Philadelphia Eagles News

Off. Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg

Opening remarks: "That last ball game the fellows played pretty well. The offensive line I thought played extremely well and enabled the skill guys to move and groove just a little bit. (TE) Brent Celek showed his toughness. He's a player. He's still hurting just a little bit. I think it's getting better and better every day, so I'll think he'll be fine there. (WR) DeSean (Jackson) had a real good game as well. (QB) Donovan (McNabb) is playing outstanding. When you give Donovan a little bit of time he really does a nice job. Then this San Francisco team, make no mistake, this defense is very, very good. I have them at a top-ten type of defense. I believe they are like tenth in yards per play. They are very good. They are very aggressive. They are fast, starting with their strong-side inside linebacker number 52. He's an excellent player, one of the very best in this league. They are very aggressive in their coverage schemes. They rush the passer extremely well. They have an excellent scheme with good talent and so they can really make good offenses look bad if you're not right on top of it, so that's our challenge. We have to be right on top of it against these people."

On how familiar TE Alex Smith and TE Martin Rucker are with the offense: "I think Alex will be just fine. He has some experience and he's played well for us. Alex has played very well in sort of a role, and so he'll be just fine. Now, the man from Missouri, Rucker, is an excellent prospect (and) has developed greatly even since he's been here. (Tight ends coach) Tom Melvin has done a heck of a job that way, so I think if he were to be in a football game I would expect him to play real well. (He's) very familiar with what we do and how we do it and it's good that he's up and available here."

On whether the success of the offense this season surprises him given all the personnel moves and injuries: "Hopefully we're putting it together just a little bit here. You go through these things during a season. We had an awful lot of young and new players and then we had some injury problems. You have to give the credit to the players, they stayed tight. Look, we don't care who gets the credit. We work hard, we prepare, and we expect to play well, so whoever is in there we expect to play well. I think they do a great job, the players, with that mentality."

On whether he's gone into any games wondering what they are going to get from their players: "That's not the way we go about it. I expect great things from the players and they expect great things from themselves, so that's the way we go about our business."

On whether the final drive in the game against the Giants: "That was a good one. There have been other drives as well throughout the years and even this year, but that was a good one. (We) went up by two scores there and used up a significant amount of time and did it in an efficient manner and (it was) well executed. Virtually every play there was pretty well executed, and so it was a good drive and it was a good time to have a drive like that as well."

On head coach Andy Reid talking about possibly accelerating WR Kevin Curtis' workload this week and whether he thinks Curtis will be effective in a game even if he's not 100 percent: "I didn't know Andy said that. There is a plan for Kevin Curtis, and so we'll go about it like that with a plan. I'm sure Andy has talked to him, I've talked to him, and so I think he'll be effective within that plan."

On the receivers blocking downfield and how overlooked that part of their game is: "(Wide receivers coach) David Culley does an excellent job there with the receivers, and they take great pride in blocking. We have our rookie (WR) Jeremy Maclin who is an excellent blocker down the field. (WR) Jason Avant throughout his career here, short career, he's an excellent blocker and Kevin, when he was playing, is an excellent blocker. They take great pride in making a 6, 8, 10-yard run into that 20, 30, 40 yard run or more or scoring-type play, so that's a good thing. I'm glad you brought that up."

On whether the plan they have for Curtis has to do with how they will bring him back: "Yeah, you know how we do that with a man that hasn't played for a period of time. We're going to do it in a certain way. The communication is critically important between him and the trainers and the head coach and me, so we have a plan and those plans can change depending on how he's feeling."

On what kind of role Curtis will have if there is a game where all the receivers are healthy and back: "We'll see when that time comes. We take it week to week. This is an important game for us and we have a plan for this particular game and then next week we'll have a plan. The thought process could adjust there."

On why they were able to stick with the run game against the Giants last week even though the stats didn't show that they were successful using it: "I thought it was okay. I thought some parts of it were really good and then there were a couple other parts that weren't very good that way. Against that ball club, I think you have to run the football just a little bit in a certain manner and so we did that. We had success in some areas and we didn't have as much success as I had planned in a couple other type plays."

On whether it's difficult to balance the number of offensive weapons that he has available and whether he takes stock of who is involved throughout the game: "They all want the ball. Every one of them wants the ball and those are the types of players we want. No, I don't take stock of it. I like to use all eligible runners and receivers and do it in sort of a dynamic way, so in saying that you have to get the football to your dynamic players just a little bit more, so I try and do that just a little bit throughout the game."

On there being a big difference in the effectiveness of QB Michael Vick over the last several weeks and whether he's found different ways to use Vick to get him closer to what he once was: "I think we talked about this a little bit before where most of that first half of the season was sort of training for him, physical, minicamp, training camp, he did a heck of a job of getting himself back physically. The quickness, speed, the throwing part of all those things. (Quarterbacks coach) James Urban and (offensive quality control coach) Doug Pederson worked an awful lot with him, you saw pre and post practice just to get himself at a certain level. Then, when you put a player in that hasn't played for more than two years, I want to make sure he's ready first and put him in a position where he has a chance to have some success there. I think he's at that point now."

On what the Niners defense did to hold Indianapolis to 18 points: "(The Colts have) a little bit different offense, although some of the same things. I think they played them just a little bit different than most teams. In any case, this defense, I mentioned this before, can make really a good offense struggle. Their pass rush, their scheme and they do blitz just a little bit and how they blitz is pretty good. Then, they are very, very aggressive at all positions but their secondary plays towards that pass rush just a little bit. They are excellent versus the run as well, one of the very best in the league against the run. Then, I think their passing stats are skewed just a little bit. So they are very, very good on defense."

On Niners LB Patrick Willis: "He has everything, and I think he's one of the very best in the league. He has size, strength, speed, quickness. He has great instincts. He gets to the football very, very quick and he sniffs things out very quickly. He has good instincts that way, a good feel of the game. I talked about all of his physical attributes, and so you mix those instincts with the physical attributes and you have a heck of a player. This guy is really a good player. You have to account for him. Everything you do you better get somebody immediately responsible for him."

On why there aren't more long drives like the 91-yard one against the Giants and whether he likes those long drives: "Yeah, I like those drives. You don't get the ball back there very much. I like getting the ball at the one (yard line), heck you get the chance to go 99 (yards). It's hard in this league against good defenses to make the long drives. It's just very, very difficult. Normally, not always, but normally you just have to have some big plays. It's just very, very difficult to be that efficient every drive and go down the field in a systematic way every drive because inevitably you're going to have a run that doesn't gain much or you're going to have a tipped pass and then all of a sudden you're second or third-and-long and you know what the odds are there, 35 percent or so."

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