Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Good morning. It's an exciting time of the year. Two teams (at) 6-3; in the division this weekend. Philadelphia coming off of a huge win down in Washington. It's the first time we've played this year. There are seven games left in the regular season, so it's really an exciting time of year for all of us.
Q: Is this the best that Vick has looked? How much progress has he made?
A: Well, you can see the way that he's been brought along – he had a select number of plays a year ago and then broadened a little bit this year, brought in in the second half of the Green Bay game, played very well, got himself injured and missed a couple of games and certainly came back and played extremely well on Monday night.
Q: Did you watch on TV?
A: I watched the first half.
Q: What was going through your mind as you watched?
A: Let's see, 35-0, 12 plays for Washington. Just what everybody else was – put the pencil down and become a fan.
Q: Is Vick a different player now?
A: I don't think so. They're averaging 150 yards a game rushing, he has about 29% of that yardage. They run a lot of reverses and things of that nature with the wide receivers, that takes up another segment of their rush game, but the fact that he is a threat to come out of there, there's no denying it that it buys time down the field, it extends the play, it forces you to stay in coverage longer, and of course, when they get involved with (DeSean) Jackson, with number ten, they're trying to run through the coverage, block it up, max protection and throw it up as far as they can down the field. We saw that over there a year ago, we saw it to a certain extent here in the second game last year as well and we certainly saw it the other night.
Q: Does he seem more patient in the pocket?
A: I think that. He's going to want to throw the ball if a pass is called as the first choice and then if it's pressure or if he sees, for example, - not many people play two man against him, but if he sees something like that, he will pull it down.
Q: Did you really watch it as a fan?
A: No. I had indigestion, stomach ache…
Q: Some of the theories about Vick speculate that he came out of prison a better person and a better quarterback. Do you see him playing the position better?
A: I think those theories are completely… I think he's a good athlete that's had a chance to – he's been patient and the Eagles have been patient. There's been no rush with him going into the game or having to play. Who knows? Maybe they started the year off thinking they were going to use him the same way they did a year ago and then because he flourished when he played, it made them make some other choices, so I just think that he's an excellent athlete that has had time to get the rust off and become the exceptional quarterback that he was prior to this.
Q: What can you do to slow him down?
A: We're trying to get the twelfth man out there. We've been working real hard on that and I think that the officials will give us one of those based on last week maybe. No, you have to obviously try to contain and keep him inside and not let him outside and there's all kinds of strategic things that you say you can do and you must do, but you have to time it up with the right circumstances, the right play, the right situation. They're an excellent screen team, they're a big personnel team, they rush the ball, they rush the ball with him, they run the nakeds, they break perimeter. They do a lot of things that if you think you have a handle on how you're going to be able to have some containment on him, they find a way – he finds a way – to break it down.
Q: He hasn't thrown an interception yet.
A: That's a little misleading. There have been a lot of times when the ball has been in people's hands. They haven't caught the ball.
Q: Are the receivers a threat for the deep ball too?
A: Maclin made an outstanding play the other night. We know the tight end has been worked in the middle of the field and on the sail routes and all of those things – he's a big factor. Avant, you don't ever want to not pay attention to him because he's an outstanding blocker, he's hurt us in the green zone before, he's hurt some people catching the ball in the middle of the field and running out of there. Certainly McCoy has done an outstanding job – he's their leading receiver, they screen a lot to him. There are a lot of people involved in this offense, not just one guy.
Q: How important is it for your safeties not to come down and let him come over the top?
A: You've got to be sure exactly what you're seeing. If you're not sure, you have to maintain your depth. You just can't come rolling up in there.
Q: Could watching the tape of Monday night's game be overwhelming for your players to watch? Are you almost better off not showing it to them?
A: Well, it depends. From a teaching standpoint, you may not show the game in sequence. You may pull the plays out, put them in categories and show them that way. There's no denying the game. Everybody watched the game or saw parts of the game and nobody is, but that was an extremely outstanding game on their part all the way around and there's no more you can say about it. Let's move on to the next one.
Q: Are they using McCoy the same way they used to use Westbrook?
A: Very similar. Some of the things are a little bit different. I don't see him lined up on the side, but McCoy looks very good – he's fast, he's quick, and they've been using him. He's made some big plays with the run game and as I mentioned, if they catch you overloaded in one direction and he gets the screen the other direction, it's very dangerous. They do have a defense too. Their defense is good, their special teams is good, they cover well and they run well. They've got a good football team.
Q: Do you have to keep the pass rush reined in this week?
A: No. It depends on how you're going to rush. You certainly aren't going to rein them in, you're going to fill in some calculated ability to keep track of him or force him to one spot if we can.
Q: The Eagles defense did give up four touchdowns against Washington.
A: I think (Washington) threw three interceptions, too. That happens when you get behind. They did try to run the ball for quite a while I thought.
Q: How is your team now after the loss?
A: Resilient, I hope. Or that's where we're pushing ourselves. That's our word. We've got to do a good job, as I mentioned to them on Monday, of understanding, recognizing it, put it away, let's go on to the next one and let's do so with great preparation, let's do so with the energy, the work ethic, the extra time, all those things. It's got to be a game of detail, there is no margin for error. Let's see how the meetings, practice and all of those things – I just left the walk thru or the jog thru and they seemed to be focused and doing a good job with that.
Q: Is it easy to plug Derek Hagan back in there?
Q: On offense too?
A: Yes. He'll have to. Sure he will.
Q: What do you say to Shawn Andrews about playing his old team? Can he handle it?
A: I think he can handle it. We'll spend a little time on it. I talked to him a little bit this morning, but he seems to have a real good demeanor and I'm sure the emotion will grow for him…
Q: How did he do against Demarcus Ware?
A: He did okay, yeah.
Q: How has he done overall?
A: He has come along very gradually. We did that on purpose. He's played in multiple positions and he was in a starting role because he has played well and he certainly really hasn't done anything to discourage that.
Q: Is it nice having a guy like that to plug in anywhere?
A: No. It's not. Yes, yes it is.
Q: Anything on David Diehl or Shaun O'Hara?
A: Nothing I like. There's no news that you're looking for or that I'm looking for. Doing well, feeling good. Okay, they're not practicing today.
Q: How would you have accepted a player like Vick with his background on your team?
A: I think they spent a lot of time in deliberation, a lot of people were talked to, a lot went into the discussion about how this thing would be handled and so on and so forth and from what I understand, it was all different levels and supported at the player level and then up and beyond. I have no comment on that at all.
Q: What have you seen from Will Blackmon?
A: Well, I'm encouraged. I've been encouraged by that. He's a courageous ball carrier. He has been secure with the football, he gave us what we've struggled to find last weekend with a nice kickoff return. That's been an area that has been very difficult for us. The two weeks that he has handled the return game has been positive. What you hope for is that these other people will figure that they've got somebody back there that can contribute and – let's put a little more responsibility on the other guys. That's what we've tried to do the last couple of weeks. There aren't going to be any excuses for missed blocking assignments or not getting the right guy. We're way beyond that stuff.
Q: Who else in your career have you faced who is as dangerous as Vick?
A: Vick, a couple of years ago. There have been lots of players in the league with mobility, it's just that it's so current and he's been so good with it. Go back to Green Bay, he rushed for a lot of yards in the second half of that game.
Q: If you were the Eagles, what would you be most concerned with about playing the Giants?
A: If I was getting ready to play the Giants? Well, I just did a little comparison for the team in terms of statistics and big plays and even the sacks are 25, 26, so there are a lot of very, very close…the only thing that's not close quite frankly is – if I'm the Giants getting ready for them, I don't want to turn the ball over any more. I'm tired of that stuff. I told the players that this morning. When you look at them, they're plus-12 and we're minus-five.
Q: Are they blitzing as much?
A: Yes. Good team speed and coming at you.
Q: How is Kevin Boss?
A: He'll be okay. He's going to work.
QB Eli Manning
Q: So you have the Eagles this week, in primetime, after a huge performance from Michael Vick last week:
A: You just go out there and everything is always different every Sunday. It's about going out there that day, having a great week of preparation, and going out there and playing the best football you can.
Q: What's the key to beating them?
A: You have to take care of the ball. You can't give their offense easy field position and momentum. Obviously they're very talented and do a good job mixing blitz with coverage and disguising. Everybody has to be on the same page and everybody has to know exactly what's going on, when you're protected, when you're hot, and everyone knowing who their responsible for in their protections. We have to run the ball and be effective, don't go backwards, and be consistent. Take what they give you.
Q: Is it possible to make too much out of a first place battle at this point in the season?
A: It's still a big game, and we're taking it as a big game. This one game is not going to decide anything, and it's not going to ensure that anyone is going to win the division. Obviously, it's an important game when it's two teams who are 6-3 on Sunday night. We're looking at that and knowing that it's Philly week, and it's always a big game when you're playing the Philadelphia Eagles.
Q: Have you gotten used to everyone jumping off the Big Blue bandwagon?
A: You just have to know that – it never amazes you or maybe it always amazes you – in the sense that in one week that everyone is talking about the way they're talking about Philly this week. They were talking about us last week. Either way, it can't go to your head, whether they're talking good or talking bad about you. It's what you do in your own preparation and getting ready to play, go out there, compete, and try to make the plays that are there.
Q: Coach said the word this week in the complex is resiliency. Is this team resilient?
A: Sure, we have been through some low points already this year and in years past. In the beginning of the season, we got off to a tough start and it's just the way it is in New York. You lose one game, and everyone has doubts. We can't let that affect us and let that slip into our minds. We know we have talent and we know that Philly is playing great football right now, and it's going to take our best game.
Q: As a quarterback, can you step back and appreciate what you see from Michael Vick?
A: I don't watch film on the Eagles offense, but I know he had a big game last week. He's been playing great football. I know he's an athlete and talented, and obviously he has a great feel for what's going on. We have to help out our defense and not give their offense anything easy.
Q: How important is having a full week to prepare knowing you'll be without Steve Smith?
A: We brought in Derek Hagan, a guy who knows the offense. Really, it's easiest on the receivers. They'll know exactly where they'll be playing and what spots so they can watch film and game plan for that. Sometimes, you can move guys around and have them playing two spots, it can be a little overload. They can get things switched up and get the timing you need. It's good to have Derek Hagan in, knowing where everyone is playing, and it should be helpful.
Q: Coach talked a lot about not turning ball this week, your thoughts?
A: Yeah, you can't give the ball to the other team. We had two last week that are on me, two interceptions. So, we have to find ways. Every turnover is going to have its own reason or own thing that happened, it's not like it's the same thing happened every time. We have to find ways to protect the ball, and be smart.
Q: Talk about Shawn Andrews and how he is producing as a left tackle:
A: I thought he played really well the last two weeks, last week going against DeMarcus Ware. He really did an outstanding job in protection and in the run game, so he comes in here having not been here very long and playing a couple different spots. First he was a tight end and now he's at left tackle, so he has done a great job learning everything and blocking the guys up.
LB Michaell Boley
Q: What was your reaction when your former teammate, Michael Vick, had the game he had on Monday night?
A: Impressive. For him to show everybody what his full potential was, I think he showed that the other night.
Q: Is that what you were waiting for, for two years when you played with him?
A: It was different. Different scheme, different coach. I think all it takes is for the right player to get in the right scheme, the right situation, and make him blossom.
Q: When defenses have succeeded against Vick, how did they go at him?
A: For him, it was getting out of the pocket. He's always had an incredible arm, so like any quarterback, if you give him time, he can beat you. For him, doing more running then than passing, running the ball can be good for a while but it can be your downfall. I think that's what hurt him.
Q: Do you guys sit and watch him play and say that you have to be a lot better than last week?
A: Any time you lose a game, you have to be a lot better. We didn't play great as a team at all last week. We came in on Monday, looked at the film, and were very critical of ourselves, everybody from the top to the bottom. Starting today, we'd like to see the team get some of those things corrected.
Q: Andy Reid said that he was never really a guy to put 110% forth, and now he's really become better at preparing and studying:
A: You're seeing it. You're a product of what you bring to work every day. If you're the last one in here and don't study things, you're not going to be good. If you get in here, take some time to study film, get those extra workouts, and do the little things that can make yourself better at what you do, then you'll succeed.
Q: Does his performance Monday night intimidate this defense?
A: No, I don't think it intimidates anybody. We're all competitors, and I think to the next person, they look at that and say that's the competition. We want that, we want somebody to bring their 'A' game when we play them. We want your best, and that's like a boxer. You don't want a guy who comes in and is sluggish and doesn't want to fight. What's the point?
**Q: How many times do you think that defenses go in there doing the right things and he still shreds them apart?
A: A lot, a lot. You put that kind of talent at the quarterback position, and more times than not, it's one-on-one all across the board. In most defenses, you don't account for the quarterback, especially running the ball. You account for them throwing the ball down the field and being that threat. For him to be able to get out of the pocket, scramble, and pick up yardage and do what he does, he's a multiple threat.