Reid Address Injuries, Running The Ball and More
After the Eagles finished up their afternoon workout (early after Jeremy Maclin went down with a injury) head coach Andy Reid met the media. He discussed the massive amounts of injuries, on his observations from camp, the wide receiver competition and the new three-headed monster at running back.
Here are his press conference quotes:
On Lengthy Injury report:
"Okay, injuries real quick. We sat [G/T] Stacy Andrews out, he's got a shoulder strain. We don't think it's too serious. He should be back fairly quick. [DT] Antonio Dixon had a concussion that he received yesterday in the second practice. He kind of got banged by an offensive guy and a defensive guy at the same time and knocked himself a little bit dizzy there. So we're just taking precautionary measures there. [S] Victor Harris [Macho] has a hamstring strain. Now the hamstring’s, that's probably more of the serious – we got three or four of them – he's probably the most serious out of the three or four. It's probably going to take him a few days to get back out here. [DE] Victor Abiamiri we know about on PUP; making progress, he's doing well. [RB] Mike Bell is doing very well with a hamstring strain. He should be back here in the next few days. [G/T] Todd Herremans, PUP, is doing well. [WR] DeSean Jackson has a low back strain and is getting better and, again, within the next few days he'll be back out here likewise. And then (C) Jamaal Jackson is PUP, making progress. [TE] Martin Rucker has a hamstring spasm as does [CB] Asante Samuel. Both of those two will start running here pretty quick and will be back out in a short period of time. [C] A.Q. Shipley has a high ankle sprain and that can take a while. We know how those work. It's a mild one but, at the same time, we know how that works."
Opening remarks on training camp:
"All in all, I thought it was a good practice today and as it has been the last few days. Players have very easily could have pulled back on the reigns for this practice here having come off of three hard days. This afternoon we have a 10/10/10 period, so it's a little bit lighter practice in the afternoon compared to the last three days. They pushed through, great attitude. They all wanted to be out here, even guys that were nicked wanted to be out here. We saw (LB Stewart) Bradley fight to get back out here and guys are taking reps, as many reps as they can with whatever injury they have and then we back them up from that spot. It's been a phenomenal attitude and I think we've made progress every day that we've worked."
On how long backup DT Antonio Dixon will be out whether:
"Yeah, we're just going to keep doing the tests on him and then we'll see. I can't tell you that."
On his opinion and observations on practice of his team:
"We're getting a lot of plays from the young players in particular; the ones that we don't know about. I think that's important. Then some of the young guys that have been here, but haven't played much in games, they're getting a lot of reps. Every play you get a better feel of that player. That's why you need to be here and getting the reps. Like I said, these guys are fighting to do that. By the end of camp here we'll have a pretty good feel."
On his first-round pick Brandon Graham and his play at camp:
"Well, he did. He looks like he's going to be a good football player. Does he have some things he has to learn? Absolutely. He is an explosive guy. That you can see and he's got very good athletic ability and instincts and now it's just a matter of mastering a few of the different techniques that you need to play at this level that you don't necessarily need to use at the college level. Sometimes you get away with one or two types of pass rush at the college level. Here you've got to put a combination together that you can throw at the tackles. He's working on those things and by the end of camp here he should have a pretty good repertoire of things."
On Graham’s ability against the run:
"You know what, he's done very well with that. He's very strong in the lower body, he's very strong in the upper body, too. His lower body, he's got a nice anchor there and good core strength and understands how to use his hands and arms and plays with separation on the linemen."
On having three of five starters on the O-line concerns him:
"I'm not worried about it. I know there are people that are worried about it so I understand, but I'm not. I'm not one of them. We'll be fine there. We'll get the other guys out and they've got experience as do the guys that are playing now. I'm not too worried about it. I think we got a pretty good situation with the offensive line."
On Andrews’ shoulder injury:
"He's been doing some good things. He was getting back in the swing of things and Stacy is big and he plays big. He's a dominant run blocker and he works like crazy on his pass protection and pass blocking. He's gotten better there."
On if he will keep 5 or 6 WRs with the amount of talent at the position. And Will special teams weigh in heavy in that decision:
"The part that comes into it is special teams. In the past we've had the [Hank] Baskett's and [Jason] Avant's. These guys are good special teams players. I know Kelley Washington is a good special teams player and I've got to see about the other ones. I think Riley [Cooper] has a chance to be a solid special teams player, but I've got to see that. That's something that I've got to see. That's a good group right there. There's a lot of competition. We've got a lot of power forwards in there, big guys that can go get the ball."
On the competition at WR making it tough on him and general manager Howie Roseman:
"Listen, it looks like there's a lot of competition there. I like that. I always tell the guys in our first meeting, 'Try to make my job and [general manager] Howie's [Roseman] job as tough as you possibly can. Everybody can't make the team. Make it as tough as you possibly can on us to make those decisions,'" head coach Andy Reid said on Tuesday. "That position, there's going to be some tough decisions to make."
On his trip overseas changed his opinion on Military Day at training camp [was today]:
"Yeah, I think it does from the standpoint that – listen, this is not slighting anybody, but until you're there you really don't have a complete picture of it. I was lucky enough to get over there and see kind of what these people have to deal with and it's an amazing deal. From that perspective? Yes. Have I always appreciated it and supported it? Absolutely. But once you're over there, you get a little different perspective of it."
On the hurry-up offense and short yardage:
"When we do the hurry up, the two minute drill which that was, we don't have the pass rush and pass protection there. We just come off and do recognition up front. Then, it's like seven-on-seven in the back. Our quarterback coach is out there and he's giving the guys different situations to play. So to you, it looks like it might be a first down, but we might come back and go, 'It's second and five.' We're trying to give the quarterbacks all the different looks and the defense all the different looks that we can during that period and mock it up a little bit. I was impressed by the way the guys handled things."
On rookie QB Mike Kafka and his play in practice:
"Well, he really has. We knew coming in he was a smart kid. He didn't have a lot of experience at the college level where he was a starter. The year that he did have it, he performed very well; the opportunities that he had. He's come in here and he's very focused. He's got way better than average arm strength. He's got good arm strength. I'm not going to say it's the top arm strength. You don't need that in this offense. He's got plenty of arm to execute at this level and then he makes decisions. It's one thing to make decisions and it's another thing to make accurate decisions and he does that. He's pretty sharp. I would expect him to continue to progress. That's the important thing with a young quarterback. Get used to the blitz game in the National Football League, get used to how you set your drops according to the route and coverage that you're seeing and five hitch and throw might change even though that's the – we call it drop for that particular play. It might change according to something different that the defense presents and you've still got to throw an accurate, aggressive ball and I think he's very capable of doing that."
On the young QB’s mechanics:
"Yeah, he does a great job of throwing. He throws over the top. You see where he delivers his head to the left and he's just a little bit more over the top than the others."
On DE Juqua Parker sitting out today:
"No, you know what, he's my only guy that's 30. Today was the 30-plus day."
On if he sees himself in his young QB coach James Urban:
"Well, probably half of me [ a joke]. You know what, he is a sharp, sharp guy. He and (offensive coordinator) Marty Mornhinweg have developed a tremendous relationship. James worked up from being my, actually, my administrative assistant to being the quality control coach and now to being the quarterback coach. He studies like a wild man. He's got just a great feel for things. I think he and Marty have developed, like I said, a great relationship there. The knowledge that Marty has, he's able to absorb that."
On his staff rising in ranks from the bottom up:
"We've given people an opportunity all the way through the organization, not just on the football side of things. I think all the way through the organization people realize that they can come in. Look at [Eagles GM] Howie Roseman and what he did. He came in next to an intern for [Eagles President] Joe [Banner] and now he's the general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles. It does give hope to the employees. You want loyalty and you want hard work and honesty. The people that elevated have done those things."
On new special teams coach Bobby April and his impact:
"Well, Bobby comes in as one of, if not the top special teams coach in the National Football League. He's a heck of a specials teams coach. I'll tell you what that does. The real good ones are able to teach angles. There's no place that you've got to cover more fields than on special teams. With that, you've got to learn how to take angles to the ball, and whether its blocking, and then that helps you defensively, it helps you with your receivers, tight ends, and fullbacks. It's a real plus to have. It's obviously good to have somebody that knows what they are doing schematically. We are very fortunate to have a good special teams coach. Bobby's one of the top ones."
On if April will have more input on the 53-man roster than Mornhinweg and McDermott:
"This is how I explain this to the team. We don't have any order on offense, defense, special teams. There's no order there. One-third of this team belongs to Bobby April, and we respect that. Just as it does to [offensive coordinator] Marty [Mornhinweg], and [defensive coordinator] Sean [McDermott]. Everybody has a say, and we put this thing together. I also tell the team, there are going to be certain guys on this team that make this team because of special teams, and their play on special teams. I think he's an accurate evaluator. I think he puts them through enough drills and exercises out here that you get a pretty good feel for the new guys and what they're able to do. It makes all of our jobs a little bit easier."
On if he will change how he picks a running back for the final opening day roster:
"We're going to do what we do. I know we talk a lot about throwing the football a lot, but we spend a lot of time on the run game, too, and we do take that a little more serious than people present it and we understand that that's a big part of our offense and it's no different this year. I always go back to the three running backs that we rotated in there when [RB] Duce [Staley] was here and [RB] Brian [Westbrook] was young, and RB Correll Buckhalter was here, and they were all a little bit different, and that's kind of how this group is."
On running the ball more this year:
" I think we're going to run the ball 80% of the time [laughing and teasing the media]."
On NFL commissioner Roger Goodell meeting with QB Michael Vick today on his visit:
"First of all it's good to have the commissioner here. John Madden's going to be with him, and that's awesome. I think it's awesome that he's getting out and visiting the different teams. He's going to talk to our football team. He's also going to talk with Michael. He and Michael have talked throughout training camp, but its better when it's face-to-face. Going over the things Michael needs to do, checking up on him, and seeing how he's doing and that type of thing."