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Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening remarks: "We really don't have any injuries to talk about. We are doing all the exit physicals as we speak here. Collectively, as an organization, as football coaches and players, we are disappointed in the outcome of yesterday's game. I will tip my hat to the Cardinals for the job they did. I think they were well-prepared, they played well and are very deserving of the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl. I had a chance to meet with the team today. I think it's important that the players feel and remember the feeling they have today, to help carry them through working that little bit harder in the offseason to get prepared for the next year.

"On a positive note, we have a good nucleus of players under contract who will be returning. The free agents, we have not addressed that at this point, so it's a null point to even go in that direction during this press conference. I will address that after we settle down from this game. I have had a chance to meet with every player on the team and spent some time with them—free agents included. When we are all in a little calmer state and are over this game here, then we'll look at all those things. There were some good things that took place this season. (We have) tremendous heart on this football team; great effort was displayed all the way from training camp. These playoffs are very final. You obviously have a bitter taste in your mouth right now, but I don't want to take away, also, the good things that this team accomplished and the personality they developed this season. Next year will be a new year and new roads to travel as we put together a football team. This was a special football team, doing the things they did. It's a shame we weren't able to take it further."

On whether he anticipates the front office structure to be the same next year: "I haven't even thought about that stuff. This is so fresh. I just literally got out of meetings with every player on this football team."

On whether he and team president Joe Banner and owner Jeffrey Lurie ever talk about things like that during the season: "I don't go through all that. We never talk about that kind of stuff."

On whether he is prepared to deal with assistant coaches going elsewhere if the opportunities present themselves: "Again, I haven't gotten there yet. I'll evaluate, like I always do, what we have here. We are always going to take care of the Eagles first and then go from there with the consideration for the assistant coaches. Again, this is all too fresh right now. We will see how (things transpire) in the next day or so."

On the process of evaluating older players whose contracts are expiring and where they fit in going forward:"You have to take a little time. You have to go back and look at the film. You have to communicate with the personnel department, you have to look at the contract side of things and how that fits in. You have to look at everything; it takes a little time. It's just not as cut and dry as people might want to make it."

On whether he feels that FS Brian Dawkins still has the ability to start in the NFL: "Dawk played very well this year."

On whether there is a common thread in their NFC Championship games that have made it such a high hurdle to get over: "One out of five probably isn't good enough, at least not in my mind. Obviously you want to get over all of them. They've all been different. The end result is that I have to sit here and look at you guys and the football team. I'd much rather be moving on."

On whether not forcing turnovers is a reason for the losses in NFC Championship games: "There are other things that go into that. We have to analyze it, analyze the game and study it, analyze the personnel and the scheme. I've always said that it starts with me and works its way from there. You go back and you try to cover all the bases there."

On the team being "on the rise" after NFC Championship losses in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and where he feels the team is right now: "I think the league, with parity involved, gives you an opportunity to have success every year. With that, I'm just going to add to your initial comment that since the first NFC Championship game that we went to, when we lost to the Rams, I also heard that the window was closed. I don't look at it that way; I never have and never will. I think, every year, you have an opportunity. We have to take advantage of them, obviously, when we get them, but I still feel good about the group of players coming back. Will there be changes? There's always change, every year. I will try to make it change for the better."

On whether he thinks RB Brian Westbrook can still be the player he was in 2007: "I think so. I think Brian will have a good offseason and he'll come back ready to go."

On whether he thinks QB Donovan McNabb is the best quarterback for this team going forward: "Yeah. You guys are asking me very specific questions on things that I've got to go back and look at. As we talk today, I feel very good about Donovan. I think Donovan had a heck of a year. I think you have to understand, though, that you're gradually getting into all the personnel questions when I haven't gone back and taken care of that. You're jumping ahead here. My hat's off to Donovan McNabb. I think he had a heck of a year this year. I thought he guided this football team as well as he ever has. He's a great person and a great player."

On whether the Cardinals simply out-schemed the Eagles in the game: "We're all in this thing together. We don't have coaches sitting here pointing fingers at players or players pointing fingers at coaches. We could have done a better job on the offense, defense and special teams side and we didn't do it, collectively. If you're going to get to the Super Bowl, you have to do that when you're playing a good football team."

On whether he feels the offense missed something with Westbrook being limited this year: "Brian wasn't limited yesterday. Brian was out there, he was our starting tailback. We just didn't take advantage of opportunities. I could have put the players in better positions to make plays. When you start kicking field goals and the other team is scoring touchdowns, that's not a good situation. You're coming up a little short."

On whether it becomes more and more frustrating for him when they get this close and don't make it time and time again:"I can't tell you that I'm the happiest guy in Philadelphia right now; I can't tell you that. I'm disappointed that we're not moving on. I can't compare it to another time. There is a point where I heard people complaining about going to Hawaii and then when you don't go for a few years all of a sudden Hawaii starts looking pretty good. I try and separate the years and focus in on the job at hand and that was to get our football team to the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl. At that minute it was going through Arizona, we had to be ready for the Cardinals and we didn't take care of business."

On whether he takes some comfort in the fact that he has made it to the NFC Championship five times since many people didn't think he'd ever win a playoff game: "I don't even go there. I don't go there. This is not a grudge match against anybody. It's whatever I can bring and this football team can bring to win a championship is all I care about. And I'm not in it for vindication or anything else. I don't go there. It's not my style."

On whether he feels that after 10 seasons in Philadelphia he still has the same fire in him to continue:"Yeah. (Jokingly) I'm sick of your questions, but yeah."

On what makes him confident that Westbrook will have a good offseason and come back ready next year: "I think what happened with Brian was he had the high ankle sprain and that's where things went south for him a bit as far as the setback goes. And those last a long time, especially at that position. So then I thought toward the end here, and yesterday being one of them, I thought he looked and ran as well as he had run in the last month or so. He just looked like he had some zip yesterday and really was playing well."

On what Arizona did yesterday in the first half that allowed them to get up and down the field: "You know what, they got the ball out quick. They did it with a variety of ways, most obvious was with the crossing routes, the underneath routes. I thought they did a good job with their screen game, with double screens and quick screens."

On whether he will go back and examine the 30-plus club, and whether he thinks that caused the team to have a slow start to the season: "There's a good chance that I go through and examine everything. I normally do that in the offseason, so that would be on the list too."

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