Are we going to see anything new from the Eagles?
I'm sure. The one thing they've always done a terrific job of is going beyond the four-game cycle and show you something that you haven't seen in those last four games. Over the five years we've faced them every time we face them there is a new wrinkle here and a new blitz pattern we haven't seen. The essence of what they do doesn't change. They are always going to try and do a mixture of a giving you the illusion or impression that they are going to come after you and there will be an all out blitz and then back off and play maximum drop coverage. Or they'll do what they've given you the impression they are going to do, which is come after you. (Jim Johnson) does a great job and they have some terrific players and they are playing very, very well together now. It will be a very formidable challenge but it's one I think we are all looking forward to.
* Are Jim Johnson's schemes more difficult than the norm?*
It's a good scheme. It would be difficult to say if it's more difficult or not. It's well thought out, it's well executed, it's done by some terrific players and he has some players that are particularly well versed and have been with him for a long, long time so maybe some more flexibility exists in what they do than all the defensive teams you face. It's a daunting challenge, there is no question about it. You have to be at your very best and you have to be mentally on the top of your game to have a chance to handle it. But I think our guys are working hard and the fact that we've seen some of the stuff before will give us at least a good starting point and if we play as we're capable of we should be able to contend with some of the things they do.
* What are the contributions, both tangible and intangible, of FB Madison Hedgecock?*
The physical or tangible contribution is obvious. He does a tremendous job of matching up against the linebackers that he is assigned to block both in the run game and the passing game. I think he also has continued to evolve in his sophistication so that not only can he block his guy but when there is a breakdown somewhere else he has gotten better and better of cleaning up somebody else's mistake on his way to doing his job. He does a very, very good job. It won't be noticeable necessarily to the outside world but I think his teammates appreciate and I know his coaches do - the fact that he is able to see a problem and on the way to doing his job, maybe knock the guy back onto the respective blocker that is supposed to be blocking him, and he has just gotten better and better at that. I think the intangible contribution is that he adds significantly to the toughness that we have as an offense and I think one of the things we are very, very proud of is that we view ourselves and I think most people that play us view us as a very physical offense. It's something we strive to have as an identity and he certainly contributes to that impression.
* A year ago there were questions about your quarterback. Since last postseason what has he done for this offense and the whole confidence of this team?*
That's a great question because you have the reservoir of confidence that comes from having been in a situation and been successful in it and yet you know full well that what you have done in the past is absolutely meaningless to what you are going to do this time. You have to go out and do it again but I do think it gives you that background of belief in yourself even though you recognize the challenges this Sunday against this team. On this day you do have the confidence that comes from being in situations similar to this before. 'I recognize the uniqueness of this challenge but I feel very good about my ability to respond to this week's challenge.' But it's not going to come down to what we did last year. I think all our players understand that. It's going to come down to how we play this Sunday against a very, very good football team.
* Talk about your contact with the Raiders and where that is at right now?*
I had a very enjoyable conversation with Mr. Davis and I'm very flattered he took the time to speak from what I believe was the hospital but to be honest I know I got the interview because of the success we had as a football team and particularly the players and coaches on the offensive side and I'd think it would be disrespectful for me to go into anything besides what matters so much to these players and coaches in this particular game. I certainly appreciate the job the players and coaches have done and I think we're all excited about the challenge of this week.
* One of the biggest reasons the Eagles got Samuel was because of Burress. Have you seen them game planning differently in his absence?*
Everybody game plans differently but even when you have the same players the second time around there is usually some modification or adaptation. That first game we were very fortunate, we had a lot of success, we moved the ball very well but whether Plaxico was there or not, I'm sure there would have been an adjustment. Having said that, certainly losing a premier football player is going to impact how people are going to look at you, how they try to defend you and it really comes down to what can you still do with the players you have and we're all very confident with the guys we have. We feel very good about their ability to matchup against the Eagles and again can we go out and play as we think we are capable of this Sunday? I think we're anxious to find out.