Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Comments: "Alright, let's knock out these injuries – really, everybody practiced today. (CB) Asante (Samuel) was excused for personal reasons. (CB Dominique) Rodgers-Cromartie worked mostly on the scout team, got a few reps with the first group. Again, everybody worked. Look forward to the challenge of playing the Miami Dolphins, good football team, one of the hottest teams in football right now.  We understand that our guys have had a good week of preparation both in the classroom and on the field, and look forward to going down there and playing a good football team."

On how QB Michael Vick did physically during the week and how he came out of the week: "He came out good. He worked, took every snap, which I thought was important, and did a nice job with it."

On how Rodgers-Cromartie is listed on the injury report and whether he will play: "We've got him down as questionable, so he'll go with us and we'll just see how he does, we'll kind of monitor him as we go here. Obviously, he wants to play, and I'll get with (Head Athletic Trainer) Rick (Burkholder) after this and see how he's doing and make our decision from there."

On G Danny Watkins' ankle injury: "He's fine. He did everything today. He's fine."

On what he saw that made him decide to make LB Casey Matthews the starting nickel linebacker: "Well, we've got a few different personnel groups; we're going to try to utilize everybody, really. Casey's earned the right to get back in there. He's done well when given the opportunity on short yardage/goal line, he's done well on the scout team and his reps, he's done well in the classroom. Like some of the other guys that took a step back to take a step forward, that's what we're doing with Casey."

On whether it was hard on Matthews being thrown into the lineup immediately and whether getting booed took a toll on him: "I'd tell you just like the other guys, I think with the young guys it doesn't hurt to take a step back at times, so that's what we did. It bought him time to kind of look at things and get caught up on the study part of it, and we'll see how he does."

On whether he has a better feel now for what he has at linebacker: "Well, I think they're getting better, they're just a young group. We're young at safety, we're young at linebacker. Zero excuse on that, that's not what that is, that's reality, so the thing you do is you try to get better as a player every week. I appreciate their effort and their study habits, the things their doing, so they've done that, and they'll all have an opportunity to play and contribute."

On whether he thinks he should have brought in a veteran linebacker looking back: "I don't do that. We're teaching them, they're listening, learning, and getting better, so that's what it is."

On where he sees the improvement: "Well, I think the number one thing is the pass defense. They're getting better there. That's what we need to continue to get better at, that's what we're working on, and so that's where we're at."

On how he thinks the linebackers have tackled: "Well, you look back at the last game they had the tackle there that was a mess, that was not a good play right there. But, other than that you look at the big third-down stop that (LB Jamar) Chaney had and that was a great play. There's been some good ones too. That one there, that you pointed out, that was a bad one."

On whether taking the same "step-back" approach with Matthews as he did with Watkins would have been beneficial in hindsight: "Listen, I'm not really into hindsight, because it's not over. I felt like we needed to take a step back to take a step forward, and that's what we did. Now he's back in and that's where I'm at."

On whether he's worried that the added pressure of the "must-win" situation the team is in will creep into the players' minds: "I'm not worried about any of that right now. It's Friday, we've prepared, and we're getting ready to go down and play a good football team, and play good football."

On whether it is tough for the defensive players to be consistent when there is so much shuffling: "No, I don't think so."

On how CB Nnamdi Asomugha is physically and whether he is almost 100-percent: "He's getting there, yeah. He feels pretty good. Every day he gets a little better. He worked through it, which was important. He's alright."

On whether this was almost like a mini bye-week coming off of the Thursday night game: "I guess you could look at it as a mini bye-week. Listen, I'm not into all that. We're prepping; we're getting ready to go play. I appreciated the effort the guys gave this week in their preparation, coaches and players. That's where we're at. It gave us an extra day though, to answer your question, and then a couple of extra days to get healthy."

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