Philadelphia Eagles News

SS Quintin Mikell

On whether he was impressed with the 49ers win over the Cardinals and whether that helps them avoid a trap game:"I never look at the Niners as a trap game. Even last year when they were down a little bit they gave us a run for our money. This year, they were kind of down in the beginning but if you watched that game, they came ready to play. They came with a purpose. They were playing physical, they were getting guys open and they were hitting spots. They are definitely playing at a high level and that's not a trap game for us at all."

On whether watching film from last week's game against the Giants was an eye opening experience: "You have to keep everything in perspective when you look at that. We didn't play great, but if you take away the two missed tackles on the long balls we were still right in there. We just had some bad execution on a couple things, but we got a lot of turnovers, which I think helped us win the game and we got some key stops when we needed to. We're going to go back to work on the stuff that we – the tackling and all of that. We're not going to panic and run for the hills."

On whether they will be focusing on tackling technique in practice: "Honestly, there always is. We always focus on it. Obviously, everyone is paying a little more attention to it now than before because of what happened in the game. We work on it all the time and sometimes you have games when it happens. It won't happen again."

On how they work on tackling in practice since they don't hit in practice:"We can hit each other. We're not going to the ground. We haven't done that since training camp, but we hit each other, we wrap up and work on the little stuff like that."

On whether this is QB Donovan McNabb's best season: "I think this season and the Super Bowl season [2004] are the two that I've seen that he's been playing at such a high level and right now he is playing at a high level. We still have three games left, so he's got to keep moving up, but I'm enjoying it. I think the more points we can score on offense the more it's going to help us. That's great for him."

On playing against S Michael Lewis and S Brian Dawkins in the next two games: "It's going to be interesting, especially with Dawk. With Mike, I haven't talked to Mike in a little bit and it's going to be an interesting thing to look at. I think those guys, they're not here, they've gone on and continued their career, and they've done a great job where they're at. It's good to see that. It's going to be interesting to have them on the field, back at home, not at home, but where he started. It's going to be a lot of fun."

On whether he thinks McNabb is playing with a different purpose this season than in years past: "I don't think so. I think he's always had that killer instinct and I think that it just didn't work, or maybe one year he was injured. He had a whole lot of things that he couldn't control, but right now everything is clicking and he's hot right now. I think that's what we are seeing right now."

On what stands out most about the 49ers offense: "The two guys that really stand out to me, being a safety, are [TE] Vernon Davis and [RB] Frank Gore. Those two guys they make the offense go. Gore had 165 yards rushing last week. That's incredible. Vernon Davis is a big time threat every play. We have to do a good job of trying to contain those two guys. I think we'll be ok if we come out ready to go."

On the high number of passes that the 49ers attempt and what kind of challenges that presents: "They do pass the ball a lot, but we can't go into the game just worried about that because Frank Gore can put up big numbers. As a team, that means they try to get the ball out quick, [they are] a ball control type of offense and that means as a defense we have to be aggressive. We have to basically get in your face, press if we have to, get close to the line of scrimmage and do whatever we have to do to mess up the timing. We did get some double moves last week, so we are anticipating that from here on out. We might get some more double moves, but that's something that we work on and we're not afraid to deal with."

On LB Akeem Jordan and CB Joselio Hanson coming back to the lineup and whether that creates continuity issues on defense: "I don't think so. I thought both of them played really well. Especially Jose, he played well for us and he didn't get credit for it, but on DeSean [Jackson's] big touchdown he had a key block. I wanted to throw that out there for him. He's doing a great job. I don't think that was the issue. We missed some tackles, we didn't execute and the Giants did a better job of executing their game plan than we did. That's really what it boiled down to."

On whether he knows when the last time the defense allowed a 100-yard rusher: "Honestly, I don't know. I don't really keep up with the stats. (Jokingly) Do you know?"

On his reaction to the news that the team hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 23 straight games including playoffs (11-9-08 vs. NY Giants):"That's pretty good."

On whether that is something the team talks about: "No. Honestly, I didn't know that until you just said it. The last time we played the Niners, Frank and Vernon Davis had good games against us, so we definitely have to not let that happen again."

On whether he feels sorry for the Giants' special teams unit trying to tackle Jackson: "(Jokingly) Not for the Giants, not at all, (serious) but I've been in that position before and that's tough. When you have a guy like that, you read the return and if you look at the film they knew where the return was going he just cut it out the backdoor and out ran everybody. That's incredible, but it's almost to the point where you are like, 'What can you do?' I'm glad he's on our team, like I've said a million times before."

On why the team has had so much success in December and whether it has to do with head coach Andy Reid backing off in practice: "I think so. It is the system. We go hard early in the year and we break ourselves down early in the year and it seems like always in the beginning of the season we have a lot of injuries, but we are always peaking at the right time. We are getting healthy and we're getting fresher when everyone else is starting to break down. I think it does have a lot to do with backing off in practice. [We are] backing off in the physical part of the game, but we are stepping it up mentally and spending a little more time in the film room and meeting with coaches and stuff. I think that's really where the difference is."

On whether their historical success in December helps them get through tough stretches of the season because they know they'll be good late in the year: "I don't think as a team we look at it that way. You can't look at it that way because you have to do it. You can't just say, 'Well we're always hot in December, so it's going to happen.' I can't really explain it. It just always works out that way. If we are sitting around waiting for that to happen, nothing is going to happen, so we have to go out and make it happen. A lot of times when you are getting your butt kicked or you have those games like we had last year that's nothing but motivation to make you get past that hurdle. I look at it like that."

On avoiding being a stale team as the season goes on:"I think more importantly, earlier in the year teams are – you don't really have a lot of tendancies. You don't have a lot to really go by, but towards the end of the season you kind of go to what you do, which is, if you like running Power Bob O or toss every game you are going to start to do that. We're a smart team and we have smart coaches, so we tend to figure those things out. As a defense, the way we counter what they are doing is we change the stuff that we do. I think that's the way it works."

On when Coach Reid starts to back off in practice: "I don't even know. It's gradual, because some years he backs off earlier than others and some years it's later. Honestly, I can't even remember when we started putting the shells on. It's gradual I guess."

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