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Quotes: DC Wink Martindale, OC Mike Kafka, STC Thomas McGaughey, RB Saquon Barkley

Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale

From the last game with the Saints, you come out of that game, and you hold them under 300 yards offensively, I would've signed up for that right away. I thought we were very effective of taking (Saints quarterback) Taysom (Hill) away from them with all the wildcat. I think he was one carry for minus-one and the other one was an incomplete pass throwing the ball. I thought we limited (Saints running back Alvin) Kamara essentially from what he was doing before that. They just were very efficient with the football and they made some plays on third down and in the redzone and the redzone was on third down as well, but overall I thought that our guys played their tails off and the four minute stop we had there at the end of the game shows you the type of players that they are and teammates they are for each other that they weren't going to quit until there was zeroes on the clock and with that, I applaud them for that. We are getting ready now for a tough challenge on Christmas Day. You are going against an offense that you play eleven-on-eleven football and you have to defend every blade of grass, you know the same way you do against San Francisco, the same way you do against the Dolphins and it's going to be a tough challenge for us.

With that, I'll open it up to questions.

Q: Have you figured out how to deal with them on third-and-one or fourth-and-one?

A: I mean, everybody probably says yeah. I mean, what is it a 96 percent success rate on that rugby (play), but we are going to give it our best shot, so we'll see what happens.

Q: Why are they so – in your opinion, why are they so good at it?

A: I think that, obviously, they are really good at it because they know – it's just like a rugby scrum and if you see a rugby scrum, in the sport of rugby, it goes this way, it goes this way, it goes this way, it goes this way, (pointing fingers in different directions). Well, if it moves at all a little bit forward, they are going to give them the forward progress. It doesn't matter how you play it. And I think every defensive coordinator, every coach in this league, has looked at different ways to try to stop it and it's just a tough play to stop.

Q: They handed the ball off, right?

A: Oh, they can hand the ball off as well.

Q: They got a first down with that, so do you want to sell out for that?

A: Yeah, I mean you have to protect all angles of it, they have plays off of it as well. But I mean as a defense, I think that you have to just look at every down, every first down, it's not first and 10, it's first and nine. So, I mean if you just look at it that way, you just got to give it your best shot when they get in those situations.

Q: Does it lead you to play anything differently because of that? Because of that short yardage aspect.

A: We are going to have to see on Christmas.

Q: I saw one time, it was actually (Seahawks safety) Julian (Love) who came in and kind of took out the pusher.

A: Picked off a pusher, yeah.

Q: What's your feeling about that? Is that something that you could do consistently or try to do?

A: I don't know if he already had the first down before then, but I think that was smart by J-Love. I really do.

Q: A lot of defenses have a true free safety and a true strong safety and it seems like (Jason) Pinnock and X(avier McKinney) are very interchangeable in that regard. How does that add to the disguise – how does their interchangeability add to the disguise? Do you think that's important for Pinnock to have moving forward in his career?

A: Yeah, I think that's big time. It's important for any safety. If you have two safeties that can play either way, down in the box or back deep, that's an advantage to the defense and an advantage for the defensive coordinator, with disguises and things like that, everything you just mentioned.

Q: You were talking about the Saints game, things you did well. Why do you think you guys weren't able to generate more pressure?

A: I know it's the answer that you don't want to hear, is that you give credit to them. We pressured them 61 percent of the time in that game, but he (Saints quarterback Derek Carr) was getting rid of the ball in two-and-a-half seconds. He was throwing off his back foot. He was just very good with the football, like I said, very efficient. They were chipping our edges, they were doubling (defensive lineman) Dex(ter Lawrence II) when he was in there and my hats off to them, they had a good game plan with it. There were some plays, there was some bang bang plays that we made. The biggest difference in the game with the Saints is we didn't take the ball away from them and for us to have success, we know we need to take the ball away from them. So, that's what we try to do every Sunday, or whenever the game is going to be played, this Monday.

Q: Speaking of taking the ball away, (Eagles quarterback) Jalen Hurts I think is tied for the league lead in turnovers, the Eagles have lost three straight, we're hearing about how their offense is struggling, I mean, do you look at that as this is a good time to get them or do you look at that as, I'm not buying into that?

A: I'm not buying into that. Look, one of the biggest things, one of the greatest challenges of playing Philly, is going against (Eagles center) Jason Kelce. I mean, this guy to me is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He embodies Philly. Just like the fans, mean but smart. This guy, to me, and I said this last year and I don't know if I said it to you guys, it's like playing (former Colts and Broncos quarterback) Peyton Manning and it's not sexy so he doesn't get that Peyton Manning type credit, but he'll see something, whether it's a stance, whether it's a guy putting his mouthpiece in different. He'll see something and completely flip a protection. So, that chess match is always tough. When people want to talk about their offense or anything else, first thing I'm going to say is: what's their record? Alright, we know what their record is, so I'm not buying any of that. I give a ton credit to (Eagles Head Coach) Nick (Sirianni) and this offensive system and (Eagles offensive coordinator) Brian (Johnson). Like I said, I think Jason Kelce, he doesn't get enough credit. Like I said, he's a first ballot Hall of Famer. And to (Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager) Howie (Roseman), I mean their skill that they have at receiver, getting (Eagles running back (D'Andre) Swift at running back, he's a difference maker. So, he has all kinds of

weapons, (Eagles quarterback) Jalen (Hurts) does offensively, and that guy is a winner. They've played some closer games this year. That happens, that's this league. So, it's going to be a tough challenge.

Q: On their defensive side of the ball, they've had some kind of turnover on the coaching and coordinator and playcalling side, what have you seen them do differently?

A: Defensively?

Q: I don't know if you watch that side at all.

A: No, I mean I'm in this thing watching these guys. I don't have time.

Q: I didn't know if watched the game and saw anything.

A: Yeah, I mean I don't critique anybody else's defense. I haven't even – I'm sitting there studying their offense, you know?

Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka

Q: What do you expect from (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito) bouncing back from a rough start?

A: Tommy's approach has been the same. He's been coming to work and has been studying and prepping, has put together a good couple of days of practice so far. Just kind of capping off today and getting to some special situations.

Q: What have you seen from the Eagles defense this past game compared to the other ones with them switching their playcalling up?

A: I think Dabs (Head Coach Brian Daboll) touched on it a little bit yesterday but with (Senior Defensive Assistant) Coach (Matt) Patricia now calling it and (Defensive Coordinator) Sean (Desai) over the first half of the season, there's some similarities, a lot of similarities. Obviously, the personnel there, it stays consistent. Coach Patricia – I think there was a couple things that might have felt a little bit different, now into the second week, probably could anticipate a little bit more of things kind of being changed up. We've got to be ready for everything. Going to prep through – go through our schemes, go through our personnel groupings, and make sure we're tied up there.

Q: How does that change – does it change your preparation at all? Are you watching the past week a little bit more closely than you did previously?

A: Yeah, you try to gather as much data as you can from this last week and see if there's any tendencies there and then look at kind of the scope of the season and see where things have kind of been played through as well. Again, when you have a new play caller, there's a little bit of unknown and that's okay, but we prepare our guys the best we can and get them ready for Monday.

Q: Would you agree that – you've only been here for last year, with this legacy against the Eagles but handling their defensive front was really the main reason last year when you guys had so much trouble. Would you agree with that? That that is what you saw?

A: That was a part of it. I think we need to work to play better, we didn't do that last year but that was last year. So, this year, we have (been) putting together a great plan, giving our guys – have a lot of confidence in the plan so they can go out there and play fast.

Q: They have not had a lot of sack numbers despite having stars on that – you know. What do you see from them, and do you think you guys are able to combat that this year? You guys have had some issues, obviously, giving up sacks.

A: They have a really talented front, all across the board. They do a good job of tying in their coverages with their fronts and the things that they present. We definitely have to make sure we're prepared for that and that's what we've been doing this week in practice.

Q: What do you remember about a young (Eagles center) Jason Kelce? (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) was just out here and said he's almost like (Pro Football Hall of Famer) Peyton Manning changing signals and whatnot. You were, I think, the same rookie year as him –

A: He was one year younger than me.

Q: What do you remember about him?

A: He came in, he was a smart kid. He was a sponge, trying to learn everything. He was also very vocal, just like he is today. He's a great dude, one of my good friends, so nothing but respect for him.

Q: Wink said he's mean but smart, like the fans in Philly. Do you agree?

A: He does have a mean streak and he is smart (laughs). I would say that, yes.

Q: (Running back) Saquon's (Barkley) role has kind of decreased, at least in regard to snaps. Probably after he came back from that injury, What do you attribute that to?

A: I'd say we want Saquon out on the field as much as possible. Saquon will be out there until he needs to get out, until he needs a blow – he needs to catch his breath and get back out there. That's really how we work out with him. He's out there as long as he can until he needs a tap, and another guy comes in.

Q: He doesn't seem to be out there as much on third down now. Is there anything to that?

A: I think just the usage on first and second down and then third down comes around, if he can stay in there, he will. If he can't, then he'll come out for a play and then the other guy will step up.

Q: The book on (wide receiver) Parris Campbell's career was like he was either hurt, or he was productive. He hasn't been hurt this year. Why do you think you guys haven't been able to maximize him the way that maybe your intent was when you signed him?

A: I love Parris, Parris is a pro. He comes in, he works his butt off, he studies, he preps, he's great for the room. I think – and Dabs kind of talked about it a couple days back, it was just other guys are playing right now. I think when his time is called, he'll step up. Again, every week's different. The personnel groupings and how we mix and match that changes on a week-to-week basis so this week is no different.

Q: Do you still feel like he can be an explosive player?

A: Absolutely.

Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey

Q: I mentioned to (long snapper) Casey (Kreiter) that you called him the 'glue' a couple of weeks back, I think it was, and it really meant something to him. That group, they go overlooked until something goes wrong, basically, so is that part of him essentially saying to me, 'Wow, that was really nice of him to say?'

A: Yeah, I mean, his job is a thankless job. Nobody ever mentions the long snapper until something wrong happens most of the time. So, being in that position, doing that job and doing it as long as he's been doing it and for somebody to acknowledge it, it's like anything else, everybody wants to be acknowledged, right? Everybody wants to be encouraged. So, when you give somebody that type of acknowledgement and you show your appreciation towards them and what they do in a thankless type of job, I understand it because I was one of them. I was a long snapper before. So, it's one of those jobs nobody really talks about until something goes wrong.

Q: So, is that top of mind for you with your whole special teams group, knowing we don't say much unless something goes wrong, someone misses a kick, doesn't make the kick, that kind of thing?

A: That's our job, you know what I mean? That's what we sign up for. So, we understand that. We know what it is. As a coach, you make decisions. I decided I wanted to coach special teams, so I know what comes along with that. I didn't decide to coach offense or defense. And they understand that, too. In the seventh grade, (kicker) Graham Gano wanted to be a kicker, and he chose that path, right? So did Casey, and Casey was a linebacker and a long snapper. We understand it. That's what it is, and that's the job.

Q: Four kickers in a season is what? Fill in the blank.

A: It's a lot. But I told you this early in the season, I said you don't want to get on the kicker train, because the destination is unknown. Because you don't know. Once that train gets rolling, you never know where it's going to end. But it is what it is, we'll make the adjustments, we won't make any excuses, just keep it moving.

Q: How are you feeling about (kicker) Cade (York)?

A: Cade's good. He's fine. He's going to be an option for us, so we'll find out what we're going to do on Sunday. But he's doing well.

Q: Could it be (punter) Jamie (Gillan) potentially? Someone outside the building?

A: Yeah, Jamie could kick. He could. So, we'll see.

Q: You talk about Cade's technique stuff that you guys were working on when he first came. Where does he stand on that?

A: He's getting better. He's working at it. Young specialists are always a work in progress, so those guys are always trying to find a routine, trying to tweak certain things and just work on those small details of what he's doing. Being around (kicker) Randy (Bullock) and Graham has been huge for him.

It's almost unheard of. Even during the offseason, this rarely happens. But he's been taking advantage of it. And I told him, this is a godsend for you to be able to be around two veteran kickers that have had double-digit years that have both started over 150 games, played in 150 games, in the same building as you at the same time. That's big for him.

Q: You guys probably practice 100 things a year that you never actually use, so what kind of point of pride is it for a coach when it goes well when (wide receiver) Gunner (Olszewski) is the holder and Gillan is kicking the field goal?

A: It's something that we do practice. It's not practiced a lot, but it's like anything else. Every so often it comes up. We were ready for it. Jamie did all three in college, so it's not a big deal, and Gunner was a holder in college for three years, his whole time in college. So, it's not a big deal. And he's a great athlete. The hand-eye coordination is there with him, and Jamie's one of the best ball strikers I've ever coached.

Q: Do you feel comfortable with him outdoors kicking long field goals?

A: Yeah. I've seen Jamie drop kick a 60-yard field goal out of his hand.

Q: You have? A: Yeah. I've seen him do it. So, I have no issue with Jamie kicking anything long. That's probably the best thing you can do is kick a long field goal. Jamie's very, very talented.

Q: Did Jamie get dinged on that blocked kick?

A: No. No, that had nothing to do with a blocked kick.

Q: I mean when they ran into him.

A: No. I mean, he hit him, but that's not when he hurt himself.

Q: Would bringing a kicker from outside still be on the table? You said options, so I'm just curious, what's on the table?

A: We'll see.

Q: I know you lost the game, but Jamie kicking a field goal in an NFL game, I know he got a kick out of it. Did you get a kick out of it?

A: Yeah, absolutely. That's significant. We were trying to go track down the ball. It was big for him, just to be able to kick a field goal being a punter in this league and make it in that environment. It's pretty cool.

Q: How much did Gunner coming in solve an issue?

A: It definitely helped. It definitely helped. He gives you a guy back there with experience that's been in different situations. He's played in New England, he's played in Pittsburgh, in difficult environments, in wind and conditions. When you get into January, December, those are the types of guys you want back there that have been in those situations. And he played at Bemidji State, so.

Running Back Saquon Barkley

Q: How are you feeling going into another Philly matchup?

A: We know it's going to be a tough environment against a really good team. We're not getting caught up in the losing streak that they are in. They're still Philly. They're still last year's (NFC) champions, and still great players all around, so we know it's going to be a tough matchup and we've got to play our best ball if we want to come out of there with a win.

Q: What do you expect from that environment that you talk about? Tough environment, Philadelphia, Christmas.

A: Kind of every single time we go there. It's Philly. You know it's going to be a tough environment, it's going to be loud, they are going to say a lot of things, especially with the team, I guess they're not playing their best ball as they would like so you know they're going to be coming in fired up, the team going to come fired up, the coach going to be fired up, the fans will be fired up, it's Christmas day. One of only two or three games I think on TV that day, so it's going to be a fun environment. As a player, as a competitor, those environments you want to be a part of and those games you want to be a part of it. Like I said, they are a tough team and we have got to play our best ball to come out with a win.

Q: Without obviously giving any game plan stuff up or whatever, when you look at the tape, what do you see of them the last three weeks or so? Because they've seemed to lost their way a little bit as well as they've played.

A: We're not getting caught up in that they have the last three or however many games. That's still (Eagles defensive tackle) Fletcher Cox over, that's still (Eagles defensive tackle) Jalen Carter over there. They've got studs all around, especially on the defensive side. I'm fortunate enough, that I don't play both sides, so I don't have to go against the offense, but on that side, they have a lot of playmakers too. No matter what happened in the last three games, they are still a great team, they are one of the best teams in the NFL. You know the environment is going to be – it's going to be a tough game and I said if we want to come out with a win, we've got to play our best ball.

Q: I know you guys just want to win a game period, but the fact that you guys haven't beaten them much since you've been around here, how much would you relish altering their path?

A: Not since I've been around, it's been like 10 years. That's the truth. We haven't been beating Philly. I don't think that sits well in anybody's stomach. I don't think that sits well if you've been here for a long time, especially the guys that have been here the longest, (wide receiver) Shep(ard Sterling), myself. We hate saying that we hate answering the questions, 'How would it feel to win in Philly' or to not beat Philly. We're sick and tired of it. The only way we are going

to change that is by going out there and winning a game. For some reason, that's been a team, and Dallas, those have been the two teams that we struggle to beat over the last couple of years, the last decade to be honest and if we want to get to where we want to be, those are teams we got to start beating and that's just the facts.

Q: I remember years ago you marveled that you were running down the sideline and you looked next to you and it's Fletcher. Is he just amazing to still be doing everything?

A: Yeah, I mean he's impressive. I don't want to downplay any of those other guys because from left to right, I mean like, it's pretty impressive. The team that they were able to build, the front seven that they have, and even the backend. I know (Eagles cornerback Darius) Slay is out but yeah, Fletcher, I don't get it. I don't know how he's still this dominant. But like I said, as a competitor, it's fun. It's fun going out there and lining up and you see 91 and you see BG (Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham), you know he's going to be over there chapping from start to finish. These are fun games. Obviously, hasn't been that fun because we've been losing a lot, but as a competitor, those are the games that you want to be a part of, so like I said it's going to be a fun, tough game in a tough environment and we got to all come alive for this game.

Q: Have you seen anything different on film, obviously they changed their play calling, defensive play calling this past week, what have you watched or what you've noticed?

A: Yeah, I mean two different play callers. You see a little difference from Seattle to the weeks prior but I'm not too necessarily sure who is going to call the plays. For me, I just watch the tape. I study a lot of individuals, to be honest too. I know the scheme of it and the scheme they are going to play but study individuals. How they attack it, how they play, how they react to what a back does or a lineman to stuff like that. Whoever the play caller, whatever they do, we just got to go out there and line it up and know who we got to block, block it right, and make plays.

Q: Your snap percentage has been down especially the last game, were you 100 percent? Were you available? Or was something going on there?

A: I mean, yeah, clearly last week my snap percentage wasn't as high. I guess that could kind of play into – and the game kind of got out of hand. I don't play much in situations like that, you could look at Dallas, you could look at any game I've been a part of really but yeah, I didn't make too much of it. I just do what I'm asked to do. Whenever my number is ready to be called, I try to make the plays that I'm able to make when I have the opportunity.

Q. Your third-down usage has, in particular probably about the last six weeks, definitely decreased so what do you think about that?

A: Like I said, I think that's a question better for (Offensive Coordinator Mike) Kaf(ka) and all those guys. I'm not making too much of it. No matter what, I have full belief in any of the guys that go in after me. (Running back Matt) Breida is a vet, I think (running back Eric) Gray's a really good rookie. I think you guys will see a little bit more of him too. Like I said, I think he's talented. But if Breida going in there on third down, I feel confident that he's going to make the protection, if I'm in there, I'm confident that I'm going to make the protection. I don't think my usage of third down is a negative thing or them viewing it as me not being able to be in there

on third down. I think that I've shown that throughout the years and especially so far in my two years with them. But yeah, whatever it is, keep going with it and I've just got to find a way to make better plays. Especially in a big game coming up this week.

Q. Physically, how have you been feeling?

A: I feel like it's – what week is it? Week 14, Week 15, everybody in the NFL at this point, no one's really –

Q. 16.

A: 16? Yeah, no one's going to sit here and be like 'I feel fresh. I feel exactly how I felt in Week 1.' But yeah, that's part of being a pro. Take care of your body, make sure you stay up on stretching and massage and acupuncture all the little things, and get ready for the games.

Q. Driving into Philly is an experience on the bus. What do you expect on Christmas day from those fans?

A: I don't think it's going to be too much that different, it's Philly. Playing them in the divisional playoffs and playing them the last game of the season when our starters weren't even playing, it was still a hectic environment. That's just how it is. It's a great environment, as a competitor, to go into. It's an environment that you would love to show out and play well. Especially on the national stage against a divisional rival and a team the last decade that we've had some trouble with so hopefully we can turn things around.

Q. Just as a fan of the game and a player, what do you think of the tush push? Do you like that play? Do you think it should be in the game? Do you think they should change the rule?

A: I don't see why it shouldn't be. In my opinion, they just happen to be really good at it. Not every team is good at the tush push, that's the truth. They're really good at it so just because they're really good at it (and) one team is better than another team shouldn't be the reason that we get rid of it. Now, are there other things that go into it? I don't know like the percentages of people who get hurt on that play and whatnot, that's not really my job to look into that. But watching it, everyone knows it's coming, you've got to stop it. Hopefully, we stay out of short distances.

Q. Are there elements of it that you guys can incorporate that you see? How do you translate it to where you guys can run it?

A: I think that they have a really good offensive line and I think they have a quarterback that can squat over 600 pounds. I don't think a lot of teams have that. No diss to (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor), DJ (quarterback Daniel Jones), or (quarterback) Tommy (DeVito). I know DJ gets in there and wants to squat heavy, but I don't think he can squat the number that (Eagles quarterback) Jalen (Hurts) can squat. So, when you have a really good o-line, a really good center, and a quarterback to squat 600 pounds, so unless I start learning how to do quarterback sneaks, I don't really know if we can put that into our game. I think we've been up and down this year on short downs, and we've got some plays that work, and we'll continue to improve on it and whatever is called, we've got to make it work.

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