Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Comments: "Okay, injuries, (CB Dominique) Rodgers-Cromartie, saw that he sprained his ankle, so I'm going to sit him out of practice today during his conditioning. (DE) Darryl Tapp has a pec(toral) strain, he will not practice today, and (QB) Vince Young will not practice today. They're all making improvement and they're all day-to-day. We'll see how that works. We look forward to the opportunity of playing the Falcons. We know that they're a championship caliber football team. Right now the players have had an opportunity to look at the film and study them, in the beginning process of that. They realize, likewise, that they've got a heck of a football team, so we've got to prepare ourselves properly and the process that you go through you've got to make sure that you focus on that and not on the Sunday night game, and the hype, and all that stuff. You're focused in on what actually you can control and that's getting yourself better to play a very, very good football team."

On the matchup against Falcons RB Michael Turner: "Turner is a phenomenal player. He's a heck of player and he's going to gain a couple yards. You know that going in. He knows how to do that. But at the same time we've got to make sure that we work to secure things up and get better in that area. They're going to continue to give it to him, and they should, he's a heck of a player."

On how concerned he is about that matchup coming off Sunday: "Well I think he's a good player and so I think it's important that we work on getting better in that area."

On whether they can replicate last year's success against Turner: "Well listen, that was last year and this is this year and we've got to do it. I mean it's nothing that we can talk about right now until the game is over, or compare. We've got to get better in that area and do a good job there."

On the challenge DE John Abraham presents: "We're talking about one of the best in the business at what he does, so you're always aware of him. They have a couple other good players, (DE Ray) Edwards isn't bad either, and then they've got two more behind those two that are good pass rushers, I'm saying at defensive end. You've got to do your homework there, study them, and then go play."

On the challenge for G/T Todd Herremans and what he saw out of him week one: "You know what, he did some good things out there. Obviously he's a good athlete. There are a few things he needs to work on, so he'll do that, but for the most part he did a pretty good job."

On DT Antonio Dixon coming off the bench: "We look at all eight of those guys as starters, so it doesn't really matter. They all play, and rotate, and hopefully they come out of the game with equal reps, that's all we look at. The other thing is we keep them fresh and fast and we were able to do that the other night."

On whether the team will continue to simulate crowd noise during practice: "We'll continue to do that, yeah, this week."

On whether he still sees LB Casey Matthews improving: "Well, you know, I thought in general the defense improved as it went on. I thought, obviously we started off slow, with the first run, and then the next time they came back and tried that same run it was a two-yard gain as opposed to a long one, touchdown. So, you know, the thing I look at is progress especially with young players. I thought that's what I saw from all our young guys."

On whether CB Nnamdi Asomugha is still adjusting to the defense: "Listen, I think everybody is getting used to both sides of the ball and I think you're seeing that throughout the league. People are, you know, the first week is a little sloppier and I think it will get better as it works on. But with that, I think Nnamdi did a nice job. He's got a couple plays he'd like to have back but he sure had a lot of good ones. So I think the more he's in the system the better he'll get."

On whether CB Joselio Hanson will play nickel cornerback if CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie can't play because of injury: "Yeah, Hanson (will step in), I think we're going to be okay there. But I mean, if that's what were to happen, yeah."

On his thoughts about the play of the defensive line and whether he molded the team in the offseason to be able to get pressure on the quarterback: "Well listen, I think that's where you start, and that's not new news, but you have to be able to get pressure with the front four before you do anything else. And you have to make some matches so that's kind of what defenses do. But I thought one of the more positives coming out of the game was the defensive line and their pass rushing."

On whether it is more important to have a pass rush, more now than ever, because of the talent level of quarterbacks and their ability to get rid of the ball quickly: "Well, they do, and actually (Falcons) quarterback (Matt Ryan) did a nice job when the Bears presented him with fire zones and blitzes he did a nice job a couple of times there. I think, again, when you look around the league at the quarterbacks I think you're right, they're comfortable with that. But listen, even before it became blitz crazy I think you talk to coaches and you understand that those front four (players) are crucial. And then, for the guys that do blitz a lot they're going to tell you that the front four is still crucial and you have to be able to get pressure with those guys."

On whether DE Phillip Hunt will play if DE Darryl Tapp is injured: "Yeah if that were to happen, yeah."

On whether he is satisfied with the chemistry of the offensive line: "Yeah listen, I'm going to tell you this about everybody, we have to get better at all the positions. But they did okay, they did alright. Can we get better? Absolutely, and I think they'll do that as the weeks go on. They'll continue to grow and get better. They have a huge challenge this week so they have their work cut out for them looking at the tape and studying and doing all of the things that they need to do to prepare."

On T Winston Justice's progress and whether when he is healthy if the starting RT position is his: "Listen, I'm not very good at predicting the future so I just take it as it goes. Right now it's (Todd) Herremans' spot to play and that's all I look at. I'm looking at this week (so) I'm not quite as far ahead as you are. But I think he's making progress and getting better. I also know he can play, he's a good player. So we'll just see how things go down the road."

On whether the offensive line will be the same starting five players against the Falcons: "Yeah, I think so. I think we'll probably do that."

On his thoughts about the differences between QB Michael Vick now and the 2004 NFC Championship game: "Well listen, there were a couple sleepless nights when we had to play him back then. He was a heckuva player back then…you're talking about the championship game? I mean, (late Eagles defensive coordinator) Jim Johnson spent a lot of sleepless nights trying to figure the guy out. So that's not an easy job, there. But I think he was good then, he's good now. I think he had good coaching then, he has good coaching now. I don't see much difference there."

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