Eagles Press Conference, January 10th

SportsFootballHealthSuper BowlPhiladelphia EaglesNew York GiantsDavid Akers

"Okay, we'll talk about yesterday to start with here. I mentioned that there were some good things and there were some things we need to work on. Obviously the third down situation on both sides of the ball was a huge factor and we have to do a better job of getting off the field and staying on the field from an offensive standpoint. And special teams were a factor. We left some plays out on the field on all three phases. Not one person in particular, but when you add up the penalties and the efficiency on third down and you're playing a playoff game against a good football team, you obviously can't do that. Overall with the season, I thought there were some real positives we can take out of it. We were able to play some young players that I think were able to get valuable experience that will help us. Not only help their careers down the road, but also help us as a football team. We've seen some great leadership out of some of the young players. We came from a position that most people didn't think we'd be able to do at the beginning of the year and that was to make it to the playoffs and to win the NFC East. My hat goes off to the effort of the coaches and the players. We were all greedy at the end, which you have to be, and we wanted to advance and we just didn't play well enough there to do that. We gave ourselves a chance right down to the last play of it. We weren't able to finish it off. The offseason is important. It's important for the coaches and it's important for the players. The obvious, we know we need to get better in the red zone on both sides of the football. We know we need to do better on third down on both sides of the football and we need to eliminate the penalties that we've had over the last few years. People were disciplined in that area. As coaches and as players, as coaches we'll go back and we'll dissect everything starting with ourselves and then our schemes and then personnel. I expect the players to do the same. I expect them to go back and be real with themselves and be critical; be critical of themselves. We work on their weaknesses and turn those into strengths just like I'm asking the coaches and I'm asking myself to do the same thing." (-These were the opening remarks)

On how he plans on approaching the offseason with the labor situation:

"Well, I'll tell you, I really talked to the coaches about this and I'm going straight ahead. I'm not worried about all that stuff. I'm going to take this offseason just like any other and going straight ahead until, or if, something happens. I don't care about that right now and that's how we're going to approach it. That's how we're doing it right at this point."

On whether he anticipates any major schematic or coaching changes:

"I look at the scheme part. Obviously this season is just over, so we have to go back and evaluate. The coaching part, I appreciate the coaches that I have and the job that they've done."

On whether QB Michael Vick will be back:

"We're talking the day after here, so I have to go back and look at everything. He sure did a nice job this season."

On whether he wants Vick back:

"Do I want him back? I would like them all back."

On whether the Cleveland Browns asked for permission to talk to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and whether any other coaches were interviewed:

"No, I haven't received any papers on that."

On whether he feels like this team is not ready to play in some of the biggest games given that the team has been down by 14 or more points by the second quarter in the last three playoff games:

"Well, until we prove the difference there - the positive was that we were right there at the end and we either won or we came up a little bit short like last night. I think they're ready to play, I just think we've had some things where we didn't get it done."

On whether he anticipates any changes:

"I don't anticipate anything right now. I'm going to look at everything, including myself."

On why the pass rush wasn't where it needed to be:

"Well, the one obvious is the injury that we had this year and that was a factor as it went on and we tried to incorporate a young guy in there to learn and play opposite of [DE] Trent [Cole]. We'll continue to look at that."

On letting go of two defensive ends last year who had double-digit sacks this year and whether that had something to do with the scheme:

"Well, sometimes you see those things happen. Again, that's all part of it, but I wouldn't say it was the scheme."

On Reid stating earlier that a lot of people did not expect the Eagles to have the success they did this season and whether the team met his expectations:

"I also added in there ‘greedy' because that's how I feel. I didn't want to really be sitting here doing this and I didn't expect to be here doing this. I think if you talk to our players they would tell you the same thing. I expected us to move on and take the next game and take care of that one and follow up and go all the way. That's how I felt."

On S Quintin Mikell's tenure in Philadelphia and his contract status:

"I'll talk about Quintin but I'm not dealing with the other part of that or in regards to that. Quintin is a heck of a football player. He did a nice job for us this year. You really got to see what he was all about this year with his leadership and athletic ability. He was surrounded by some young players and I thought he was able to do a great job of getting them into position, letting them believe in themselves, teaching from the player's side what was expected back there and then what you need during a game when the coach isn't on the field. I really respected that from him."

On whether he could bring QB Kevin Kolb back as a backup given that he said he wants to be a starter:

"Listen, like I said, I'd love to have them all back. I'm fired up that he thinks that way. If you have a quarterback, really any player but particularly at quarterback, that's not thinking that he wants to be a starter and a great football player, then you have a problem. That's one of the things I love about him. Again, we'll go through and we'll evaluate everything here. Again, my mind is not in some of the places your minds are at in this particular moment. I was hoping we'd still be playing. I haven't gone in some of the directions that you folks are going. To tell you, I would love to have him back. I would tell you the same thing about Michael. I'd love to have him back. I think they're both tremendous football players."

On whether he had a meeting with Kolb:

"I have talked to Kevin, yeah. I've talked to most of the players. I will eventually talk to all the players. This is the interruption in here. Let me go back to this and make sure you're not writing down. Just know I just said I met with them. I'm not saying that I met with them on all these things that we're talking about here."

On why he thinks the offensive consistency tailed off over the last several games:

"Listen, obviously we were blitzed a little bit more than what we had been in the past. At times we handled it well and at times we didn't. That's something in the offseason that we have to address and look at and get better at. You know that other teams are going to study that like they have the last few games and they're going to come out and show it to us next year. So we have to get better in that area."

On whether he saw enough from Vick that he has confidence he can make adjustments in the face of intense blitzing:

"Yeah, listen, it's not only the quarterback in a blitz situation. But to answer your question he can get better at that. He can get better at that. And the one great thing about football is that you can always improve. There are always things to work on whether you're a coach or whether you're a player, you can always improve."

On whether the cornerback and offensive line issues were a result of injuries or not addressing them in the offseason:

"Well listen, you can fill a lot of spots, and to answer your question we felt we were okay at those spots. And the one nice thing was to see [CB] Dimitri [Patterson] improve as he went on since that's probably where you're directing this, [CB Joselio Hanson] improve as we went on, [CB Trevard] Lindley come in and have valuable snaps and improve as we went on. So those are things that help you down the road. It was an opportunity for some young guys to step in that we thought had talent and to show what they had. And so, we were able to see that. On the offensive line we had guys, a lot of guys that had played in games and played quality snaps for us that we thought we'd be okay in there, especially with the development of [T] King [Dunlap] coming up through and the valuable snaps that he gave us. And it was a matter of training [C] Mike [McGlynn] to play the center position, especially with [C/G] Nick [Cole] - Nick was battling a couple things as we went through injury-wise. And so he was able to get better every week and develop as a center. So those were some of the positive things that came out of that."

On the prospect of offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg being a head coach somewhere and the void that would leave:

"Marty was my graduate assistant at one time, so he and I have known each other a long time and I'm a big fan of his. So I would love him to have an opportunity to be a head football coach in this league, again. I think he deserves that opportunity. There are some great second-time head coaches out there, [New England Patriots head coach] Bill Belichick and [New York Giants head coach] Tom Coughlin being the two great ones. And so, I think statistically if you look at things for second-time head coaches, Marty certainly fits a lot of the criteria that makes him a worthy candidate for a position. So it's just a matter of, you know, an owner going in that direction or president, whoever it might be who's making that decision, going in that direction. But I think if you interview Marty Mornhinweg it doesn't take you long to figure out that he knows what he's talking about."

On whether Vick fundamentally needs to change his style of play to take this team to where it wants to go:

"I think one of the things that benefits Michael is he can step back and now look at this body of work that he's had here and he can go through a self-scout, the coaches can go through a self-scout, and so both parties can get to know each other even better and learn. And so, he didn't obviously have as many reps in training camp or in the mini-camps that Kevin had and I think some of the things that you cover during that time were things he could have benefitted from when he had an opportunity to start. But I'm not going to take away from the fact that he did a phenomenal job. I mean he stepped in and really was a huge part of why we were still able to play after the regular season ended."

On his evaluation of defensive coordinator Sean McDermott:

"Well I would tell you you're dealing with a guy that's a tremendous worker and is a very smart individual. And so I look at it a little bit different than what you do in that I've seen him work with young guys, I've seen him work through injuries, I've seen him stay positive through those situations and still put us in a position to win football games and knowing that he's going to do nothing but improve as a coach, just like all of us, with experience. And so, I have a lot of respect for him and the way that he does business."

On whether McDermott will be back next year:

"Yeah."

On whether he has had an opportunity to talk with K David Akers today:

"David was not here because of personal reasons today; he was excused today."

On whether he thought about bringing in another kicker for the playoff game because Akers was dealing with personal issues:

"No, I didn't think you needed to do that there. No."

On his experience with players between their first and second year and whether it is crucial for the improvement to be significant:

"Absolutely, that would be my message to the second year players and was my message to them, and, especially the ones that had opportunities to play, or first year starters, as it increased their play time significantly. Now the other teams are going to have time to study you. So coaches in the offseason are going to plan against you. Now have you taken your weaknesses and increased them into strengths? If not, then you're going to be exploited. And one of your biggest jumps comes from that first year to the second year - it's also one of your toughest jumps - but the expectations are to become a better player."

On whether he anticipates a starting quarterback when the team returns for offseason workouts and practice:

"We'll see."

On whether turning weaknesses into strengths are tough for a professional athlete to do:

"All rookies come in with some weaknesses and then you see them improve every year. So I mean, you could take just about every rookie that plays, improves. So that's what I'm talking about. Sure, I mean, that's what this is all about is giving yourself an opportunity. I mean, [DT Antonio] Dixon came in and didn't have quite as many snaps and ended up becoming a fulltime starter, getting better at some of the things he needed to get better at, thus became a better player. You can go through a number of players here."

On whether he is concerned with the pending CBA that he will be limited in the amount of work he will be able to do with the players:

"I'm going to kind of stay away from all the CBA questions if I can, please."

On whether he thinks the offense evolved during the season:

"Well, I think we did some good things. I mean I'm not big into records or anything that have been set, or points or any of that, but it looked like we scored a couple points in a few games. Won a few games, had a chance to win a couple other games."

On whether Kolb's maturity throughout the season factors into how he will handle Kolb in the offseason and whether he will honor Kolb's wishes to be a starter:

"Well listen, I told you I'm excited that he wants to be a starter. I think that's very important for that position and I thought he made improvement this year. I thought he did some nice things, very nice things. I feel very comfortable that he can be a starter in the National Football League. I came into the season feeling that way and I'm leaving the season feeling that way and I'm glad he's on our team."

On how he feels about the team heading into this offseason as compared to last offseason:

"I think there are a lot of positives to look at here. I just, I know you get to this point and you start poking holes in it and I know I'm down because of the loss, I know the players are down and the coaches are down, and so sometimes you have a tendency to look at the negative and you kind of have to fight through that and look at the positive. And very few teams can kind of retool the way that we retooled and still compete, put yourself in a position to compete for a championship, and we were able to do that. Now we came up short so there's a fine line there. I'm not satisfied at all. But at the same time we feel comfortable going forward that we have some good young football players on this team, some good veteran players and a good mix right there to go compete for a championship."

On how he evaluates players on Injured Reserve that missed the season and whether those players fit into future plans:

"[General Manager] Howie [Roseman] and I will sit down and go through all of that, the Injured Reserved list. And we're sitting there with 11 guys on the Injured Reserve list and there are some pretty good football players there. So we'll go back and look at that, that's what this time is for now. We don't have to make any decisions today so we can look through our roster and kind of back up and take a deep breath and try to get this game out of our minds so we're thinking clearly and do some evaluations."

On whether he is frustrated for not getting to a Super Bowl after being the coach here for 12 years:

"Well to tell you I don't want to win a Super Bowl - I like prime rib and I'd love to win a Super Bowl. So I'm hungry for both if you understand where I'm coming from."

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