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Philadelphia Eagles News

Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg



Opening Remarks: "Little review on last week's game. We needed one score to win, and didn't get it. I take full responsibility for that part of it. The line has been playing together for a couple of weeks, and they have certainly done a good job up to date here and are getting better every day. We have good players, and one of them is new and many of them are backup players to start. They are good players who are getting better every day because they're playing together and getting practice repetitions as well as game repetitions. Our rookie right tackle (Dennis Kelly) and certainly our rookie running back (Bryce Brown) have done well with some exceptions. (WR) Riley Cooper, as you've seen, is getting some excellent opportunities and you're getting the most of those.

"Let's move to the Tampa Bay game. We have quite a challenge. This defense is number one against the rush and number one in yards per carry. They play fast and physical, and they tend to get an extra guy near the football with the running game. They are a stunting, blitzing type of team that tries to cause havoc. We have quite a challenge there but also an excellent opportunity going down there to Tampa. You all know how we take these road games, and this is a business trip. Our whole focus is on our job, and our job is going down there and playing a high level of football in Tampa."

On whether he sees more of an opportunity to see QB Nick Foles throw the ball down the field against a blitzing defense like Tampa: "You always have those opportunities and we had some last week as well. Yes, you've got a point there that there is always a possibility. They do play quite a little bit of bump and run, and they are very well coached. Their techiniques are very good. They do play quite a little bit of bump and run there, yeah."

On whether they should have made a play when WR Jeremy Maclin had an opportunity to make a big play in the secondary: "Yeah. He's in two-minute. There were a couple of plays where our young guys get five more reps at those things, and they're not going to miss them. OK, so that's where we're at there with some things. There are some details that we have to get done every time."

On how a defense can be number one against the run but last in the league against the pass: "Normally when you have that separation, usually there are a host of reasons and some that we won't know. The only way that you'd know is being involved in it. The things that have become clear are that they are beat up injury-wise, certainly in the secondary. Secondly, you mentioned that there is a philosophy there of stopping the run with some run blitzes and crowd the box. Even when they're not, they're very quick at recognizing a running play so they get there pretty fast. They have some excellent players and that's why they are number one against the run. They are very good that way."

On the challenge that Brown faces with the Buccaneers defense: "Well, it's not only a challenge for Bryce, it's a challenge for the whole ballclub here offensively. The offensive lineman, tight ends, and even the wide receivers will have big responsibilties in this game with the run, especially with the way that they play. Certainly (FB) Stanley (Havili) and Bryce will be there."

On what Foles has improved on the most since he made his first start: "Nick and I have talked about that. All of this progressing and all of that is over now. We are no longer rookies - that's done. We expect to play at a high level consistently. Now, having said that, he sure does some things quite naturally. These are some great positives that he has. There are some details, and you mentioned that play. There are several of them for our new or rookie type players where there is just some details, and if you get them taken care of through hard work and preparation, then we'll be in great shape and he'll be off and running. Thats the point I want to get him to and that he wants to get to where he gets off and running."

On whether he means more mechinical things or recognizing things in the defense more: "It's a whole host of things that just (he) lacks of experience. Some things he hasn't seen. Some of it is technique, some of it is recognition, some of it is during the play. I will tell you that he has done an outstanding job with managing the game, the recognition, pre-snap and post-snap. We are trying to get better every day at every position, and certainly Nick is getting better every day. That's where we are at with a host of players that have been just started playing for us these past few weeks here."

On whether he wants to see WR Damaris Johnson get involved more with the offense after showing his explosiveness on his punt return TD: "That's a good point, and you've seen that in the past couple of weeks. Some of them have been good and some of them haven't been. We always used him as a decoy just a little bit as well. It is a good thing to get him the ball and give him some space."

On Foles' footwork: "If you remember when he was coming out of college, his feet weren't (talked about) but on film and working him out, he had very good feet especially for his size. However, he didn't utilize it much in college. (Quarterbacks coach) Doug Pederson and Nick are working diligently that way. There were several plays where he needs to use his feet in just a different manner and that would make us better. It didn't hurt us particularly or hurt him or the play, but it will pay off down the line."

On how much credit Foles should get for the improved offensive line play: "He's done well there. I will tell you that (with C) Dallas Reynolds - Dallas had some high level sacrifice. He's a tough dude, now. For him to play in that game, I think he needs some recognition that way. My point is that Dallas does much of that as well, and Dallas has to be on the money with the pre-snap recognition."

On whether the possibility of having two elite running backs together in this offense for years to come: "There is a lot of exciting things, and certainly for the future it's one of them. Our focus right now - today and tomorrow - is this next game. The past is important to learn from and the future is important for playing in, and that's an exciting thing no question about it. Our focus right here and right now is on Tampa and the players that we have on the field."

On the high level of play from G Evan Mathis: "He's the last man standing there up front. He had many plays at center last week because we really just didn't think that Dallas was going to get there. We really didn't early in the week and we had questions later in the week. There were other sacrifices, too, like Stanley (Havili) who was a little banged up and some people wouldn't play with what he had. Now, let's get back to Evan. He's a terrific player as you know. He's smart, natural, tough, strong, and instinctive. We can do some things with him. Yes, he has helped other players no doubt about that."

On whether it is more challenging to play well on the o-line when you have different players playing around you: "Yeah, we're getting pretty deep but a real football player will play at a high level under any circumstances really and some can't but he certainly has."

On whether Brown is playing at the mental level of a veteran running back: "The first thing with Bryce, he does deserve all the credit there. Really, I was high on him when I first put the film on with the few plays that he had while in college. (Running backs coach) Ted Williams really, if you look at his long and illustrious past history, the running backs that he's coached tend to have great success. Certainly, Ted is a factor there. (Special teams quality control coach and former NFL running back) Duce (Staley) was a player and has helped in many ways with our football team.

"With natural ability, he's a big, strong man that has speed. You put that natural ability and natural feel and instincts to it, and you generally have a good player there. He has done well in the pass protection, and the pass protections are the most concerning thing with those young rookies playing. He has done very good job playing that way as well."

On how he expects defenses to start gameplanning for Brown: "It'll be different. This next ballclub that we're playing does it differently anyway. Yeah, they will certainly key on him and that will help us in some other ways as well, yup."

On whether that factors into his playcalling: "Absolutely, and especially early when we had just a whole scenario - if you remember back when I thought our players did a heck of a job and then we got behind by a couple of scores. Then, you're forced late in the game and we weren't ready for that. We are much better right now because they have played together for at least a few weeks here. We are better that way. All of our players have the mentality that they're going to get better as an individual, as a group, and as an offensive unit. Then, good things will happen."

On whether he is more limited with what is in the playbook with so many first-year players on the field: "Just a little bit but not significant at all really. We have smart players and we certainly try to play to their strengths. Some of that is a learning process when you have a new player or new players who are constantly making choices on what their strengths are and weaknesses are, and you're constantly trying to make the weaknesses better while still maintaining a progression of his strengths. You are right there."

On the biggest difference between what Mornhinweg is doing now as opposed to the beginning of the year: "There are several things that are just crystal clear. We are not quite as dynamic without (QB) Michael (Vick), (WR) DeSean (Jackson), and (RB) LeSean (McCoy). Those are three dynamic players. We have been through different phases here and it's been sort of a crazy year that way. We had a flood of new players all of the sudden, and then certainly there was some revamping done there."

On whether he plans to utilize McCoy and Brown differently when they are both available for a game: "I don't like to talk much ever about players that aren't playing. We've got a left tackle who is certainly a factor in the power run game, and we have been doing some of it now. Absolutely, yeah."

On Foles' toughness after taking a lot of hits in college and bouncing back from hits, just like he did on the first play of the Dallas game: "On that first play, geez. Is it rare for a rookie? Look, tough guys are tough guys. They are tough all the time, typically, and he's a tough guy and he's built the right way typically it appears. He came back and made just  a beautiful play with a free rusher on the throw to (TE) Brent (Celek). He has done some really good things. Now, his challenge, and we've talked about this for the past couple of weeks, is to play at a high level like he's shown that he can play and make it a really consistent deal over a period of plays and a period of plays over a ballgame, and then a period of plays over a ballgame back-to-back, and then finally over a 16-game or 20-something game season. That's his challenge right now."

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