Philadelphia Eagles News

Head Coach Andy Reid and Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder

Andy Reid Opening Comments: "[QB] Michael [Vick] is listed as questionable and I brought Rick in to just update you guys on where he's at right now."

Rick Burkholder Opening Comments: "Since the last time we met on Wednesday, just to give you a little insight about some of the things we went through the process. Since that time he's had two impact tests, which he's done very well on, and I have those interpreted by the people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and they were very happy with his results, as I was. He's practiced twice, he's lifted with our strength coach, he's done rehabilitation with me, he's been in meetings with the offensive staff, everything has gone as planned. I think at this point in the process we're very far along, but it's still an ongoing process, so we have tonight to see whether any symptoms come up, and how he does with his sleep, and how he does tomorrow morning, and he's got a walkthrough tomorrow, and then we'll go through our pregame process and continue to communicate. Coach and Michael and I have been in constant communication and I think everything is on the up and up right now."

On whether he can say that barring a setback he will play Sunday: RB – "I think we're heading in that direction. Still, it's Friday, and I told you guys back on Monday that we had a whole week to process this thing, and that's what we'll do."

On whether he has been cleared medically by the independent and the team doctors: RB – "To continue with the activity, and you know, I'm in constant contact with the people who look at impact testing as well as the independent and one thing I didn't mention is he visited with our team doctor, [Team Internist] Dr. Gary Dorshimer, yesterday and had a full evaluation with him. Dr. Dorshimer was actually with the hockey team yesterday, and so I was in communication with him in Canada last night and then again this morning. So he's been cleared for where he's at right now and we'll continue to go right up until Sunday."

On whether there is any reason he would not play even if there are not any setbacks: AR – "We're just going through the process. We're trying to keep this as clear as we can for you. I mean, I know this is tough to understand. Every day is its own day, and we just take it one day at time here, he goes through the process, and if he's okay on game day then he plays on game day."

On what some of things are that Burkholder is looking for throughout the process to show that Vick is on schedule: RB – "That's a great question that we've all discussed here, and know that we have a little saying about these concussions, it takes a village to be able to do this. So I ask the coaches how he is in meetings, whether he's, you know, on point and on cue, I talk to our strength coach about whether his strength is up to normal, whether his reps are to normal, and rehabilitation I look at his balance and I look at how his exertion is, whether he seems frustrated with the activity, and then Michael and I talk all the time about how he feels. So we're really looking, at this point in the process, on Friday, we're starting to look to see whether he develops any symptoms, you know, did he get a headache, are you nauseous, anything like that."

On whether a player, not specifically Vick, would become frustrated on how detailed everything becomes day-by-day, hour-by-hour: RB – "I think everybody's different, but I think the players are, on a whole, and I'm saying this as a blanket statement, I think they're amazed at the process that you have to go through to make sure that they're okay. Whether they get frustrated with that or not, I don't know that, but I know this, that their week becomes different, just like if they had a pulled hamstring and they were kind of questionable, or if they had a sore shoulder, suddenly there's a new component to their week. It's just not meetings, it's not just weight lifting, it's not just practice, now you have a whole training room component and so that's what he's going through right now. I've spent a lot of time with Michael this week that I haven't spent with Michael in the past."

On what help Vick's new helmet padding will be: RB – "The helmet situation we're working with right now with our equipment manager and Michael. I'm not always sure it's the equipment, sometimes it's the force of the way their head moves so that's a whole other class in concussion management. Right now I'm working with our equipment manager and Michael on this issue."

On whether an older style of helmet could have made the concussion more serious: RB – "You can't even go there."

On whether Vick was wearing a mouthpiece Sunday and will he wear one this week: RB – "He traditionally wears a mouthpiece. He didn't have one in on Sunday, and we're working on that part of it as well with him."

On how much Vick's willingness or unwillingness to play on Sunday factors into the decision to play or not play him: RB – "I think anybody since I've been here, in the 13 years with Coach Reid, any player has been involved in the decisions to play or not play. It's not Rick's decision, it's not the doctor's decision, it's not the coach's decision, only that medically we can disqualify. But if we're getting to the point where they're going to play, Coach and myself usually sit down with the player somewhere along the line and talk to them about their willingness to play and that doesn't matter whether it's a knee or an ankle or a concussion, so that's normal for us and it's been that way for the 13 years I've been here."

On what kind of testing or examinations are left for the rest of today and tomorrow: RB – "As far as testing goes, if we don't get any kind of symptoms, our testing is basically finished in terms of no more impact testing, he doesn't need to see the independent anymore. He will see our team doctor, Gary Dorshimer, on game day because he's there with us, and so I'm sure that Gary will say 'hi' to Michael and just ask him, you know, 'are you okay' and all that kind of stuff. I think, really, it comes down to us now, with Michael and the coaches, and just see how he does. There's no formal testing anymore unless he would have a setback."

On whether he has had any symptoms recur: RB – "No."

Andy Reid Comments: "Alright, the Giants, we look forward to the challenge of playing the New York Giants. It's always a knockdown, drag-out fight. I've been very impressed with the preparation that our team went through this week. They've worked very hard and spent a lot of time getting themselves ready to play a good football team. Also, playing in front of our home fans, they truly are the twelfth man and ladies. That's a great combination there when you're able to bring teams into Lincoln Financial Field."

On how DE Darryl Tapp and DE Juqua Parker are listed: AR – "Yeah, they're both out. Everybody else is ready to go."

On what challenges being thin at defensive line presents: AR – "Well we're lucky we have some depth there, with [DE Phillip] Hunt, and so on, and [DT Cullen] Jenkins has played defensive end before so we know he can do that. We're fully loaded at the defensive tackle position, to allow us freedom to do that if we need Jenkins to work over there. We sure were impressed with Hunt during preseason and obviously we're keeping him on the active roster here now."

On whether there is any concern that the defensive linemen may become fatigued: AR – "I think they'll be alright. I think we've got a good rotation going here and it should work fine."

On whether it is likely that QB Vince Young will be in uniform: AR – "We'll see. We'll just see where that all goes here. He's trying to work through this, he's kind of in the same thing that Michael's in, he's working through an injury and so we're taking it day by day here and just making sure. There's a chance he is, there's a chance he's not, too."

On his impressions of Vick in practice in the last two days: AR – "I'll tell you, he's been sharp. That's the best way I can sum it up. He's done a very nice job in managing everything. He's done good."

On how Vick is feeling mentally in terms of getting in and out of the huddle: AR – "You know what, he's done a great job, a great job with it, just like he normally does, a very good job."

On whether Vick missed any classroom sessions: AR – "No."

On whether he has had to alter the way he and Vick go through things: AR – "As far as the load of the game plan? No."

On whether QB Mike Kafka is better equipped to be the backup because he has received more reps this week: AR – "My only concern with Vince at this moment is the injury part of it. I've just got to make sure I'm not going to put him at any risk. I wouldn't do that. And then on the other hand Mike did a nice job for us. So that's a good combination, in particular if all three of them are ready to go. That's a pretty good lineup, so I feel good about that."

On whether Vick's concussion has had any impact at all on the week of preparation for the offense: AR – "No it hasn't. As far as the game plan goes, it's the same type of thing that we would have done any other way. I think that both Mike Kafka and Vince could handle the same thing also, so we don't need to make many changes there."
On whether he has had to warn the team against overlooking the Giants because of the injuries that they've faced:
AR – "You're kind of answering that through there. It's the Giants. It's never mattered which team was beat up, it's never mattered, they're always good games and tough games. The proximity of the two teams being close to each other, it's a neat thing, a very competitive thing. I don't think players look at it, they don't care who's injured, who's not injured, they just go home and go play, both teams, and that's what I think we'll see."

On whether he has worked with Vick on his turnovers: AR – "I'm not too worried about the [giveaways]."

On what he is looking to do by switching around the linebackers: AR – "We let them all play. They're all playing. We'll move them around a little bit and let them play."

On whether he thinks that too much is being made of the linebacker switch: AR – "Well, you've had a couple good stories from it, so it helps pay the bills."

On whether he was unhappy with the way things were going at that position: AR – "I've done it with a few before, but we just move them around and give people different looks."

On whether the Giants have changed their defensive scheme because of all of their injuries: AR – "They attack. I mean, it's an attack defense. They can do both, they're going to throw both at you. Where they come after you they do a nice job of playing zone coverage, they mix in straight man coverage without the blitz, and then man with the blitz and zero blitz. I mean you get the whole gamut when you play them."

On how close S Nate Allen is back to being where he needs to be: AR – "He's had a good week of practice so he's getting there, he's getting there. He's working like crazy. He got a few reps in the game last week, you saw that, and we'll see how it goes this week."

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