QUOTES: Coughlin, Diehl, Thomas, And More
"Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: Did Corey Webster have a setback?
A: He worked a couple of plays yesterday and came out today and he was sore, so they held him out.
Q: There are a lot of cornerbacks out. Would you have to go with Trumaine McBride or maybe bring somebody up?
A: Weíll see.
Q: If you have to juggle the cornerbacks, are you more likely to leave Terrell Thomas in the slot?
A: Weíll see. Letís see who we have tomorrow. Letís see who can practice and who canít. Weíve worked in two or three different versions, so I think weíll be okay.
Q: Have you done anything special in practice to prep for the Eaglesí tempo?
A: Yeah. Weíve been mimicking the tempo. Weíve been practicing what we will see in the game, on the clock, the whole deal. But we did that in training camp. You were standing right there watching it in training camp. Itís the same thing as went through periods of what we call Ďmachí at that time as well.
Q: How is David Diehl coming along?
A: Diehl is coming along well.
Q: Has John Conner gotten to the point where he might be able to get some reps?
A: I think probably he has.
Q: Will that help? Would Bear Pascoe be more comfortable at just playing tight end?
A: Not necessarily. Bear takes on whatever role you ask him to take on and he does it with the same amount of energy and effort. There have been years when weíve had injuries and heís done it all.
Q: Are you thinking about staying with the same offensive line?
A: Weíll see.
Q: With so many guys fighting to get on the field on Sunday through injuries, does next week factor in at all with the short week?
A: Weíre trying to worry about this week. Iím not trying to be funny here, but weíre trying to prepare ourselves this week. When we have this game and play this game, then weíllÖ I mean I have it all mapped out. Weíve done this before for a Thursday night game following a Sunday game. Thatís all prepared. Itís just a question of your focus has to be right in front of your eyes. It better be.
Q: Whatís the situation with Linval Joseph?
A: Ankle. Heís in a boot. He actually has made pretty good progress, but at this point in time he does not have the green light.
Q: Hakeem Nicks hasnít seemed to be himself in spots this year. He had a couple of drops last week. Is there any concern on your part or discussions about what might be able to get him going?
A: There are always discussions. Heís a very confident young man who recognizes right away whatever it is youíre trying to point out to him and tries to do something about it. There were certainly discussions after the game. He took full responsibility for whatever involved him and hopefully heís made the adjustments and so on and so forth, learning from one game into the next.
Q: When you see the ball go through his hands like it did a couple of times SundayÖ
A: Rare. Thatís really rare. He usually gobbles those balls up.
Q: A lot of us thought when JPP came back heíd be the JPP of old. Was that asking too much after back surgery?
A: I would think so. Youíve got to give him time to work into it. Heís really tried to take a lot of practice and heís been doing this for over two weeks where heís taking more than the normal number of reps just trying to catch up with exactly what youíre saying. We were fortunate to get him back when we did, realizing he had no training camp, nothing. We tried to hold back on his reps and then we brought him along and currently heís pretty much taken everything he can take trying to catch up.
Q: You mentioned yesterday one possible situation for the running backs is Brandon Jacobs could see more goal-line situations.
A: Do you remember what I said before with that? Iíd like to be in those situations.
Q: When he was here a couple of years ago, that wasnít something he was consistently successful at. Is there any reason to believe he could be better at that should you be in those situations?
A: We hope to find out.
Q: How concerning is to not have your normal defensive depth when youíre going up against an offense thatís soÖ
A: You need me to answer that question? You certainly do need to have a full complement, but the guys that are ready to go will give it their best shot.
Q: Where is David Wilson at mentally after what heís been through early on?
A: He doesnít get down. That guy is pretty good about being up and staying up. Heís a battler and a fighter, so I really think David is fine. I told him the other day we need him to get in the end zone and thatís what Iím looking for. But I donít see any emotional setback or anything. As a matter of fact, after the first week he came rolling right back and tried to solve all those issues.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride
Q: What are some of the things the Eagles do on defense to attack the offense? Do they pressure a lot? Are they a cover team? Do they mix it up? Whatís are their common characteristics?
A: Certainly more of a pressure team than a drop-eight team, but they do mix it up fairly well. I think the thing that is a little bit unusual is they are a little more of an odd spacing team. I donít think you normally face that with a four-down front, but they do it quite frequently. Iím sure itís an outgrowth of some of the defense against their own offense. They have somebody on the perimeter on each side to prevent that. Their three or four front that they use on first and second down, they use a variation of that with a nickel on third down, so itís a little bit different in that respect, but itís a lot of pressure.
Q: A week ago DaíRel Scott gets the first play and a third of the snaps or whatever it was. Now, heís out of the mix. What does that do? Does that just make this the David Wilson show?
A: Itís like if thereís an injury or anything else, you just move onto the next phase. Weíll see what happens. Iíd rather not reveal it now to the Philadelphia Eagles if you donít mind.
Q: Obviously David Wilson had some issues with fumbling and the running game hasnít gotten going. If he is to get a bigger load, can he Ö?
A: Weíll see. We hope so. Certainly thatís why he was drafted and thatís what weíre looking forward to. Like all of the new guys we have, David is one of many that they continue to progress far enough where we cut down on the mistakes, give ourselves the best possible chance of winning. Right now, weíre still making too many errors and not making enough plays. We certainly believe that those guys have the ability. Theyíre certainly working hard enough to get better and itís just a matter of hopefully it will come together for us. Thatís what weíre striving for.
Q: When things arenít going the way you want it toÖ
A: Is it miserable? Yes.
Q: Is there a fine line between wanting to stay the course or do you have to change things up?
A: I think you make some adaptations. You do modify, weíve been modifying every week because weíve had to change personnel, we havenít had the same group yet. If you change too much, you thought you made mistakes before, you make even more mistakes. Thereís no question you do more efficiently the things that youíve done more often. Thatís why our two-minute drill is always nearly a copy. We do basically the same stuff. You have no choice when you lose certain guys, you have to adjust because your whole thing is what can your guys do? Each guy can do certain things better than others. When that guy is gone and the next guy goes in, you say, what can he do, still staying within the parameters of our offense, so we donít confuse or drag down everybody else. It is a challenge. There is no question about it.
Q: Is there something right now that you know you can rely on, even in bad situations itís going to work, because not a lot has worked the last couple of weeks?
A: I think if we give the quarterback time, I think very confidently heíll throw the ball well and give our guys a chance. I think we are getting better in the running game. The last two weeks, as bad as itís been, itís been improving and itís something weíre looking for to see continued development with. I think weíre headed in the right direction. Unfortunately itís been painfully slow.
Q: How many of those sacks over the last couple of weeks would you say are coverage sacks, with Eli?
A: Not many. I canít think off the top of my head. Iím sure thereís a couple where some new guys are not sure. Itís not always the line. I know you guys will attribute the line, but sometimes some of those new backs donít know to get out and now all of a sudden, Iím trying to throw the flag curl off a guy and the guyís standing right in the curl line and I have nobody affecting him to throw the ball. When I say itís everybody, itís everybody. Itís inclusive of all guys. In that sense is it a coverage sack, yes it is. Could we have solved it, our wide outs being covered? No, I donít think thereís been a coverage sack in that respect. Sometimes in terms of the way the play manifested itself or showed up, we didnít get the guy out that needed to get out. Therefore, you have a guy standing right in the passing lane that should have been wide open.
Q: Do you feel like you need better blocking by the tight ends?
A: I think we all have to do everything better. The runners have to run better, the blockers have to block better. I have to call better. Thatís all of us.
Q: How hard is playcalling when nothing seems to be working?
A: You can answer that one. Itís hard. Itís a challenge because you have to keep plugging away. What can your guys do? I think the thing that has been encouraging, yet disappointing, is you see glimpses, so you say we have a shot here. Weíre just not stringing enough of them together and thatís what we have to get better at. Thatís that consistency thing and thatís where if you can keep doing the same things over and over, youíre going to limit or reduce the number of errors and you have a much better chance of stringing together those eight to 10-play drives that have been very characteristic of us, but not this year.
Q: You said you could call plays better, but how?
A: Things have worked. Those are the things you try to focus on, but you canít just do that because they gang up on it. Itís not even that theyíve taken away stuff, itís just we have too many self-induced errors and I think if we can cut down on those things, weíll be good.
Q: So you canít throw the ball to Victor every play?
A: Weíd like to sometimes, but the other guys have to step up and make plays. Heís playing great and weíre very proud of the way heís shown up. We have other guys who have talent, too, and we believe that they can do it, too. Weíre trying to give all of them a chance, just like weíre trying to give all of our runners a chance. Theyíve all had opportunities and we just have to continue to give it to them, and believe that they are going to come through.
Q: Does anything change around you when something like this happens? Do people have suggestions that they want to run by you?
A: No. We game plan as a staff, so weíre always working together and if anybody sees something, theyíll say, Ďdid you notice this,í or Ďdid you see this?í Thatís been that way whether itís good or bad.
Q: Eli has always been asked and youíre asked about the idea of the hurry-up, no-huddle offense. Why donít you guys do it more when youíre so good at it. Why isnít it something that you go into?
A: Our philosophy here offensively, our head coach would like us to be balanced and do everything we can to achieve that and to take some time off the clock to help our defense to do all of those things. All of those things are great, as long as youíre succeeding with those things. When we switch, we have done more of what youíre referring to, we just havenít been as successful as we would have liked, even in those areas. We were great at the end of the first half, but in the second half we did it as soon as we got stuffed, or stopped on the first drive we went to it. We moved it, but didnít put it in the end zone. We had chances. We had numerous chances.
Q: Players really arenít used to this and weíve talked to them all weekÖ
A: None of us are. Itís no fun.
Q: I was going to ask if itís even worse for you.
A: Itís miserable. You work 80 to 100 hours a week trying to put together a plan that gives your guys a chance to be successful and then, more importantly, you work with them to help them out on the field and through the meetings. When things donít work well, itís very disappointing, so you ask yourself, what do I do next? Letís try this, letís adjust here, letís continue to develop them with their technique, their craft, their knowledge, expand in all of those things so hopefully you reach a point where that tipping point is in the right direction. Not in a negative Ö
Q: David Wilson said last week, every single one of them was close. Do you believe when you look at the film that theyíre as close as they think they are?
A: We certainly had chances. Thereís no question last week we had chances. Iím not sure we could say that after the Carolina guy, but we had numerous opportunities and we didnít always capitalize on them and when we did, we had a penalty. You talk about Murphyís Law, it was not a good thing. There were opportunities, thereís no question. Hopefully those opportunities will present themselves this week and weíll make those points.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
Q: With Steve Weatherford, do you just want to encourage pinning them to the sidelines a little bit more?
A: Well, we always want to try and encourage pinning them to the sidelines. Thatís what we try to do with our punt game. Heís getting better. He showed it better in practice. He just has to do it in a game.
Q: And Josh Brown, do you think he was just off line on his last couple of misses?
A: His head came up. You see how he followed through. He wasnít getting through it. He just has to trust himself to get through it.
Q: Is that a fixable thing?
A: Keeping your head down? Yeah. It all starts with how he starts. If he just stays in line with everything and keeps his head down and follows through, heíll be able to make that.
Q: Are you at the point where you can tell in the windup whether or not itís going in?
A: When he starts, no. You have to see it on tape. You can slow down the tape and see where he makes mistakes, but not from the naked eye.
Q: When itís a veteran like that, are you less worried about the mental and more focused on the physical because it is a veteran, a guy who has done it?
A: Heís done it. Heís been in and out of slumps, Iím sure. Weíre all professionals and heís got to get himself out of it and just trust that everything is going to be right on line so he can just keep his head down.
Q: I guess thatís my point. I wouldnít say itís easier, but the fact that you can find something physicalÖ
A: You can always find something physical. These guys do these skills so often, sometimes they can fall into some things that they donít realize theyíre falling into, some bad habits. You try to point those out on tape if you see them. Sometimes you donít. Sometimes itís just a matter of keeping your head down, sometimes the plant foot is too tight or too wide. Why is that? You go back and look at how he started and how he comes through the ball. They all see that, too. Theyíve seen themselves kick more than Iíve seen them and they know what their issues are and what they need to do to correct it.
Q: Did you think there might have been some blocks in the back on that return?
A: It doesnít matter. You have to get down there and cover it. We can play with great leverage, number one. We know we had a couple of guys lose containment on the ball, which is a cardinal sin. We had three guys that didnít get off hold ups. Against very good returners, you canít make mistakes. We have to do a better job with that.
Tackle David Diehl
Q: There was a question about you passing the hand test with the strength and stuff. Did you do that?
A: Weíre passed. Weíre full and ready to go. So Iím excited, I worked by butt off to be where I am today, to get healed up. Physically and mentally, Iím fully ready to go. Iím cleared and Iím excited about the opportunity to go back out there and fight and compete and play with my teammates.
Q: So where are you starting?
A: Right guard.
Q: Thatís like old times for you.
A: Itís like riding a bike. This isnít the first time this has ever happened so Iím excited. Iím excited about the opportunity. Justin (Pugh) and I have been working very hard together the last week, itís not like I havenít been working with him, talking through things, trying to help coach him since he first got here so weíve worked extremely hard watching film, working together, hammering out all the details of everything going into this game. Both of us are excited. As a group, as an offense, as a team Ė weíre fired up. If youíre not excited about this game, to play the Eagles, division rival, one of those games that you know is going to be a four-quarter fist fight, weíre pumped up and ready to go.
Q: Youíre coming back to help out a line thatís been struggling.
A: Like I said, I canít sit here and talk about the past. I didnít play, Iím not a hypocrite, Iím not going to sit here and judge anything thatís happened in the past. I know my guys were fighting even though it didnít go our way. Weíve kept working, our group kept working. Our offensive line is a thick-skinned group and weíre the guys that, no matter what happens, no matter whatís said, weíre going to be a group that comes out fighting. Me coming back, Iím not a miracle worker. Everythingís not going to be perfect, everythingís not going to be fixed. I just know that Iím going to bring my leadership, Iím going to bring energy, Iím going to fight each and every play, Iím going to do whatever I can to bring the best out of my teammates, just like they do for me.
Q: Is this like full circle for you? Your rookie year you started atÖ
A: The circle of life? Lion King? Ask my daughter, sheíd love that. Like I said, this is a great opportunity for us. Iím just excited to be back. Iíve worked extremely hard to come back all offseason, to work as hard as I did to get my knee healed, physically get myself ready and make the changes that I did to come into camp physically the best Iíve ever been in my life and then to have a setback like a thumb, itís tough. It isnít easy for anybody. But Iíll tell you this Ė throughout that entire time, mentally Iíve stayed focused, Iíve been in here with the team, my teammates, Iíve been watching film, Iíve been critiquing everything, Iíve been keeping notes and staying sharp. Like anything, you really appreciate when youíre out and youíre sitting on the sidelines, you really appreciate how special it is to do what you do. Itís my 11th season and Iím still living the dream. Iím still playing and doing what I love to do. Itís still so exciting to come here each and every morning preparing for these games. Most importantly, for me, being able to get back out there and fight, Iím just pumped up. Iím ready to go.
CB Terrell Thomas
Q: How challenging is it to face that offense one, in general, and two, you guys might not be at full strength.
A: Thatís the NFL. People have got to step up at the end of the day. If somebody goes down, then somebody else has to step up. It definitely causes challenges. They definitely pose a challenge for us but people have got to step up.
Q: You guys have been trying to step things up in practice, fast-paced, to replicate them. Can you replicate that offense?
A: You can to a certain extent. (Michael) Cox has done a great job mimicking McCoy and his movements; he has that jump cut, so heís definitely giving us a great look. More than anything, itís just doing your job. All theyíre trying to do is catch you off balance to catch you out of position, out of your gap, get you out of your leverage. Thatís when theyíre successful.
Q: Are you guys looking at tape from Oregon as well?
A: No, not at all. That doesnít matter. We have a good four weeks of NFL game tape on their offense. Thatís all we need.
Q: When did you start thinking about facing this offense? Was it going back before this week?
A: No, not at all. I think our coaches did a great job of preparing us for this in the offseason, working on different defensive sets and techniques to prepare for the read option and things they like doing. But other than that, weíve been focusing on whoever weíre playing that week.
Q: How big is it just taking the big play away? Especially with someone like DeSean. It seems like when they get those, thatís when their offense is really clicking.
A: Itís huge because they thrive on that. At the end of the day theyíre still going to make big plays. Thatís the type of offense they have, theyíre going to catch you off balance but itís just continuing to line up and continuing to do your job. In the end, the defense will win. The stats show that against them. Unfortunately they havenít been successful in the red zone so all the big plays come up short. If anything, if they do get the big play, we just want to tackle them and line back up and give ourselves another chance.
Q: Do you think thatís something about that system that, in the red zone, itís kind of tougher? You donítí have that much space.
A: I think itís more the rhythm of the offense more than anything. Everything is high-tempo and now you get in the red zone, you donít want to go high-pace, you want to slow it down. The depth that they have as far as yardage is not as big compared to the whole field so theyíre kind of limited as far as plays. We could play a little tighter.
LB Spencer Paysinger
Q: Theyíre faster than teams like the Broncos?
A: Itís a different type of speed. They get lined up pretty fast but they also look to the sideline for the call. The Broncos, they know their calls. Peyton does a good job relaying the calls through hand signals.
Q: Is there anything you can do as a defense to slow them down?
A: Just like I said, youíve got to have players that have set rules. You donít want to have to think too much against this type of offense because thatís what theyíre banking on, you thinking too much, getting a half-man out of the gap and they can pop a good run. McCoy is a great runner, heís liable to break those long runs if the personís not fully in their gap, so you really have to have a sound gap defense.
Q: Did you think, or dream, about facing these guys?
A: I wouldnít say that I dream of facing it, but when I saw that he was going to the Eagles it kind of took me back to, okay, we used to play against it in practice all of those years and now Iím about to play against it as a professional. I was kind of excited to see if I still knew the Oregon motions and shifts and adjustments and stuff. Iíll be interested to see, once Iím on the field, if I hear any calls or stuff that kind of bring back some memories.
Q: What have you found watching on tape? Are there similarities?
A: There are some similarities. Some of the runs are still the same, some of the pass concepts are still the same, but for the most part, they have changed things up. Like I said, Iíve been gone for three years, theyíve had a chance to evolve the playbook a little bit more. But, for the most part, itís still a shadow of itself.
Q: How much do you think heís adapted to what he wants to do to the Eagles personnel because obviously theyíve got different weapons than you had at Oregon?
A: Obviously this is his first year here, so heís not playing with all of the pieces he probably wants to play with. Youíve got to give him a couple years to get his personnel, get his players in. But for right now, I think heís done a pretty good job of playing to the playersí strengths on this team.
Q: Did you ever think that that type of offense would work in the NFL?
A: Did I ever think? I was at Oregon, I was on his side back then so I was thinking that if it could work there, it would work in the big leagues. I think it can have some success. Youíve just got to give it more time to evolve. Weíre only a month and a half into the season so you just have to give it time to evolve, watch him get his personnel in and pretty much let him do his adjustments to see if it actually can. Judging it now, itís too early to judge.
DT Cullen Jenkins
Q: When youíre dealing with this injury do you look at the next two games and kind of compress them into one because theyíre so close together?
A: No. Right now I just look at it as day by day. I look at it is you get through tomorrow, you be ready to get through Saturday. You canít even worry about the games until you get cleared for them. You take it day by day, just try to improve it each day and just see where youíre at.
Q: Do you feel like youíre going to play on Sunday?
A: I donít know, weíll see. Tomorrow will be a big day to get out there, try to add to the workload a little bit to see where itís at.
Q: Did you take any snaps today or just a little on the side?
A: No, just a little on the side. No snaps.
Q: As a football player, youíve gone into games where the doctors have cleared you to play. Does being cleared to play mean that youíre 100 percent or does it mean that you can just give it the best youíve got?
A: I think getting cleared to play just means that they think youíll make it out without any further injuries, without making it worse or anything serious. Just because youíre cleared to play doesnít mean that youíre going to be 100 percent by any stretch. You go out there, you fight, you tough it out and you try to help the team.
Q: A lot of us look at JPP coming off the back surgery and we were expecting the same old guy that was the rookie who dominated the league. I guess itís not easy to get over an injury right away.
A: Iím not sure what JPís situation is or what he feels like, so Iím not even going to comment on that. I know mine and I know how mine feels. Itís still sore but itís making progress. Weíll try to continue that tomorrow.
Q: Do you think youíll be a game time decision Sunday morning?
A: Yeah. Right now you canít rule it out, thereís still hope. As I said, tomorrow will be a big day for us to get out there, see how it feels, try to add a little more into the workload and see how it responds and see if I have any setbacks afterwards.
Q: A guy like McCoy, thatís why youíre here. Thatís why you, Shaun and Hankins are all here, to stop the run against guys like him. If you canít play, how ready do you think Hankins is? Shaunís going to take on a bigger role.
A: Hankins has been ready. Heís been sitting back patiently waiting his turn. Heís a heck of a player, heíll get out there and heíll do well regardless of the situation. So we have all the confidence in the world in him."