Andy Reid news conference transcript


Posted by ESPN.cm's Matt Mosley

Opening Remarks:
"Again, I've said this before, anytime you can win in the National Football League, that's a good thing. Then, we go back and we critique it from there, the pluses and the minuses, and try to take care of the minuses, make sure that we get them better.

It was nice to see the defense step up like they did against the run game and what I thought was a good combination team, run and pass. I thought with [Falcons RB Michael] Turner, being the back that he was, I thought the defense did a nice job there. It's good to get the turnovers. We've struggled with that the past couple of years, and we're doing well in that category and really can even improve on that. We had opportunities, [CB] Asante [Samuel] was around the ball all day yesterday and had a couple of opportunities that he would like to have back where he was able to get his hands on the ball and wasn't able to get it, but he sure played a good game.

Our third-down defense, I think was strong. The guys played well. They were 6 for 16, somewhere in that area there. I just thought we did a good job of getting off the field. I thought [CB] Lito [Sheppard] had a nice game. We talked about the interception, the play before that he had the pass interference, and to put us in that position. Rather than hang his head or pout about that, he geared it up and came back in there and made a big play. That's what competition is all about. Those are the things that you look for, and I was proud of him for that.

Offensively, I thought we started slow, but we finished the right way. Again, I thought [QB] Donovan [McNabb], he had a couple of throws there in the beginning that he would like to have back, but after he settled down there, he did a heck of a job. With [RB Brian] Westbrook, it was great to get Brian back. I thought he just played his heart out both in the pass game and the run game. It almost looked like he got stronger as the game went on. I know he was a little fatigued in the fourth quarter, but he looked even stronger there than he did prior to that. Then, [FB Dan] Klecko continues to improve. He did some real nice things both blocking, you saw the catch that he had even though it was brought back, he had a nice grab there. Then, obviously, if Brian is gaining all of those yards, the offensive line has to be doing something out there and they did a nice job in the run game there.

Then, special teams; [K] David [Akers] had a couple more field goals. Then, it was nice to get [LB] Tracy White in there. Tracy had a tackle early. I thought he was very effective on the [special] teams units there."

On the goal line offense and whether he sees anything specific that is keeping them out of the end zone:

"I do. There are some things that we have to get better at. I know that's not answering your question there, but I don't think we need to answer that publicly. But there are some things that are being done, and we got a couple of them done, so we need to make sure we straighten that out and get it right."

On whether it is scheme that they're working on or guys getting their assignments right:
"It's a little bit of each. I'll always take the responsibility for that. I can put these guys in better spots. Then, they have to take care of business from there."

On whether the no-huddle call before the quarterback sneak was something that helped the Falcons execute the play:
"Yeah, possibly. That's a possibility. Again, you make those calls, but again, it's important to make the right call. Then, it's important to execute that call. We all have a little piece of that."

On how he thinks Sheppard has handled himself this season:
"Lito's done a good job. Lito has handled this whole thing the right way. You said the tough times, I haven't seen that. I think Lito has been very professional about it. He's been very team-oriented about it out there, and he's played very hard."

On whether Sheppard has talked to him about getting on the field more:
"He wants to play. He wants to play; there is no doubt about that. He's a competitive guy. He's going to do what he feels is right for the team or what he is asked to do and just do it to the best of his ability. He's been great with that."

On whether the Falcons were going after Samuel and is he surprised that the Falcons threw toward him early in the game:
"No, not necessarily. I'm not sure they were going after him or whether it was the wide-side of the field that they were utilizing, but I know that he got his hands on the ball a few times if they were trying to go after him."

On what he thinks about the rule where a coach can't challenge if he doesn't have a time out left:

"I'm going to stay away from that question. I appreciate you wording it like that though."

On whether they moved WR Kevin Curtis to the slot when Avant was injured:

"When Jason went down, [WR] Hank [Baskett] went to the slot. Now, there are certain formations where guys will be inside or outside. We mix guys around, but Hank was the one that replaced Jason."

On Curtis' involvement yesterday:
"I probably played him more than I wanted to play him. He had too many snaps out there. He had 60 snaps, or whatever it was, so he got plenty of work. I wasn't counting on that going into the game, but he was feeling pretty good."

On how Curtis is feeling today:

"He said he's feeling pretty good today. I'm sure he's a little sore, but he says he feels good."

On whether it is a relief to know that Curtis is feeling well the day after his return to the field:

"Yeah. I think [head athletic trainer] Rick [Burkholder] and the doctors handled it the right way. You've seen people on other teams come back from those things too fast and have setbacks that last a couple of weeks. We were able to get him two or three weeks out there where he could gradually get back into the swing of things, and by the last week and a half or so, he was about as close to full speed as you could get playing in the game. He had a little confidence in that and he had his wind, and so on, where he could have a little more endurance than if we would have rushed him back."

On how serious Smith's concussion is and whether he will be ready to go Sunday against the Seahawks:
"I think he'll, again, I'm speculating here, but I think he will probably be able to answer the bell there, but we just have to see as the week goes on and then how much practice time he gets and all that. I can't tell you that right now, we'll just have to play it by ear."

On whether Andrews is still in California:
"Shawn is still in California, yeah. He's rehabbing out there."

On McNabb's eye injury:
"As of today, he's fine."

On whether McNabb's eye was cut or scratched:


On whether he thinks the sense of urgency among the team only kicks in once the team is trailing by a touchdown:
"I thought the execution was off just a bit in the game early, and then we kind of played through that. I don't know if it's the rust of the bye week, I don't know. They were coming off a bye week, too. I don't know, if in our case, that's what it was, I don't sense it in the way that you are saying but maybe there is something there. I don't know."

On whether he senses that the third-down conversions have been mediocre:

"(Jokingly) I sense we need to get better at that since we're doing a lot of sense in here."

On whether he sees a common thread in why third-down conversions have been mediocre:

"Yeah, there are some things that we can do better there, strategically and play-wise."

On the run defense:

"I thought the guys did a good job of that yesterday. They've got two good running backs, and I thought we did a pretty decent job there."

On how he feels about his name being added to the list of coaches who have 100 wins:

"I happened to see that list, which it was more by accident than by direction. It is impressive. I'm honored to be with that group. I fully understand that you can't do it by yourself. It's not a one-man show as I think, probably, those other coaches felt [the same way], but that it starts with your ownership and your front office and your coaching staff. I have a handful of coaches that have been with me for ten years here and then others that have been here for quite some time. Then, the ones that have left, they all had a piece of that. Then, the players, we have four players that have been here for all 100 wins. Then, we have about 400 other ones that have been through here that have helped with each one of those. It's not a one-man show, and even though the head coach kind of gets the accolades there, I think it can be sliced up and given to everybody."

On what he will be doing for tonight's Phillies game:
"I'm going to be pulling hard for the Phillies, baby, and for [Phillies manager] Charlie [Manuel]. I had a chance to go to the game yesterday and that place was electric over there. They have a great thing going, and I'll have the red on today."

On whether he will attend the parade if the Phillies win:

"I will. I will just open my curtains and it will go right past me right there, so I'll be there."

On whether the atmosphere in the city will change if the Phillies win:

"You know what, they are going to win. I'm going to take the 'if' out of that for you. They are going to win, and the city will love every minute of it. It will be great for the city."

On whether it will be special coaching against Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren this week since it might be the last time they coach against each other:

"I really haven't thought about that, but I know that he's had a great career. I said this before when I worked for him, that I had a hard time believing that anybody did it better than him. I don't think he's changed. I think he's maintained his intensity. I know he's passionate about the game. I know it won't be easy for him walking away from it on his terms there. That's never an easy thing. Hopefully he gets back in. Hopefully he takes a little time off and then gets back into the game because I think he's great for the game. I think for about two hours there though, he and I won't care about that. We'll just care about getting after each other and playing the game."

On how many snaps Klecko had yesterday:

"I can't tell you the number of snaps right off, I don't have that. I thought he played very well. Like I said, I thought he blocked well which we kind of expect. Then, when he had a chance to catch the football, he's had a catch in the last two games. The first time he didn't have an opportunity to run and this time he did. He's pretty explosive for a nose guard."

On what he saw from White yesterday:
"He's on all phases [of special teams]. We've kind of thrown him in there in a week and asked him to do this, and you can tell he really has a knack for the ball. He was always around the football on the kickoff team and the punt team and that, and that's a nice addition right there."

On whether they knew White had a knack for the ball before they brought him in:

"Yeah. He was a very good special teams player for the Packers. I think he's a good linebacker too, but he's also a good special teams player, and I thought we needed that."

On whether they may use FB Kyle Eckel in short-yardage opportunities:

"The one thing that I know about Eckel, he was a guy that could play both fullback and running back. Now, however we utilize him, we utilize him there. Then he was a good special teams player, so that's not past the possibility. I don't think that's our primary problem there. We have to take care of a couple other things."

Injury Report:
"[WR] Jason Avant has strained his trapezius muscle, and we'll just see how he heals there this week. He's having a tough time lifting his arm but should be able to get back this week. [TE] L.J. Smith had a concussion yesterday and is feeling better today. Then, [G] Shawn Andrews had the back surgery. [WR] Reggie [Brown] is doing better. He'll practice this week full, and we'll just see how that works out. Everybody else is doing okay."