Skip to main content
Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

OC Marty Mornhinweg

Opening Remarks: "We're right in the middle of camp and the learning process for many of the new players. The veteran players are trying to get sharp and crisp. Some of the young players have really shined so far, and many of the veterans are right on target."

On whether RB Dion Lewis is ready to take the next step in his young career: "That's right. He's had an excellent camp so far. There is a lot of hard work in front of all of us. He has had an excellent camp up-to-date and he's a fine runner. He's excellent with his protections. He's a little shorter than one would think, but he's certainly bigger because he's a very strong and physical man. He's doing a nice job in the pass game as well."

On what RB Bryce Brown has shown so far in the live periods: "Bryce, as you know, is a highly talented young man and has an excellent opportunity here. He's going to make the most of it. He is preparing in the classroom diligently with (running backs coach) Ted Williams, and he's getting his hard work done on the field and it's shown for him. He's had an excellent camp up-to-date as well."

On how having a young offense both helps and hurts the team: "The youth is great with the juice. We have a lot of juice and it's still new and fresh for many of them. We lack just a little bit of experience in certain places and experience counts, that's important. That's why we're putting all the hard work in on the field so that they can gain these reps and gain a little bit of experience there."

On whether having youth requires more patience: "As I've grown older, I've gotten a little bit more patient. This isn't a patient game. With this thing, you want to chase that perfection every time you come out on the ball field. There definitely is a little bit more patience (needed), especially with a young player."

On how QB Mike Kafka has done with more reps during this camp: "He's had a good, solid camp so far. As you know, he's trying hard to lock down this offense and become a master that way. He's made some nice throws and he's done everything pretty well up to this point. It's still pretty early in camp and we're right in the middle of the learning curve, but he's done a nice job. In some cases, we'll get the second offense vs. the first defense, and I think our defense is going to be just outstanding. They're fast, quick, physical, and strong. He's done a really good job so far."

On what gives the coaching staff a solid confidence that he could be the primary backup: "I have a great confidence in Mike Kafka. He's a very confident young man himself and he has skills and ability. He's trying very diligently to become a master in the position. We all have a great confidence in Mike."

On whether he has had any other backup quarterbacks with as little game action as Kafka: "Oh yeah. I'm not going to go into any specific ones with the exception of (Jeff) Garcia. He had some experience in Canada, and know this – it doesn't matter what type of pro football you're playing, you're gaining experience and it does count. He was a little bit ahead of the game and he mastered the offense in about a year and he went to the Pro Bowl his second year in this league."

On whether Kafka is similar in make-up to former Eagles QB A.J. Feeley: "I hate to compare because every quarterback is different. He's in that same mold certainly as A.J., that's a good point."

On whether he can see the team not taking a fullback into the regular season: "I'm not going to get into personnel decisions so early. Those typically work themselves out as we progress in camp. However, it is a good point that there aren't that many true fullbacks left in this league. We've typically had one because they are very valuable with all of the things that we do. Special teams count for that particular type of player normally. We've got some good fullbacks here, and Stanley (Havili) is leading that group. (Jeremy) Stewart has been very good in camp and with the young man from UMass (Emil Igwenagu), we moved him to the tight end spot but he's also playing a bit of fullback. All three of those players are just natural players and they've got some good size and they're physical. A lot of teams have a man or two that can play both the tight end and the fullback, and so many teams have gone to just one back. We're a little bit more of the two back than some people. The fullback has normally been a very valuable position to us."

On what he would need to see in order to keep one: "As you know, we ask the fullback to do an awful lot of things. First of all with the blocking, and then with the pass protection as well as running routes and receiving, adjusting to routes and catching the football. We talked about how special teams will be important for that position as well. There are several other things we won't get into, but that is usually a very important position for our football team."

On whether there is a way to get more production from WR DeSean Jackson in the red zone: "Yeah, and that was a little bit of a unique year there with the numbers and so forth. I'll try to get him the football just a little bit more down there."

On whether it is a challenge to utilize the special talents he has when the defenses try to hone in and take that away: "Normally, we will see a completely different defense than what we've seen on film from our next opponent the last four games or so because of the style of players that we have. We do have some unique, uncommon type of players and we utilize them in somewhat of an uncommon way on more than an occasion. There are certain things that a defense will typically do to each one of our players and we need to stay ahead of the curve with all of our players as well. We love those challenges and we love that mentality of whatever it takes to win the next game."

On how he sees RB Dion Lewis fitting into the screen-pass game: "Dion was a fine player coming out of Pittsburgh, and this guy is a player, now. He has shown his natural ability since day one and he's a tough guy. I've said this about a couple of other running backs including Brian Westbrook, but he's probably a little shorter than one would think but he's much bigger. He's a weapon in both the pass and the run, and he's had an excellent camp up-to-date."

On why Lewis was not used more in 2011: "That's probably my mistake. I always wanted to go into a game and use him just a little bit more. Then, you get into a game and every game is important. LeSean (McCoy) was so good last year and it was hard to take him out, and it will still be hard to take LeSean out. We would certainly like to play the other fellas just a little bit more. Dion has earned that role up-to-date, and he still has a bit of hard work left."

On saying the same thing about RB Correll Buckholter when he was here: "Yeah, and Buck was a great player for us. He's coaching for us now, and he's going to be an excellent coach, by the way."

On whether he is confident enough to not consider a veteran backup running back: "With our running back position, I think that (general manager) Howie Roseman and our personnel department have done an outstanding job. All of our running backs have a chance to play in this league. Chris Polk from the University of Washington, (Jeremy) Stewart from Stanford. There are some excellent players here. We have a pretty good crew there of runners. Some of them have very little experience, so that's why we put in the hard work on the field to get them experience and they'll certainly get some in the preseason."

On whether it takes a running back about a year to be comfortable in the system: "Every individual is a little bit different. Some of them pick it up very quickly and can help you. LeSean McCoy picked it up very quickly. With others, it might take some time and may take more than a year. They may all end up being good players but it depends on the progression there."

On how Lewis is progressing as far as pass blocking goes: "He's excellent. That's one thing that normally a college back has to prove and improve is the pass protection. It is just a vital situation in this league to keep your quarterback clean. They are rarely asked to do that at a high level in the college game."

On how tough it is for a smaller back like Lewis to do: "You have to have some strength to you, and he does. Size matters only a touch with protection pickups. It's strength, techinique, and a little juice for you. Most backs who have the skill and ability to play at this level can develop themselves into a fine pass protector. With Ted Williams, all of the backs that he's ever coached, they've all been great pass protectors and Dion is right there and right on target."

On what he has seen from the offensive line so far: "We have a new left tackle (Demetress Bell), and they do have a little bit of rust here. They're trying to knock that off and that's why you prepare and get all these reps on the practice. Up front, we've done some things just beautifully up-to-date and there are some things we just need to do better. That's where we are at right now with pretty much every position."

On whether he can get into strengths and weaknesses of the o-line: "Some of the plays have just been executed beautifully, and with the other plays, we've missed an assignment or a technique. We have to tighten that up. A key with our offensive line is they have a great opportunity to become one of the best lines in this league. The key is to operate together, and that includes the tight end in most cases."

On whether this camp is more valuable to the younger players than past ones have been because they have had veteran experience at the backup spots: "Everything we do in training camp is important, and training camp is just critical. It is a good point that many of our backups are inexperienced, and you try and get them the experience and that's why the individual coaches are so valuable. We have great individual coaches across the board to get them ready to play. In the game today, unlike maybe 15-20 years ago, the young players in some cases have to come right in and help the football team in sometimes several different ways."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.