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Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Injury Report: "Those players not practicing today are (DE) Victor (Abiamiri), (G) Shawn Andrews, (LB) Stewart Bradley and (T) Jon Runyan. (TE( L.J. Smith is going to test it out and see what he can do. (RB) Brian Westbrook will be limited, we're going inside today."

Opening Remarks: "Again, we look forward to the opportunity of playing the Vikings. (They are) a very good football team and very well coached, and they have great talent on that team. (It's) a loud place to play. We will prepare ourselves for those things this week and our guys are excited about it. It's all Minnesota. It's not what happened last week, the week before, or anything in the future. It's about the Minnesota Vikings. That's where all of our energy will be put. I know there are going to be a lot of Eagles fans there, and I know there is an opportunity for more of them to be there. And I know that they will find their way there, and we welcome every one of them that we can have sitting in the Hubert Humphrey dome there. They brought great energy to us last week."

On whether there is any concern about Bradley and Runyan's availability Sunday: "No. I think they'll be fine."

On whether he thinks that the running backs they have faced in the NFC East this year have helped them prepare for Vikings RB Adrian Peterson: "Again, you are talking about, if not the best, surely one of the top two best runners in the National Football League and potentially the MVP of the National Football League. He's a heck of a player. I'm not sure exactly how you can prepare for him. However, to answer your question, it doesn't hurt to have been in the NFC East and/or played the teams that we've played this season coming against some good runners. He's a special player. The quarterback, he also can run, and Peterson's backup, he can run. So, you have a few guys there in that backfield that are very capable of carrying the football."

On whether facing the Vikings and Peterson last year has helped them prepare for this Sunday's game:"I think (Peterson's) a better player this year. I think their whole team is better even though it's basically the same guys. I just think they are a better football team all the way around, more familiar with the system. We did not face their quarterback last year, and I think that he has a big arm, a very strong arm. He has a new wide receiver out there that can fly. He has a tight end that has adapted to their offense very well, and he can, also, you have the threat of him being able to run the football."

On whether facing Vikings DE Jared Allen is equally as tough as facing Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware: "Jared Allen is a great player, as is DeMarcus. You are talking about two of the better pass rushers in the National Football League, so you have to take extra concern about blocking him and just be aware of where he is and his game. However, they have a couple of other guys that are pretty good, too, that you've also got to watch out (for). They have a few Pro Bowlers on the defensive front."

On how RB Brian Westbrook will match up against the Vikings' rush defense: "That's why I always reserve room for saying that he might be the best or one of the best because I'm a little partial to Brian because of the things that he does for our football team. I think Brian is a proud football player and a very good football player, so he'll take this as a challenge, as they will, trying to stop Brian. He's a heck of a player."

On facing Vikings head coach Brad Childress in the first round of the playoffs: "Well, I wish I wasn't seeing Brad in the first round but I am proud of him. (Vikings defensive coordinator) Leslie Frazier is doing a great job for them, who is also a potential head football coaching candidate as is (Giants defensive coordinator) Steve (Spagnuolo) up in New York. And then (Ravens head coach John) Harbaugh has done a great job in the AFC. These are all top-notch guys and great coaches, so I'm proud of them. I'm very fortunate to have been able to have them here."

On how he expects QB Donovan McNabb to come out and play Sunday: "I think Donovan's in a great place mentally and physically. I think he's managing the football team very well, and I think he'll prepare like crazy this week. He's got experience in the playoffs, so he'll manage it. He understands what goes into it. Once you get yourself in the playoffs you are playing top quality football teams and in his case, preparing for top, quality defense. I left (Chargers defensive coordinator) Ron Rivera out of your list, too, who is tremendous also."

On whether he has spoken to any of these coaches this week: "I talked to them early. I won't talk to them anymore. I talked to them earlier in the week, yeah."

On what influence he thinks Childress had on McNabb: "I thought Brad was a great influence on Donovan. I thought both of them grew together in this offense. Brad was familiar with it having been at (University of) Wisconsin(-Madison) when I was at Green Bay. He would come up and visit, but he hadn't coached in necessarily this offense, and so, they were able to kind of grow in it together. Brad was very demanding but was also very fair with Donovan and loved him up when he needed the loving up and was tough on him when he needed a little kick there, which he doesn't need very often."

On whether he thinks Childress has an advantage because he knows McNabb's strengths and weaknesses:"I guess. Donovan doesn't have very many glaring weaknesses where he sits right now in his career. I'm sure Brad has some opinions there that he'll share with Leslie."

On Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson: "Tarvaris has an absolute rifle of an arm, and he's a very intelligent kid and he loves to play. He just went through what quarterbacks do when they are young. He went through growing pains and he had a couple of injuries thrown in there. Right now he's playing as good of football as he's ever played. He was unbelievable against Arizona late in the year here. I mean unbelievable and he's been as hot as they come the last few weeks."

On what FS Brian Dawkins means to this team:"Brian brings a tremendous amount of leadership, stability, intensity. He's an honest guy, a great person, and as a good a football player as he is, that's the kind of person he is, even better."

On whether he thinks the criticism that Dawkins received in the beginning of the year was fair and whether he thinks that criticism prompted him to have the Pro Bowl year that he had: "I think that, unfortunately, that comes with age. You're going to be put under the microscope. Hey listen, as a football player you are going to make mistakes. There will be plays where it doesn't work for you no matter how old you are. The older you are the more that gets magnified I think. But he just kept working through it. He's such a determined guy. He's focused in on his game. He's worked as hard as you can work this offseason. He didn't think he played very well the year before, and I think this year he's just come out and put together a Pro Bowl season. This wasn't a gift. This is something that he earned, and obviously, the respect of the players around the league and so on. Brian's not out there asking for ballots, or votes on the ballots, so he earned this and it's very well-deserved."

On whether he will address the players on the team that will play in their first playoff game Sunday about how to handle their emotions: "I talked to them. I talked to them. Thank goodness for veteran players and veteran coaches. They are able to also talk to them. I said what I wanted to say to them and I'll leave it at that, and they'll understand by the time we get there."

On how hard it is for a young guy to push all the hype aside and just go out and play their game: "Everything is a little bit more intense. You have to focus in. You're on the road, so you have focus in even a little bit more. Make sure that you are sharp in practice. Obviously, you can't wait until you get there, and you can't get caught up in all the hype and all those things that go on during the week. Not quite as many games being played this weekend, so you get a little bit more media attention and you just put all that aside and focus in on what you can control and what you can get better at and that's the gameplan."

On whether having guys like CB Asante Samuel, FB Dan Klecko and LB Tank Daniels, who have won Super Bowls, add value to the locker room: "Sure. It's great to have those guys, great to have them aboard. Absolutely."

On whether they have faced a defense this year that resembles the Vikings' defense: "Well, their run defense is tough. They are #1 in the National Football League. Have we gone up against some pretty good run defenses? Yes. They have those two inside tackles, I think, are two of the best in the business and they have been for a number of years. We played against both of them last year, it's tough to run inside there but your inside three have to pick up their game a little bit."

On how having or not having DT Pat Williams would affect the Vikings: "The other kid has stepped in. He has done a very respectable job. He's a different kind of player. He's very quick and he plays a different game, but he is also very effective. He's done a nice job for them."

On whether he feels reenergized this year having made the playoffs after not making the playoffs last year: "I'm good, man. I feel good. I feel great. It's close to lunch right now, so I'm feeling even better."

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