Having looked at the tape extensively from early this morning on and visiting with the coaches about it, I think that yesterday our team played good, hard, physical football. I think our intensity level was very good and I think that all three phases contributed to the win. Dallas is a very good football team. They certainly moved the ball in the air against us. They had opportunity. We gave them one opportunity, they gave us one opportunity. We were able to capitalize on ours. Certainly as I mentioned last night, the punt return was huge. Domenik’s return and the outstanding lead blocking. Derek Hagan, Terrell Thomas, Kevin Dockery, all coming into play right there. But good, solid, tough, physical NFC East football between two teams that are highly competitive in an outstanding division. That is the way I assess the game.
Q. Chris Snee injury update?
A. Chris is sore, very sore today. The word the doctors used on it was a ‘hyper-flexion’ of the knee. He is sore in that area. It’s just going to have to be a day to day type of thing.
Q. How do you think Kevin Boothe did in his place?
A. Kevin Boothe did a good job. He has done a good job whenever called upon to come in and fill a spot, whatever it might be. He has been used in many capacities over his course of his time with us. He works hard at his craft. He is a student of the game and when called upon he has done well.
Q. Are there any other bumps or bruises?
A. There are bumps and bruises. There is always going to be when two teams play the kind of game that we did yesterday. Nothing that I can report at this time.
Q. One of the visible injuries was it looked like Lawrence Tynes injured his shoulder trying to make a tackle on one play?
A. It was an elbow. Banged his elbow.
Q. What did you think of the way Osi Umenyiora responded?
A. Outstanding. Outstanding leadership. Outstanding in terms of the example he set for his teammates. His vow was to go play harder, have a great game, work as hard as he could and do his job above and beyond in terms of inspiring his teammates, as well. I thought he approached it…I thought his attitude was terrific.
Q. Jacobs was very harsh on himself in terms of his leadership this season. Do you think he was right?
A. I don’t know anything about what you are talking about there so I have a hard time commenting on that. I thought, we all know the electrifying play on the 74-yard pass, which was outstanding. Also, he did a nice job on the goal line. He stayed down low and took the would-be tacklers on with great force going forward. I thought he had a good, strong game.
Q. Given what Osi has meant to this team over the years, how difficult was the conversation last week about changing his role to have with him?
A. That is between he and I. That is old news right now. The contribution of Osi, the contribution of Fred Robbins, of Chase Blackburn, the attitude that these guys displayed is tremendous. Everybody has a role, they will all continue in that role. It is a true example of guys deciding, and it’s not easy, nobody said it was, but deciding that the team was the most important thing. So, they put themselves below the team, the team came first and they did a great job. An outstanding example.
Q. In addition to the fact that this a really big game again, how much do you think the fact that the Eagles have beaten you guys three in a row, including the playoffs last year, serves as motivation for your team? Do the players think about that kind of stuff?
A. I am sure it will be the game. I’m sure it’s the division, it’s the game, it’s the time of year. But, there isn’t any question, at least going back to the game earlier in the year.
Q. Will you send in the tape of Flozell Adams and make an issue of the melee at the end of the first half?
A. I really didn’t have to. I talked to Mike Pereira this morning. He had already reviewed it, he had already had a meeting with his staff. They were already in the process of discussing that particular issue. The thing that I think that needs to be clear is there was no option given to us. To say that the penalty was declined, that gives the wrong impression. That is something that the league, that Mike, is reviewing and he is giving that his full attention today.
Q. Penalties and fines don’t seem to affect Flozell Adams. Do you think he needs to be suspended?
A. That is not for me to decide. I think that there is no place in our game for the act that he took. To not have some kind of immediate officiating response there is something that needs to be addressed. Not that the officials are wrong, it is just the way the rule is.
Q. Does this season serve as a worthwhile reminder of how long an NFL season can be? It is almost like you have had three or four different kinds of seasons. The younger players are going through it for the first time and realizing just how long this season really is..?
A. December is such a critical time, without a doubt, for all teams in our league. Many times you have to remind the young players that the season, in effect, around Thanksgiving or thereafter, it is just getting started. It is the most unusual thing for the college players, but now today they are playing twelve games, of course they don’t have any preseason games. But, they have been at this a long time and they do need the example and leadership of veteran players to help them at this point in time. Because they really do need to refocus. We’ve been fortunate to have a few days off, which I think has helped most of them. But there isn’t any question about the season being a marathon, not a sprint. There are different facets of everyone’s schedule that have to be recognized and no matter how you do it, we do it in phases. The reason that it is the NFL and the reason it is so meaningful to be division champion and, of course, Super Bowl champion and World Champion is because it is a long grind. Over the course of that season so many things can and do happen that normally the best team is the champion.
Q. Does it seem kind of unique, the pattern of this season, or does it seem normal, the highs and lows?
A. I don’t know where you are going with this. I would like to take that second set of games and do something different about it, but we can’t. We did start out very well with the five wins, we didn’t do as well over the course of the next few. Hopefully we have dealt with some of those issues. We’ve got some guys, Aaron Rouse who played an outstanding game, CC Brown, some guys that have had to learn the system and deal with the season as it has gone along. Hopefully some of those guys are more comfortable in their roles, communicate faster and know what it is expected.
Q. When you look at the defensive effort how much of that was related to the actual players juggled in and how much was just the defense was sparked by the shakeup?
A. I just think that our entire team showing mental toughness and resiliency and coming back from a bad defeat had made up their minds that they were going to play with great physical prowess and great energy. That, I think, was the whole difference. The energy level, the focus, and commitment, therein lies the reason that we won.
Q. Speaking of energy level and young players coming forward. What was your review of (Jonathan) Goff and (Clint) Sintim in their contributions?
A. I think both guys contributed, strong games, games that will get better the more they experience and play time allows. We are pleased with what we saw but there certainly has to be improvement and I think they are in position to do that.
Q. How did the signals work? Boley was wearing the helmet, and Goff was making calls?
A. The helmet, the first helmet was Boley and Boley was making the calls.
Q. To confirm, an unnecessary roughness at the end of the half, you technically decline it, but it’s just not applicable. You would like to see it tacked onto the ensuing kickoff?
A. From what I understand, that is the only direction you can go in. The play is over. The reason I think that probably the specific play got to where it was is that in stepping on the end line, that nullified that play. So, boom, the play is over, the half is over and this incident took place. That particular aspect of the rule has to be addressed.
Q. Any indication that it will be brought up in the offseason?
A. I think it definitely is. I think Mike will be sure that the Competition Committee has it as one of the things that will be reviewed.
Q. It was basically a free play. No repercussions?
A. That’s the issue. There can be nothing like that. There was no (ejection), no penalty assessment, nothing.
Q. You mention Boley wearing the radio in his helmet. How has he developed as a leader on the field and is he sort of filling some of the emotional void created by Antonio Pierce’s absence?
A. There are any number of guys who are trying along those lines. But, yes, Michael is definitely trying harder in that role and has recognized it. He has presented himself much more not as a guy who’s here for his first year but who has been here and takes pride in that.
Q. Did that come naturally or something you asked him to do?
A. We didn’t speak to him particularly about doing that but obviously that is the role of a veteran player and the fact that we talk about when we do lose an outstanding football player, our first concern is about losing that player, in this case, A.P. Then secondly we realize we have to do more, step up our play and role both on the field and in the classroom.
Q. What do you think that game meant to Bill Sheridan?
A. It is good to win and good to answer whatever questions are out there in terms of the way in which we play and the ability to answer some of the questions for ourselves. Number one, stop the run. That is a big question right there and the players did a nice job of that, the coaches did a nice job. We were pretty sure of the formations that would be brought in because Dallas runs the same formations, basically some of which we saw in Denver. I thought we did a good job of preparing for that and it’s good for everyone to get a win.