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Philadelphia Eagles News

Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg

Opening Remarks: "Good challenge ahead of us here at the Meadowlands. The crowd noise, another top defense, good against the run and the pass, excellent at sacking the quarterback, so we'll have to be on, and we'll have to execute at a high level to have a good game here."

On what has been their key to protecting the quarterback against the Giants' pass rush: "Well, it's all encompassing. First, the offensive line has done a good job and the past history means nothing going into this game, so they have to do it again. And I think our backs and tight ends have done an excellent job in some of the aspects within the protection. And then (QB) Donovan (McNabb) is really important in that. I think that he has done an outstanding job, really, against many teams versus the blitz and some of those great pass rushers. He has done a heck of a job there. Our receivers are involved in that as well, so it's all encompassing. And everybody has to be right on when you are playing those great pass rushers, and we have played several of them this year. And I think that's one thing that we have gotten better at in the past couple of years."

On how much the weather affects their gameplan: "Well, it affects it. You know, the weather is more – rain you are okay. The snow, you are okay. All of that. When it gets a little colder it has a little bit of an effect but normally you are in pretty good shape there. In fact, those that I just mentioned, in many cases are better for an offense. Then, if you add the wind to any of those, then it really affects and influences the game, yeah."

On whether the weather for Sunday is expected to be similar to the weather they had in the last matchup against the Giants: "Well, it could change in the drop of a hat, but the reports I'm getting is 21-30 degrees, so it'll be a little colder I think. Now, the wind, I'm getting reports at 15 (mph) or maybe a little bit better, so it may not be quite as windy. It was wicked wind the last time we played them. I think we all remember that."

On whether he thinks the lack of depth on the Giants' defense is starting to catch up with them: "Well, I don't know that. You need to ask them that. I think they are a heck of a defense. They had things locked up pretty quick. In fact, that last game meant nothing there. I think they are an excellent defensive front and an excellent front seven. They really play well. The time of their blitzes are excellent. So, you always miss a great player but certainly they had depth, in fact two great players, and they had depth and they kept it going, and I think they are still going pretty good there."

On whether he expects Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to go right after McNabb: "Oh, everybody tries it. Most really good defenses, that's what they do. Most of those really good defenses will test you with their blitz package."

On whether the Minnesota Vikings did anything differently in regards to McNabb: "Nothing out of – they did a little bit more early. I think they wanted to do it early. You know, Donovan has been pretty good against the blitz for the past several years when he's been healthy, that one year. He was outstanding against the blitz those first five games a couple of years back."

On what he has seen in McNabb that enables him to bounce back from all the low points in his career: "Donovan is a high-character man. He just won't be denied, and he's a football player first. He does have that ability to where if things don't go right one week, he typically will bounce right back and play pretty well. Some of us, I suppose, you were born with (it). Some of us, your experiences growing up, and some of us, just that certain mentality. And he has that. He has the certain mentality that he can bounce back."

On what he sees in TE Brent Celek: "We've talked about this before even last year and early this season. Brent Celek is a heck of a football player. He's consistent in everything he does and very dependable and then has some skill and ability. He has not surprised anybody on our staff because we expected that from him."

On what has happened to TE L.J. Smith over the past two years: "He's been banged up a little bit, yeah. And then we try to get better every day, and it's hard to get better every day if you're not practicing or if you aren't practicing much. So, I think that's kind of playing into it just a little bit. L.J. is a fine football player. He's a heck of an athlete; very athletic. It's good to have him back on the practice field. He did practice a little bit yesterday, so we'll see here what happens before the game."

On whether he is concerned that T Jon Runyan's injuries might eventually catch up to him: "No, I'm not concerned about Jon. Jon is a tough, tough guy. They are all tough in this league. Not everybody is tough but he has that unique ability because he's had some devastating-type situations. And he makes it to the game and he plays well, and some guys can play pretty well when they are hurt and he's one of those guys. So I'm not concerned about Jon just because I've seen it so many times."

On whether he gameplans for the Giants' east end zone: "I've been up there before way back when and opened the door and let the wind in and all that, and I don't even worry about it. I don't even worry about it. If it's windy it's windy, and we'll do certain things. And if it's not windy we'll do certain things as well, but we don't even worry about that."

On what they can do to improve their red zone offense: "We've got to play a little bit better there first. Second, I think a couple of them are kneel downs or at the end of two minute and the time's out and we're trying to kick a field goal. The raw numbers sometimes are a little bit misleading in this league; however we do have to play a little bit better in the red zone. There have been a couple of times where we have been a little conservative because of the game situation as well, but we do have to play a little bit better there, yeah."

On whether it's a little bit about getting a rhythm going in the red zone: "It starts with me. I have to get in the right plays. Maybe a rhythm with me, yeah."

On whether he sees a lot of Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson in Spagnuolo's defensive gameplan: "Quite a bit, yeah. Different defense, different players, a little bit different thought process in certain situations, but yeah, very similar."

On whether the Giants' coverages are different than Johnson's: "Very similar. Look, I don't like comparing because every guy takes a structure and goes his own way with it. So, you could have the same two guys, they are very similar, they think similar, one taught the other quite possibly, and then they both go and then they are this far apart. That happens on a consistent basis, offense and defense and so you say, why? Well, most of it probably depends on personnel and then you don't take off with that. But with your personnel and trying to put them in the best spot to have success. So, they are two different defenses, however all the terminology, many of the coverages, many of the blitzes, are very similar. Now, you may see the same – and they've tweaked it just a little bit. And then every defense has new blitzes for that game, so I'm sure we'll see that, yeah."

On what kind of challenge crowd noise gives them: "The crowd noise specifically, oh yeah, it's a huge challenge. We base ourselves on hard work and preparation, and then there's a whole host of other things that we have to be very good at to be able to function on the road. And that's one of them, the crowd noise. And so, we work hard at that, and I think our players are pretty good at it. I don't want to be speaking too soon because the past really doesn't have anything to do with this game. But we have to be really good in the Meadowlands there with the crowd noise."

On whether practicing indoors during the week helps with the crowd-noise preparation: "Oh absolutely. I think you need to do that. And we practice with the crowd noise throughout the year when we're going out on the road, so you get a little bit better at it as you go. And then, you have to be right on it in any particular game and this is one loud place. We'll have to be right on top of it."

On whether he thinks time of possession was a key in the first two matchups against the Giants this season: "I think both defenses can make great, great plays, and both offenses, I think are pretty good. I'm not sure that it's the time of possession, it's the number of plays usually that's a little bit bigger factor there. And so if the one team has 10, 12, 15 more plays, that usually means they are ahead, first. And then second, you had an extra series or two there. Some of it's predicated on turnovers and some of it's predicated on kick returns and all those things. There are a lot of issues that go into time of possession or number of plays."

On whether he starts checking the wind forecast early in the week: "Oh yeah. I check it every day."

On whether he tailors the gameplan to the predicted wind conditions: "Well, your thought process. The gameplan is pretty big usually for any particular game. Your thought process may go a little bit different if it's big wind. It has to be pretty big wind with our quarterback. Our quarterback can cut through the wind pretty good with his arm strength, so it has to be pretty big to have much effect, and that's a good thing. That's one of Donovan's strengths there. It's a good thing, yeah. With Donovan's arm strength he cuts through the wind pretty good."

On whether the Eagles' defense has allowed the offense to do anything different in the past couple of weeks: "I think our defense is playing terrific. Very pleased. So yeah, we talked about the red zone there. You can play toward your defense just a little bit when they are playing like they've played for pretty much the whole year with very few exceptions."

On whether this is the first time in a while that he's felt like he can do different things on offense because of the way the defense is playing: "I think our defense has always been really good. They are playing at a real high level; they have in recent past history here."

On whether he expects FB Dan Klecko to be available for Sunday's game and if not, is he confident that FB Kyle Eckel can step in and play well: "Well, we'll see on that. Dan Klecko is day to day, so we'll see. (RB) Correll Buckhalter, you saw him last game, he will play fullback for us. Then Kyle is getting quite a few reps there, so we'll see on Dan, if he's available. Then, Buck will play that fullback spot. Then Kyle has taken a lot of reps at a couple of different spots, but the fullback spot as well."

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