Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: Anything new regarding Shawn Andrews?A: No, just that he is being treated. And hopefully he will be a little bit better today and hopefully a little bit better tomorrow.
Q: Did this kind of come out of the blue?
A: Not really. He has been stiff and sore before but never to the point where he didn't feel like --- he actually came out and tried to work yesterday. He felt he could work. As long as he was in a two-point stance, he felt he could. But then the smarter move prevailed and we didn't push it any. He was a little bit better this morning. And hopefully he will be a little bit better tomorrow.
Q: Any thoughts as to whether he will go on Sunday?A: It's day to day; day to day.
Q: Is this stuff that he has been dealing with for a couple of weeks now?
A: No, I wouldn't say that. But he has had that stuff sore back before. So this is what we are dealing with right now.
Q: Any indication that it is related to his past?
A: Whatever. You ever have a bad back? You don't want to get one.
Q: Given that history are you concerned going forward?
A: The fact that you're standing on my grass concerns me. Yes, everything concerns me.
Q: If he can't go, would you be comfortable with seven linemen, or would you need to add someone at that position?A: We have played many times with seven linemen.
Q: Kevin Boss have a setback?A: Yesterday he worked. He was sore last night. And this morning they decided they had better hold him.
Q: What about Corey Webster?A: Corey did something to his toe. And they fitted him with a shoe and he just didn't feel comfortable. Instead of pushing it and creating an issue – hopefully he will work tomorrow.
Q: Is it a little draining to have all of these guys out?
A: I think better today, I really do. I think better today. I think Wednesday, getting back on the practice field – and more that – trying to fight our way through last week and into the new week, but today was better.
Q: Shawn is still relatively new here. Is he still at the point where he needs to practice in order to play?
A: Everybody needs to practice. But the last part of it – 'to play' - we'll see; we'll see. He has had pretty much every practice since he has been here. I wouldn't think it would necessarily rule him out if he didn't practice.
Q: What do you like about Jonathan Goff?
A: He is tough. He is quiet. He is physical. He likes to play; a good citizen, a smart guy.
Q: Is this the typical Eagles defense that we have seen? They have a lot of new people, have they re-tooled a little bit?
A: Yeah, a little bit, but they are a fast, physical defensive team.
Q: How concerned are you about playing the Eagles offense given the way they are playing?
A: Is this your first day here? They have demonstrated great ability to score and move the ball and all of those kinds of things. It is always a concern. They are talented.
Q: Will Boss practice tomorrow?A: I think so. We'll see. Hopefully he will be back out to practice.
Q: Had Darius Reynaud been working with the wide receivers?
Q: He looks good? Looks healthy?
A: That is where he works most of the time. We spent one week – I think we had him as a running back – but most of the time he works with the receivers. He seems to have done well (with the hamstring). I don't see any real setback there. He has taken a lot of snaps because of the scout team.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
Q: Are you sleeping at all?
A: Oh, yeah.
Q: We hear it's the greatest show on grass.
A: They're pretty good. They're a very potent offense. A lot of different weapons – good speed… You can't say enough about how they're playing. They're playing at a championship level right now.
Q: What were you thinking when you were watching the game on Monday night?
A: Actually, I was working, so I didn't. But I did watch the video and I just thought, Wow, they're clicking on all cylinders, we have to play our best football, you can't go out and have a mental lapse, you've got to play until the whistle is blown. That old adage, you've got to play 60 minutes of football with these guys is very true because they play full speed and they play 60 minutes of football and they play fast.
Q: How do you balance trying to get to Vick and also contain him. Aren't those almost opposite goals there?
A: They're very conflicting. You kind of pick your poison. Sometimes you have to try to contain him and keep him from running, sometimes you have to go take a shot at him, but he's a guy that no matter what you do structurally, defensively, he can break down that structure and that's the most exciting thing about him and that's why everybody likes to see him play, because he knows how to break down that structure.
Q: What do you mean?
A: If you've got all the lanes filled up, he's going to find a little seam. If you're in coverage and everybody is plastered in coverage, he's going to find that little seam to run or if you're playing whatever coverage, he's just going to throw the ball up and he's throwing the ball so accurately right now. He's pinpointing the football from 30 and 40 yards deep, so he has been breaking down defenses in the games that we've been looking at that he's played.
Q: How much more effective does he become when you give him that much more time?
A: Well, there's a time clock that goes off in his head, so it's not like he's just standing back there waiting, waiting, waiting. The tape that we've been watching, some people when they give him time, that's when he takes off. Sometimes when people pressure him, he throws the ball up quick and he hits it accurate, so there's not a rhyme or reason for what he does or why he does it. I wish I could sit here and tell you that if we do this, he's going to do that. He defies all odds. He breaks the mold.
Q: Is there anything about the matchup that you like?
A: Yeah. I think it's the best offense. I think they're ranked number one in the league statistically – I think they're ranked number one offensively and I think we're ranked number one defensively and I like what we bring to the table versus what they bring to the table. I think we have to come ready to play solid, fundamental football and if we do that, I like our chances.
Q: Can you give me specifics?
A: I will say that we have a good plan in place for them and that I like our defense against their offense.
Q: What's your theory on using a spy?
A: Sometimes it's necessary. Can the spy catch him? I've seen people spy the guy and they haven't been able to touch him, so that goes back to how he defies the structure, but I think sometimes it's necessary, sure.
Q: Can you lose something in coverage with that though?
A: Oh, yeah. There are different things you can do to spy him and you can play coverage also. There are some things you can do. Depends on how many people you want to rush at him when you do that though. That's the Catch 22 when you're trying to play a guy like this.
Q: Do you have to scheme for Michael Vick or for the Eagles offense?
A: I think you approach the Eagles, because you can get enamored with watching him because he's so dynamic, but the pieces around him are very good too. It's kind of like basketball – Vick is good, but he makes everybody around him better. Not that they're not good players, but they're playing better because he's making them better, so I just use that analogy.
Q: So do you just want to attack him?
A: I'd say we have a good plan in place and I like our chances.
Q: Did the Cowboys' max protection give you more problems than you thought last week?
A: I thought they did some things to get the ball out quick. I thought they did some things from protection that nullified some of the things we wanted to do, so I would say yes, that's a fair statement.
Q: The Eagles do that too. What do you want to see when that happens?
A: I would say that we have a good plan for that.
Q: Do you see that and attack it or come off of it?
A: I say we've got a good plan for that.
Q: You seem pretty hyped up.
A: Oh, I am. I like the way our guys prepared today for what they do. I think our guys are excited about what we have. Again, we have to come and play 60 minutes of football. Hey, we're going down to win a football game. That's the only reason we're going down there. We're taking that crew down and we're going to go down and win a football game.
Q: Most coordinators would be scared.
A: I like our defense.
Q: How much have you seen of Vick in the past?
A: I played him when he was in Atlanta several times – two or three maybe.
Q: Is there a difference?
A: Yeah. Oh yeah. He's much better. He goes through his read progression much more than he used to, he throws the ball much more accurately than he used to. He just looks like he's a more polished quarterback than he used to be.
Q: People used to say that if he could improve that part of his game that he'd be downright scary.
A: Yeah – and he is.
Q: Do you think he's more of a quarterback than an athlete now?
A: He's both! He's an athletic quarterback! No doubt.
Q: Could we be seeing a three safety package this weekend?
A: We've got a good plan.
Q: What is the unique challenge to your middle linebacker against this offense?
A: I'm not sure, because they do so many things that they can have you going right, left, up the middle or what have you. I think that for us, our linebacker has to be able to control the call, get the call out to our defensive people and be able to make sure that we communicate effectively so that we're in the right coverages, the right defenses to attack this offense.
Q: Why is Goff your pleasant surprise?
A: He's got the mental capacity to take care of all of those little adjustments and getting all the people lined up in the right spots that we need to have them lined up in.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride
Q: How concerned are you going in with a banged up line and Shawn Andrews hasn't practiced for a couple of days.
A: Yeah. Unquestionably you wish you had your full complement of players and unquestionably not only do you wish you had your full complement of players, you wish they were out there for the full complement of practices. It's not the ideal situation, but hopefully they'll be ready to go and you just do the best you can under the circumstances, knowing that there's been limited practice time and you're counting on the time being made up in meetings, watching film and compensating for the fact that they're not out there physically doing it. It's not the ideal, it's not the way you'd draw it up, but it at least gives you a chance so that you're prepared and if he is prepared, I'm sure he'll play well, but it's just a matter of putting forth the necessary time.
Q: If you have to go to the third tackle, do you have to start cutting back?
A: You wish you could, but the problem is that they don't let you because defensively, particularly this team, they use multiple personnel groupings and looks and the basis of what they do, to me, is to try to cause confusion, so the challenge is not to allow that to happen and not to allow that to slow you down and you continue to perform with the efficiency and the coordination that you need in order to have a chance to win. In terms of what you do offensively, just by the nature of what they do, they limit you and certainly if it's a guy that is less experienced or it's a guy that maybe needs further assistance from either a tight end or a back or an additional lineman or what have you, that just compounds the matter.
Q: How quickly has Derek Hagan picked up where he left off?
A: One of the major concerns or considerations for why he was brought back was that we thought he would assimilate fairly quickly to what we're doing. I think we're accurate in that. Now, in terms of knowing your assignment and then going out and actually being able to execute it, that's two different things. Watching him today, he knew what to do, but not necessarily doing it as well as he was doing it when he left in terms of just running a middle a read, for example. A guy is running with him and intuitively, he would have known to put a move on him while he was just running the middle, it made it easy for the defender to just fall back to the inside. I think that by the time the game comes around, he'll be up to speed. We're certainly counting on it. That is one of the things that has always distinguished him is that he was a very dependable guy that would do the right thing, the quarterback would feel comfortable and he wouldn't be fooled, not only assignment-wise, but body language wise.
Q: Eli seemed more irritated with the mistakes last week than we've seen him. Do you sense that in the offense?
A: Well, you know what? We've been playing at an unbelievably high level. Last week, 480 yards with those mistakes and with those penalties and the yardage is almost inconceivable, so I think that the frustration arises from the fact that you saw how close you were, despite the fact that we were struggling, stopping them from still being able to win the game. I think that's where the frustration lies and you just know that if you could have been a little bit sharper with the penalties, then not only do you make a turnover, but it's a 102-yard turnover, it may have been the difference in the game. We jump offsides, which negates what would have been a touchdown two plays later, it's a 14-point swing, so I think things like that, you wouldn't be a human being if you weren't frustrated, but I think that's a good thing.
Q: What's your comfort level with Will Beatty this week?
A: It doesn't matter what my comfort level is. That's irrelevant. You have to play who is available to you, so the challenge before him and it'll be his second week back and you'd like to think that a little bit of the rust has been chipped off. No matter who you've got over there on the left side, you've got a hellacious challenge with that defense end, he's a terrific football player, he's all out and never yielding and never slowing down, so you'd have your hands full if you'd been playing all season long, but it certainly, as every new player or every substitution makes it more difficult. As I said last week, you lose Steve Smith, you lost David Diehl…I still thought we could win the game and I thought that the way the game played out, that was born out and I still feel the same way this week.
Q: Is being unsettled on the line worse than being unsettled at the skilled positions?
A: No. Not at all. Anywhere. Losing David Diehl was enormous because you had him at guard, Richie was at center, you were playing great football and Shawn was playing terrific at left tackle. You lose David and now you're playing guys that just came back. We mentioned William Beatty, but Kevin Boothe had just gotten back, it was his first week back. Very few teams have to go through what we're going through right now, but that's the way it is. You just have to make the best of it. I thought Boothe fought his heart out and did a reasonably good job considering the fact that he was up against a big, strong, talented football player and I thought more than held his own.
Q: Are they still adhering to the Jim Johnson philosophy?A: Yeah, but even with Jim, every year they evolved and tweaked it a little bit here and adjusted there. I think it's a continuation.
DE Justin Tuck
Q: Is this what it's all about? Sunday night, the Eagles, this kind of challenge?
A: Definitely, that's why you love playing the game. It's going to be on primetime TV, and everybody is going to be finishing their Sunday dinners and being in front of the TV. It's a great matchup of two teams with a great history of playing each other. Hopefully, it's going to be one of those games where it's very memorable and we come out with a win. It's going to be tough.
Q: Did you learn anything that you didn't know already Monday night watching Michael Vick and the Eagles offense?
A: He's a lot better. A lot better. He's playing well.
Q: Do you think he'll be the most difficult challenge you guys have this year?
A: Yeah, we haven't had that type of monster to deal with this year. We just have to play hard, that's what it comes down to. Know that he's going to give you chances and he holds the ball a little bit longer than you normally would have when he's back in the lineup last year. He's playing well though, and we have our hands full dealing with him, and DeSean and all those guys. They're playing very well.
Q: You have to respect him, but at the same time make sure you give these other guys their due:
A: He has a lot of weapons. That running game is averaging like 160 rushing (yards). Obviously, the quarterback adds in to that, but it's a complete offense. You can't just bear down on one thing. If you stop the running game, with the actual running back having the ball, this team can pass the ball a lot and every pass play turns into a run play with them. You just have to be careful in what you do, and again, it's going to be a chess match and we just have to make sure that when we have some opportunities, we take advantage of them.
Q: Vick has been sacked a number of times. Is it due to his scrambling or the pocket collapsing in on him?
A: I think a little of both. I think Detroit played them well. Obviously, Green Bay got after him, and that was his first game coming in halfway through. A lot of teams rushed him well, and it's kind of like a pick your poison. He's going to burn you one way or the other, so me personally, I'll be going balls out after him rather than sitting back and letting him sit back and pick us apart. He has a tendency to make some mistakes when you get after him, but again, pick your poison. He's going to make some plays that are going to be on his highlight reel when he retires, and hopefully we can make more than he can.
Q: How much does LeSean McCoy remind you of Brian Westbrook?
A: I haven't really thought about it. Westbrook was a great back for them and he killed us sometimes there. Hopefully he doesn't remind me of Westbrook at all.
Q: You confident in the game plan this week?
A: I am. I have no reason not to be. Perry and his team have done a great job of getting us ready to play the game. We just have to execute.
Q: Last week, Dallas showed you a lot of max protect and that gave you guys problems.
A: Yeah, they do that a lot. They are going to get in that protection. We have some things that we think can work against them. You just have to be ready to adjust. Andy Reid, as much as I hate giving him credit, he's an offensive genius. He's put together an offense that really works well with that scheme down there, and that's given us a lot of trouble. Hopefully, we can crack it. The most important thing though is that this offense gives us opportunity, and sometimes when Vick gets rushed and he throws the ball up. He's very confident in Maclin and Jackson going to get the ball, but there has been an opportunity there to make plays and we'll have a lot of opportunities. Ask the teams that beat them, their defenses have taken advantage of those opportunities.
Q: What is it about max protection that makes it tougher for you guys? Is it more people in there or the way they go about it?
A: They're crafty about it. I've seen some sets where it looks like there are eight protectors and there really is, but it's really not. They do a good job of shifting their tight ends, running backs, and sometimes wide receivers. They do a good job of chipping the ends where it really completely stops the rush and still get out on their routes, delayed routes. It's hard to defend that. It's crafty, but it is max protect and it's tough to tell what's going to work, especially when you have a mobile quarterback like that. When you just have a pocket passer who isn't going to run, we can do a lot of other things. You still have to find ways to keep them contained and make sure he isn't going to hit you with it.
Q: Is part of it recognizing the formations and stuff like that?
A: It is, and that's a lot of the things we went over. Making sure we get in there, watch film, and get a bead on it. It's tough though because they do a great job of window dressing a lot of stuff. Their plays aren't really complicated, but they do a good job of showing different sets, and window dressing what exactly they have. They do a good job of changing their personnel to make it look like something else.
Q: Do you see more max protect on the early downs?
A: They've been doing it all three downs, and there really isn't a tendency there. I think they did a really good job of window dressing what exactly you see, especially when they have the lead. When they have a lead, they'll show you a lot of 21 personnel, where as their favorite in earlier downs, it's 11. Again, they have a system that seems to work for them, and they do a good job of abiding by it. Regardless of who they're playing and what situation they're in, they do a really good job of window dressing it.