a job with that. I think offensively, they are not always the fastest starting team but it sure looks like they do a nice job of adjusting as the game goes on and sort out the weakness, or what they consider the weaknesses of the defense. I think defensively, (Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) Spags is taking a lot of he learned here from Jim, and he also does a nice job of adjusting. I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff and how they go about doing things."

* On whether there is an advantage or disadvantage to playing a team for the third time in a season:*
"It probably all weighs out. I always say in training camp you go against the same guys every week and some days the offense is good and some days the defense is good, and I think you get into this type of situation and it's a little bit like that. You just have to keep pushing. It probably sways a little bit each direction during the game and you keep powering through."

* On whether he has spoken to Spagnuolo recently about his head coaching opportunities around the NFL:*
"I haven't. I talked to him quite a little bit last year and I didn't this year. They have a lot of rules out there now and they are enforced, and so, I've kind of stayed away from that this year. He'll be a heck of a head coach."

On how the Eagles' secondary is playing well together and whether it's because they have good communication: "They have done a good job. We have some veteran players back there and I would put communication in there as much as I would put experience with one another and literally knowing the highs and lows of the routes that are being run against them. It's important this week that they continue on with that. (Giants QB) Eli (Manning) has a strong arm, and they have receivers that can get down the field, so it'll be no more important than it is on this one."

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