Opening Remarks: "Great opportunity going into Baltimore. These guys have an excellent defense, one of the very best in the league, ranked very high in many categories. They are especially good at home. I believe that they are giving up somewhere around 11 points per game at home. Led by (Ravens S Ed) Reed and (Ravens LB Ray) Lewis, they have excellent players, multiple first round draft picks playing back there. They are physical. They have good size. They are fast and quick. They wreck havoc. They've done a nice job on defense this year. (Ravens defensive coordinator) Rex (Ryan) always does a good job defensively, and especially good this year."
On the Eagles offense being 6th in the league in total offense and 24th in third-down conversions and why there is such disparity there:"In many games, you know with my experiences, in many games, some of your best games, you don't have that many third downs and it's really unique. I think we are 6th in offense and 6th in scoring as well, so we are doing some very good things offensively. Make no mistake about that. However, we are doing some things situationally very poor, and so, we've got to get better situationally, and we've gotten better in some aspects, some situations, and we haven't in others and that bothers me. It bothers the players. And we're working hard and preparing hard to get better at some of those situations."
On whether QB Donovan McNabb's shoulder is 100 percent:"Yeah, he's fine."
On whether he thinks that excessive specialization in football these days and running guys in and out of the game tends to get guys out of rhythm:"It is a different game today than it was even ten years ago, especially 15 or 20. Much different game. It's very specialized. I haven't thought much about that, your question of getting out of rhythm, but we do change personnel virtually every play depending on the situation. So, you make a good point. That's part of the game. That's the way we operate, so I don't put much thought into that."
On whether it has been aggravating for him that it's been taking the offense a while to get into the flow of the game: "Well, it has for the past several weeks. Now, we are, I believe, still ranked very high coming out and scoring on the first drive, and I believe that we are ranked high coming out and scoring at halftime as well. Every game is different. We do need to start faster, especially just looking at the last several weeks here. However, every game is different. You may start fast and have a lull at picking it back up, or you may start slow and then have an excellent game from there on. But every football team, every offense wants to start fast, and so we want to do that and we work hard and prepare hard to do that."
On why this offense hasn't been able to start fast: "Lately, we've played some pretty good defenses. I think that this is the fifth top defense that we've played. I've got to do a better job there, and then, we simply have to execute just a little bit better."
On whether the timing is a little bit off between McNabb and WR Kevin Curtis:"We could go through a lot of reasons and those turn into excuses. We have to play a little bit better, especially early in the game."
On whether starting off running in the game could help give McNabb some composure: "It can help. However, you need to gain some yards early in the game, and that's one thing that we have discussed as an offense. We have to run the ball a little bit better early in the game. So, that sort of sets the tone."
On whether he buys into people saying that he doesn't run the ball enough: "No, I don't buy into that. However, we've discussed it before. I do believe that at least situationally you need to run the football and you have to do it in a physical fashion. And then they are arguing – every game is different as you know. There have been games where we have run the ball quite a little bit, and then there have been games where we have thrown the ball a little bit. So, every game is different, every plan is different going in."
On whether running the ball more situationally means running the ball more in third-and-short situations: "That's part of it. We need to run the ball better. We need to run it better earlier and in our short-yard situation. Now, we are pretty good at 2-6 yards, third (down) and 2-6, but we are not very good at, we've been poor…"
On whether having five carries in a quarter is enough of a body of work to determine how the ball is being run:"No. You make a good point. You're right. It's not enough, but it sure does help."
On finishing the game against the Bengals with 60 pass plays and 18 runs and whether that is where he wants to be: "No. It's not really. However, we went in with a certain plan, and I still think that it was a pretty good plan. We were in, what? really three two-minute type situations, or at least we were thinking two minute type situations, and so there was an awful lot of passes during those situations as well, so it's a little bit skewed. But yeah, we'd like to run the ball a little bit more. We'd like to run the ball better. We need to run the ball better."
On why they haven't been running the ball well at the end of games:"It's not quite that simple. With Donovan, now he's coming off of a game that wasn't very good, but in the big picture, Donovan is one of the very best quarterbacks in this league and we'd like to give him enough shots as well, so that's part of that. I think that we did run the ball better later in the game the past week. Your run game is sort of like we discussed, just like your overall offense, there are going to be times during a game where you run it real well and then you may have a play or two or three that you don't run it well, and you have to stay with it a little bit more than we have done."
On whether he is concerned that other players in the league have expressed that his offense is predictable:"How many yards did we throw for? Yeah, I don't think so."
On FS Brian Dawkins calling a team meeting yesterday:"Yeah. That's what our players did and those team-player meetings, that's a good thing a couple of times a year."
On whether all of the coaches ever get together when they are struggling and bang heads and say, "What's going on here?" and take inventory:"Oh yeah. We do that. It's a little testy sometimes."
On why RB Correll Buckhalter hasn't had more playing time:"That's my responsibility. You've got to get him in there. And again, I've explained it before, Brian Westbrook is so good, now he's banged up a little bit, but if he's fresh and ready to go, it's harder to sub."
On whether it would make sense to play Buckhalter more now that Westbrook is a little banged up: "You're right. It does make sense."