Eagles Head Coach Andy Ried
Q: Were you surprised they punted to DeSean Jackson?
A: I was happy they did. I was happy they did.
Q: Have you ever been involved in something this dramatic?
A: Listen, I had one my senior year in college at BYU against SMU, but that was a couple years ago. That was a crazy one like this one, but I'll tell you what, my heart is a little weaker after this one. That, that was special.
Q: What do you say about your team the way they never gave up?
A: You know what, I'm proud of them, man. I'm proud of the coaches. Nobody was down. They were frustrated, but they weren't down. They were supporting each other. We didn't come out and do much that first series with the ball, and then the defense…the defense just tightened up, and finally got a couple things going on offense. They were blitzing us every down, just about, bringing one more guy, four plus one and sometimes two, and sometimes more than that. We were able to hang in there, and did a pretty good job.
Q: On the onside kick you were leaning into the huddle with Bobby April, who called that and what transpired?
A: Bobby [April] did a great job with that. That was a surprise onside. In other words, we didn't have our hands people in there, you know our onside kick people in there. We had our normal crew in and…
Q: Was it called all the way?
Yeah, well listen, I looked over to just make sure they weren't putting their hands team in. We didn't do an overload, or anything on it, we just made it look like normal personnel. They had normal personnel. They went five up front, which was kind of the key there, and it worked out.
Q: Can you give us an idea on how bad DeSean [Jackson] foot is hurting? Were you worried about using him at all?
A: I wanted…this is terrible to say, but I wanted to make sure he was there at the end and if we had ones that were in a crazy situation that we had him, and then get him in the game as a receiver so…
Q: What about the way Michael [Vick] played?
A: You know what; it didn't start off well with the interception. He hung in there, and that was the thing, he kept battling and they were giving us some different looks, I mean…but he hung in there and he kept battling, got hit a few times and then he came back with those long runs. Mmmm, special.
Q: What did you say to your players in the fourth quarter to keep their interest?
A: Keep playing. Take it one at a time. You can't get caught up in the score at that time, and I mean that's easier said than done. I mean, this is a rarity right here. You've got to keep battling, take one series, one play at a time and the guys did that. And again, the players and the coaches did a great job. That's a special, that's a special win right there.
Q: Vick was visibly limping…was there something wrong?
A: I don't even know. He wasn't just limping, but he didn't come up and tell me anything so he must be ok.
Q: DeSean [Jackson] his punt return at the end, what did you see?
A: I wasn't sure they were going to punt to him, but I wanted to make sure he was on the field. The last couple, he was out there. He and Jeremy [Maclin] both we had back there. The second to last one and he was back on the last one…I wasn't sure they were going to do it, and I think it went off his foot wrong because it ended up being a line drive which is even double trouble. If you're going to kick it to him at least give it some hang time.
Q: When you saw Jackson get that opening, what were you thinking?
A: I was thinking this is a beautiful thing.
Q: Is this as emotional as you've been in the NFL?
A: You know, I can't name another one of these. This is a special one, I mean this is exciting. This was exciting for you guys. I mean this is exciting; it's a great day to be a Philadelphia writer.
Q: Did you understand what he did running the goal line like that?
A: Yeah, he wanted that clock on zero, and that's ok. That's ok, most of us wouldn't be thinking about that at that particular time, but I'm glad he did.
Q: Special players make special plays. Talk about the way your players stepped up at the end.
A: They did. You saw Brent Celek with a heck of a catch, and how about the block Maclin threw him, that was a big time block. You saw Jeremy [Maclin] shake a guy off and make a big time play. Michael [Vick] made a big time throw, and that's against blitzes, nice blitzes to get it out. And then DeSean [Jackson] at the end.
Q: There was another miracle at this stadium…
A: Yeah, there was. Listen, they've had as many as we have in these games. Tom Coughlin is a phenomenal coach. I have a lot of respect for him, he's a good friend. These are battles, the players, they whack each other, but again they help each other up and do all that. There's a mutual respect there, but yet they play their hearts out and there's a little pushing and shoving going on, but this is what the NFC East is all about. This is what the NFL is all about.
CB Asante Samuel
Q: What does this say about the attitude of this football team?
A: You never die. Everybody came in at halftime, 24-3, we were looking like sad puppies. Everybody was just saying, 'Show your heart. Come out and fight' and that's what we did. The second half, you have to love it.
Q: What was the mindset going onto the field down by seven?
A: Do or die. Bring your A-game. Be serious and stop them. That's what we did. We did the all-out blitz and just did our thing.
Q: Could you believe they kicked to DeSean?
A: Oh my god. That was crazy. Wasn't it? I don't know what's going to happen to him, butt I'm sure Tom Coughlin is pretty upset.
Q: You and 10 have a special relationship. How amazing was it to see him do that?
A: That man is one of the most incredible athletes I've ever seen in my life. He doesn't have the size, but the speed, the quickness, the agility, the hand-eye coordination. One of the most incredible athletes I've ever seen. Hell of a player. A lot of heart.
LB Jamar Chaney
Q: When did you feel the momentum shift?
A: When it was 17, 17-31. We only let them score one touchdown the whole second half. Give credit to the defense. When we made it 17 to 31 I think the whole team on the sideline thought we could get it done. Just get the offense back on the field and we can get it done.
Q: What does Michael Vick do for the confidence in this locker room?
A: Oh my goodness. He let's us know that we can come back from behind. Morale was probably a little low in the first half. We have a lot of playmakers on this team. Michael Vick is definitely a great leader and DeSean Jackson at the end of the game, just an unbelievable win. Words can't explain it. You can't even write a movie like that.
TE Clay Harbor
Q: Did you get a chance to look around the crowd after it ended?
A: I was on that punt return team and I didn't really get a chance. I was too busy trying to chase DeSean and celebrate in the end zone.
Q: What did you see on that play?
A: Pre-snap, we had the time out. All of us got together and said, 'Hey, if we hold them up for any time at all, we have DeSean back there. If they kick it to him, he's going to get us in position to kick the field goal to win.' We weren't thinking about him taking it all the way, but we said, 'He's going to get a crease. We'll get good field position, kick a field goal and get out of here. Sell the block, they're going to think we're coming on the block,' because it was the end of the game, we need the ball. We sold the block, held them up for as much time as it took. Give DeSean a crease and he's gone.
Eagles WR DeSean Jackson
Q: Are you surprised that they punted to you?A: Honestly man, it's a blessing, it's a dream come true. Actually sitting back there looking at 12 seconds right before the referee came back and put the extra two seconds on, not that it mattered or whatever but I'm just sitting back there and thinking to myself like 'they're really not going to kick it to me.' I was thinking that he was going to kick it out of bounds or do something out of the ordinary but it was a blessing. It got to me and I fumbled it so I guess that kind of bought me some time to kind of set it up and do what I had to do but first and foremost I just want to thank my punt return team, they did a great job. Jason Avant, I don't even know who he hit but he took them like two feet off the ground and made a huge block and from there I just used my instincts and my speed to get to the end zone.
Q: When did you know that you had the touchdown to end the game?A: Well, I don't know man. Like I said, I fumbled the ball, picked it up and when I picked it up I saw like a little crease and a little lane. Punt return throughout the whole season, I haven't had a big return or a return for a touchdown so it was just an honor to really be able to be in a situation coming into halftime down 24-3. In my mind I thought there was no way we could come back but it just shows the character and the heart and the fight that our team put together to make a huge run.
Q: Before the play started, did you have a vision of taking it to the house?A: Of course. First of all I really wasn't doing punt returns throughout the whole game. We talked all week about my foot and I told coach that I just wanted to be 100% on offense and I felt that if I were doing punt returns and playing offense there would probably be a slim chance that I couldn't be as fresh as I wanted to be offensively because of my foot. Coach Reid asked me before the game about punt returns and I told him that if we need it when the game is close, just put me back there and today was one of those times where I got that whistle (from Coach Reid) and he said "get your butt back there" so I went back there and even when I was on the field he (Coach Reid) was whistling at me to make sure that I was going to look it in and I assured Coach Reid that I had it. It was just a blessing, it was for my pops, and may he rest in peace. I did everything for him and I know he's watching and that's why I still have my jersey on.
Q: Why did you stroll along the goal line at the end of the game?A: I try to always do something out of the ordinary. I probably would've dove in from the 12-yard line if I could. I don't know, I knew there was 14 seconds left in the game and I didn't know if there was time still left on the clock so I just wanted to run along the goal line and I knew nobody was going to catch me. Like I said, I like to do some things for excitement. That's what the fans and all the crowd pay for, so I like to bring that out.
Q: What went through your mind after you fumbled the punt at first?A: When I dropped the ball, I panicked real quickly. It was probably a good thing because when I panicked I was able to locate the ball and it was maybe a foot or two away from me and when I grabbed the ball I went one way and when I looked up I saw a crease and I just shot through that crease. I made a couple of little moves and I saw someone try to take a dive at me so I kind of just kicked my feet up and from there. Jason (Avant) made a huge block and then somebody told me that Coach Coughlin ran on the field and tried to get his kicker because he was just so pissed that his kicker punted the ball to me. That just shows how mad he was at that punter. Punt return did it, all game the Giants were on me. They double teamed me, they did this and they did that and Vick could see that I was frustrated because it's tough especially because of the competitor I am. When they focus on me so hard I just want to do so great and sometimes other defenses just aren't going to allow that and Vick kept telling me to keep my head up and we just kept plucking away and we got one.
Q: What can you say about Michael Vick and his fourth quarter performance?A: It's just a blessing to have Mike Vick on our team. Those big runs he was having were unbelievable especially when you have a defense that's doing things to purposely stop him from running. They're bringing people off the edge, they're blitzing people and doing all this type of stuff and for him to stay in there and hit the corner and pick up 30 and 40 and 50 yards down the field, guys don't really know how huge that is for us to sustain drives and keep our defense off the field and get them rest.
Q: What was it like to be in a comeback game of this magnitude?A: Honestly, I really didn't even think it was going to be possible especially with the way the Giants played in the first half. They had so much momentum, the crowd was behind them and so loud, they just kept trying to take away the things we do well. Coming into halftime 24-3, that's really unbelievable for a team to come back and win. We pulled it out though and that's all that matters.
Q: How much was your foot affecting you today?
A: Honestly, my foot still isn't 100% but like I told you it was impossible for me to come on the field but I led my soldiers. I couldn't let them battle without me and there's just something about me where I can't just sit out. I had all week to get it back and all that matters is that punt return.
Eagles QB Michael Vick
Q: Thoughts when you saw the punt return touchdown occur.
A: First off I want to give all thanks to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for this opportunity and blessing. When [Matt Dodge] first kicked, and I saw the low trajectory on the kick, I was saying to myself, "Why would he kick it to DeSean?" It was all the way home from there. It was a great opportunity for DeSean out there battling through the game and getting a W.
Q: Down 31-10 with eight minutes to go, what changed?
A: I just knew that we needed touchdowns to get back in the game. Down 21 we need to take advantage of every opportunity – every down counts, every possession counts, and you have to go out there and block everything else out, forget about the score, keep it in the back of your mind and make plays at the same time.
Q: Were you surprised about the open lanes you had in the second half?
A: They give you a lot of opportunities to run the football; they play a lot of Cover 2, and they like to blitz. It can be good at times but it can also hurt you. They did a good job containing me and a good job with the passing lanes, but we adjusted to them. It got to a point where we were like, "It's not going to be about them. It's going to be about us." We took it one play at a time to get into the end zone and fortunately we came up with some big plays at some key moments in the game.
Q: Did you think that things were just not going to get better at halftime? What did you say to the team?
A: We were discouraged in the first half that we didn't make the most of our opportunities to put the ball in the end zone. We had some turnovers. And we just said to ourselves, "Listen, we're just going to go out there and play for pride above anything else. They may beat us 49-25 but we're going to play with pride and we can't complain." And that's all I want. That's all I want to ask of my teammates, and my offensive line, to play with some pride and enjoy the game.