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Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Comments: "Alright, really the only person that won't practice today will be (QB) Vince (Young). He's getting better; he's running on it in the pool, it's really just a day-to-day thing right now. Making great progress, working his tail off, he's been in there since he had the injury every day and long hours. We resigned (CB) Joselio Hanson and (CB) Trevard Lindley was released. Again, it's good to have Jose back and at the same time Trevard is a good young player, and we obviously wish him the best. He gave us some very good snaps last year and I know he's got a good career in the National Football League. Other than that, I'll move on to the Rams.

"We look forward to the opportunity to play the Rams. We obviously know a little bit about them because of the coaching staff. (Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo) Spags has done a phenomenal job there. You can see it with his defense and the way they ranked last year. Both he and (Rams Defensive Coordinator) Ken Flajole put together a defense that really accelerated in a lot of areas, third down being one of them, negative defensive plays, which also combines the sack percentage. They were seventh in the National Football League in that, and seventh in negative runs, behind the line of scrimmage, so they've done a nice job. The players, you turn on the film, you see the players playing their hearts out, fast and furious football.

"Then offensively when (Cleveland Browns Head Coach) Pat left to Cleveland, he brought in (Rams Offensive Coordinator) Josh (McDaniels), and Josh has brought in with him the New England system. With either the system Pat was running, which is our system, or the New England system, they've got a quarterback there that can play football. He was a great college player and it hasn't changed a bit since he's been in the National Football League. He knows how to play the game, tremendous accuracy and poise.

"Then they've got some familiar faces that were with us here at the Eagles. (DB) Quintin (Mikell) is playing his heart out; he's doing a nice job for them. (CB) Al Harris is back and playing and doing a good job, and (WR) Danny (Amendola) and (WR Brandon) Gibson, and I'm missing somebody here. But anyway, they're doing nice work and playing good football and helping that football team out. Between special teams, offense, and defense we know we're playing a good football team. We're playing down there, which is a loud place. We've tried to attack that issue as far as working with the noise, we've got a couple of days under our belt with that. Again, we look forward to that challenge."

On whether there was some type of agreement with Joselio when they cut him: "No, not necessarily. No."

On how the situation evolved: "As the time went on there, we thought that getting another veteran player, that's got the experience that he has, would work out. We were able to work it in there."

On whether Hanson will be the first team nickel player: "We'll see how all that goes. I'm not, obviously, going to say who I'm playing and not playing. I mean, that's not what we do, right?"

On what was behind the decision to bring Hanson back: "Well there are a lot of things that go into it. (Eagles General Manager) Howie (Roseman) and I decided, as time went on here, that we'd bring him back. Obviously it has to be a two-way consent there. Jose wanted to come back and we wanted him back, so it all worked out."

On whether he has ever been with a team when four of five of the offensive linemen are at different positions than the previous year: "Well my first couple years. Obviously when I took the job here they were all different, because I didn't know any of them. After that first year we made some changes, and really every year for the first couple years, three or so years, we made changes, added people, moved them around, did what we do."

On whether he is comfortable with dressing only two quarterbacks if Young cannot play: "Well, if that's the case I would do that. Listen, I have a lot of trust in (QB) Mike Kafka. I've said that publically before. I don't make the (Arizona Cardinals QB) Kevin Kolb deal without Mike Kafka, having trust in his growth process. I just wouldn't have done that. If that's the case then I would probably go with two. I have full trust in Mike."

On how he feels the process of putting all of the new pieces of the team together has gone: "When you got about three quarters of the way through training camp, you kind of went, we're at that same point. Some of the young guys were still growing, and what you had, you had different layers of players coming in at different times. You had the first tier that came in, and then the free agents came in, and then you had a couple guys holding out, they came in, but by the time you got three quarters of the way through you felt like you were on track and it seemed like the way it's always been."

On why this year, when you're "all-in" would you play so many guys who have never played a down of actual football: "I'd have a hard time telling you that I wasn't all-in every season. I've never come into the season where I didn't say I was all-in. I'm there, every year. This is no different than that. I'm there this year."

On starting more rookies than he ever has: "We've started rookies before. I don't have a problem with that. Rookies play a significant amount of time. I'm okay with that, as long as they can play. That's the important part of it. That goes for anybody. That goes for veteran players. As long as they're good players and they can play than I'll play them. That part is no different."

On how T Winston Justice is looking: "He's getting better. He's shooting for Sunday. He's trying to get himself back into the swing. This is the first time he's had a chance. Remember when he wasn't able to practice the coaches weren't able to work with him on the different techniques and fundamentals, so that's all new for him and he's working through that right now."

On how much QB Michael Vick has grown since the end of last season: "I think he's gotten better this camp. I think he picked up where he left off and he's getting better every day. That's the way it should be with every coach and every player, he should be working to do that. The one nice thing about football is there's no ceiling, so you can continue to work to get yourself better every day there's some part of your game you can do that with. He came back in phenomenal shape and with a great mindset, and wanted to take it even up another notch from last year, and he's done that to this point. However, we've got to play the games and so on, and then time tells in those situations, but he sure has prepared himself well."

On where WR Jeremy Maclin is now: "Jeremy practiced last week and then his last few practices he's taken every snap like he had been playing. So he'll have an opportunity to play."

On whether WR DeSean Jackson has expressed anything about his contract: "DeSean came in and he made the point that there's a business side and a football side, and that he was going to focus in. He's taking care of the business side, both he and (Jackson's Agent) Drew (Rosenhaus), and so now he's free to play football and not worry about that, and that's what he's done. He said he would do it and that's how he's handled himself. He's been very focused, he's looking forward to getting the season started, and he's separated the two. That's not always an easy thing to do, but he's been very good with that."

On what the roles of the multiple cornerbacks will be: "We'll see. Listen, if you have the opportunities as a coach to have good players, you play those players. We'll just have to see. They've got a group of receivers that are very quick and explosive, so it's important that we're able to match that and put good players out there. We have good players here, that's a good thing. Now we just have to get down and make sure we detail our work."

On whether he sees their roles changing week to week: "We'll see. We'll see how that works. It gives you a little flexibility there, depending on what (Defensive Coordinator) Juan (Castillo) wants to do with it, take it week by week and see how things go."

On WR Steve Smith: "He's going to go through this week, he's been taking reps with the first group in a rotation there, so I'm just going to see how he works out this week. I know he wants to play, and feels like he's ready. We'll just see how everything goes."

On how G Danny Watkins graded out, how he feels about him going into the first game, and the thinking behind bringing in G Kyle DeVan: "The obvious with DeVan is he started a few years there for Howard and the Colts when Howard left, and did a nice job for them, was the starting guard on the Super Bowl team. He knows Howards system which we're using right now, so that's a positive thing. It gives us another good offensive lineman. Danny did a nice job. You've got to remember with Danny now, and this is an important thing here with him, is that when you move from the college to the pros, that's a tough deal. When you move from tackle to guard, that's another tough deal, and when you move from the left side to the right side that's another tough deal and then you add onto it missing part of camp. So he's been playing a catch up game all the way through here. Even though he's a little bit older he's still a rookie. He's working his tail off and I'm proud of him for how he's handled things and he'll do nothing but continue to get better."

On why he's starting Watkins after all of the things he just mentioned: "He can play the game. So we've got flexibility there to do whatever we want to do. That's the nice thing about it."

On whether Watkins will start Sunday: "I'm not going to get into all the personnel things here. We'll see."

On how LB Casey Matthews has handled the spotlight and the roles he's in right now: "You know what, Casey has done a nice job. What you saw with Casey was improvement every game that he played and Juan hasn't slowed down with him. He's asked him to be the primary signal caller; he attacked that innate learning ability of his and tested it. Casey was able to retain and make all the calls and still, at the same time, get better every week playing football, and that's a tribute to the kid. That's a little bit like what I'm saying about Danny, and probably what I'd tell you about (C Jason) Kelce and the other rookies here is that, (LB Brian) Rolle is another one we've asked to do some things, they're all getting better, and that's a positive thing."

On whether they feel the excitement of the start of the season or if it's more week by week: "We're coaches, we're players, this is what we do professionally. We're excited to get the season started. Talk to anybody in the business, I think you guys are the same way, it's time to get going. You guys want to get in the season and get this thing, get it going. That's the exciting part of our business. I think everybody's fired up and I would say that about both teams. I think both teams will be fired up and ready to go.

On whether he is having second guesses starting Watkins: "Listen, if I wanted to put him in, you know how I operate with that. Sometimes, it's good to take a small step back to take a big step forward. He'll be out there and so you'll see him out there practicing. We've got (G) Kyle (DeVan) who is also there and he can play in that spot. We're comfortable with either direction that we go, and that's how I feel."

On what challenge Steve Spagnuolo's blitzing scheme brings to the offensive line: "There's nobody sharper than Spags and Kevin Flajole, who I've worked with for a number of years, is pretty good, too. I'm sure they'll have some good stuff for us, and we have to answer. That's what they do, and there's not a lot of people who do it better. We'll prepare the best way we can prepare, and get ready for them."

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