Coach Coughlin: (Jon) Beason will be limited today. (Jonathan) Casillas, too. Get them on the field today. It's a great day to practice.
Q: How's Odell Beckham doing?
A: Good, he's coming along.
Q: Coming along, but not practicing?
A: He's not practicing.
Q: Rueben Randle came through yesterday alright?
A: Yeah, he did alright.
Q: And he'll practice?
A: He'll practice.
Q: How did Robert Ayers do yesterday?
A: He did okay. Yeah, he did okay. (George) Selvie did, as well. So they'll practice today.
Q: You guys put a lot of time and effort into your special teams this year. So far, do you like what you see pretty much?
A: I do. I mean, there's always room for improvement. We've been able to accomplish some things. I think Dwayne (Harris) is a little frustrated in terms of the return part of it overall, not because of anything, but obviously his offensive time is quite extensive—I think he likes it that way, too. Hopefully we just keep working at that and get better at that.
Q: And the punter (Brad Wing), you're happy with him?
A: I am, I am. He's done a nice job. He's given us directional punting and he's given us a ball to be downed inside—I like them inside the five, we have two inside the five.
Q: Harris' involvement on offense is the reason Shane Vereen has been returning kicks?
A: Well, that's part of it. Yeah, that's part of it, but not the only thing. He would normally take both, but we tried to share the duty a little bit seeing what he would have to do.
Q: What have you gotten out of Brandon Meriweather?
A: Brandon's been sharp. He's back there, he's a veteran player that's directed traffic back there, he's helped the young safety, he keeps everything communicated on both sides. He's done a good job of that.
Q: When you go up against a rapid fire offense like Philadelphia's, how important is it to have a guy who's pretty much seen it all?
A: Well, very, very important. Obviously where your eyes are, how quickly you line up, how quickly you see what you have to see, knowing full well the ball is going to be snapped quickly. Knowing that a lot of what you're dealing with is an attempt to distract, that's where the veteran part of it helps.
Q: You haven't allowed many deep passes downfield in that regard. What do you attribute that to, at least in the air?
A: Rush, coverage, people playing their positions well, the actual individual one-on-one coverages that you're referring to. That's been played well, too.
Q: I know you addressed it after the game, but your young receivers, when everybody was down in the game, can you talk about their contribution?
A: Well, they have to be ready to go, that's the way we handle everything. They practice, they practice a lot, they get a lot of reps. Even when Myles (White) was on practice squad, he took reps on the other side of the ball because you never have enough legs, that's just the way it is. You have to have a number of people that can run and can execute. So in that last critical drive when you looked out there and saw all those young guys, those guys you didn't recognize, that's part of it.
Q: Because of that small sample size, is there a little bit of, for lack of a better word, comfort level going into this week's game? You don't really know what's going on with some of the other guys.
A: Well, that's part of it. But the idea that these guys will continue to improve. They can be just more than someone who knows what to do, but can execute it.
Q: How do you prepare? Does preparation have to change or do you do anything differently when you have so many unknowns—not just at wide receiver—but at all these positions? How do you go about that?
A: Well, it doesn't make it any easier, but nevertheless, the idea that we've always tried to follow is we have players on our team, we have good players, they've got to line up and go. Guys that can go have got to line up and do the job for us. That's exactly what we're trying to accomplish.
Q: Different players have different strengths. How do you work around that?
A: Try to do or try to help set up whatever you're planning to the strength of those players.
Q: You have leaned a lot on Kerry Wynn the last couple weeks with Ayers and Selvie out.
A: He's played a lot and he's played well, too.
Q: If they come back, does his snap count—obviously he's not going to play every snap again.
A: Well, it will be affected to a certain extent, but that's okay. The guy has played a lot of snaps the last two weeks. You certainly want those guys, especially here when you're playing this kind of offense, you need to be able to have some fresh guys ready to go.
Q: Does your schedule stay the same as your normal week? GPS day tomorrow and then have your walk-through?
A: This is Thursday.
Q: I know. Is that how—?
A: Tomorrow is the recovery day and Sunday, yeah.
Q: Could Odell show you enough Sunday to get on the field Monday?
A: Sure. Sure.
Q: Their backs, I know they're interchangeable, they have three good backs. But does Sproles bring a different dynamic?
A: Each one of them does. Each one of them does. Each one of them, I think, brings a different dynamic to it. Obviously the two UFA players they brought over were outstanding runners, they've always been. We saw Mathews a year ago in San Diego. We certainly have seen Murray a lot. Sproles continues, not only as a running back, but in the return game. He does an outstanding job.
Q: When you talked about Beckham you said he could do enough Sunday. Does he have to be back Sunday in order to get on the field in your mind?
A: It would be good if we knew in advance, so we could think a little about that. Yeah, that would be good. Does it preclude? No.
Offensive Coordinator Ben
Q: Do you feel like you are still waiting for that first game to get the running game totally in rhythm? I know there's been circumstances where you've had to pass more in games.
A: I think there have been games and spots in games where we've been efficient in the run game. We haven't had any big ones pop like we'd like to. We're a work in progress there. We had some good moments this week in practice and we just need to keep practicing and hit our stride there.
Q: Is there any worry about relying too much on Eli and the passing game and trying to balance it out a little?
A: No, we were fairly balanced last week. Situationally, you have to do what you have to do to win the game and put yourself in position to win the situation. And we had a lot of situations in the game last week, and I think 27 throws came in situational football. That skews to some things out of whack when you look at them from run and pass totals. But that's not how we look at it. Situationally, we treat things differently.
Q: In this league these days, do you need to have a big running game? It seems like everybody's passing.
A: I think you need to have balance. Each game is a little bit different—you need to do what you have to do to put yourself in position to win the game. But I think each game is different and each team is different. We're only five games, this will be our sixth game, into it. We're trying to find our niche and hit our stride.
Q: You look at Eli now versus a year ago, what do you see that he's doing better?
A: I think he's a lot more confident in what he's being asked to do. I think things are coming to him a lot more naturally. The hesitation is minimized and I see some confidence.
Q: Does that show up in the way he moves around in the pocket? Is he doing that better than he did a year ago or is that something he always did?
A: That's something that we work on every day and that's something that's he's taking ownership of and we've spent a lot time with in the offseason. You see it at times on film where he looks very comfortable and his feet look outstanding—that doesn't happen overnight nor does it happen in two years. But he's working, he's getting better at it, and he still has room to grow there.
Q: Is that play that Shane Vereen made late in the game in the middle of the field everything that you signed him for? Does that encompass--?
A: We're going to continue to challenge Shane to be a complete back, complete player, for us. He can do a lot of different things, wear a lot of different hats. He gets the game, he has some football smarts there. The more that he's able to handle, the more he's able to do, and the more we can ask of him to be a complete back, the better we'll be for our football team.
Q: Before that drive, did you talk about at all having to target him or using him more because you were obviously short-handed at that point?
A: Well, we had a plan going into the game that we would be able to get him the ball in two-minute. It just so happens that it worked that way. We didn't think it would be to that degree. Whether the play is called or whatever read it may be that comes in, the quarterback still has to read it out. You don't just drop back and throw the ball to the back. There may be a couple plays in the offense where you can do that, but he still has to read it out and not expect it to say what he thinks it's going to say each play.
Q: Is there more to Shane's game than just, "Oh, he's a guy who can catch the football out of the backfield." As far as routes and what he knows and where he wants to be? He just seems like he has more success than just being that safety valve.
A: First and foremost, a lot is required of him to be a protection back on third down, so that's number one. He has a feel for things in the pass game, we all know that, we all see that on film. He has some patience in the gun-run game.
Q: What growth have you seen in Justin Pugh from last year?
A: Last year at this time he had some rough moments. I think he learned a lot from those moments, grown up quite a bit in this last year. He's still a developing, young player.
Q: That game winning-drive was the first for this group. It was the first for Eli in a few years, but the first for this group. What kind of carryover effect can that have in your experience on a team that is still putting things together but was able to have success like that?
A: It's good for a young group of guys to get a shot of confidence that way. It's only one game, one of sixteen, but that's something they can fall back on and learn from and grow from. It was encouraging that it happened at the time it happened. It put us in position to win the game.
Q: Do you go into Monday with a plan, if you do or don't have Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle? How do you gameplan when injuries are a bit of a variable?
A: You have to have a plan available, for lack of a better way to say it, for everything. If you're short in one area, you have to make sure you're backed up in another.
Q: Are you hopeful that you'll have a full complement?
A: We're going to play with who's out there.
Q: What do you see with some of the younger guys—Myles White and Geremy Davis? And how confident are you that they can fill in seamlessly?
A: Yeah, we're confident in those guys. Geremy has been around here since the offseason. Myles has been in the system for a while, a form of the system. And he's blended in nicely. (Will) Tye is a guy, he was out there in the last drive in the last game, did a nice job, made some plays for us. So we're not going to pull back, we're not going to pull any punches. We have confidence in those guys and they're chomping at the bit.
Q: You're 30th in the league in red zone offense, red zone touchdowns. What do you attribute that to and what do you need to do better?
A: We need to keep getting down there a bunch. We're doing a good job of getting down there, we just need to continue getting down there and work the kinks out and that'll all straighten itself out.
Q: Is that where the running game would really come in handy? When you get close to the goal line there.
A: A lot of things will come in handy. We need to make better decisions down there, we need to minimize mistakes, and certainly eliminate the penalties. That'd be a good start.
Q: Did you learn anything about Odell when he pushed to come back into that game late?
A: He's a competitor, he wanted to win as badly as anyone else for the team. That's what you expect from these guys and certainly him.
Q: What do you see from Eagles on tape when you look at them? What kinds of challenges do they present for your offense?
A: They're very good upfront, they have a lot of different guys who can cover in man-to-man, and they're creative schematically. Good defense. Underrated defense.
Q: The secondary is rather banged up right now and how much of a concern is that for you going into Philly?
A: It's not a concern. I mean it is, but it isn't, you can't fix your mind on things like that. Around here we have this thing called the next-guy-up mentality, so definitely looking forward to Jayron [Hosley] and the other guys, [Trevin ] Wade, to come in and do what they've been doing, and that's playing good football.
Q: There were times when [Sam] Bradford has looked very streaky and other times he's looked very hot. Can you tell the difference?
A: You can't. Only thing you can tell is that you have to try to kind of get after him early and rattle him a little bit. If you give him time, he is a guy that can make all throws and does have the strength to get it down the field.
Q: How much do you study the quarterback versus the scheme and vice versa? Do you do a lot of studying of Bradford?
A: Yes, sir, just to see how good he throws the out breaking routes to the outside receiver, because it tends to let you know your skillset as a corner if you can break and things that you can try to do to bait him somewhat into a throw, but he definitely has all the tangibles that you need at quarterback as far as getting the ball out and the arm strength. You're going to have to be disciplined, especially with the offense they run. You're going to have to be very disciplined. It's all about your eyes this game.
Q: With the Eagles, is there a bigger concern with [Jordan] Matthews or [Riley] Cooper or [Josh] Huff?
A: No, all the receivers are good guys, guys that can make something happen with the ball, but it's just all about scheme, where they line up, and the things they try to do to you. Quick pace, they try and make you make a mistake and be undisciplined with your eyes, so it's all about just being disciplined really.
Q: You guys have defended this offense a bunch of times now, has it sort of lost its luster?
A: No, it's still a tough offense, no matter how many times you see it, that fast-paced, crossing routes, and running play-action. It's kind of hard because you tend to want to see a lot of things and that's when they get you, so it's definitely hard to game plan for.
Q: Is it still that much different than everyone else, though?
A: Yeah, way different. Just the fast pace and the little things they do in and out the backfield, using all the backs. They have three good backs and they do have receiver talent at the receiving level, so it's definitely different.
Q: You see anything different with DeMarco [Murray], obviously he hasn't had the same success as he had in Dallas.
A: He's still a hard runner, still a guy that wants to go downhill, and still has everything that they had last year. Unfortunately, it just hasn't been working out for him, but you can't worry about that.
Q: Along with their receivers they have three backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield, how in tune do you have to be with that?
A: That's a big one. If you look at their offense, sometimes that's Bradford's first read, the back, so definitely a big part of their offense. You definitely have to include them in the pass game.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn**
Q: How about Darren Sproles? Is it his elusiveness? What makes him so effective?
A: Great catch mechanics, he gets a head start, he's very elusive. You see him on offense and what he can do there, he does the same thing in the return game. If you give him any space at all, he's real elusive, quick, explosive and he can finish. Legit.
Q: With Brad Wing, it seems like he's performed as well as you can expect from a guy who just came in a couple of days before the season started. What are your thoughts on him?
A: For a punter or kicker coming in, it's not that much to learn. You just punt the ball. There's no cadence, there's nothing for them—there's no learning curve and he's been consistent, which is nice. He's still working hard, trying to get better every day.
Q: What sort of areas does he need to improve?
A: The hang distance. You're always aiming to have better hang time to help the coverage out, so that's something. He's decent with location, but the hang time and being more consistent with that.
Q: Is there a magic number like four seconds or something like that?
A: You obviously you want to match the distance. You kick it 45 yards, you want at least 4.5, 4.6 seconds. It's usually kind of rule of thumb.
Q: It may have been asked, but is it something positive for you when you see the Saints block a punt and you know you're going to play them in a couple weeks, so you have it on tape?
A: To see them block a punt?
Q: To know what they did for that.
A: Well, we already played Atlanta, so.
Q: Yeah, so that's got to help?
A: Well they blocked it on Atlanta. So…
Q: Well, with what they're going to bring out to you, I assume.
A: Oh yeah. I mean you go back as many years as the coach has been there and you scout out all their rushes and give them to all the players and try to rep as many as you can. But, no, that was a well-orchestrated block. Big play for them to start the game off.