Coach Tom Coughlin
A: He worked a couple of plays yesterday and came out today and he was sore, so they held him out.
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Q: There are a lot of cornerbacks out. Would you have to go with
A: We’ll see.
Q: If you have to juggle the cornerbacks, are you more likely to leave
A: We’ll see. Let’s see who we have tomorrow. Let’s see who can practice and who can’t. We’ve worked in two or three different versions, so I think we’ll be okay.
Q: Have you done anything special in practice to prep for the Eagles’ tempo?
A: Yeah. We’ve been mimicking the tempo. We’ve been practicing what we will see in the game, on the clock, the whole deal. But we did that in training camp. You were standing right there watching it in training camp. It’s the same thing as went through periods of what we call ‘mach’ at that time as well.
Q: How is
A: Diehl is coming along well.
A: I think probably he has.
Q: Will that help? Would
A: Not necessarily. Bear takes on whatever role you ask him to take on and he does it with the same amount of energy and effort. There have been years when we’ve had injuries and he’s done it all.
Q: Are you thinking about staying with the same offensive line?
A: We’ll see.
Q: With so many guys fighting to get on the field on Sunday through injuries, does next week factor in at all with the short week?
A: We’re trying to worry about this week. I’m not trying to be funny here, but we’re trying to prepare ourselves this week. When we have this game and play this game, then we’ll… I mean I have it all mapped out. We’ve done this before for a Thursday night game following a Sunday game. That’s all prepared. It’s just a question of your focus has to be right in front of your eyes. It better be.
Q: What’s the situation with
A: Ankle. He’s in a boot. He actually has made pretty good progress, but at this point in time he does not have the green light.
A: There are always discussions. He’s a very confident young man who recognizes right away whatever it is you’re trying to point out to him and tries to do something about it. There were certainly discussions after the game. He took full responsibility for whatever involved him and hopefully he’s made the adjustments and so on and so forth, learning from one game into the next.
Q: When you see the ball go through his hands like it did a couple of times Sunday…
A: Rare. That’s really rare. He usually gobbles those balls up.
Q: A lot of us thought when JPP came back he’d be the JPP of old. Was that asking too much after back surgery?
A: I would think so. You’ve got to give him time to work into it. He’s really tried to take a lot of practice and he’s been doing this for over two weeks where he’s taking more than the normal number of reps just trying to catch up with exactly what you’re saying. We were fortunate to get him back when we did, realizing he had no training camp, nothing. We tried to hold back on his reps and then we brought him along and currently he’s pretty much taken everything he can take trying to catch up.
Q: You mentioned yesterday one possible situation for the running backs is
A: Do you remember what I said before with that? I’d like to be in those situations.
Q: When he was here a couple of years ago, that wasn’t something he was consistently successful at. Is there any reason to believe he could be better at that should you be in those situations?
A: We hope to find out.
Q: How concerning is to not have your normal defensive depth when you’re going up against an offense that’s so…
A: You need me to answer that question? You certainly do need to have a full complement, but the guys that are ready to go will give it their best shot.
Q: Where is
A: He doesn’t get down. That guy is pretty good about being up and staying up. He’s a battler and a fighter, so I really think David is fine. I told him the other day we need him to get in the end zone and that’s what I’m looking for. But I don’t see any emotional setback or anything. As a matter of fact, after the first week he came rolling right back and tried to solve all those issues.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride
Q: What are some of the things the Eagles do on defense to attack the offense? Do they pressure a lot? Are they a cover team? Do they mix it up? What’s are their common characteristics?
A: Certainly more of a pressure team than a drop-eight team, but they do mix it up fairly well. I think the thing that is a little bit unusual is they are a little more of an odd spacing team. I don’t think you normally face that with a four-down front, but they do it quite frequently. I’m sure it’s an outgrowth of some of the defense against their own offense. They have somebody on the perimeter on each side to prevent that. Their three or four front that they use on first and second down, they use a variation of that with a nickel on third down, so it’s a little bit different in that respect, but it’s a lot of pressure.
Q: A week ago Da’Rel Scott gets the first play and a third of the snaps or whatever it was. Now, he’s out of the mix. What does that do? Does that just make this the David Wilson show?
A: It’s like if there’s an injury or anything else, you just move onto the next phase. We’ll see what happens. I’d rather not reveal it now to the Philadelphia Eagles if you don’t mind.
Q: Obviously David Wilson had some issues with fumbling and the running game hasn’t gotten going. If he is to get a bigger load, can he …?
A: We’ll see. We hope so. Certainly that’s why he was drafted and that’s what we’re looking forward to. Like all of the new guys we have, David is one of many that they continue to progress far enough where we cut down on the mistakes, give ourselves the best possible chance of winning. Right now, we’re still making too many errors and not making enough plays. We certainly believe that those guys have the ability. They’re certainly working hard enough to get better and it’s just a matter of hopefully it will come together for us. That’s what we’re striving for.
Q: When things aren’t going the way you want it to…
A: Is it miserable? Yes.
Q: Is there a fine line between wanting to stay the course or do you have to change things up?
A: I think you make some adaptations. You do modify, we’ve been modifying every week because we’ve had to change personnel, we haven’t had the same group yet. If you change too much, you thought you made mistakes before, you make even more mistakes. There’s no question you do more efficiently the things that you’ve done more often. That’s why our two-minute drill is always nearly a copy. We do basically the same stuff. You have no choice when you lose certain guys, you have to adjust because your whole thing is what can your guys do? Each guy can do certain things better than others. When that guy is gone and the next guy goes in, you say, what can he do, still staying within the parameters of our offense, so we don’t confuse or drag down everybody else. It is a challenge. There is no question about it.
Q: Is there something right now that you know you can rely on, even in bad situations it’s going to work, because not a lot has worked the last couple of weeks?
A: I think if we give the quarterback time, I think very confidently he’ll throw the ball well and give our guys a chance. I think we are getting better in the running game. The last two weeks, as bad as it’s been, it’s been improving and it’s something we’re looking for to see continued development with. I think we’re headed in the right direction. Unfortunately it’s been painfully slow.
Q: How many of those sacks over the last couple of weeks would you say are coverage sacks, with Eli?
A: Not many. I can’t think off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s a couple where some new guys are not sure. It’s not always the line. I know you guys will attribute the line, but sometimes some of those new backs don’t know to get out and now all of a sudden, I’m trying to throw the flag curl off a guy and the guy’s standing right in the curl line and I have nobody affecting him to throw the ball. When I say it’s everybody, it’s everybody. It’s inclusive of all guys. In that sense is it a coverage sack, yes it is. Could we have solved it, our wide outs being covered? No, I don’t think there’s been a coverage sack in that respect. Sometimes in terms of the way the play manifested itself or showed up, we didn’t get the guy out that needed to get out. Therefore, you have a guy standing right in the passing lane that should have been wide open.
Q: Do you feel like you need better blocking by the tight ends?
A: I think we all have to do everything better. The runners have to run better, the blockers have to block better. I have to call better. That’s all of us.
Q: How hard is playcalling when nothing seems to be working?
A: You can answer that one. It’s hard. It’s a challenge because you have to keep plugging away. What can your guys do? I think the thing that has been encouraging, yet disappointing, is you see glimpses, so you say we have a shot here. We’re just not stringing enough of them together and that’s what we have to get better at. That’s that consistency thing and that’s where if you can keep doing the same things over and over, you’re going to limit or reduce the number of errors and you have a much better chance of stringing together those eight to 10-play drives that have been very characteristic of us, but not this year.
Q: You said you could call plays better, but how?
A: Things have worked. Those are the things you try to focus on, but you can’t just do that because they gang up on it. It’s not even that they’ve taken away stuff, it’s just we have too many self-induced errors and I think if we can cut down on those things, we’ll be good.
Q: So you can’t throw the ball to Victor every play?
A: We’d like to sometimes, but the other guys have to step up and make plays. He’s playing great and we’re very proud of the way he’s shown up. We have other guys who have talent, too, and we believe that they can do it, too. We’re trying to give all of them a chance, just like we’re trying to give all of our runners a chance. They’ve all had opportunities and we just have to continue to give it to them, and believe that they are going to come through.
Q: Does anything change around you when something like this happens? Do people have suggestions that they want to run by you?
A: No. We game plan as a staff, so we’re always working together and if anybody sees something, they’ll say, ‘did you notice this,’ or ‘did you see this?’ That’s been that way whether it’s good or bad.
Q: Eli has always been asked and you’re asked about the idea of the hurry-up, no-huddle offense. Why don’t you guys do it more when you’re so good at it. Why isn’t it something that you go into?
A: Our philosophy here offensively, our head coach would like us to be balanced and do everything we can to achieve that and to take some time off the clock to help our defense to do all of those things. All of those things are great, as long as you’re succeeding with those things. When we switch, we have done more of what you’re referring to, we just haven’t been as successful as we would have liked, even in those areas. We were great at the end of the first half, but in the second half we did it as soon as we got stuffed, or stopped on the first drive we went to it. We moved it, but didn’t put it in the end zone. We had chances. We had numerous chances.
Q: Players really aren’t used to this and we’ve talked to them all week…
A: None of us are. It’s no fun.
Q: I was going to ask if it’s even worse for you.
A: It’s miserable. You work 80 to 100 hours a week trying to put together a plan that gives your guys a chance to be successful and then, more importantly, you work with them to help them out on the field and through the meetings. When things don’t work well, it’s very disappointing, so you ask yourself, what do I do next? Let’s try this, let’s adjust here, let’s continue to develop them with their technique, their craft, their knowledge, expand in all of those things so hopefully you reach a point where that tipping point is in the right direction. Not in a negative …
Q: David Wilson said last week, every single one of them was close. Do you believe when you look at the film that they’re as close as they think they are?
A: We certainly had chances. There’s no question last week we had chances. I’m not sure we could say that after the Carolina guy, but we had numerous opportunities and we didn’t always capitalize on them and when we did, we had a penalty. You talk about Murphy’s Law, it was not a good thing. There were opportunities, there’s no question. Hopefully those opportunities will present themselves this week and we’ll make those points.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
Q: What are your thoughts going into the game with three players in the secondary that didn’t practice today?
A: We have a plan as far as what we’d like to do and how we’d like to do it going into the game, but they’ve done a good job in practice this week. Even though we have some missing parts, they’ve done a really nice job. That’s not a big, big deal for me right now because if we continue to stick together and execute the plan that we have, then I think we can carry it out.
Q: How challenging is this Eagles offense and how different is it from anything you’ve seen before?
A: Because of the skill level… Vick is obviously an excellent player. McCoy is an extremely good player and then you’ve got Jackson, who’s a really good player, and Avant. Those skill levels are really good, so when you add that with the things that you’re doing now, it’s an offense that can move the football all over the field.
Q: With all the injuries to the defense, how much of a challenge does it present to you?
A: Whether it’s one guy or two guys, it’s always difficult because you don’t have continuity.
Q: How long have you been preparing for this offense?
A: When the Eagles hired him. There’s no doubt about that. It was something that was new coming into the National Football League and so obviously you wanted to go and prepare for something that was new and challenging coming into the league.
A: We’ve watched a lot of tape on the Ducks over the last… Not only their 2012 season, but ’11, ’10… There are some things that are similar. He hasn’t put his whole offense in yet, we feel like. There are things out there that haven’t been tested, but there are similarities.
A: McBride came in because Terrell played the nickel position. We played basically a nickel set last week.
Q: You went to the nickel after the injury?
A: Really even before the injury. We basically played that type of game last week.
Q: How concerned are you about the injuries on the defensive line and how do you feel about playing the young guys on the defensive line?
A: I don’t have any problem playing Johnathan (Hankins). We’ve been saying all along we wanted to try to find a way to get him some game experience. I’m not going to answer any medical questions because I think we’ll get some guys back.
Q: Do you worry at all about their ability to wear your guys down just with the tempo of their offense?
A: I think our conditioning level is pretty good. I think that we have to do a good job of getting off the field. If we do a good job of getting off the field and being more successful on third down, then it does not concern me that way.
Q: Is JPP still drawing a lot of double-teams or is he getting the one on ones that you’d like him to get?
A: I haven’t just gone up and calculated what all he’s getting, but he’s had some one on ones. I know in the game last week he did draw a couple of double teams at times. I think yes and no. I don’t know that number or could give you a number on that.
Q: Is their offense enhancing how good LeSean McCoy is or is he just growing as a player?
A: I think it’s a little bit of both because he’s running like he ran several years ago. He’s an outstanding runner and I think the scheme buys him an opportunity to showcase his talents even more. I think it’s a two-way street. It’s some scheme and then he’s just playing lights out football.
Q: It seemed like everybody expected JPP to be a dominant force when he came back from back surgery. Was everybody expecting too much from him right away?
A: Yeah. I think everybody’s expectation level was so high that he would come back and be superman. I’ll use that term. But obviously a player has to work himself back into shape. He has to work himself back into a football mentality and he has to keep working at his craft in order for his skills to rise to the top level.
Q: Tom said he JPP was starting to catch up.
A: Yes, and I would agree with that.
Q: Do you still view Terrell Thomas as the guy inside or is an option to bump him outside?
A: He’s an option. We have a plan. We have some flexibility to do that, bump him out and do some things like that. That’s part of our scheme and our plan.
Q: How good would it be to see the pass rush get going in a game like this and how much would it help to slow down the Eagle offense?
A: I think that we have to get them into situations where they want to drop back and throw the football and then the pass rush would be huge in that sense. As we studied this offense in the offseason and during this season, they’re a good running offense and they’re a good running offense with a play-action pass. We’ve got to create those situations where they become a drop-back offense.
Q: Were you OK with Alex Smith trying to beat you with his legs?
A: No. We were trying to keep him bottled up and we wanted to not let him run, but he did escape on us a couple of times. I think he had an 11-yarder and then he had one for like six. I think one was a designed draw and he was not successful on the third down attempt. But he did run on us a couple of times.
Q: Does seeing that then fix the cracks in there? Does that help even more with Vick because he’s trying to get out of the pocket in the same way?
A: To be able to see it last week and try to, like you said, fix the cracks, we’ll definitely learn from that situation.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
A: Well, we always want to try and encourage pinning them to the sidelines. That’s what we try to do with our punt game. He’s getting better. He showed it better in practice. He just has to do it in a game.
A: His head came up. You see how he followed through. He wasn’t getting through it. He just has to trust himself to get through it.
Q: Is that a fixable thing?
A: Keeping your head down? Yeah. It all starts with how he starts. If he just stays in line with everything and keeps his head down and follows through, he’ll be able to make that.
Q: Are you at the point where you can tell in the windup whether or not it’s going in?
A: When he starts, no. You have to see it on tape. You can slow down the tape and see where he makes mistakes, but not from the naked eye.
Q: When it’s a veteran like that, are you less worried about the mental and more focused on the physical because it is a veteran, a guy who has done it?
A: He’s done it. He’s been in and out of slumps, I’m sure. We’re all professionals and he’s got to get himself out of it and just trust that everything is going to be right on line so he can just keep his head down.
Q: I guess that’s my point. I wouldn’t say it’s easier, but the fact that you can find something physical…
A: You can always find something physical. These guys do these skills so often, sometimes they can fall into some things that they don’t realize they’re falling into, some bad habits. You try to point those out on tape if you see them. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes it’s just a matter of keeping your head down, sometimes the plant foot is too tight or too wide. Why is that? You go back and look at how he started and how he comes through the ball. They all see that, too. They’ve seen themselves kick more than I’ve seen them and they know what their issues are and what they need to do to correct it.
Q: Did you think there might have been some blocks in the back on that return?
A: It doesn’t matter. You have to get down there and cover it. We can play with great leverage, number one. We know we had a couple of guys lose containment on the ball, which is a cardinal sin. We had three guys that didn’t get off hold ups. Against very good returners, you can’t make mistakes. We have to do a better job with that.
Tackle David Diehl
Q: There was a question about you passing the hand test with the strength and stuff. Did you do that?
A: We’re passed. We’re full and ready to go. So I’m excited, I worked by butt off to be where I am today, to get healed up. Physically and mentally, I’m fully ready to go. I’m cleared and I’m excited about the opportunity to go back out there and fight and compete and play with my teammates.
Q: So where are you starting?
A: Right guard.
Q: That’s like old times for you.
A: It’s like riding a bike. This isn’t the first time this has ever happened so I’m excited. I’m excited about the opportunity. Justin (Pugh) and I have been working very hard together the last week, it’s not like I haven’t been working with him, talking through things, trying to help coach him since he first got here so we’ve worked extremely hard watching film, working together, hammering out all the details of everything going into this game. Both of us are excited. As a group, as an offense, as a team – we’re fired up. If you’re not excited about this game, to play the Eagles, division rival, one of those games that you know is going to be a four-quarter fist fight, we’re pumped up and ready to go.
Q: You’re coming back to help out a line that’s been struggling.
A: Like I said, I can’t sit here and talk about the past. I didn’t play, I’m not a hypocrite, I’m not going to sit here and judge anything that’s happened in the past. I know my guys were fighting even though it didn’t go our way. We’ve kept working, our group kept working. Our offensive line is a thick-skinned group and we’re the guys that, no matter what happens, no matter what’s said, we’re going to be a group that comes out fighting. Me coming back, I’m not a miracle worker. Everything’s not going to be perfect, everything’s not going to be fixed. I just know that I’m going to bring my leadership, I’m going to bring energy, I’m going to fight each and every play, I’m going to do whatever I can to bring the best out of my teammates, just like they do for me.
Q: Is this like full circle for you? Your rookie year you started at…
A: The circle of life? Lion King? Ask my daughter, she’d love that. Like I said, this is a great opportunity for us. I’m just excited to be back. I’ve worked extremely hard to come back all offseason, to work as hard as I did to get my knee healed, physically get myself ready and make the changes that I did to come into camp physically the best I’ve ever been in my life and then to have a setback like a thumb, it’s tough. It isn’t easy for anybody. But I’ll tell you this – throughout that entire time, mentally I’ve stayed focused, I’ve been in here with the team, my teammates, I’ve been watching film, I’ve been critiquing everything, I’ve been keeping notes and staying sharp. Like anything, you really appreciate when you’re out and you’re sitting on the sidelines, you really appreciate how special it is to do what you do. It’s my 11th season and I’m still living the dream. I’m still playing and doing what I love to do. It’s still so exciting to come here each and every morning preparing for these games. Most importantly, for me, being able to get back out there and fight, I’m just pumped up. I’m ready to go.
CB Terrell Thomas
Q: How challenging is it to face that offense one, in general, and two, you guys might not be at full strength.
A: That’s the NFL. People have got to step up at the end of the day. If somebody goes down, then somebody else has to step up. It definitely causes challenges. They definitely pose a challenge for us but people have got to step up.
Q: You guys have been trying to step things up in practice, fast-paced, to replicate them. Can you replicate that offense?
A: You can to a certain extent. (Michael) Cox has done a great job mimicking McCoy and his movements; he has that jump cut, so he’s definitely giving us a great look. More than anything, it’s just doing your job. All they’re trying to do is catch you off balance to catch you out of position, out of your gap, get you out of your leverage. That’s when they’re successful.
Q: Are you guys looking at tape from Oregon as well?
A: No, not at all. That doesn’t matter. We have a good four weeks of NFL game tape on their offense. That’s all we need.
Q: When did you start thinking about facing this offense? Was it going back before this week?
A: No, not at all. I think our coaches did a great job of preparing us for this in the offseason, working on different defensive sets and techniques to prepare for the read option and things they like doing. But other than that, we’ve been focusing on whoever we’re playing that week.
Q: How big is it just taking the big play away? Especially with someone like DeSean. It seems like when they get those, that’s when their offense is really clicking.
A: It’s huge because they thrive on that. At the end of the day they’re still going to make big plays. That’s the type of offense they have, they’re going to catch you off balance but it’s just continuing to line up and continuing to do your job. In the end, the defense will win. The stats show that against them. Unfortunately they haven’t been successful in the red zone so all the big plays come up short. If anything, if they do get the big play, we just want to tackle them and line back up and give ourselves another chance.
Q: Do you think that’s something about that system that, in the red zone, it’s kind of tougher? You don’t’ have that much space.
A: I think it’s more the rhythm of the offense more than anything. Everything is high-tempo and now you get in the red zone, you don’t want to go high-pace, you want to slow it down. The depth that they have as far as yardage is not as big compared to the whole field so they’re kind of limited as far as plays. We could play a little tighter.
LB Spencer Paysinger
Q: They’re faster than teams like the Broncos?
A: It’s a different type of speed. They get lined up pretty fast but they also look to the sideline for the call. The Broncos, they know their calls. Peyton does a good job relaying the calls through hand signals.
Q: Is there anything you can do as a defense to slow them down?
A: Just like I said, you’ve got to have players that have set rules. You don’t want to have to think too much against this type of offense because that’s what they’re banking on, you thinking too much, getting a half-man out of the gap and they can pop a good run. McCoy is a great runner, he’s liable to break those long runs if the person’s not fully in their gap, so you really have to have a sound gap defense.
Q: Did you think, or dream, about facing these guys?
A: I wouldn’t say that I dream of facing it, but when I saw that he was going to the Eagles it kind of took me back to, okay, we used to play against it in practice all of those years and now I’m about to play against it as a professional. I was kind of excited to see if I still knew the Oregon motions and shifts and adjustments and stuff. I’ll be interested to see, once I’m on the field, if I hear any calls or stuff that kind of bring back some memories.
Q: What have you found watching on tape? Are there similarities?
A: There are some similarities. Some of the runs are still the same, some of the pass concepts are still the same, but for the most part, they have changed things up. Like I said, I’ve been gone for three years, they’ve had a chance to evolve the playbook a little bit more. But, for the most part, it’s still a shadow of itself.
Q: How much do you think he’s adapted to what he wants to do to the Eagles personnel because obviously they’ve got different weapons than you had at Oregon?
A: Obviously this is his first year here, so he’s not playing with all of the pieces he probably wants to play with. You’ve got to give him a couple years to get his personnel, get his players in. But for right now, I think he’s done a pretty good job of playing to the players’ strengths on this team.
Q: Did you ever think that that type of offense would work in the NFL?
A: Did I ever think? I was at Oregon, I was on his side back then so I was thinking that if it could work there, it would work in the big leagues. I think it can have some success. You’ve just got to give it more time to evolve. We’re only a month and a half into the season so you just have to give it time to evolve, watch him get his personnel in and pretty much let him do his adjustments to see if it actually can. Judging it now, it’s too early to judge.
Q: When you’re dealing with this injury do you look at the next two games and kind of compress them into one because they’re so close together?
A: No. Right now I just look at it as day by day. I look at it is you get through tomorrow, you be ready to get through Saturday. You can’t even worry about the games until you get cleared for them. You take it day by day, just try to improve it each day and just see where you’re at.
Q: Do you feel like you’re going to play on Sunday?
A: I don’t know, we’ll see. Tomorrow will be a big day to get out there, try to add to the workload a little bit to see where it’s at.
Q: Did you take any snaps today or just a little on the side?
A: No, just a little on the side. No snaps.
Q: As a football player, you’ve gone into games where the doctors have cleared you to play. Does being cleared to play mean that you’re 100 percent or does it mean that you can just give it the best you’ve got?
A: I think getting cleared to play just means that they think you’ll make it out without any further injuries, without making it worse or anything serious. Just because you’re cleared to play doesn’t mean that you’re going to be 100 percent by any stretch. You go out there, you fight, you tough it out and you try to help the team.
Q: A lot of us look at JPP coming off the back surgery and we were expecting the same old guy that was the rookie who dominated the league. I guess it’s not easy to get over an injury right away.
A: I’m not sure what JP’s situation is or what he feels like, so I’m not even going to comment on that. I know mine and I know how mine feels. It’s still sore but it’s making progress. We’ll try to continue that tomorrow.
Q: Do you think you’ll be a game time decision Sunday morning?
A: Yeah. Right now you can’t rule it out, there’s still hope. As I said, tomorrow will be a big day for us to get out there, see how it feels, try to add a little more into the workload and see how it responds and see if I have any setbacks afterwards.
Q: A guy like McCoy, that’s why you’re here. That’s why you, Shaun and Hankins are all here, to stop the run against guys like him. If you can’t play, how ready do you think Hankins is? Shaun’s going to take on a bigger role.
A: Hankins has been ready. He’s been sitting back patiently waiting his turn. He’s a heck of a player, he’ll get out there and he’ll do well regardless of the situation. So we have all the confidence in the world in him