Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Injury Report: "(G) Shawn Andrews, obviously if we had to practice today, wouldn't be able to practice. (WR) Hank Baskett, likewise. He has a sprained knee MCL. (WR) Kevin Curtis has a calf strain. (FS Brian) Dawkins, back spasms. (G Todd) Herremans has an AC sprain. (T) Jon Runyan played on the knee sprain and is doing fairly well today. And then, (RB Brian) Westbrook, likewise, with knee swelling seems to be doing well today."

Opening Remarks: "All in all it was a good win. All three phases I thought played relatively well. There are plenty of things that we can work on to get better, but I was pleased with the way the guys came out and played, their effort and so on and execution for the most part. Brian Dawkins, again, set the record for number of games played. I also thought that he played well on top of that. I mentioned a number of games yesterday, but I just thought overall that he played very well and continues to just be a great leader over there on the defensive side. I thought overall the defense played well. Starting up front we were able to keep pressure on the quarterback. At the same time in the run game, we were able to play on their side of the line of scrimmage, which I think is important. It also gives the secondary an opportunity to stay very aggressive. In that case, when the quarterback has to rush his throws, it gives the secondary an opportunity even to break on the ball a little bit quicker. (LB Stewart) Bradley and (CB) Asante (Samuel) both had interceptions. I thought Bradley played well. I thought Asante played well during the game as did (S) Quintin (Mikell). I could keep going down the line here but those two had the interceptions. I mentioned about Asante's, which we'll address tomorrow, just that you have to make sure you score before you let the ball go. Offensively, I thought the offensive line did a nice job of giving (QB) Donovan (McNabb) time. I thought in the run game part of it we were adequate against what I think is a very stout defensive line. They are very strong up front, and obviously, have great size. Donovan I thought played well. I thought (WR) Jason (Avant) and Donovan connected and had a big day together, in particular on third downs. Really, overall, I thought third downs were acceptable with 11-for-17. The wide receivers seem to be catching the ball well right now. We need to do better in the red zone. The two turnovers I thought were two too many. Again, one was a little bit more of a gadget play with (WR) DeSean (Jackson). The second one we just have to do better on in executing that. I will say this, on the one interception just before the half, Westbrook, (TE Brent) Celek and Baskett did a great job of playing the whole play and being able to track down #22 there and keep him from scoring. I thought special teams-wise, (K) David Akers continues to be strong on his kickoffs, which means with three touchbacks, I think that's important just to be able to back up the offense and make them drive the long field. I thought our coverage units were good. I thought (S Quintin) Demps had a couple of nice returns as did DeSean."

On what it is about Avant that makes him such a good slot receiver:"He has great change of direction, and he has phenomenal hands, very strong to the football. And Donovan has a lot of trust in him that he's going to be there when he needs him. Last night, now, he was going against a lot of man coverage and I thought that he did very well of shaking the man coverage, at least enough where Donovan had space, very little space in a couple of cases, but space to throw the football."

On what he likes about this group of receivers:"Last night, (McNabb) hit nine different guys I think it was. But the wide receivers, they seem to be playing well. They've all got one or two redeeming qualities and Don's using those. (Offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg)'s doing a great job of setting those up in the offense and the guys are catching the football. If you remember earlier in the year we had so many drops that I think we were leading the league at one point in drops, so I think the guys are doing a better job of focusing in and catching the ball."

On whether he thinks that McNabb is doing a better job of looking around more for his receivers or if it's just schematics:"Yeah, I think it's the play called, and going through the progression, I don't think that he picks one particular person out to throw him the ball. It's all dependent on the play called."

On whether there has been any thought to moving QB A.J. Feeley to the #2 quarterback position since QB Kevin Kolb has struggled a bit when he's been in games: "No, I'm not worried about that. That play would have happened to anybody when somebody comes free like that from your backside – I should say it wasn't his backside, he was looking the opposite direction from his front side –but he got in a problem there but I'm not that worried though about it, no."

On whether it was important for him to see the offense succeed without Westbrook as the featured player:"I don't go into games like that or come out of games like that. I just say, if the defense wants to take one part of it away then the other part has to execute. Some phase of your offense has to execute, and I kind of expect that to happen. I haven't thought much about the other part, no."

On how much controlling the clock has helped them: "I think it's a good thing. I think the defense also, when you say control the clock that's a two-sided deal there. Our defense is doing a great job of getting off of the field, and our offense is doing a great job of staying on the field. I think that's a good combination."

On the importance of third-down situations:"I think it's important. Third down, you spend a lot of time on that during the week gameplanning and practicing, and I think that Donovan is doing a great job there managing the third downs. We're putting ourselves, although last night we had a couple of third-and-long situations, but we've kept the third downs relatively manageable and I think that part helped."

On why they haven't been throwing deep strikes much: "It's a little bit on how teams are playing us. Early in the year we hit a few and those safeties backed up a little bit, so deep strikes haven't come quite as frequently as they were."

On the chance that the Eagles may not have any players selected to the Pro Bowl: "I don't worry about all that. I haven't even really thought about that. I guess we are so tied up in the season here. I sure think there are guys that should at least be considered candidates for it and they're as good as there are in the league at their position, but I really haven't put much thought into that right there."

On the challenges that they will face in getting the guys back healthy with a short week:"Obviously, (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) has a big job in the training room there of making sure that he works the guys, along with his staff, and he'll do that and he' doing that. The guys were in early this morning getting treatment. Then, your Wednesday practice, you have to be smart during your Wednesday practice there in how you go about using it."

On whether he will talk to the guys throughout the week about not getting distracted by scoreboard watching: "I harp on this all year. I guess to answer your question there, control what you can control and don't stress out about the other stuff. We have plenty of things that we need to work on for the Washington Redskins and one of them isn't watching the other games and getting emotionally caught up in those and so on. Let it happen. Let those games happen. Whatever happens, happens. And take care of your business."

On whether he will reemphasize to the guys this week that they shouldn't be scoreboard watching or if it's already programmed in their minds: "I've talked to them about it all year. We still have a little bit of the year left, so I'm still talking to them about it. They'll continue to go on."

On whether he will be calling Vikings head coach Brad Childress this week to help him gameplan for the Falcons:"I don't think he needs any help right now. He's on a roll, doing very well. I talk to him every week, so I'm sure we'll talk but I don't think he needs help."

On whether he thinks it's ironic that his playoff hopes strongly hinge on what the Vikings do: "I guess, yeah. I hadn't thought about it but it probably makes a good story. (Jokingly) You want me to tell you that he owes me one? Is that what you want?"

On whether any of the players listed in the injury report have the possibility of not being available for Sunday's game:"Hank would be the one and Shawn Andrews. Hank, he's sore today. He was able to finish the game and all that, but he's very sore today, so we'll just have to see how he does here this week. He would be the one, I think, that if there is one, that's not going to play at the end."

On Andrews' progression: "He made a lot of progress last week, and then the past couple days here he's kind of slowed down on it. He's working hard, it's just he hasn't improved like he was there."

On how C/G Nick Cole has been playing the last couple of games: "He's done a good job, Nick. He's done a good job. (He's) real smart. He's a good athlete. He's obviously had a couple of big guys that he's had to deal with here the last couple of weeks, and I thought he handled himself well."

On how RB Correll Buckhalter felt during the game: "Yeah, he felt good. It looked like he had a little burst to him and he came out no worse than the way he went in."

On whether there are any young players on his defense that stand out in having helped rebuild this defense:"Probably the two guys I would probably point to, I think we all know (DE) Trent Cole, but I would say Bradley and Quintin Mikell. Those two, I guess if you had to pick two of the young guys that have really upped their games, I think those are the two."

On what element of their game Bradley and Mikell improved on most: "Bradley just is overall, now to move him to the MIKE linebacker position, his overall knowledge of the position and the calls and those type of things. You see him being able to play downhill. You see him being able to play sideline-to-sideline. You see him in the pass game. Every week he gets a little bit better and I'm watching that take place this year here as the season goes on. And Quintin, I think he's really one of the better safeties in the league right now. I know that he doesn't have all the interception numbers and that but he is a ferocious player. He's smart. He is good against the run. He's good against the pass. He makes calls back there, adjustment calls. I just really like the way he plays. Then he jumps in on special teams and does that on top of that."

On whether he sees McNabb playing with more of an edge lately: "I think he's playing great football. He's a great football player. I know that I've always said this; I think that the city of Philadelphia is very fortunate to have him, I know we are as an organization. The things that he's done here playing that position for the number of years that he's done it, I think is phenomenal."

On whether he feels better about McNabb's future with the Eagles after the way he's come out and played the last few games:"You're hitting me on things that I really haven't even gone there. I honestly haven't. We are kind of in the grinder right now."

On whether he thinks that McNabb's benching has led to him being very productive the past few games:"It tells you about the kid, what a great person he is, great guy and what a great football player he is, and I think that he's playing right now as well as he's ever played. I think it's a tribute to him and the guys around him. I think that they've all stepped their game up a little bit."

On why the offense has been playing better as a whole:"It's a combination of things I think. I mentioned a couple; you go from leading the league in drops to catching basically everything that is thrown at you. That sure helps. You mentioned Brian being healthy and Buck being healthy, and at the same time I think it's important that Brian, obviously, is a big part of that. In the pass game he's someone that Donovan trusts, and we all know that Brian can run the football, but in the pass game Donovan always has an idea where Brian's at and that's so important for the good quarterbacks in the league to have a guy like that."

* On whether he anticipated that other guys would raise their level of play when he initially benched McNabb:*
"I'm sure they probably all did that. If they are saying that to you, then that's probably what they did. And that's okay."

On whether that was his intention:"The guys are the ones doing the job. They are the ones that are stepping up and handling this thing and my hat is off to them. I mean, that's not an easy thing to do where they were at a few weeks ago. They've rallied themselves and they are just playing their hearts out, and you saw that last night. By record, a team comes in with the record that Cleveland has, you could have a letdown and there was no letdown. The guys were emotionally as excited to play in that game as they were the Giants game and that doesn't happen at a lot of places around this league, and I was proud of them for that."

* On whether this year reminds him of any particular year in the past:*
"I can't remember that far back. I don't know that. Every season has its own highs and its own lows. I think that when you are on the outside looking at it, it looks just like that. It looks like highs and lows and all of a sudden the Eagles are coming back at the end. But when you are in it, there are all different situations. There are just so many different things that arise that it's not quite as easy to compare what it looks like from the outside."

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