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Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening remarks: "We finished up the draft. Obviously we drafted a lot of players over the last three days and we were able to work ourselves in a position where we could draft a lot of players today. So without going through all of the names, we'll open up it up to you guys and then if you have somebody specifically on the roster you want to talk about we can go from there."

On this year's draft being extremely deep: "The objective that we went into this with, and (general manager) Howie (Roseman) set this up and did a phenomenal job with it, was finding where the strength of the draft was and then you set your board up with players that you like. It's important that you do just that and that you're not influenced by whatever outside influences there are, but the players you think are best for our football team, then you stick to that board. You evaluate it before the draft and you see what rounds that you think these players are strong or stronger than other rounds and the quality of the player, then you put yourself in a position to take those players. So there's some subjective decision-making that takes places and you have to be able to say where these guys are going to go and predict what round they are going to go in, then you can determine the strength of the draft and where you think it's strong."

On the offensive line being a need: "I think the obvious is that we concentrated on the defensive side of the ball. We wanted to make sure that we strengthened the defensive side of the ball. We feel pretty good about our offensive line and so we didn't attack that area as much as we did the other areas. We thought that the other areas were, honestly, stronger than what the offensive line was as far as depth."

On him being comfortable with C Jamaal Jackson's progress:"Well not only Jamaal, but yes I would say that. He's working extremely hard and coming along at a good pace. But I would also say that we have confidence in some of the other guys playing the position that they can do a good job."

* On the possible immediate impact of the players drafted:*
"I guess the best way to answer that is everybody that we draft, we look at as a potential starter. So, we don't sit there and say 'this guy's going to be a back-up player', but we look on the opposite end of it. This guy will start either this year, next year, the following year or however long that takes to project him and we go after that player. I think this gives us good special teams depth particularly with all the defensive players and we think that we have some potential starters as well."

* On drafting nine defensive players and whether it was necessary to re-make the defense:*
"I would never call it a re-building process. That's not how I look at things. I look at things that you put players in positions and they go make plays, whether young guys or older guys and we go. We have a good nucleus of defensive players and we know that, but somewhere you have to bring in younger players to replace other guys that were possibly older and moved on and we think we've done that, time will tell."

* On the linebackers drafted, Jamar Chaney and Keenan Clayton:*
"I think Clayton can play both of the outside positions, both the SAM and the WILL. Right now we have him at the WILL linebacker spot. Again, you're looking at the transition from a safety position down into the box to play linebacker and all he does is make plays. He has tremendous speed, range, everything else and he has a real knack for finding the football. He's good in pass coverage, somebody that can cover the tight end with his athletic ability, so we feel good about him. Chaney can do a variety of things. We felt that he could play all three positions, linebacker positions and that he was a smart kid and had a great understanding of (Mississippi State's) defense there and we brought him up here and we would expect that would transfer into learning ours once he gets his mitts on it. We know he's a good blitzer and feel that he's a good cover man. He's able to take on fullbacks and he's good enough and quick enough to get on and off blocks from offensive lineman."

* On taking QB Mike Kafka in the draft:*
"We liked him, and so going into the draft we had to see how we worked things here and how we accumulated a bunch of picks in order to get these players. So I can't tell you that we absolutely knew going into today that we were coming out with all of that, but once we got all of these picks together and did everything that we needed to do the last couple days we were able to do that."

* On Kafka being the number three quarterback on the roster:*
"Yeah, right now he's the number three quarterback."

On the young talent at defensive end creating consistent pass pressure: "In the National Football League you have to be able to put pressure on the quarterback; you put pressure on the quarterback it makes everybody better. It makes the secondary better, it makes the linebacker's better and that really makes the offense better. They get the ball back and can score a little bit more. So, we went out and brought in some guys we felt can rush the passer. (DE Ricky) Sapp is a player that can play the SAM linebacker position, strong side linebacker position, and defensive end. Whether it's down on third down or first and second down, he can put his hand on the ground and do that. There all high-energy guys that love to play football, which I really like. I thought Howie did a great job at accumulating those players, then going to get them. These are guys that can do that on the defensive line side, it all starts there. We've always felt that way and we continue to feel that way. We have a great nucleus of players, even though Victor Abiamiri's a little banged up, so it's going to take him a little while to get back. In the meantime these young guys learn the defense, we cut them loose and we let them play."

On what position Ricky Sapp will start at: "He'll start off as a defensive lineman, and he'll learn some of the linebacker stuff. We have a Joker position, where he can stand up and do a little bit of what Chris Clemons did and (Jason Babin) did that, so, he'll learn that position, and we'll see how he does. We'll see how he handles some of the linebacker role within that position and then we can work from there."

* On whether there is an emphasis on finding speedy linebackers because the Eagles struggled defending tight ends last season:*
"We went into training camp thinking the linebacker position was pretty strong (last year). Then we just got banged up. We've added speed all across the defense, speed and quickness, and that heart—even though they're not the biggest guys, they've all got big hearts, and they can move. At the college level, they got to the football, which can be important both in the pass game and the run game. "

On CB Trevard Lindley: "Lindley had a phenomenal year last year (2008) and he got banged up this year. He started off, and you've seen this with our players, our seasons are a little bit longer so the players heal from these things within the season in the NFL. But he had a high ankle sprain and that can kind of put a damper on the college season, and that's what happened. It happened early and he never really got over that thing, but he didn't want to stop playing, which showed me something. He's a quiet guy with a tremendous desire to play the game. So he stayed out there and he did. I had a chance to talk to Rich Brooks, who was the head coach there and is now retired, and Rich said that he is if not the best, one of the best corners he's ever coached, and the best one that he's ever coached at that school. We went off his junior year's film, or last year's film. There were three big-time receivers that he shut down and did a great job against, so he has a lot of potential, so we'll see how he does, how he handles it here, and I think he's a good football player."

* On whether Lindley will compete for a starting position:*
"Well, he'll start as a backup, nothing's going to change, we're going to open the competition up and let it go, and we'll see how it all works out."

* On whether he is comfortable with the depth at the cornerback position right now:*
"We've got some guys, who have played corner, the Marlin Jacksons and Macho Harrises, and Demps did a little bit, but I think Demps is better off at the safety spot, but he did play some corner at the college level. And you add (Nate) Allen in there. So, it gives us a little flexibility, it's a little bit like what we do with the offensive line, it gives us some flexibility there if we need an extra corner or nickel, I think we are fully loaded there now. We can do some things."

On whether division rivals' draft strategies have an impact on what the Eagles do in the draft: "This is what we do: we try to take the best football player out there. I don't get real concerned with anybody other than us, and what we need to do to become a better football team. That's how I feel, bottom line, I don't focus on other teams. I focus on what we need to do to be the best. So that's what I think we're attentive to here."

On why Kurt Coleman fell so far in the draft: "He's a heck of a football player. He loves to play the game. If you watch Ohio State play, you see him back there, and he orchestrates the whole secondary, talking to the linebackers, and he flies around the football field. He's a little bit smaller. He's another guy that played corner and played safety and is able to drop down in the nickel position and cover receivers. If you watched the Senior Bowl and the one-on-ones there, he had the chance to play against good wide receivers there, and I thought he did a nice job in the one-on-one competitions. I feel like he's a very intelligent football player and that he's very aggressive. He's a little bit smaller, he's under 200 lbs. He will add value to our football team."

* On whether Akeem Jordan is currently at the SAM linebacker position:*
"Akeem and Omar (Gaither) can do all three positions. Omar more with the Mike position, than the other two. Where Akeem is going to go a bit more on the outside, although he can play a little bit of inside, but yeah, he can do that."

* On whether he plans to start Marlin Jackson at safety:*
"That's where we'll start him off, yeah. Listen, anything can change. I've got to sit down and put all that together. I was accumulating football players first and then I'll work into that."

On whether Clay Harbor is more than a "workout warrior": "This is what we saw in Clay. We watched his tape, obviously, and we think he's a good football player, even though it's in the lower level, he's a good football player. I think what he gives you is he gives you somebody who's big enough where he can work in line, at the line of scrimmage. I'm not saying he's an offensive lineman playing there but from a tight end standpoint he can control a defensive end, and/or linebacker and he is willing to stick his nose in there and do that. I think when you see him run his routes, I think you will see a very skilled athlete and he can transfer all those numbers to playing football, which is important and takes him out of the workout warrior mode and puts him in as a football player."

On whether he expected to come out of the draft with so many players: "I think you look at a two or three year plan, and you see that there are some people that are up after next year. So you go through and work the numbers, I wasn't sure we'd get this many, this is quite a few, I thought it would be more or less around 11. You get a little higher than that, that's okay, but I thought we'd be right around 11."

On whether this team is too young to contend: "I don't look at it that way, that's hard to say. I don't look at it as a rebuilding year, I've never approached it that way. That doesn't enter my mind. I come in and say listen, we have some young guys. We were all young here. I think if I ask you, Domo (Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch), if you were any good when you were young, you would probably tell me, yeah, you could write like Shakespeare. I feel that same way about these guys. Hey, you're young, learn from the other guys, let's get in and let's play; play your heart out. Do what you did in college and if you're going to make a mistake, we're going 150 miles an hour and normally good things happen."

On whether he values BCS players when it comes to the draft because they're playing against top competition: "I don't think that hurts, I think that's okay. You've got tape against other high-round picks that they've played against and that helps your evaluation I think a little bit. As long as the other high-round picks are good players."

On whether players will have to wear nametags due to all the draft picks: "I'll tell you, it's going to be tough on you guys and it's going to be tough on me, too. We'll get it all done. It'll be a challenge for these guys to make sure that their name stands out. Stand out and show us what they can do."

On the players who won't be ready for camp this coming weekend: "Well, Victor Abiamiri won't. I'm sure I'll miss somebody here."

On whether C Jamaal Jackson will be ready: "Jamaal won't be ready."

On CB Ellis Hobbs and LB Stewart Bradley: "Ellis, we're just going to take it real slow with Ellis. Stew, we're going to evaluate. Right now, it looks like he's going to be able to go."

* On TE Cornelius Ingram:*
"Ingram should be able to go, we just have to monitor him."

On DB Marlin Jackson: "Marlin won't do much, but he'll do a few things out there."

On the extent of Abiamiri's injury and whether it required surgery: "Yeah, Victor did, yeah."

On whether it was knee surgery: "Yeah."

On whether it was an ACL: "No."

On whether teams were interested in QB Michael Vick: "No. I'll get you all the injury stuff once I meet with (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder). I'm not prepared for all this now."

On whether the team has 71 players on the roster right now: "After these three days, I feel like I'm 71."

On Reid talking to second-round pick Nate Allen about a youth movement with the team:"He came in and he saw all these young guys that we're picking here, so I told him, yeah, but this is not a rebuilding process. We're bringing in a lot of young guys and we've got some good veteran players here and I want these guys to think they're coming in to compete and let's go. This train's moving, jump on and let's go, fast."

On keeping one or two undrafted free agent rookies in the past and whether the top group this year will come to the Eagles because they know that they're going to get a fair shot: "Well, certain positions. If you don't draft offensive linemen, maybe you call up a college free agent and you say, 'Listen, we didn't pick up an offensive linemen, but we've had a few start for us here. They've been pretty good players, so this might be a pretty good place to come.' As long as the agents have done their homework, and most of them know that, then they can kind of steer them in that direction. It's a combination of that, yeah."

* On whether RB Charles Scott is a short-yardage guy:*
"He had a couple long runs, so I wouldn't call him a short-yardage guy. He's a running back and that's what we're going to do with him. He's a big, old kid who's got quick feet and likes to play a physical game, so we'll let him do that."

On what separated QB Mike Kafka from the other available quarterbacks and whether it was because of the west coast offense he ran in college:"Well, no, it was the spread. They run the spread. The thing I saw, you see the accuracy, the leadership, size, good mobility, strong kid. You can look at the stats. Other than throwing motion, can he throw with his arm in different angles with accuracy. I think once you meet him, I think you'll see he's a smart guy. He has some of the intangible things, the leadership, he's a tough kid; inner city, Chicago kid. He's got a little grit to him, I think that's important. You have to be wired right to handle you guys and play in the city of Philadelphia. I think he's wired right, he likes to compete."

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