Philadelphia Eagles News

Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg

Opening Remarks: "Right in the middle of preparation for the Cleveland Browns. Everybody's excited. Our players are excited; wish the game was today. I'm sure everybody feels like that. However, there's a lot of hard work and preparation left. We're about midway through our preparation, as you know. Some of the things that we'll be up against there is certainly the crowd noise, so we've got to be prepared for that. Secondly, this group on defense, I'm talking about the Cleveland Browns, has some fantastic players on that side of the ball and it shows with their statistics last year. I believe they were tenth overall and fifth best defense in scoring. They certainly have some great strengths. We'll open it up to questions here."

On how confident he would be with QB Nick Foles in a game early in the season should QB Michael Vick be unable to play: "Well, hopefully we don't have to this year. It'll be a little smoother that way. I've got great confidence in Nick. I'll tell you what: Nick Foles progressed just beautifully at a very fast pace. He's a bright guy. He's got natural playing ability. He's got natural instincts. He's got other great strengths as well. I have great confidence in him, as well as (QB) Trent (Edwards). You saw Trent in the preseason as well. Craft veteran, does it just like you want him to do it. He also has some natural playing ability, some gut instincts. So, I think we're just right on track there (with our quarterbacks). I really think highly of the three quarterbacks that we have here."

On whether either Foles or QB Trent Edwards would be ready to perform if they had to with all of the reps with the first team going to Vick in practice: "All of them do. Nick and Trent and Mike, they all do it together. But it's preparation and then you rely on the mini camps and training camps for the actual execution and they've got to have a plan on each play, even though Mike's starting. It's just that simple."

On whether he envisioned going into training camp that Vick's backup would be a rookie: "Well, I didn't think that, but it was certainly wide open. Every position is, really, at all times. It's really a positive that Nick progressed so quickly and you all saw him play. He did a fine, fine job, as well as Trent. (They) just played fantastically. Those are good things to have happen."

On how important Browns CB Joe Haden is to Cleveland's defense: "Joe Haden is I think one of the best, well I know, one of the very best corners in the league. He's an excellent cover man. He does an excellent job from bump-and-run, as well as off. He is physical. He's got very good instincts. So, yeah, he's a fine player."

On what WR DeSean Jackson excels at, aside from his speed: "He'll go track the ball. As you know, he's great down the field, across the field, inside, breaking route. He's very, very good as those types of things. He also can get in and out of breaks very, very quickly. He also, I've talked about natural playing ability; that's what enabled him. He's really sharp, he's got natural playing ability and that's what enabled him to play at such a high level so early in his rookie season. He was dynamite. The guys that are pretty sharp, they certainly have to have talent first; you have to have a certain amount of talent, but (if you're) real sharp with the natural instincts and if they stay healthy, they tend to help you early and then DeSean's been progressing ever since. He sure is a dynamic player for us."

On whether Jackson looks different to him this season: "Well, he's gained a little bit of weight, just a touch there. So, that's good. So has Michael Vick. Mike Vick's gained a little bit of weight. I think both of them look pretty good there."

On whether he is concerned about cohesiveness in the first-team offense due to their lack of time playing together in the preseason: "I have no concerns at all, because we have great confidence in each other. Now, strange things tend to happen in openers, so you're always a little concerned about that. So, we do everything we can to avoid all these strange things that happen in opening games and we rely on our hard work and our preparation."

On whether WR Damaris Johnson would be the first receiver in should Jackson or WR Jeremy Maclin be unable to play: "Depends by personnel and play. We do a lot of personnel by play and all these things. So it would be that way."

On whether the left tackle position is giving him any cause for concern: "Oh, absolutely not. Again, no concerns at all. We're trying to avoid some of these strange things that tend to happen in the first ballgames. Big (T) King (Dunlap) is a man that has excellent past history with us. He's a man that has gone in, started and played for us and done very, very well in the past. So, I expect him to be as good or even better than that. For several years, I've had great confidence in King."

On how far away T/G Nate Menkin is from understanding the system and being able to play: "He just got here, so yeah, he's got some work to do."

On whether it will be hard to activate Menkin on Sunday: "Well, I'm not going to get into any of the personnel situations, but yeah, he's right in the middle of a learning curve here. He's spending hours and hours (studying) and much of it is just verbiage."

On whether the first game tends to show some signs of things to come for the season: "You get a little bit. Now, as you know and we've discussed this before, about a quarter of the way through the season, you really tend to start knowing who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are. That changes every season. Even though some of your main players are back, everybody's important. It's typically after that fourth game I tend to look at it pretty hard that way."

On whether the playbook changes with T King Dunlap at left tackle rather than T Jason Peters due to their differences as players: "Well, that's a good point. We play to every player's strengths, try to, and put them in the best position to have success, certainly. So, we'll play to his strengths. However, King is very good at almost everything that we do, generally, offensively. Really we did special things, and I hate to talk too much about a player that's injured, but with (Jason) than we would with a normal player."

On how he evaluated Browns QB Brandon Weeden during the draft process: "I think highly of Brandon Weeden. He was one of the just pure passers coming out. I thought he just throws the ball effortlessly. He's got a big arm. He's just a natural passer and I can understand why Cleveland took him. I believe it was a little bit higher than other people had him, but I understand that totally. He's just a pure passer. Absolutely. Won a lot of ballgames there at Oklahoma State. Fantastic player coming out, no question."

On whether he foresees limiting RB LeSean McCoy's carries in this game and whether RB Dion Lewis would be the primary backup: "We'll see. You know, we're right in the middle of our preparation, but we'll see on that. We've talked about this many times before, overusing LeSean. It seems like every game I'd come in here at this press conference talking about the last ballgame (and say), 'Yep, I probably should have got some other guys in there.' But that's how good LeSean McCoy is. We'll see. We're right in the middle of preparation. We've got some fine backs and I'm so happy that all of them are with us after that final cut because they earned it with their play, both offensively and on special teams. We've got some outstanding young backs with us in this organization right now."

On whether Lewis will be the backup at running back: "We'll see. We're right in the middle of all that preparation."

On whether RB Bryce Brown has progressed enough as a blocker to make him comfortable playing him: "I have great confidence in Bryce Brown. He's another player similar to Nick (Foles) that progressed very, very well. Now, this man is a highly talented player as well. Again, he's got the same qualities that some of the young players need to help you quickly. He's a sharp young man and he's got some natural instincts and he stayed healthy and was able to put the hard work in. I've got great confidence in him."

On whether Brown has become a better blocker: "Absolutely. He's a big, strong man now. He's bigger than people think and stronger than people think. He's done a nice job. (Running backs coach) Ted (Williams) always does a great job with those running backs and that's one of the first things that you do with a young running back, because I haven't seen many at all, ever, come out of college and be a good pass protector at least. He's done a fine job in training him."

On where he has seen progress in Maclin from this time last season to this season: "Well, this time last year, there were still some question marks with his health. He's put all the hard work and preparation in, which there's no substitute for that. There is absolutely no substitute for the hard work that you have to put in in the offseason and the preseason. So, that's the biggest key for him, Otherwise, I expect him to play at the high level on a consistent basis that he always has since he was a rookie here."

On what he expects from T Todd Herremans after having a full offseason at right tackle: "Well, Todd's a fine football player; dependable and accountable. He's there every ballgame and he plays at a high level, so I would expect that to continue. I thought that was a brilliant job by him and a brilliant job by (offensive line coach) Howard (Mudd) getting that thing done last year. So, I would expect him to be even better going into this year."

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