Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Injuries: "(G) Shawn Andrews is going to be re-examined today. Again, he wasn't quite ready the other day when they checked him. The doctor is going to bring him back today and check him again. I will give you an update when he is traveling, after I get that information. (CB) Lito Sheppard will not practice today with a groin strain. He is working to get that back, but right now he is struggling. Everyone else should be out there."

Opening remarks: "We look forward to the challenge of playing the Giants. It's always an exciting time when you have a chance to play a rival, in particular one that is a good football team. Two good football teams playing each other; it should be electric over at Lincoln Financial Field. I know the fans will be out of their mind. They will get plenty of a running start with it being an 8 o'clock game. They will be ready to go."

On how TE L.J. Smith is feeling:"He is feeling pretty good today. He went through walkthrough, he's going to go through practice."

On whether they will put a red vest on him in practice:"No, he'll be alright."

On what the process is for deciding whether Smith is cleared to play in the game:"There is a written test they take and send it off and have it evaluated. There is a whole process involved. He has been doing better the last couple of days."

On whether he will participate fully in practice:"As long as he feels good, he should be fine."

On whether he feels like the Eagles and Giants are comparable skill-wise:"The thing I thought (last year) was that at the end of the season, we finished strong and we got hot. We were obviously hot too late and they were right on. They ended up going in and winning the Super Bowl. My hat is off to them for doing that. Every year is different in the NFL. I think it's two good football teams playing each other. We are going to concentrate on getting ourselves the best we can. We will see what happens on Sunday night."

On whether the Giants are a better team than they were last year:"By record, they are. I think by performance they are. They have been more consistent early in the year than what they were last year. They've lost some people who, I thought, were tremendous football players. The new fellows that have had a chance to play, or by switching position had a chance to play a new position, I think they have stepped up and played very well for them. That's a compliment to (head coach) Tom (Coughlin) and his staff and those players who made those changes."

On the challenges a team faces after a Super Bowl season:"It's a long season they are coming off of. However, people say you don't want to change much after a Super Bowl. I think a little change in there kind of helps you. They've had a little bit and it makes everybody pick it up and kind of gets their attention. I think that has been a positive for them, but it's a tough thing. It's tough to win week to week in the National Football League. It's a compliment to them for what their record is now and coming off of the short offseason."

On whether CB Asante Samuel changes the dynamic against the Giants:"Asante is a good football player. They have good receivers and a good quarterback. As far as the dynamic, I don't know how to weigh that out other than that it should be great competition between their receivers and our corners."

On what the most difficult matchup is against the Giants:"I don't know that. I think it's important that we play well. They have a good football team and I don't think it's going to come down to one matchup. I don't believe that. I think collectively, everybody has to play well. To pick one person out on their team, I don't think is fair, and one person out on our team, I don't think is fair."

On the Eagles-Giants rivalry:"I think it's a neat thing, just by proximity alone. The players all know each other. They get together in the offseason and then you play them twice a year. I really don't think it's any different than your rivalry with their media. You take a lot of pride in doing what you're doing and they take a lot of pride in what they're doing. You know all of them and they know all of you. I don't think there is a big difference there. I think we are all very competitive in our own fields. I think it's a neat deal; it's a neat dynamic."

On Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and whether he does some of the same things as defensive coordinator Jim Johnson:"He does. He has a couple of other things that he has worked in. For the most part, the base fundamentals of his defense are the same as what Jim does."

On Spagnuolo's journey to becoming a defensive coordinator:"Spags had been a coordinator before in NFL Europe and had been successful. I have known for a lot of years. Even before I came here and he came here. It was just a matter of getting him in the door and kind of letting him go. I was able to do that by hiring him, when we first got here, as a quality control coach. He was probably overqualified for that position at that time. He moved up the coaching ranks fast and earned and deserved every bit of it that he got, promotion-wise. As it ended up last year, going into that post-Super-Bowl week, he was the hottest commodity going, as far as head coaches go. That's something he has always dreamed of. He has always dreamed of being a coordinator; he's done that. He is still doing it very well, and some day he'll be a head football coach."

On how hard it was to let Spagnuolo go:"I told him (he could go) but I didn't expect him to go to the Giants (jokingly). Like I said, that was my smartest move since I've been here (jokingly). I think it was fair. He was getting a little bit older and that was his goal (to become a coordinator). He had a chance to go with (Vikings head coach) Brad (Childress), and I didn't let that happen. I told him the next time it came up, I'd give him the opportunity to move on."

On whether he understands why the media think this is a statement game:"I can see that. That's okay. We'll all be excited. We have to take care of business. It's one of those situations where you would like to wake up and it's Sunday, but you have to go through the process. You guys can already get there on paper. We have to do it physically and mentally and make sure we are right by the time it comes to Sunday."

On Giants QB Eli Manning:"I think he gets better every year. I think Eli has done a nice job of bettering himself each year he has been in the league. He got hot at the right time last year. He was playing well the whole year, but he got hot at the right time last year and had a heck of a run. He started this year the same way he ended, so he has been playing very well."

On what Manning has improved on:"Just the overall knowledge of the blitz game, their offense, knowing where everyone is. I think they have expanded their package for him and I think he's done a very nice job of leading. They lost (former Giants RB) Tiki Barber, who was kind of the team leader at that time, at least on offense. Tiki left and I thought that opened the door for Eli to step up another notch. He could have either fallen apart or stepped up. I thought he stepped up."

On Giants WR Plaxico Burress:"Plaxico is a heck of a player. He is always a challenge. Our secondary gets very excited to play against him. He's not the only good receiver they have, however. He is a very good player and you have to bring you're 'A'-game when you play against him."

On teams using defensive ends at defensive tackle:"You have seen it before, but maybe not to this extent, or teams having as much success as what (these) two groups have. That's the name of the game right now. Speed on the field on third down and quickness and all that. That's kind of the principle behind it."

On whether it will be a trend around the NFL:"I think you see people doing it throughout the league. You see people mixing people around and moving them around and doing all kinds of crazy things. I think the Steelers probably started it a while back."

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