Mornhinweg: Offense Played Poorly
By Lance Epstein
On Friday, most Eagles fans would say the offense stunk up the joint. Today at Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s press conference, he reiterated those same sentiments.
Mornhinweg said that the offense played poorly, but on film the Eagles were better than what he originally thought. Additionally, Mornhinweg believes the Eagles have a lot of work left to do and sees the potential for a lot of improvement.
Moreover, he discussed the Eagles red zone woes at length, rookie fullback Charles Scott and what he sees out of his makeshift offense line.
Here are some of Mornhinweg’s press conference quotes:
"We're in a normal game week preparation, so it's really a good week to go through for the young people or for the new players. Even administratively to go through this, so we're trying to simulate as close to a game week as we can. There will be a few things that are just a little bit different, but that'll be good for the players this week. Last week, there was not much good there. We already started on getting some of those things corrected. I think there were some guys that played very hard, there were some that were thinking just a little bit too much, trying to do a little bit too much, and then lastly, we just simply played poorly. You've got to hand it to Cincinnati, they played well and we played poorly, and then that's what you get. I think we're a little bit closer than it appeared from afar, after watching the film. Yet, a lot of hard work left to do, a lot of improvement left."
On the lack of touchdowns and red zone touchdowns as well:
"Well we scored the one time and got a penalty, and going back to the first ballgame we dropped one. Then, we had a couple of more penalties. We have a certain philosophy down there and staying away from sacks and penalties is big now. That's big for anybody in the red zone, it's very difficult to overcome those things, loss of yardage, because you've got the end line there, you've got the 12th man there, you don't have to cover as much room, so that's the biggest thing. There's been a couple of plays where we just didn't execute very well, and the biggest thing is overcoming those penalties, it's rare that you do it. Now we've done it in the past, but it's rare that you overcome sacks and penalties down there or loss of yardage plays. We've got to move the ball forward."
On the importance of scoring a touchdown against the Chief since the starters will not play in the preseason finale:
"It's important to play well. Everything we do is important. These preseason games are excellent evaluation periods for our players and for our units, for our team, and I want to see us playing well and sharp together on the road. It's fortunate, again, like you said, this will be quite a bit of playing time for the ones on the road. That's important, an important experience to get, especially when you have new, young types of players."
QB Kevin Kolb's decision making in the red zone:
"Yeah, there's been several times when he's made good, quick decisions, and really thrown the ball well. There's been a couple of errors, there's been a couple, so he's learned from those. Now, he's a quick learner, rarely makes the same mistake twice, so I think we'll be okay on those plays. He's corrected it in practice, so I think we'll be better there."
On having to change the philosophy in the red zone with Kolb at the helm:
"The big picture philosophy is the same. Now our philosophy may change week to week, depending on who we have available, depending on what type of defense. Defenses play a little bit differently down there, and sometimes drastically different, depending on the team. Back in the old days, you got a lot of man coverage, you got blitzes, you got some one-on-ones, these type of things are trying to knock you out of scoring position. It's kind of cyclical. We got into soft coverage, quarters entered, and in that case they were trying to make you three or four yards each play and driving to the ball, keeping the runs to two or three yards, these types of things. That happened for several years, then everybody figured out how to beat that. Then you got into a pretty good mix, and then it went back to some blitz. Every year is just a little bit different when you look at the whole picture. It changes really week-to-week. There may be a team where we go in, we'll want to do certain things to a particular defense."
On the schematics being different with Kolb at quarterback compared to Donovan McNabb:
"It will be. In the preseason, we don't show them much at all. It'll be a little different, because we have a quarterback with different strengths than (Redskins QB) Donovan McNabb, we've got some other players with a little bit different strengths. You always like to lean toward their strengths. There's been several plays that we've executed beautifully and we've had a penalty, and then there's been other plays when we haven't executed well, so we've got to play at that high level on a consistent basis, and then we'll be just where we want to be down there."
On his thoughts about what opposing defenses will show the Eagles offense this upcoming season:
"It's hard to be specific because every defense has their own philosophy down there, and it becomes clear once you get enough tape on it. Each defense has a different philosophy. Some people right when you get into scoring range will try to knock you back with some blitzes, other teams will automatically be conservative, some teams will mix it, some teams will play it soft and then try to surprise you with a zero blitz, a full blitz, and then still mix some single safety middle stuff. So, everybody is just a little bit different there."
On the offensive line play so far:
"I think we're going to be fine. There was no position that really played at a high level, and that's what I was disappointed in. However, I think we motored through some things there, we've got some corrections done, and I think our offensive line has a bright future here. They can be one of the very best in the league. The most important thing is working together as a unit. Four guys playing at a high level, and one not, then that can cause some big-time disruption, and it's the same with our whole football team. We're not concerned on how we get it done, run or pass, or who gets the credit or who scored the touchdown. We want to get that thing done by any means necessary, and our o-line has a great mentality that way. Typically, (offensive line coach) Juan Castillo puts together some excellent offensive lines, so I have great confidence in our guys up there. We've got to correct some things now. We did some things in that ball game that should never happen, but in reality, it does in the preseason, so we teach, we correct, we re-teach, and then we move on fast once we get it corrected."
On the Eagles needing “blocking tight end” on the 53-man roster:
"Well I think (TE) Brent (Celek) is. I think (TE) Clay Harbor has an opportunity. I think (TE) Nate Lawrie has an opportunity. Lawrie's got some skill and ability there. (TE) Cornelius Ingram is still nicked just a little bit, he's working through that. He's a tough guy, he's working through it. He's got some skill and ability. I think we've got some guys here that have a great opportunity ahead of them. They've got a lot of work to do ahead of them in a very short period of time, so we'll see how that thing ends up."
On RB Mike Bell, his importance to the team and being healthy:
"It's encouraging that he's healthy. He looked good here at the walkthrough, took a few yesterday. Again, it looks like he's healthy. That's encouraging. Now we'll get to get him in there just a little bit, and see what he's got within the way we do things. I've got high hopes for him, I'm rooting for him after all these injuries he's been through just here, let alone some of the things he's been through in other places."
On FB Charles Scott needs to do going forward:
"He's doing a real good job. As you know he switched positions just a little bit. I think he's got the skill and ability to play both fullback and halfback. He's feeling his way just a little bit right now. He's thinking just a little bit too much. Everybody who plays for (running backs coach) Ted Williams plays well, plays at a high level. Ted will get him at some point playing just in a natural way, so that's what we're looking for there. I think he's got real good skill and ability where he can play both. He's a big, physical man, that has good running skills. He's a tough guy, strong, good feet, and so I think he's got a good opportunity here in front of him."
On having concerned about overloading the rookie (Scott) with learning two positions:
"We overload everybody. That's part of the deal here. We overload everybody and that's by plan. There are several things we can do with that. We learn real quick how quickly a guy can learn. The two positions thing, sometimes some guys motor through that pretty well. Other guys you need to get them back to one position. Now I will say, he came in as a halfback and then early in training camp he made a full-time switch to the fullback, however, he's done all of the run, footwork, and reads. Now, he can play halfback, but almost all of his time recently has been at fullback. I would expect him to play well this week. I'm excited to see him play."
On WR Hank Baskett replacing WR Jeremy Maclin in Friday's game:
"Yeah, when Maclin came out, Baskett came in."
On what that means in the WR depth chart and if Baskett is the top backup:
"Yeah, at that time. All of those guys are in competition now. I wouldn't read too much into that. There's a lot of guys in competition there at those backup receiver spots. That fourth, fifth, sixth and maybe even more spots. There's a lot of guys there that are playing pretty well."