Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid

Injury Report: "(DE) Jason Babin will not practice today. He continues to get better, but he's not quite there yet. (WR) Riley Cooper will not practice today. (QB) Mike Kafka will not practice today. (LB) Casey Matthews will not practice today. (S) Tom Nelson does have a high ankle sprain; he will not practice. (QB) Mike Vick has bruised ribs and will not practice. He's still pretty sore. Most likely, he won't practice, and most likely, he won't play, but we'll take it day-by-day. Everyone else will be out there and ready to go."

Opening Remarks: "We're treating today as a combination day as if we were playing a Thursday night game. It's the same schedule as if we were playing Sunday and Thursday like we will during the season. That's the way we are approaching today. This will be our major work day – we'll hit red zone, goal-line, short yardage, nickel, base – we'll put it all in today and do it, along with two-minute. Tomorrow will be our mock game and travel day. The ones will have an opportunity to play a quarter or so, and I'll just monitor it as it goes.

"Right now, they're scheduled for a quarter or so and we'll see how it works out. Then, with Michael not going, (QB) Nick Foles would be the starting quarterback and (QB) Trent Edwards will be his backup. We'll see about Nick, he might take a half or he might take less. We'll just see how that goes and we'll give Trent an opportunity to get some work in there, too. That's the way the rest of the fellas on offense and defense will do it, they'll follow the same suit with the starters being in there a quarter and the rest of the guys finishing up the game."

On whether there is any question about Michael Vick's ability for the opener: "No. Really, in-season, you'd probably have him in there for the game. As I'm standing here today, unless I'm drastically changing something, I'm not going to play him (the rest of the preseason)."

On Reid's concern level that he has seen so few reps during the preseason: "The thing you have to bank on is the experience. That's what you have to look at."

On whether Vick will wear anything different than he already does to protect his ribs: "This is what the guys have done. They have the Kevlar flak jackets. They don't look like much, but they're pretty sturdy. He took a good hit, that's what happened. He has a flak jacket on, and they're hard to see, but they're the most protective thing out there right now."

On whether he thinks extra protection is needed: "Listen, that was a pretty good shot he took. It was in a soft spot, and a good shot he took."

On whether there is any more concern that he is a little more exposed to injury if he takes a big hit there: "The ones come when he's exposed and he's throwing the ball. That's the common denominator there. He's no more susceptible to them there than he is when there is with any other quarterback that's in the throwing position when he gets hit. We did three things with him: the x-ray, the MRI, and the CT scan, and there is no disruption in there as far as ruptures or cracks."

On whether Reid's initial reaction that Vick was injured on a play where he did not open himself up for a hit held true when he watched the tape: "He was trying to make somebody miss, and he wheeled backwards about 15 yards. He had an available receiver down the field, and he was trying to make a play. To tell him that he can't make that throw, you're not going to tell him that. You just want everyone to do their job so that that doesn't happen back there. It was when he spun around that he got caught with that."

On what Vick has to do to get through the season healthy: "He's got to play. There is a fine line here because he has to continue to play the game. It's a violent sport where you're going to get injuries. If you're out there worried about that part of it, you're not going to perform to the best of your ability. Then, you have to catch a break here or there. You have to catch a break in a positive way where you're not absorbing the big hits."

On Vick's last five injuries occurring inside the pocket: "From that standpoint, yeah. But I will give him credit; he did do a nice job of sliding in this game, which was a plus."

On Vick's only slide against New England being a head-first slide: "Head-first slide, yeah. It's a good start. I'm not that worried about it. It's hard to play this game and coach this game if you go in thinking that way. You have to go in and you have to play the game at the quarterback position. You're in a position where you're going to take some hits, and you're hopeful that you can bounce up from them and you're able to continue to go. This won't be the last hit that he takes this season. That's not how this thing works."

On whether he is concerned that Vick's mindset of staying away from injury has changed him as a player: "That was a pretty instinctive play. I mean, it's a catch-22, because you're asking me on one side, should he have gotten rid of the ball and was he being Michael Vick? Well, he was being Michael Vick and he was moving around and doing the things that have made him very successful. So, I don't see any hesitation or fear.  I don't see any of that."

On whether LT King Dunlap will continue to work with the first-team offense: "King will work with the first unit. (Dunlap and T Demetress Bell) are still very close. I'm (going to) try to give them equal opportunities. It's competition, but King will be with the first group."

On whether Vick is itching to get out on the field: "Let me re-word that; it's a situation that you're presented. Would I like him to have some more reps? Would he like more reps? Yeah, I'm sure both of us would like him to have more reps but you bank on his maturity and experience to get him through a situation like this. So, that's what we'll do."

On whether he is concerned by the 12 snaps that Vick has taken through two games: "Listen, I'm really not. I wish (he) would have had more, he wished he would have had more, but we go in and you play. That's what you're dealt and he's dealt and you go play. I think he'll be fine as we go through this thing."

On whether Vick will play against the New York Jets if he is healthy: "I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Right now, I'm leaning away from that but if I did decide to go that way then I would go that way. But right now, I'm leaning away from that."

On CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's shoulder: "He'll practice today. He feels pretty good."

On whether he is convinced the defense is where it needs to be in terms of focus: "Listen, I saw a lot of good things. I thought our coverage was better than what it was the week before. I thought it was better than what I saw last year, which was a positive. Obviously, we came out the first series and got after them pretty good and then came back and we had a couple of penalties in there that extended the drive, the interception included and the pass-interference part. But I've seen some improvement.

"Do we need to continue to get better? Yeah. Do we need to eliminate some of the penalties? Yeah, we need to eliminate those. It's too much. Now, the one thing I'll tell you about penalties, they were effort penalties. They were going all out but there's a time where you've got to put the brakes on a little bit and pull back and we understand that. We can learn from that part."

On whether it is abnormal for a player to respond to a coach like DT Cullen Jenkins did on Monday night: "Listen, I told you this; I made sure I mentioned that he was fired up before I got there, so he was very upset before I ever got to that point and I knew that. But that's okay. That's okay. That's all part of this game. So, I put a lot of responsibility on my offensive and defensive line. At that particular moment, I didn't really feel like either one of (those) groups was playing like they play. I like a little fire. That's okay. That's alright. I means something to him and he's one of the leaders of that group and so I get it. I understand."

On whether he would have preferred defensive coordinator Juan Castillo to address Jenkins and the defensive line: "Juan was talking with the linebackers and no, I wouldn't. There's a time and place where, and I've done this in the past with the all the coordinators, there's a time and a place where that's my responsibility to do some things there."

On whether QB Nick Foles has full facility with the playbook: "Well, the one thing we did was we gave him that opportunity this game. We didn't cut anything back. He had the full load of plays there and it was a good experience for him from this standpoint: that he's been a starter at the college level, a very successful starter, and then to learn to be a relief pitcher, that's a learned experience there that you have.

"So, to get him that experience where you're not taking any reps, he didn't take one rep with the ones and really zero reps against the New England Patriots (in practice). We gave the ones all those reps. But that will be very similar to what he faces during the season in a backup position. You get called on, you've got to be ready to step in and fire and drive the team down the field and make plays and do the things that he did a pretty good job of the other night."

On how far away from action QB Mike Kafka is at this point: "There's a chance he's ready for the Jets. We'll see. Right now, I've mentioned this to you before, the bone was clicking in there initially when he broke it. He could feel it clicking and now it's gotten 'sticky' as the doctors term it to where he can tell that it's healing and he's had it checked and it is healing. We'll see. There's a chance."

On how he expects Foles to handle going into Friday's game as the starter: "Well, we'll see. We'll see how he does. It's good experience for him. He's a young guy and so every rep he gets, I think, is a positive rep for him. But he'll get the prep time now, short prep time he'll get, but we'll see how it works for him."

On how impressed he was with Foles' timing, accuracy and willingness to throw into tight spots during Monday's game: "He did a good job. He trusted the people around him, which, for a young guy, that's a real positive thing. He trusted the play and then he trusted the player running the play. He probably said it best: he gave the playmakers around him an opportunity to make plays, the o-line did a nice job for protecting him and he got the ball out on time. Those are plusses."

On how hard it will be for Kafka to enter the season as the second team quarterback if he does not play in the preseason: "I think time will tell here the next couple weeks."

On whether he would still consider having Kafka as the second team quarterback if he does not play in the preseason: "We'll see. I've got to see how these other players, how they perform. So I want to give those guys an opportunity to perform and then if Mike's able to come back and get some work in that (fourth) game, Kafka that is, we'll see how he does then."

On secondary coach Todd Bowles' role in game planning: "Todd, obviously, he works with the secondary and, like the other assistant coaches, they have great communication in the room and they talk and work things out in there and then put the game plan together and then they go."

On whether facing the Browns in Week 1 changes anything going into this week's game against Cleveland: "I mentioned this when we played New England, I played the guys an extended amount in the New England game really because we've got, this is our first game; we've got the Browns in our first game. So, we'll give the guys a short period here to play, give them an opportunity to practice and prepare themselves for a game that's similar to what we're going to prepare for during the season with our Thursday night game. But, yeah, I would tell you that playing the Browns had something to do with that."

On whether he would be comfortable having rookie CB Brandon Boykin start at both kick returner and nickel corner: "I think you play the best guy is what you do. So you make it as simple as you possibly can in your evaluation of that and say whoever's playing the best will play in that position and that's a close competition there (at nickel corner). Those guys are going after it and I thought both of them actually did some good things in the game. So, we'll just leave that as an open competition."

On where the competition between CB Joselio Hanson and Boykin is now compared to the beginning of training camp: "The obvious is that Boykin's learning and getting better every day so that gap's narrowed."

On the progress of DE Jason Babin: "I think he'll be ready for the opener. He's doing okay."

On whether evaluating a rookie quarterback in the preseason is different based on a defense's lack of complexity: "I'd tell you yes. I mean, everything's so vanilla right now from an offensive and defensive standpoint, so people aren't going to blitz you like they do (in the regular season). At least the exotic blitzes, you're not going to get (those) in the preseason. And then you understand that every rep's an important rep for a rookie quarterback, just to see it, to make sure that you manage it the right way and manage the game the right way. So, every snap he gets is an important one and he's not seeing what he's going to see necessarily, none of the rookies are, what they're going to see in the regular season."

On how important it is for Foles to see action with the Eagles ones and against the Browns ones this week: "This will be, really, his first opportunity to do that. It's really the first team that he'll play that's running their first-team defense against him. I think that that'll be a good test for him. It's even a little faster than what he saw this past week and, again, they're playing us in the first game so they're not going to show everything they have. But at least you'll get that speed there."

On CB Curtis Marsh and his play with the first-team nickel package on Monday: "I thought Marsh did a good job. He had a couple of breakups there. I thought he did a nice job."

On the play of DE Phillip Hunt: "Phillip Hunt's a good football player. He's playing well. You can see, again, he's very familiar with what (defensive line coach Jim Washburn) is asking him to do and he does it 110 miles an hour. Good football player."

On LB Mychal Kendricks playing at a high level: "Kendricks got better than he was the week before and with rookies, that's what you're looking for. There are a couple of things he needs to work on and he'll keep doing that, but he made some improvement there and then the mistakes, and you look at this from a coaching standpoint, the mistakes that he made in the game, they repeated a couple of those plays and he came back and made the plays. Screen game, a couple of the draws, he came back and made plays on those and there was a trap play in there; did a nice job with that. So, he made improvement as the game went on and, from a coaching standpoint, that's very important."

On what the offensive line is having to work on to improve: "Well, you saw them settle down during the game. They started off, I thought we started off that first series just average and in protection in particular. They settled down as it went on and did a little better job."

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