Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Comments: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Norm Willey and his family on his passing, he was one of the all-time Eagle greats, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family. The rest of the injuries here: (WR) Jason Avant did not practice today, he had a knee contusion. It was on the sixth or seventh play, and he's doing okay. We're just going to take that day by day. (DT) Antonio Dixon, his back is calming down, he's not ready yet to practice, and he did not practice today.

"(DE) Brandon Graham is making progress, (S) Marlin Jackson, (T) Winston Justice, (LB) Greg Lloyd. Let's talk about Winston. Winston is making progress. I talked with him about it yesterday with the trainers and our training staff and he's strong. He's still got a little bit of pain on the outside of his knee, until that part calms down. He was doing things with heavy weights and he's getting his strength back in his leg there, and a little more trust in his knee. He's got a little bit to go here. Greg Lloyd is making progress with a high ankle sprain. (WR) Jeremy Maclin, it was good to have him back out today. He's just continuing to work to get himself into shape here, but it'll be a week or so before that takes place. (DE) J(uqua) P(arker), with a calf strain, is actually doing better than we anticipated, and that's a day to day situation. (WR) Steve Smith is making progress. (DE Daniel) Te'o(-Nesheim), in the game, had a hamstring strain, they're working on that, it's not a significant tear so that's a plus for him. That's a day-to-day situation.

"(T) Fenuki (Tupou) is making progress with the knee sprain, and (DB) Jamar Wall had a pretty significant hamstring strain, he's making progress. (G) Reggie Wells joined back with us and it was good to have him back out there. He's working at the tackle and guard spot. We'll give him some reps at right tackle, he played there early in his career for a couple years, so it's not completely unfamiliar territory to him. Actually, (T) King (Dunlap) did a fairly nice job in the game, so that's a positive too. I thought he played well there. (T) Jose Acuna, who we acquired, I gave him a leave of absence here, to take care of a family illness. I had a chance to meet with him and he's a great kid. He's got a full plate right now with two family members, so I told him to take care of that. Once that gets settled a bit then we'll go from there. He's a good kid.

"(FS) Nate Allen practiced today, (CB) Nnamdi (Asomugha), you know the rest of that whole crew. (LB) Jamar Chaney, who received a tremendous blow on his knee, has a little bit of a sprained ankle, but he was able to practice today and ran on it pretty good actually. He's very fortunate because he received a late hit on the back of his knee there. That could have been really a severe injury. Everybody else practiced. It was good to have Mike Patterson back out there. As far as the game goes, I had a chance to evaluate the game and study it. There were plenty of things we can get better at, there were some positives. One of them, the mistakes, were the things that cost us. It wasn't the effort or the intensity level or that, it was mistakes that we've got to take care of. We'll detail our work as coaches and detail our work as players. Heck, we all could have done a better job. I was rusty along with the coaches and players, and we've just got to work through that.

"We've got some young players that showed improvement with the extended playing time, which was a positive. So we look forward to those guys continuing to improve as we go through this week. We're always constantly reminding ourselves that we've had the guys for three weeks. We saw some signs of high-level, aggressive play. We've just got to knock out a few of the mistakes and we'll be fine."

On whether the knee pain Justice is still experiencing is a setback, and whether he'll be available for opening day: "He's making progress, I mean, he's strong. The trainers are putting pressure on, it's his left leg, so they're putting pressure on his right leg and just comparing it to how much he's able to support on his left leg. He can't stick it in the ground quite enough, at this point. Now, it's better than it was last week when they did the same thing. So he's making progress on it. It's just a matter of him, those offensive lineman, they can stick those feet in the ground and be strong. He's better than he was, he's making progress. I think he's on track. He's working very hard. So we'll just see, we'll see how it all works out."

On whether T Ryan Harris practiced: "Ryan Harris did practice, yeah."

On whether DT Trevor Laws practiced: "Trevor Laws practiced, yeah. Everybody else that I didn't mention practiced and did a good job, got good work in there."

On where he sees Harris fitting in: "Well, right now (T) King (Dunlap) is playing with the first group. And listen, King played very well in this game. I think he's worked himself into football shape and kind of getting what we expected earlier but everybody was a little rusty at the beginning so we're working through that and he did a nice job, there."

On whether the addition of G/T Reggie Wells was just to add depth: "Well you know you get a good player that can play a couple different positions for you. I'd really like to see him take some snaps at the right tackle spot and continue the competition there. And like I said, he started there for a couple years before they moved him to guard at Arizona. So he has done it, it's just a matter of him kind of getting back into the swing (of things). He came this morning at 7 o'clock, he took the red eye in and then we threw him out there just to kind of get his feet under him right now."

On whether he is confident in the right tackle position for opening day: "Well listen, I have confidence in King. It was just a matter of him getting used to the new techniques, and it looked like he did a nice job in the game against good competition. So I felt like when we came into camp that that was the case and then it was just a matter of him catching up on things. So I was good with it. Am I going to continue the competition? Absolutely, yeah."

On the lack of playing time for Wells last year and whether things will be different the second time around: "Well, I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that but he's going to get in the mix in the competition. Last year was a little different (because) he didn't have the training camp to work into it and this year he has two weeks of the training to go; a little different of a situation. So there's some positions that he can still compete here for. Last year it was pretty well settled and he worked into a depth position."

On whether S Nate Allen's knee is 100 percent healthy: "Yeah, his knee's OK, his knee's OK. We gave him time, cautious time, and that was on our part during training camp. But his knee is fine."

On whether DT Mike Patterson is going to work with the ones or whether he is going to work him into the mix slowly: "Well listen, you see how we're rotating the guys. So we're just kind of seeing how things work out. We want to make sure he's alright and I'm a little bit cautious right now from that standpoint. We have the okay from the doctors, we have the okay from everybody, but I want to just get him back into the swing (of things). The one thing I know about Mike, and I said this about (WR Jeremy) Maclin too, is I have a history with them so I know what they can do physically and as a football player. But I just want to, when Jeremy gets back to that situation of stepping in I'll do the same thing, ease him in."

On whether Patterson will play Thursday against the Browns: "Well let's just see how it goes, let's see how it goes this week, and we'll take it day by day. He worked his tail off, actually lost a couple pounds during his rehab process here getting back. So I think he's in pretty good shape. I thought he was in good shape coming into camp, but I still think he's in pretty good shape. He ran around pretty good today, but listen let's just take it day by day. Tomorrow, the way the schedule looks, tomorrow will be an in-season Wednesday practice and then the following day, Thursday, Friday, will be just like we do – it's like a dress rehearsal as far as practice schedule goes, it will be the same as what we do in the regular season."

On whether he sees the backup quarterback spot as an open competition: "Well listen, there's competition everywhere so I haven't made any final decisions on anything. So I want these guys to compete because that's what brings out the best in them and I expect that. I expect them all to do that. So that's how I feel about the backup quarterback position, but you could ask me that about any other position and I would feel the same way. I want guys to compete, and then if you have an injury somewhere a guy can step in, and if he doesn't beat out the first team guy or the second team guy, and if there's an injury there, boom they can play. And I want to make sure we maintain that. We get back into this building here and all of a sudden we think the season's starting. Well, we still have two weeks of training camp here and it's important for the coaches to know that and players. We have things that we have to get done before the season starts and one of them is the competition to find the best players to play all the positions here."

On QB Mike Kafka's development from last year: "I told you Thursday night was a mess. Well, he was good. So he played very well and I just thought that he did a very nice job."

On whether there is any correlation between breaking camp early and the effort during Thursday night's game: "I don't see a correlation. Listen, the guys are going to have time, they have to know how to use it and coaches have to know how to use it and we all have to work on this thing together. I was disappointed. And I always start with myself on this so there were a ton of things that I could do better in that game on getting this football team ready and myself ready for this game. So that goes for every coach and every player. All of us have a piece of that pie and so one of the things about all players, and really everybody in this room is that you try to make people around you a little bit better. You take care of your business and be the best that you can be and then you make everybody around you better. And we're all in this thing to do that.

"So even though I don't give you guys much to make you better, I'm kind of speaking on the sideline of it, but I understand that but understand the principle here. So that's what were doing as a football team, we're coming together and we didn't do it well enough. But there's some great lessons to be learned going into Pittsburgh against a championship-caliber team and tested yourself knowing exactly the mindset next time you're put into that situation that you have to have. And the execution is crucial whether it's plays coming in from the sideline, whether it's communication from the huddle, whether I'm putting guys in the right position or using the timeouts the right way and so on and so forth. There's always, or penalties. All of those things, we all have a little piece of that thing."

On whether Maclin participated in practice today and whether he will be ready for the start of the season: "You know, he didn't practice. No, Maclin did not practice. Maclin's going to do a week worth of rehab here. He was one of the guys I mentioned at the beginning, there. He has a week worth of rehab to do. He didn't go today."

On whether there was a reason why Wells didn't have more of a chance to compete last year for more playing time: "Well this is what ended up happening is Reggie got thrown into a situation during the season where you're expected to learn a new offense overnight. And we had other guys that could step in and go at that time. We didn't have any history of Reggie in our system and so on. So obviously by inviting him back and him coming back, we felt more comfortable with that. So it was just a matter of getting things contractually right and then getting him in here. And now listen, there are some opportunities and he has a pretty good feel of the offense. He has to kind of brush up on it real quick and brush up on the tackle spot. But it gives him a little better of an opportunity to compete in there."

On whether the Steelers running game exploited the dime defense: "Well they weren't all in the dime, obviously, but listen they got chunks on some of the other things, too. So we've gone through and we've evaluated it and we obviously have a pretty good idea of where it came from and what we need to do to work to fix it. And you're right, they gained too many yards on all phases, both the nickel and base and in the dime situation so we just have to tighten it up a little bit and make sure that we do a little better job on some of the fill patterns in there."

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