Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Comments: "Alright, so I'll finish up with some of the injuries here. (TE) Brent Celek has a low back strain; it was a little tender today. (DE) Trent Cole has a strained tendon in his hand, but again he should be fine. (DE) J(uqua) P(arker) has a high ankle sprain. I can't tell you how severe it is right now, he's got to get through this day here and we'll have a better idea. And then (DE) Darryl Tapp with a pec(toral) strain is healing.

"As far as the game goes, I always start with myself. I didn't do a very good job in this game. I have a young quarterback in (QB) Mike Kafka that I was way, way too conservative with, I think that sent a message to our football team, and not a positive message. For those first couple series that he was in, I did something that I normally don't do, in particular I do have trust in Michael and how good he is, and by sitting on the ball I think that sends a message to everybody, and it's not a positive message. So I'm kicking myself in the tail for that right now. It's my responsibility to make sure that we play reckless, aggressive football, and when the head coach doesn't do that, that's not a good sign.

"Offensively we had the three turnovers, I thought we overcame those turnovers as the game went on, but obviously you can't have them, especially when you're in the red zone. That's a time that you've got to make sure you get the ball in the end zone. So we were in there five times, we only scored three touchdowns there.

"They were in there five times, scored all five times, so it's important that we take care of business when we're in the red zone, on both sides of the football, and as coaches we put our players in positions to make plays, and when they're in those positions that they're able to make them. The last two drives defensively, we've got to do a better job there. There was a variety of things. It seemed like every play there was something that we could get better at.

"The one thing that we'll take out of this game is, when you have a lead, and again this is where I've got to look in the mirror on this, when you have the lead, you get after it and you stay aggressive. Again, I didn't set the tempo for that. We're going to learn how to finish here, starting with me, and the rest of the guys, we're going to learn to finish and do a better job, but we can learn from this game in a lot of different areas, and we will."

On whether he is leaning toward play Kafka if QB Michael Vick cannot play: "You know, he did play well. Really that last series, he did a beautiful job. I mentioned this to you before, and I'm bringing up old things here I know, but I would have never traded (QB) Kevin Kolb if I didn't have trust in Mike Kafka. Now I didn't prove that last night, and I would have never done the (QB) Vince Young deal had I not had trust in Mike Kafka, you know, get rid of a good quarterback and not have another one in mind at that particular time and when you're doing it and not have trust in Michael. Again, I didn't prove it to you last night until that last series there, and that was too late."

On whether Young was mentioned in the injury report: "I didn't, but I can tell you Vince is making progress, you know, he practiced on Friday, went through some things there. Is he 100-percent? He's getting close, so we'll just see how things work out this week for him."

On who the starting quarterback is if Vick cannot play: "Well we'll see, we'll see how all that goes. I haven't really gotten to that point yet, it's been kind of a long night, trying to make sure we figure out the other parts of this thing."

On whether he's thought about bringing in another quarterback if Young isn't 100-percent and Vick cannot play: "I'll take care of all that in the next couple days, evaluate all that. That's not where I'm at right now."

On the replay issue on the interception play: "Well there was no replay for us to look at, and I actually had the people from the broadcast apologize, send me an email and apologize on that, but listen, that's hindsight now."

On whether they said why that was: "That's hindsight and there were so many other things that we need to do better, so that's one of a few here."

On whether there is a chance that a byproduct of playing reckless and aggressive offense could be more turnovers over the course of a season than a more conservative team: "Well listen, I've never been conservative since I've been here. I'm not planning on starting now. I've had a couple games where I've kicked myself in the tail for being a little conservative, and this is one of them right here. It sends an important message to your football team, a very important message."

On Kafka's poise: "Again, I thought he did a nice job. That throw he threw, on that last drive, to (WR) Jeremy (Maclin), I thought was, the deep one, was beautiful. That was a clutch throw in a big situation. He's got a bright future, that kid. He's a good football player."

On Vick's first fumble: "That's another one, that's my responsibility. We were running a tackle trap, a pitch trap, with the tackle pulling into an inside one-technique and the guy didn't bite on the influence. We tried to influence him to get him to come up the field and kind of ease back towards that B-gap. I should have trapped the other side, the three-technique as opposed to the one-technique."

On whether T Jason Peters was supposed to pull in time: "Yeah, just like you saw (G/T) Todd (Herremans) do on the other side. Strategically, that's my fault. There's nothing that the players could have done better or worse on that. That was strictly mine."

On whether he felt the defensive line got worn down because of the injuries to the rotation: "Well they played, really, 61 pure plays, and I thought they did get a bit tired. I didn't think effort at all was an issue. I thought the guys played their hearts out. I think we can do some things different, but effort wasn't one of them. You get that part of the game, they were doing some things up front to try to protect their quarterback because we'd hit him so many times. Listen, they made some good adjustments there."

On what he focuses on when he evaluates the linebackers: "Well there's some things we can learn about gap responsibilities on things. I've got some young guys playing in there, which I understand there are going to be some good plays, there are going to be a couple bad ones in there. We can learn from them and move on. The one thing this group does is they learn from their mistakes. We'll continue to get better there."

On whether he can afford to go forward with the linebackers still learning on the job: "Well listen, there are a lot of things that go into it. One neat thing about football is that it's a pure team sport. We all had opportunities; you can't pinpoint one player out of a sixty-play game to put the hammer on. There are other plays in there that we need to do better at. It spreads around to all of us, coaches and players."

On how you start to balance between using Vick's athletic ability and keeping him upright for 16 games: "Well probably to get him out of the pocket and run, because he was in the pocket when he got hurt. I don't know what to answer you. He does what he does and I'm not going to change that. That's how he plays. This one happened to be in the pocket, he and his offensive tackle ran into each other while he was doing what he was supposed to do. Things happen, things happen."

On how he sees Vick handling the testing this week: "The test, that won't lie to us. The test is what it is. That's what it is so you go by that. We're not going to fudge anything, if he's injured he's injured and we move on. I know he wants to play; I talked to him at length after we met the media, after I met with you guys, I had an opportunity to sit down with him and talk to him, and he remembered everything, recalled everything. I tried to quiz him a little bit on things and see where he was at. He was frustrated from the fact that he wasn't able to finish. Obviously, he had a little vested interest in finishing the game there, and wanted to and so on."

On whether he feels comfortable enough with Young's health to have him out there if Vick does not practice on Wednesday: "I've got to think through the whole thing here. First of all, we told Michael to sleep in if possible and get some rest here, so I've not met with him today. Rick's got him coming in later. I'll have a chance to talk with him, see how everything unfolds, and I'm fortunate that I've got two other quarterbacks that I have confidence in. I'll sit down with both of them as we go, if it ends up being that with Michael where he can't play."

On whether there needs to be a decision by Wednesday: "I'm lucky that I'm the head coach and I get to make that decision any day I want. We'll see, we'll see how it goes. The one thing we know is that it's a complicated defense that's coming in, they run a lot of different things against you, and so you would like the guy that's starting to get as many reps as he possibly can. On the other hand of that, Michael has played against them and I think they've given you about every look they could possibly give you over the last couple of games, I'm saying the last couple of Giants games. So that's just something I'll have to weigh when we get there."

On whether theoretically Vick could play without practicing: "Well there was Wednesday was the question, but I'll see how it all goes. I'm going to dig in on the Giants as we go here."

On whether S Nate Allen is close to being able to contribute more: "You know what, we got him out there for a few snaps last night, had a little package in for him there, and I thought he did a good job. We'll just see how that works out."

On Dunta Robinson's hit on Maclin: "Listen, I'd rather stay out of those talks. Those normally cost the guy that talks about it money and I'm not into doing that. The league will make the right decision, whichever way they see it."

On whether the red zone problems are recurring from last season or new problems: "Well, I can tell you that we've got to do a little better job on the tight end. I'll tell you, he made one spectacular catch there that not a lot of people in this league can make; you've got to give him credit on that one. But the other ones we've got to take care of business on, both schematically and as players physically."

On how much he relies on someone watching replay in the booth: "Well, if I have a good angle on it I'll make that call. And if I get the support from somebody seeing a replay of it, then I'll take that. We've had a couple cases – I mentioned the one last year against the Giants up there, there was no replay, and this one here, there was no replay. And I didn't have a great view of either one; this situation was a little different with the timeouts as opposed to where we were sitting with the Giants. But both of those we didn't have an opportunity to see, and I appreciate them apologizing for that. It was one of those things where you have to live with it, man. It's hindsight. So I'm not going to do anything about it now, there's nothing you can do. And I'm big that you had 61 snaps or 60 snaps, few more on the offensive side, so you had other opportunities to take care of business, and that's just one of the things that happened. There are many things that are in our hands that we can do better, and so we're not making any excuses for replay or any of this other stuff."

On whether the defense was having trouble reacting to the Falcons no-huddle offense: "Well, we have to maintain our leverage on certain plays; leverage is very important in the pass game. And so, we've got to go back and look at a couple things there, again, both schematically and physically. And likewise on the offensive side, likewise on special teams, I mean the important thing is that we address it and don't hide things; the guys are coming in right after you guys are done here and we're going to go back and correct the mistakes and get better as a football team."

On whether he thinks LB Casey Matthews needs to take a step back to take two steps forward similar to G Danny Watkins: "Well Casey, again, he's one of the young guys that there are some good things and there are a couple plays that he'd like to have back. But he had quite a few good snaps in there. But I think with all the young guys, I think you're going to have that and then you have to grow and keep getting better. You would sure like to point it at one person, but I wish it were that easy, right? And I told you it starts with me. I'm setting the tempo for the guys and I didn't hold up my end of the bargain."

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