Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Remarks: "Alright, really I don't have anything to report for you on the injuries. Everybody will be suited up and practicing today. We do look forward to the challenge of playing the Green Bay Packers. We know they have a championship-caliber football team and we welcome them in to Lincoln Financial Field, like I mentioned the other day. I know our fans will be out of their minds and they'll really be the 12th man out there when we're on offense, defense and special teams."

On the challenge of the Packers and seeing how the team will stack up against them: "Listen, I think you probably could ask every head coach in the National Football League, I think all the coaches are excited to get it started, I think all the players are excited to get it started. I think, on the other hand, we all understand it is a long season, but I can't tell you that everybody's not excited to get rolling here."

On whether he would rather play someone else to open the season, given the high expectations for the Packers: "No, not at all. I welcome the challenge. I think our football team welcomes the challenge. We know that they're a good football team. People are predicting them to go to the Super Bowl and rightly so. That's a quality team they are. To a man, I think if you ask our football team, they look to the challenge."

On giving the guys off for the past couple of days and giving the starters off for the last preseason game:"They're coming off a tough training camp, so it was good to give them a few days off. They were back in here Sunday and got a little bit of work. They come in to lift on the off days, too, so they've been around. At the same time, you've got to go through the process and that's the important part here. As excited as everybody is, you have to go through Wednesday's practice; that's today. Then you've got to go through Thursday's practice and make sure that you hit your goal line, short-yardage and nickel. Then go through Friday's practice, which is red zone, and make sure that you hit that. You have to detail each one of those categories and go through that whole process there and study the opponents, study the gameplan, and then you'll be ready to go out and play."

On promoting QB Kevin Kolb to starter and whether he used Packers QB Aaron Rodgers as a reference point, given his similar background: "Well, I mean, I looked at it. I looked at the situation in Green Bay. I hear he's done a phenomenal job taking over for an obvious legend. I think Kevin – there's a similarity there. I feel that way about (Redskins QB) Donovan (McNabb), that Kevin is having the opportunity to take over for a legend. I can't tell you I didn't look at it, but I looked at a lot of different situations. Most of all, I looked at Kevin and the way he handled things last year and really since he's been here, but last year and the games he had the opportunity start and how he's handled this offseason."

On Rodgers having ups and downs in his first year as a starter in Green Bay and how that relates to Kolb in his first year as a starter:"Listen, I think all – and I think Aaron Rodgers is tremendous. I think he's one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League. I think it's important that you analyze – all the quarterbacks are different. They all do it a different way. I think it's important that I sit there and I spend the most time making sure that I analyze Kevin and that's what we did. Will there be things that he learns along the way? Absolutely. He's a young guy."

On the stability of the defense: "I think it's important. As much as you could do that at any position is important. The linebacker position, that was a bit of a challenge last year with all the injuries. In particular, to your primary signal caller who's at MIKE linebacker. We went through a couple of them with Omar (Gaither) and (Stewart) Bradley going down. It's good to have that stability there. Communication is key at that position. Not only the communication between the three of them, but the communication that they present to the defensive line and to the secondary. They're kind of the transmitter between those two positions there, so it becomes very, very important."

On whether he has to do anything this week to make sure that his rookies and first-year starters don't get too amped up for Sunday's game: "Well, the main thing that I've talked to them about is go through the process and then you go play. Then you've got it down, exhaust the process and study and then put your personality into it and go play. We'll take it from there."

On Kolb getting two starts last year and whether it was an opportunity to prepare himself: "Yeah, I think that helps. I think it helps that he's had an opportunity to prepare himself as a starter last year and I think that will help him this year. I'm not going to tell you he won't be excited to go out there. He'll still be excited, but at least he has an idea of how to get himself ready mentally and physically to play."

On whether he plans ahead if he figures a game will be a shootout: "Well, I'm not sure that you can plan for it to be a shootout, because you're coaching that defense up – the Philadelphia Eagle defense up – to make sure that it's not a shootout. I don't plan on it that way, but I will tell you they have an explosive offense. And there will be a play or two made by their offense. That's what they do. They're very good. It's important that we, as the Eagles, take care of the offense and make sure that we have that coached up and we execute well."

On feeling comfortable with the interior line as it stands: "Yeah, I think (our record is) 13-3 (over the last two years), but that's alright, with those three in there. But, the point's made. I think with (G Reggie) Wells and (G) Max (Jean-Gilles), I think you're solid in there and then the experience that (G/C) Mike McGlynn got and the ability that he has to really play all three positions. But the guard and center position are very important, in particular with what you're saying when guys come off the injury, you have guys behind them there that have a lot of confidence and would be willing to play if something were to re-occur."

On whether any part of him feels like a rookie with all of the youth on the team: "Well, I'll tell you, there's a lot of energy because of the youth. And I guess the newness of the group they've had a lot of energy right through mini-camps on through training camp and I tried to present them with a tough training camp and they hustled through that and maintained their energy level, that's refreshing. I enjoy it. I think it's contagious, probably with all of us. So, it's a good thing."

On whether there are any unknowns with so many guys that haven't been here before: "Yeah, you're right. The guys haven't been through the process here of the season. And a lot of them, even the process that they're going to go through this week of preparing for a regular season game, and four quarters and so on. So, that's where the newness comes in. And it's important that as coaches and as players that you cover all the basis and that you stick to the process, trust it, and get to know the game plan and the opponent the best you can."

On whether he has to do anything differently throughout the season since there is so much youth: "Well, listen, we tried to exhaust it even when the veteran players were here when we had the age. But, my point is that they had been through it for a number of years and they kind of understood that, but no, to answer your question, no. We'll continue to teach, and the players will continue to learn. And that's kind of what's been going on here for quite a few years."

On the development of rookie starters S Nate Allen and DE Brandon Graham: "Well, Nate got into the starting position earlier than when Brandon did, so I'll start with Nate. Nate has done a very nice job. He's intelligent. He's got very good athletic ability. I know there was a question about whether he could hit or not, and I think we've all seen that he's physical and he's got good ball skills. He's continuing to learn every day. So, he's a sharp guy that has a lot of responsibility back there, but he's really taken to that and kind of attacked the issue there. Brandon came in and he's in the starting position at the left defensive end. He's got a great motor, again, very smart. The kid loves to play the game. He just has tremendous energy about him and I think if you've interviewed him, you've felt that, that's the way he plays. And when he gets out there in game situations he carries it over from practice during the game."

On whether he has a comfort level in C Jamaal Jackson coming off knee surgery and being able to play for four quarters: "A little bit of that's an unknown. I'll tell you that I feel comfortable with him, he feels comfortable and the doctors feel comfortable. But, I can't tell you that I'm not going to keep a close eye on him; I will do that. And Mike McGlynn and his experience at that center position is important for those first few weeks, here."

On whether his comfort level is in Jackson not reinjuring his knee or whether he his back to the same physical level before the injury: "Well, I think he's back, yeah. Again, we just have to see. That's some of the unknown that I was saying. We just have to see how he does and sustains throughout a game. And he's got a pretty good task this week in their base defense. He's going to be covering every snap, so it will be a good challenge."

On whether he thinks WR Hank Baskett is any different coming back after a year away from the team: "No, he seems like the same guy. I trust him a lot. He knows all of the wide receiver positions along with the tight end position, and he's a good special team player."

On whether he has any trepidation starting two rookies on defense: "I can't tell you that there was. I think both these kids, they reflect a certain confidence to you that they have, and I haven't felt that way."

On where he is heading into the season and a new era of players: "Well, listen, I would go back to the original statement. I think we're all excited to get started and get on with it. It's unknown territory, but that's ok, that's the challenge of it. It's a beautiful thing, so we're ready to go. Listen, the guys that have been here, I wish them all the best. (QB) Donovan McNabb, I love the kid and I wish him the best – with exception of a couple games – but I absolutely wish him the best, great person."

On whether there are any similarities or differences between McNabb and Kolb at the start of their careers: "Well, it's a different situation, obviously. Donovan started his second year and we're into Kevin's fourth. So, it's a different situation. Every quarterback in this offense, over the years has put his own brand on the offense. So, I don't think it's fair necessarily to compare the two, at all. I think Kevin will do it his way just like Donovan, the legacy that he left did it his way. So, I think they're both smart guys that love to play the game and Donovan's already been successful in this offense and I would expect Kevin to be likewise."

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