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Monday, September 29, 2008
The Andy Reid transcript

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The Eagles were kind enough to forward us the transcript of Andy Reid's news conference from earlier today. Reid was riveting as always:

Opening remarks:

"Obviously, we are disappointed by the game. We didn't perform the way we needed to on the offensive side, which is my responsibility. We didn't start the game the way we needed to start the game, that's also my responsibility, both sides of the football and special teams with our kicker and the missed field goals. I thought we were poor in the red zone and poor on third down, which is an obvious statement. We have to do better there, which we'll work on. We have to start faster on the defensive side, I thought we finished very strong. The turnovers that we are generating are tremendous, [and] we have to keep those coming.

Then, obviously, when we have a chance to make field goals, we need to make the field goals. I mentioned before coming out of the Dallas game, I thought this was a mentally tough football team, and I still feel that way. Weeks like this right here, you have be mentally tough and you have to realize that it's a long season. You're just coming off the most important game and you have to get on to the most important game this week against the Redskins. As a coaching staff, we went through the tape, analyzed it, and we are moving on to Washington. We'll teach the players, show them their mistakes, they'll learn from it, and again, we keep it moving forward."


On whether he still feels K David Akers can still be a successful kicker for him:

"I do. Yes. I do. He needs to make those kicks, but I do feel that way."

On what happened in regards to Akers' missed field goals last night:

"This game, obviously, he goes out before the game and tests the wind out. The wind was blowing towards our bench, and so, where he was aiming was closer to the right goal post, the right side of the goal post. That's where he aimed, and the wind didn't blow it back to where it normally blows it back to for him. Not excuses for him, but that's what happened."

On whether he thinks Akers' leg strength is still there:

"I think the leg strength [is still there]. You can see it on his kickoffs. He's kicking the ball off as well as he ever has."

On whether he has confidence that Akers' accuracy is still there:

"For whatever the problem was, it has to get solved, so he and I will work on that."

On the fourth-and-goal attempt at the end of the game and what TE Matt Schobel is supposed to do in that situation:

"Actually, the guy was outside of Matt, and the guy rushed around the edge there and Matt has to pin him there. He didn't cross Matt's face like many people thought. Then, on the right side, which is really where the main problem came, the defender came inside our wing there, and that's where the main problem was."

On whether it was difficult for FB Tony Hunt to read an open hole down at the goal line:

"If it's there, you have to hit it. That's part of it. He's got a real knack down in there for doing that. That one, for whatever reason, he got bounced outside just a bit."

On whether his decision to run the ball on fourth-and-goal was based on what the defense was showing him:

"I thought we could run it in. When they go down there, they don't use a goal-line front. They use their base personnel group there. I thought we had them on their heels just a little bit. Their defensive line had played basically that whole game because of the injuries they had. We were running the ball effectively that last series and I thought we had a chance to pound it in there. Obviously, hindsight is 20-20 here. I thought we had a better chance right there to pound it in."

On RB Lorenzo Booker not seeming to be involved in the offense that much:

"He gets a handful of plays a game and that's okay, and when Brian's healthy, that's okay. Buck was running the ball well, so we let Buck carry the load there when he was healthy."

On whether he's surprised at Booker's lack of explosiveness since training camp:

"He's a young guy. He's getting experience in this offense, so we'll just keep bringing him along and see how he does."

On whether there was any reason for WR DeSean Jackson's lack of involvement during the end of the game:

"There was nothing to that."

On whether he's concerned with the penetration that the Bears' defensive line had in last night's game:

"I didn't see as much penetration as maybe what you're thinking there. I thought as we finished that game we had shut all that off. Any penetration of the run game, I presume you're talking about, we shut all that off, and I thought we had it going pretty good there."

On whether he expects Westbrook to practice Wednesday:

"I don't know that. We'll have to see how he does here these two days. If he had to practice today, he wouldn't be able to do it."

On whether Westbrook is in the same place with the injury as he was at this time last week:

"No. He's better than -- well, if he misses practices, yeah. As far as how he feels, he feels better, yeah."

On whether QB Donovan McNabb's chest contusion limited him in any way in last night's game:

"I don't think so. I'm not going to say that he didn't have soreness in his chest, but I think it loosened up and he was able to function pretty well."

On whether the team can afford any more missed opportunities with a quarter of the season already gone and two losses:

"Listen, I'm not satisfied with the two losses at all, and I want to clear that up. I know people will say that there is a lot of season left, I understand that and there is, realistically, and anything can happen in this league. We don't slight the loss yesterday, but at the same time, in this league, you can't dwell on the loss. You have to learn from it, and you have to move on quickly. That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt through yesterday and today, that doesn't mean that. But you better get rid of it fast, and you better move on. Then, anything is possible, and we've seen that before. We've been through this before. When everybody had us written off, we were able to be mentally tough enough to rally together and put together a pretty good football season."

On what happened defensively on the third-and-4 at the end of the game:

"They did a better job than what we did there. You have to get the ball back in those situations. When you have them backed up to the one-foot-line and you have the time left on the clock that they had, you have to stop them and give your offense an opportunity to take another shot at it."

On whether he anticipated a pass on that play:

"No."

On whether FS Brian Dawkins was supposed to come from the outside on that play:

"Yes."

On the defense allowing Bears RB Matt Forte to get a critical first down to basically end the game and what that tells him about the defense:

"I'm not pointing at the defense. The defense gave the offense plenty of opportunities to win the game. The offense didn't punch it in when they had their chance, so we have to learn from both of those situations. We have to get better at it, and the next time that you're in that situation, you have to close the door."

On whether he has to change anything that they do on third down if Westbrook can't go next week:

"No. I don't think it's because Brian is off the field. That's not the problem there."

On whether he feels comfortable having McNabb run a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal:

"I didn't feel comfortable with him having sat out all week of practice because of an injury. Common sense tells you that you have to be smart with that. To look back on his record of sneaks, it's almost flawless, but again, you have to use judgment on that."

On the fact that the Eagles have scored a lot more points in the first half than the second half in the last few games:

"We have to get better there. That's my responsibility to make sure that we are dialing things up the right way so our players can have some success there."

On whether he will try to find ways to get Booker more involved:

"We'll see how it goes this week. We have to go back and look at that."

On whether he has a plan to try and fix the scoring differential between halves:

"Yeah."

On whether he'd like to share the plan:

"No, but we'll get it right."

On whether fixing that issue comes down to self-scouting and looking for trends:

"No. We do all that. I think I know the problem, we just have to fix it."

On whether WR Kevin Curtis' workload will be increased this week:

"We'll see how he feels. If he feels like he did last week, probably not, we'll probably continue to work him through. If he's a little bit better then we'll work him in there and see how he does, [we'll] kind of treat him like we did with Reggie Brown."

On how TE L.J. Smith's back feels:

"[It] feels pretty good right now."

On whether G Shawn Andrews' back feels better:

"No. It's about the same. He's going to see someone here this week."

On whether Andrews will see a specialist this week:

"Yeah."

On his level of concern with Andrews' back:

"We have to find a way to get it better, that's what we have to do. The doctors are optimistic about it.

On whether surgery is an option:

"Not right now."