Q: Thoughts on the departure of Andy Reid from the NFC East:
A: Andy is a good friend of mine. He went through a tremendous personal loss, very difficult season for him. Our hearts went out to Andy and his family, Tammy. He’s an excellent football coach. It’s very difficult to think that he was there for 14 years and probably won 70% of his games; I don’t know what the exact number is, but (he’s) just an outstanding football coach, outstanding person. It’s an unusual thing to say, but to not have him in the division, I’ll miss him. He’s on the Madden Committee and I’m on the Madden Committee, so we got the chance to spend some time together this week. It was good. I’m happy for him and his family. I’m sure he’s looking forward to his new adventure.
Q: Impression of Chip Kelly joining the Eagles:
A: I know Chip from his days at New Hampshire and the tremendous job he did at Oregon. We interviewed him at one point here in New York and he’s done a superior job and he’s an outstanding football coach. He’s going to make it interesting.
A: I wondered how long it would take to get to that. I tried to think of something funny to say, but I don’t know what to say about it. I don’t even know how a young man would come to that statement. I approach each year the way I always approach them and the energy is flowing well and I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to this offseason and getting our football team together again. Maybe at some point I’ll get the message, but it certainly isn’t right now.
Q: Thoughts on the Bills hiring Doug Marrone:
A: Doug is a good coach. We’ve watched him closely when he was at Syracuse. He used to visit me in the offseason. He’s very serious, very smart. Syracuse is going to miss Doug Marrone, no doubt. I’m an alum, so I wasn’t even aware. I had read that he had interviewed a couple places, but I saw Doug yesterday and wished him well again. I sent a little note to him, he texts me and I text him back. I saw him yesterday and wished him well and he put his staff together fast and he’s hit the floor running, without a doubt.
Q: Thoughts on limited practice time during the offseason and training camp:
A: You don’t have as many practices. I know I’ve talked about it and I don’t think it’s any secret, but how do we make the players understand that even though this is a jog-through, that this is just as important as a practice. In the scheme of two-a-days, what we have done is set aside a take-on for jog-through and then we move on to another take-on for the practice. The player has to understand that there are only so many reps and these jog-throughs are critical. That is one area, the lack of time spent developmentally in the offseason where you’d normally have 10-12 offensive linemen around the whole offseason, kids that want to learn, that have a chance, that might be free agents or first year players. Everyone is dealing with the same thing, but it’s going to take some adjusting to. The first year this was in place, we won it, so people think that we have all the answers, but obviously this year it’s not the case. I can spend more time complaining.
Q: Thoughts on pushing things back in the off-season:
A: I saw something like that this morning. I would want to know exactly what the objective is. There’s some other things that I’d rather have than that. (Players) do have time, players don’t come in now till the 15th of April. Theoretically, you could do as much as you want if that’s the goal, but I don’t really know if that’s the goal.
Q: On the roster changes this offseason:
A: There’s a combination and I think Ahmad Bradshaw said it best, he said that it broke his heart but he understands it’s a business. We all do. We’re not happy about any of that, especially in the way that our organization is run. As a coach, I don’t want to see anybody go. I want to wrap my arms around them all. I want them to play together forever, but that’s not the case. It doesn’t happen. It doesn’t work. There’s a new ring in changes there. We have things that obviously have to be accomplished moving forward with players and we have to have the resources to be able to do that. That’s where we are.
Q: On the running back situation after Bradshaw’s departure:
Q: Will it be an open competition?
A: The more competition the better so the question of who, what, where, when; they’re all going to play. They’re going to contribute, compete with one another and hopefully make us better just like all other forms of competition.
Q: With the changes on the defensive side, is there a new direction for the defense?
A: The direction is to get better. None of us are happy with the circumstances we were in and the way that we played. The idea is to get better as best we can. In those circumstances, obviously there was a business side to those decisions.
Q: On if
A: I think that would be a major part of it.
Q: How he doing now?
A: Good, saw him the other day. Eyes are big and bright again.
Q: Did Hakeem Nicks have any offseason medical procedures?
A: I think he had a scope just to look it over.
A: Baas has had a little surgery, yeah.
Q: Of what nature?
A: On his body.
Q: When do you expect
A: I don’t know if there’s a timetable. He’s in competition with some other guys telling them, ‘I’m going to get back faster than you are.’ He’ll be back as fast as he can. I don’t know if he’ll do a whole lot in the spring.
Q: Are you always looking for the next
A: He’s a very unique individual indeed. We’re definitely looking for that. You’re hoping to match up a position of priority or a position of need or someone of that nature with were you pick. We’re always here for that reason.
Q: Is it difficult for players that have only played a few years of College Football to be NFL-ready coming out of the draft?
A: Well, I don’t know if it’s NFL-ready, I wouldn’t say that. There’s a big learning curve for any young man. The more he has played and experienced, obviously the curve might be a little bit easier. If you can get to a point where you can turn those outstanding athletes loose and still have them play within the scheme and the responsibility, then you’re way ahead. Obviously with these young men who have the talent and ability; we went to the workout of ‘JPP’ at South Florida and we were just observing and he did a back flip at 270 pounds or whatever he was. We said, ‘Maybe this is a pretty good athlete here.’
Q: Is defensive end the hardest type of player to evaluate?
A: I don’t know if it’s the most difficult to evaluate, but it’s obviously the most difficult to take people and peg them into positions that you’re looking for. For example, if I was to say 10 years ago the safeties are playing linebacker today and the linebackers are playing defensive end today, depending on the style of the offensive team they’re playing. That makes it a little bit more difficult at those spots that are hard to find. I think there’s 19 tight ends here. There’s 32 teams in the NFL. I’m not good at math, but I can figure that one out.
Q: Thoughts on returning to Lucas Oil Stadium, where you won Super Bowl XLVI:
A: It certainly is a lot of great memories coming back here. When we came, I stopped to visit Phil Ray, the General Manager of the downtown Marriott where we stayed. We renewed a few good memories, no doubt. The people were great and the whole thing, it was 50 degrees; it was unbelievable, people walking around in shorts in Indianapolis in February. It was fun.
Q: Thoughts on your offensive line with
A: It’s a concern, no doubt. We’ve got a lot of young kids that are going to have to step it up, no matter who you think: (James) Brewer, (Matt) McCants, (Brandon) Mosley, (Stephen) Goodin, (Selvish) Capers; all those kids have been looking for an opportunity. Here it is, depending on what happens here obviously. We would like for the free agents as you refer to them, to be on our team. I wouldn’t want to think about losing any of them.
Q: What was it like having to part ways with Ahmad Bradshaw?
A: Tough. He’s a young man, he’s a human being, nobody’s perfect, but when that guy took the field, there was never any question about what his intention was and where his intensity was and what he would bring to the table in terms of toughness, courage and how he played. The Giants organization loves Ahmad Bradshaw. We have tremendous respect for him and what he’s accomplished. He’s been on two Super Bowl champion teams and played the game when there would be many, many people who wouldn’t even try it. (He) can’t walk Thursday, but he plays on Sunday. From that standpoint, when he came down to my office, it was tough. It was very tough. I’d be less than honest if I didn’t tell you that.
Q: Have you come to any realizations about the season in terms of what went wrong?
A: Not that I’m going to share. I’ve seen conclusions and I have my own ideas and that type of thing. I can’t refer to what Ahmad said other than the fact that the inconsistency has got to be pointed to somewhere. What’s going on? What’s this all about? I’m not taking anything away from the other teams, but the inconsistency has to be dealt with. We lost two divisional games by three points. We lost six games scoring 17. We gave up points in the last quarter in loss-games. The year before, the whole mantra had been, finish the game, finish the game, finish the game. Sometimes it was out of reach in the fourth quarter to be honest with you. You can take any number of these things.
Q: Have you worked with Perry Fewell to try and figure out a way to stop the read-option?
A: You said it as well as I could. Absolutely, right in our division. It’d be foolish not to. We’re doing as much as we can.