Good morning. It's an exciting time of the year. Two teams (at) 6-3; in the division this weekend. Philadelphia coming off of a huge win down in Washington. It's the first time we've played this year. There are seven games left in the regular season, so it's really an exciting time of year for all of us.
Q: Is this the best that Vick has looked? How much progress has he made?
A: Well, you can see the way that he's been brought along - he had a select number of plays a year ago and then broadened a little bit this year, brought in the second half of the Green Bay game, played very well, got himself injured and missed a couple of games and certainly came back and played extremely well on Monday night.
Q: Did you watch on TV?
A: I watched the first half.
Q: What was going through your mind as you watched?
A: Let's see, 35-0, 12 plays for Washington. Just what everybody else was - put the pencil down and become a fan.
Q: Is Vick a different player now?
A: I don't think so. They're averaging 150 yards a game rushing, he has about 29% of that yardage. They run a lot of reverses and things of that nature with the wide receivers, that takes up another segment of their rush game, but the fact that he is a threat to come out of there, there's no denying it that it buys time down the field, it extends the play, it forces you to stay in coverage longer, and of course, when they get involved with (DeSean) Jackson, with number ten, they're trying to run through the coverage, block it up, max protection and throw it up as far as they can down the field. We saw that over there a year ago, we saw it to a certain extent here in the second game last year as well and we certainly saw it the other night.
Q: Does he seem more patient in the pocket?
A: I think that. He's going to want to throw the ball if a pass is called as the first choice and then if it's pressure or if he sees, for example, - not many people play two man against him, but if he sees something like that, he will pull it down.
Q: Did you really watch it as a fan?
A: No. I had indigestion, stomach ache...
Q: Some of the theories about Vick speculate that he came out of prison a better person and a better quarterback. Do you see him playing the position better?
A: I think those theories are completely... I think he's a good athlete that's had a chance to - he's been patient and the Eagles have been patient. There's been no rush with him going into the game or having to play. Who knows? Maybe they started the year off thinking they were going to use him the same way they did a year ago and then because he flourished when he played, it made them make some other choices, so I just think that he's an excellent athlete that has had time to get the rust off and become the exceptional quarterback that he was prior to this.
Q: What can you do to slow him down?
A: We're trying to get the twelfth man out there. We've been working real hard on that and I think that the officials will give us one of those based on last week maybe. No, you have to obviously try to contain and keep him inside and not let him outside and there's all kinds of strategic things that you say you can do and you must do, but you have to time it up with the right circumstances, the right play, the right situation. They're an excellent screen team, they're a big personnel team, they rush the ball, they rush the ball with him, they run the nakeds, they break perimeter. They do a lot of things that if you think you have a handle on how you're going to be able to have some containment on him, they find a way - he finds a way - to break it down.
Q: He hasn't thrown an interception yet.
A: That's a little misleading. There have been a lot of times when the ball has been in people's hands. They haven't caught the ball.
Q: Are the receivers a threat for the deep ball too?
A: Maclin made an outstanding play the other night. We know the tight end has been worked in the middle of the field and on the sail routes and all of those things - he's a big factor. Avant, you don't ever want to not pay attention to him because he's an outstanding blocker, he's hurt us in the green zone before, he's hurt some people catching the ball in the middle of the field and running out of there. Certainly McCoy has done an outstanding job - he's their leading receiver, they screen a lot to him. There are a lot of people involved in this offense, not just one guy.
Q: How important is it for your safeties not to come down and let him come over the top?
A: You've got to be sure exactly what you're seeing. If you're not sure, you have to maintain your depth. You just can't come rolling up in there.
Q: Could watching the tape of Monday night's game be overwhelming for your players to watch? Are you almost better off not showing it to them?
A: Well, it depends. From a teaching standpoint, you may not show the game in sequence. You may pull the plays out, put them in categories and show them that way. There's no denying the game. Everybody watched the game or saw parts of the game and nobody is, but that was an extremely outstanding game on their part all the way around and there's no more you can say about it. Let's move on to the next one.
Q: Are they using McCoy the same way they used to use Westbrook?
A: Very similar. Some of the things are a little bit different. I don't see him lined up on the side, but McCoy looks very good - he's fast, he's quick, and they've been using him. He's made some big plays with the run game and as I mentioned, if they catch you overloaded in one direction and he gets the screen the other direction, it's very dangerous. They do have a defense too. Their defense is good, their special teams is good, they cover well and they run well. They've got a good football team.
Q: Do you have to keep the pass rush reined in this week?
A: No. It depends on how you're going to rush. You certainly aren't going to rein them in, you're going to fill in some calculated ability to keep track of him or force him to one spot if we can.
Q: The Eagles defense did give up four touchdowns against Washington.
A: I think (Washington) threw three interceptions, too. That happens when you get behind. They did try to run the ball for quite a while I thought.
Q: How is your team now after the loss?
A: Resilient, I hope. Or that's where we're pushing ourselves. That's our word. We've got to do a good job, as I mentioned to them on Monday, of understanding, recognizing it, put it away, let's go on to the next one and let's do so with great preparation, let's do so with the energy, the work ethic, the extra time, all those things. It's got to be a game of detail, there is no margin for error. Let's see how the meetings, practice and all of those things - I just left the walk thru or the jog thru and they seemed to be focused and doing a good job with that.
Q: Is it easy to plug Derek Hagan back in there?
Q: On offense too?
A: Yes. He'll have to. Sure he will.
Q: What do you say to Shawn Andrews about playing his old team? Can he handle it?
A: I think he can handle it. We'll spend a little time on it. I talked to him a little bit this morning, but he seems to have a real good demeanor and I'm sure the emotion will grow for him...
Q: How did he do against Demarcus Ware?
A: He did okay, yeah.
Q: How has he done overall?
A: He has come along very gradually. We did that on purpose. He's played in multiple positions and he was in a starting role because he has played well and he certainly really hasn't done anything to discourage that.
Q: Is it nice having a guy like that to plug in anywhere?
A: No. It's not. Yes, yes it is.
Q: Anything on David Diehl or Shaun O'Hara?
A: Nothing I like. There's no news that you're looking for or that I'm looking for. Doing well, feeling good. Okay, they're not practicing today.
Q: How would you have accepted a player like Vick with his background on your team?
A: I think they spent a lot of time in deliberation, a lot of people were talked to, a lot went into the discussion about how this thing would be handled and so on and so forth and from what I understand, it was all different levels and supported at the player level and then up and beyond. I have no comment on that at all.
Q: What have you seen from Will Blackmon?
A: Well, I'm encouraged. I've been encouraged by that. He's a courageous ball carrier. He has been secure with the football, he gave us what we've struggled to find last weekend with a nice kickoff return. That's been an area that has been very difficult for us. The two weeks that he has handled the return game has been positive. What you hope for is that these other people will figure that they've got somebody back there that can contribute and - let's put a little more responsibility on the other guys. That's what we've tried to do the last couple of weeks. There aren't going to be any excuses for missed blocking assignments or not getting the right guy. We're way beyond that stuff.
Q: Who else in your career have you faced who is as dangerous as Vick?
A: Vick, a couple of years ago. There have been lots of players in the league with mobility, it's just that it's so current and he's been so good with it. Go back to Green Bay, he rushed for a lot of yards in the second half of that game.
Q: If you were the Eagles, what would you be most concerned with about playing the Giants?
A: If I was getting ready to play the Giants? Well, I just did a little comparison for the team in terms of statistics and big plays and even the sacks are 25, 26, so there are a lot of very, very close...the only thing that's not close quite frankly is - if I'm the Giants getting ready for them, I don't want to turn the ball over any more. I'm tired of that stuff. I told the players that this morning. When you look at them, they're plus-12 and we're minus-five.
Q: Are they blitzing as much?
A: Yes. Good team speed and coming at you.
Q: How is Kevin Boss?
A: He'll be okay. He's going to work.