Philadelphia Eagles News

Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg

Opening Remarks: "We have a good challenge going in there at Washington. Always a tough, tough physical football game."

On why they have been more successful at converting third downs recently: "We're playing a little bit better. We're doing better there. We've gotten better. That's one thing that we want to do is get better every day. The hard work and preparation paid off there the last three games. The recent past history has no effect on this ball game, so we have to do it again."

On what they are specifically doing better in third-down situations and whether the third downs have been more manageable: "We've had some long ones, too. We're playing just a little bit better. We're executing a little bit better. (We're) putting ourselves in a little bit better position. (We've) made some great, great plays. (QB) Don(ovan McNabb)'s decision making has been outstanding recently here."

On whether they will miss WR Hank Baskett this week due to a sprained MCL: "Hank's a really good football player. You know what I think of Hank. I think that Hank is a heck of a football player. He does some things that most people don't see, for us, in and around the box. So yeah, we'll miss him. However, we expect the other fellows to step up and play just as well or better. It's just the way we do things, so I expect those guys to play well."

On whether Baskett will be available for Sunday's game: "Don't know yet. It's day to day."

On how much the success of the slot receivers has helped the outside receivers: "They doubled (WR) DeSean (Jackson) several times there when he was inside, so the outside guys end up being one-on-one a little bit. Sometimes it's bump and run, sometimes it's a little bit tougher leverage and the outside guys have been doing a good job of breaking that down."

On how McNabb has gone about making better decisions: "I didn't say better. He's just been outstanding, especially the last three games. He's always been an excellent decision maker, but he's been outstanding in the recent past."

On what has been the difference in McNabb's decision making in the past three games compared to four or five games ago: "You're taking me back quite a little ways here. I don't believe that it was quite all – normally, when good things aren't happening for you, it's normally not one person or one decision. It's normally a host of things that were occurring, so we got better every day. It's the hard work and the preparation the players put in that has paid off recently."

On whether he envisioned Jackson having such a great rookie season when they drafted him: "That's a good question. I did like DeSean very much coming out of college. I thought he was a natural player and special-type player. I thought that he would certainly help us at the minimum on special teams in a role. And some things happened that gave him an opportunity, like the injuries that occurred early. Both of our starting receivers were out if you remember in training camp and early in the season, so he got an opportunity there and he made the most of it and he's done very well. But specifically with your question, I thought that he would help this football team at minimum in a role as well as on special teams and he's done quite better than that."

On whether WR Kevin Curtis has been more productive recently as a result of him getting physically better throughout the season: "Yeah, and I don't believe that he's gotten back to being quite a 100 (percent). I think he's real close. So yeah, every week he got better physically and that certainly helped him."

On what has prevented Jackson from hitting the wall that most rookies hit: "Most of that is mental and so he's been a real pro, really, since the day he stepped into this building. Many rookies don't quite know what's going to occur and it kind of hits him in the face there around mid-season or maybe a little bit after. That certainly has not been an issue with DeSean and most of it's mental."

On what challenge the Redskins defense presents: "They have four excellent corners. Their corners, they have four that would start for most teams. So, they are very good cover guys and they're playing them all over the place. They match up on certain guys in certain games, so they have a plan there and they play tight coverage. They are very, very good cover guys."

On whether the Redskins play a press or zone defense: "They do both. They do them all. There are four basic techniques that you will see: bump-and-run, and then run-out, which is bump-and-run right before, right at, or right after the snap. Then, there's cloud and free access, and they do all four of those and they do all of them very well. And then they do bump-and-run, they do bump-and-run situtationally and then a little bit more than that."

On how rare it is to have a receiver corps with such variety: "Each of them has different strengths. Just one example, (WR) Greg Lewis has great speed. Hank Baskett is a very physical man and can do a lot of things, some things that tight ends can do as well as play outside. So, there are just a couple of examples, so that's a good thing. Then, fits into your gameplan and you try to put them into some positions where they can help the football team and have some success there."

On whether it helps him that his receivers don't have big egos: "DeSean doesn't have much of an ego. All the guys are pretty good that way. The fellows, they don't care how we do it. They are willing to do anything that it takes to win the next upcoming game."

On whether McNabb has been playing with a chip on his shoulder the last three games: "Well, you better play with a chip on your shoulder in this league. Once you think that you know it all or you're done learning or you get real comfortable, that's when you get slapped in the face. But you better play with a chip on your shoulder, and I think Donovan's always done that. He's played particularly well, especially the decision-making process, and that's one of the keys of playing quarterback and he's been outstanding like I said."

On whether he would prefer to have an offense with multiple contributing players or an offense with one go-to guy: "It works both ways. You just want the best players and it goes deeper than that. You want the best players that have the best character that put the team first and are willing to do, like I said just a minute ago, whatever needs to be done to win that next game."

On whether he is participating in not shaving: "I didn't know about that. A while back I thought I was in and then I shaved and then I was out. Now I'm getting close to getting back in, I guess. (Jokingly) Big (defensive coordinator) Jim (Johnson) looks pretty good though, doesn't he?"

On how important balance is in converting third downs: "I think that we are 10-for-10 over the last third-and-one-or-two's, so we've been doing a better job there. We got better. We weren't very good and then we got a little bit better and then we've been real good lately. And again, that has no effect on that next game. We have to do it again. Yeah, we've kept them a little bit more manageable, however, we've had some long ones as well, so I think that we are just doing a little bit better of a job in the third down situation and that's a huge situation that happens throughout a ball game. If you get one third down on any drive it jacks your chance of scoring way up, so you need to get that first one if there is one. Now, there are games where you have very few third downs because you are moving the ball on first and second so you don't get into those, and those are very good games as well. We've played a certain style. A couple of those games, we're in manageable situations and the guys just executed beautifully on most of those. Then, there were several of occasions where Donovan made just a great play running or keeping the play alive. Then, the thing that I think is overlooked is our receivers, running backs, tight ends, all of the eligible receivers, have done just an outstanding job of catching the football as of late."

On how impressed he is with the job FB Kyle Eckel is doing: "Kyle's done very well. Kyle Eckel is a tough football player. He appears to gain those extra yards by hitting and spinning and keeping his feet moving, and he's very strong. A little bit more each week for him and we'll see how that goes, and so he's done well, been very impressive."

On whether WR Reggie Brown will play this week: "We'll see, and we'll see on the others. We have a lot of guys right now that they are a little banged up and we had that last week, and I told the fellows it was impressive. We had more than a handful of guys that were hurting pretty good during that game and even coming into that last ball game, so we are a little bit more banged up this week. And so we'll see how everything pans out. The guys are doing everything possible to make it to this football game. Reggie will play probably quite a little bit more and maybe even start the football game, so we'll see."

On what Brown needs to show him: "Reggie doesn't need to show me anything. He's a good football player. I told him a while back that he has to keep this thing going and get his reps and catches in practice and spend some extra time because we are going to need him. We will need him at some point and quite possibly this week we are going to need Reggie."

On whether he will continue to rotate RB Brian Westbrook and RB Correll Buckhalter for the remainder of the season: "Yeah, as long as both of them are healthy. As you know, both of them have been nicked up pretty good throughout the year. As long as they are healthy, that's a good thing if we can do that."

On what position Brown would start at if he starts in Sunday's game: "We'll see. I'm not going to say. I'm not going to get into that right now."

On how they use Baskett in a way that plays to his individual strengths: "We use him in some blocking schemes sometimes inside the box, sometimes on the edge. We use him to chip some of those great pass rushers before going out into a route, and he does an exceptional job with that. We use him on many cases where he's either set or coming down in short motion and cracking down on a big defensive end on a run, on a toss lets say. So, he does all those things that most receivers are not physical enough to do and they just don't have the body style to do it. He has the body style and then mentality to do those things, and so he helps us both in the run and pass game, not only running routes and catching the ball, but on those things that we just mentioned there."

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