We’re excited to be playing in the division, going down to Philadelphia this Sunday night. Philadelphia is typically fifth in the league on offense, fifth in the league on defense. They have two young returners who were in the top ten in punt return and kickoff return, in Johnson and Boykin, in the preseason. So, very, very physical, very fast football team. For two weeks, led the league in offensive production, had some turnovers, which has been the reason that, I would imagine, the scoring’s not the way they would want it to be. However, very explosive football team, and we have our work cut out for us.
Q: Anything in particular they do against the pass this year?A: They have 14 plays over 20 yards.
Q: I think you said they were ranked fifth against the pass?
A: Yeah. They’re pretty good against everything. They’ve got an outstanding rush, they dress nine defensive linemen, and they play them all. It’s all about getting after the quarterback.
Q: Tom, you probably have nobody but perhaps yourself to blame for that, no? The depth at defensive line being a way to go?
A: Well, it’s a good way to play.
Q: They’ve been turnover prone in the first three games. Has there been any consistent thread to the turnovers? Pressure? Or something else?
A: Well, just what I read, as you do. Having watched the Arizona game the other day, the quarterback was hit a number of times. That certainly contributes to it.
Q: Coach, what was the difference with your team in the last five quarters?
A: Just continuing to play, continuing to get better, and continuing to be more assignment and technique conscious. The focus and the concentration, getting better. You better get better as you play in this business. Fortunately for us, we have.
Q: Forgive me for pointing out the obvious. Can you talk about Eli Manning’s ability when under pressure? Just over a week ago, this team was looking at the possibility of going 0-2, losing both games at home. What is it about him that brings the best out of him when the pressure is on?
A: Well, he works hard game in and game out. Last year, obviously, coming from behind, incredible fourth quarter stats. We’d like, certainly, to continue that and to a certain extent, that has been continuous, certainly againstTampa Bay. He just continues to get better, continues to focus, continues to work with his receivers, protection has been good, and the results are there.
Q: Do you expect Ahmad Bradshaw to practice?
Q: Before he got hurt, Andre Brown did not appear to have much of a role in the offense. Has he earned it now, given his play.
A: Yeah. Definitely. By our experience, and I’ll explain it again… One year, we had three guys. You know, there’s a long, long way to go, and we’re just happy that we’ve had an opportunity to develop some players and they will all have the chance to contribute.
Q: Is that more of you trying to balance two guys out? Is it more of a feel of the hot hand? Or is it a plan? Get this guy this many carries, get that guy that many carries?
A: Well, at this point in time, it’ll be according to however we plan to use them. Naturally, we reserve the right (to go with) who has the hot hand. So many times, that’s been Ahmad that’s been in, and certainly that’s helped.
Q: Coming off of playing against Cam (Newton), does that help against (Michael) Vick? Or is he a totally different quarterback?
A: Well, the offensive style is different. That makes a difference. Of course, against Michael Vick, we’ve had our problems here and there along the way. Trying to defend his athleticism, his speed, the outstanding runner that he is. I can go back as far as Atlanta and point a few things out to you that had taken place over the years when he was there. So he’s an exceptional threat, whether it be running or passing. He’s tough, he’s a hard-nosed guy, he certainly can take a hit, and he’s an outstanding competitor.
Q: Will Ahmad start?
Q: You sounded like there’s a possibility that (David) Diehl could play this week?
A: I don’t know about that just now.
Q: You don’t know about that?
A: I do not know about that just now.
Q: Will he practice today?
A: No. He’s going to go on the side. Nicks will have his day, it’s Thursday.
Q: What did Victor show you that day in Philadelphia when he broke out?
A: We went down there and Vic had done okay in the first two games, but he certainly hadn’t played to that ability and then when we went down there, he made the big play down the sideline, made the big jumping catch at the end of the game and that’s where it all started and let’s hope it keeps going.
Q: Did that automatically increase your trust in him?
A: No, he was definitely going to play and going to be featured no matter how we could do it and it just so happened the first, the long run, after the catch was on, I guess, a blitz, he made two great plays to make two people miss.
Q: Has the intensity of the referee discussion surprised you at all these last few days?
A: I’m out of those. Everybody in the world has offered their opinion on that.
Q: Has the league asked you not to?
Q: Besides Diehl and Nicks, is there anybody else who will miss practice today?
A: Better give me a name. Here it is. Coe, if he does, it will be very, very much controlled. Hixon will practice. You didn’t ask me that. Hosley, no. Nicks will be his day. Ojomo will practice. Rivers, no. Antrel and Corey, yes.
Q: Does Prince have a chance to start this week?
A: He has a good chance, yes.
Q: Philly hasn’t really featured McCoy just yet.
A: They haven’t? Who’s that guy running up and down the field? 58 rushes, he had 13 the other day.
Q: Would you be happy if he had 13 rushes?
A: I would hope that (he has) maybe zero.
Q: What are your thoughts on defending him?
A: He’s very difficult to defend. The quality of their offense is difficult to defend. It’s wide open. He gets the draws and the screens, the zone runs and he’s very good at the cutback run, but he’s got the speed to be able to run around you.
Q: McCoy had some comments on Osi last night.
A: I have no idea about that.
Q: Can you talk about the progression of Jason Pierre-Paul?
A: I see him getting better all the time. He is a force and people have to contend with him and I see his play improving and improving and improving and I think it will continue to be that way.
Q: Do you see teams drastically altering their game plan for him?
A: They’ve got a bunch of guys in there that they have to be concerned about. I don’t know if ‘drastically’ is the word, but they certainly are well aware of where he is and would be able to do things accordingly, design things accordingly.
Q: Justin Tuck brought up the 12-sack game against McNabb and said since then the Eagles try to block the heck out of you guys. Was that a turning point and have you seen that concerted effort on their part?
A: Well, their effort is outstanding every time we play, how they go about their business. They certainly have done quite a bit to make sure that the pass rush is in as much check as they possibly can. They do it by formation. They do it by different means, but it’s always been consistently a strategy of theirs. I think in that game, there were a couple of injuries that they had to deal with as well.
Q: Do you guys sense an opportunity to get to Vick with the injuries to their O-Line?
A: They will play hard, regardless. I think they consider, and I would agree, that Dunlap will come back there. Maclin will play… I think all these people are.
Q: Any concerns about Corey Webster and the cast?
A: I don’t know about the concern. Is he gonna get to the point where he’s comfortable being able to use it?
Q: Is Antrel Rolle limited at all?
A: Well, he’s limited. It says limited. He’s gonna do everything he can. It’s very difficult to control him, so he’s anxious to get ready.