Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Remarks: "On the injury side of things, these are the people who won't play: (DT Antonio) Dixon, (DE Brandon) Graham, (T) Ryan Harris, (S) Marlin Jackson, (T) Winston Justice, (DT) Trevor Laws, (LB) Greg Lloyd, (WR) Jeremy Maclin. An update on Jeremy, we have no update for you. We're still waiting on some tests to come in and we'll able to give you that information. When we get it, we'll get it to you and let you know. (DT) Mike Patterson, (WR) Steve Smith, (T) Funuki Tupou, and (S) Jamar Wall, those are the people who won't play in the game. The ones will play in the first half, and then we'll rotate the twos and threes in accordingly. We'll just see how things go as far as the substitutions go. We look forward to having the opportunity to play the Steelers in the preseason; they're a good football team. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Pihos family for the loss of Pete, who was one of the all-time great Philadelphia Eagles, so again condolences to his family. He was a Hall of Famer, unbelievable person, and a great player. I'd like to thank the people at Lehigh for the great job that they did. Every year I say this, and it seems that every year they take it up another notch. They do a phenomenal job with their hospitality and working with us. We've had rain the past few days and working with us with their sports teams using the indoor facility. Again, just thank you to all of them."

On how camp went: "Well listen, it was really a demanding camp for that period of time right from the beginning. It was unique but it was demanding. We were able to get some heat work in with the humidity, which is important for the beginning part of the season. When we were able to get the free agents out to practice, again, they jumped right in and their work level was superior. They came out and they busted their tails, and from a coach's standpoint that's about all you can ask for. They busted their tail also in the classroom. Thus, we were able to sum it up today with this practice and be able to get them out of here for tomorrow. That's really a reward for the effort that they put in. Again, it wasn't an easy thing, you saw how we finished the last practice. The last practice was the hardest practice. Not today, but yesterday. They pushed themselves through it when their minds and bodies were tired and that's important. We have a lot of new faces here and good, hard, aggressive work has a tendency to bring people together. I think it checks all the egos at the door and allows you to gel as a team. I felt like this group did that."

On how far away the team is from where they usually are when they leave Lehigh: "We're pretty close. I think the last three or four days here, you could see that the guys were getting themselves in football shape. Again, we need to continue the process here once we get back to Philadelphia, but I felt pretty comfortable that they were in good football shape. They kind of worked through that period of where you feel like you can't get out of bed, like rigor mortis is setting in, and you're able to get out here and function. We've added, we've thrown a lot of things at them, and now it's just a matter of honing in and making sure we go back, we're done with the installs right now, we go back and we can start reviewing and getting reps with all these different plays."

On the possibility that an update on WR Jeremy Maclin could come today as stated by a family source: "Today, right? Well possibly today. We haven't finished today, I don't think. We have a few hours."

On what he hopes to accomplish with this first road test at Pittsburgh: "Well there are a couple things you get out of this, and I think it's important that you get this work in. Number one, you're on the road in a stadium where they love football, so there's going to be a little bit of noise, and so you need that work. Two you're playing a Super Bowl team, a Super Bowl caliber team, last year obviously in the Super Bowl. So it allows you to get good work against the best, and I welcome that."

On T Winston Justice's status: "Well we'll see, he's close, he's close right now. He's had a couple tough workouts here, and he is feeling better. We're going to see when we get back there, Friday and Saturday, just exactly how he feels. We'll reconvene on Saturday, but he might sneak over there and do his rehab work and make sure he's ready."

On whether this is a big game for T King Dunlap to be playing with the ones: "It's an opportunity, right? What more can you ask for being a football player? You're given an opportunity to work with the ones so you go in and try to capture the moment."

On whether Dunlap will start: "He'll be starting at right tackle."

On T Ryan Harris' status: "He's getting closer, possibly next week. We'll have to see how he does here, but he is making progress which is a plus."

On whether C Jamaal Jackson is starting at center: "Jamaal is starting at center."

On RB LeSean McCoy's status as he didn't get many reps yesterday: "We've got a ton of running backs there, and I looked at how many reps those guys were getting and it wasn't enough, so we tried to increase that. I know what LeSean can do, and he's been doing most of the load there, so we were able to back off of him a little bit and give these other guys an opportunity."

On whether C Jason Kelce will get any reps with the ones: "We'll see how it goes. I'm not going to guarantee anything there; we'll just have to see how things play out."

On DT Trevor Laws' status: "Well he had the hip flexor, those take a little bit of time. He's actually ahead of schedule right now, so we're going to see again on Saturday if, you've got to weigh this, because he says he's ready to go, so we've just got to continue the rehab on Friday and see how he is on Saturday. He's bounced back pretty quickly from this thing, and he feels pretty good."

On whether he has ever had a camp where he's had to assimilate this many players: "I'm not sure I have. We've had a load here, but at the same time I think they've gotten good work. The thing you always worry about is do you have enough time to evaluate? I think when it's all said and done here in the next three ballgames you'll have that opportunity to have a pretty good evaluation on all these guys."

On QB Michael Vick's camp and leadership: "He's doing an excellent job. He's really upped that part of his game. Last year he was thrown in there without a lot of reps here at Lehigh, with (QB) Kevin (Kolb) taking most of the reps, and all of the reps with the ones. So the ones obviously get a little bit more work, probably double the work than the twos do. So he's back into that role as a one, and I thought he handled it well. I think he's putting pressure on himself to be a better football player. I think he's putting pressure on the guys around him to be a better football player and at the same time rallying them to try to bring out the best in them. I think he's doing an excellent job of that. He's worked very hard on some of the finer point of his game. He came back in phenomenal shape, and now it's just a matter of going through the process of getting yourself ready to play each week and try and have a good season."

On DT Mike Patterson's status: "We're taking it, just seeing how he does with these workouts. It's all in what really the doctors have said. I'm a little bit cautious with both he and Maclin, I want to make sure everything is done as far as the tests go, let's just get everything cleared up. I know both of them can play football, and I understand their talents. Let's just take care of the other stuff and make sure that they're okay."

On whether the shorter kickoffs affect how he views a player's role on the team: "Well most of the guys who are on kickoff also play other phases of special teams. So that's one phase that is a little different. You're seeing teams, actually a couple teams that just said, 'We don't care how deep it is in the endzone, take it out so we can work on it'. But that rule isn't going to change for the season. You're going to have balls that are driven into the endzone and you're going to have a lot of touchbacks. So that's why the league moved the ball up to the 35-yard line so they could do that."

On the play of RG Danny Watkins: "You know, he's progressed every day. And you forget, which happens in training camp because everything seems so long it's like every few days seems like you've been here for a week, but he had held out with his contract, and so he missed some valuable time plus he had no mini-camps. So last week he had four practices before he had an opportunity to play and he was swimming a little bit just with the volume of things we threw at him. And every day this week he's gotten better and he's worked very hard at making sure he's caught up to everything and going fundamentally and strength-wise and all of those things he does a pretty good job. If you ask him to block somebody one-on-one he can do that. It's just a matter of him continuing to get reps in there and progressing with the offense."

On whether Dunlap has adjusted to offensive line coach Howard Mudd's style of play:"Well you look at it that way and I look at it like he gets two Howard Mudd offensive linemen in one (laughing). Listen, King's a good athlete and it's just a matter of him getting back into football shape and learning the new techniques. And he's played pretty good football the last couple of days in that starting role. So like I said earlier it's just an opportunity for him." * * On whether he is comfortable with the kicking game: "I'm good with it. Listen, we have a couple young guys who are feeling their way out with this thing. You know, they're new in it and it's important that they get a lot of reps. So I'm okay there. I know there's going to be a good day and a bad day and I understand that right now. I always go back and mention the greatest kicker, if not one of the best kickers in Eagles history, was (K) David Akers. And David was released from a team and brought here as a backup and you saw him grow. So it's important, something you learn from that is give (K Alex Henery) an opportunity here; give him an opportunity to grow here and the more balls he kicks under pressure the better. And you come out to Lehigh and there's a little pressure plus the players and that's all good stuff, man. That helps you down the road and he handles that pretty well. And then our punter, it's a little different deal but if you don't have people hootin' and hollerin' at you and they're more in awe when you kick the ball as a punter. But he's done a nice job too. So I'm happy with them, they just need to continue to progress."

On his thoughts about not having a backup for Henery and Henry: "Well listen, both of them can kick and both of them can punt. So we feel like we're getting up on numbers of reps there and then we can cut back on it. (Special teams coordinator) Bobby's (April) used to that, he doesn't have the guys kick quite as much as what we did with the other special teams coaches that I've had here, three of them. But his system's a little bit different and the guys can stay fresh and good."

On whether WR Steve Smith will be ready for the season opener: "Listen, he wants to get out there right now. So we're just going to see where he's at and make sure that we evaluate him. We'll take it week-by-week and see how he does, he's ahead of schedule. Remember on his surgery, it's a little different than Brandon's where he had no ligaments or really cartilage damage there, so it's a little different surgery. He had the microfracture on a very small spot so he's ahead of schedule with that whole thing. He didn't have a lot of swelling which is important in the recovery part."

On his expectations for the team this year: "Well listen, we always have high expectations every year and that's why we come into this. And this is no different that way. We're coming in and we expect to win football games and that's how we go about it. There are people that will ask what do you think your record's going to be. Well, as a coach and as a player you have to come in right from the line every stinkin' game. You can't sit there and predict which ones you're going to win and you're going to lose. You're coming in thinking that you're going to win and that's how you go about your business. So with that, the expectation is always high."

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