Reid: Starters Won’t Play On Thursday
By Lance Epstein
In just 12 days, the Philadelphia Eagles will take kickoff the season at Lincoln Financial Field against the Green Bay Packers. Today, head coach Andy Reid addressed the media to talk about a variety of topics.
An interesting issue that Reid discussed was about not playing his starters in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the New York Jets. Many speculated that the Eagles might play their starters on offense since the unit has struggled mightily all throughout the preseason. However, Kevin Kolb and the starting offense will take a backseat to the backups.
For Eagles fans, there are still plenty of reasons to watch the game. There are numerous position battles still going on and rosters spots up in the air. In fact, this might be Reid and general manager Howie Roseman’s toughest year in trimming the roster down to 53 players.
Besides saying his starters will not play, Reid talked about DE Ricky Sapp, the offensive line and what an 18-game schedule would mean for the league and the Eagles.
Here are the quotes from his press conference:
Opening Remarks/Injury Update:
"On the injuries here, (DE) Victor Abiamiri is making progress, but did not practice today. (WR) DeSean Jackson had his wisdom teeth out, a little swollen and sore today, he did not practice. His back is feeling better, though. (CB) Dimitri Patterson with the groin didn't practice, and then (DE) Ricky Sapp with a knee. He had an MRI and they're evaluating right now whether he needs surgery or not here. We signed (CB) Jorrick Calvin with a trade from Arizona, so he will be added into our secondary group and he'll get some play on Thursday."
On DE Ricky Sapp's knee injury:
"It's been bothering him. He tweaked it the other day. He stepped into a hole and twisted it."
On the knee bothering him throughout camp and the preseason:
"Yeah, it has been a little bit. I don't want to say anything until the doctors finalize what they've got going, but it has been bothering him a little bit."
On positions on the roster that roster spots are still undecided on:
"Yeah, there are. There's a couple of different spots. I'm not going to get into those. I think it's important that all the guys that have an opportunity to play; play like they have an opportunity to make this football team. In essence, they do. They're all going to have an opportunity to play on special teams. I am, and (GM) Howie (Roseman) will, pick a couple of guys that will help us on special teams, and be one of their primary jobs. And that happens, obviously, every year, but when we go through that final evaluation, that weighs heavy on those last couple of roster spots."
On the cutting down to a 53-man roster and its difficulties:
"You've got to make sure, at least, you want to make sure that you're right. So you are going to exhaust that and try to give these guys as many reps as you can. Are you a 100-percent right with players leaving here and going and being successful with other teams? No, but we're going to try to exhaust ourselves and to make sure we make that right decision. And this game is great for that. It gives you an opportunity for some of these guys that are right on the edge to show you what they have, without starters or with extensive playing time."
On this preseason finale being more important than usual due to the Eagles being so young:
"Well there are spots. I'm telling you there are spots, so it becomes very important for these players. I mentioned that to the ones that were working as a scout team throughout the week, that make sure you give these guys an opportunity, and give them a good look so they can go out and excel. On the other hand, I think you're given an opportunity whether you make it here or whether you make it somewhere else to have valuable film collection that somebody can look at and evaluate you as a football player, not including Roseman and myself, but maybe if you have a chance with another team."
On using his quarterbacks against the Jets:
"Right now, I've got (QB) Michael (Vick) down for a half, the first half. And then the other (QB) Michael (Kafka) down for the second half."
On the game being important for Vick in showing his progress:
"He did well last week, which I figured he would. He'll get in and work with the second group this week. I have a pretty good idea of what he can do, and where he's at, but this will be good to get him in and continue working his rhythm and balance and all of those things in the regular offense."
On C Jamaal Jackson’s knee the day after a practice where he was pushed hard:
"I had the chance to talk to him. Yesterday, his knee felt good. Today's an important day. It didn't swell. It's not sore, so he's feeling pretty good. He's sore, from his body from being hit so much yesterday, but the actual knee is well, and he feels strong so it's a positive thing."
On the starting offensive line seeing more repetitions in fourth preseason game:
"No, the starters won't play in this game. No."
On if DE Brandon Graham and S Nate Allen are included in not playing:
On C Mike McGlynn playing against the Jets:
On C Nick Cole playing against the Jets:
"Nick's not going to play."
On whether G Stacy Andrews being happy with playing guard because he said he was more comfortable at tackle:
"It looks like he has been. He hasn't said that to me. I think that's a positive for us if he can do both, that's absolutely great. So we've told him that in an emergency situation we need you in a tackle position to be ready. We felt very comfortable. He played a lot of guard for Cincinnati."
On who will be on the starting offensive line against the Jets:
"I'm not sure, I don't have it right in front of me here."
On TE Cornelius Ingram being with the twos at practice means he has passed Clayton Harbor on the depth chart:
"No. The second tight end, third tight end and fourth tight end will play in this game, so they didn't have to take the whole practice worth of reps. We just rotated the two and three in that tiger spot, the second tight end spot with the first group."
On CB Jorrick Calvin playing against the Jets:
On Calvin getting the opportunity to return kicks:
"Yeah, he'll play. He'll have a chance to possibly return. I've got to talk to (special teams coordinator) Bobby (April) and (K) David (Akers) and see how he did on the returns today."
On the idea of 18-game schedule:
"I would love to go back when the league changed from 14 to 16. I'm sure the comments are probably the same comments that you're hearing today. I think the league, they think through these things and they exhaust themselves going through all of the different scenarios. I think from our standpoint as coaches, how things will be handled in the preseason, we don't know that. And for training camp, and then the offseason numbers of OTAs that you have, and so on. Until you get all of that, I can't really answer you. I think the 18-game schedule is obviously workable, and I think the league's done a lot of homework on that, but I don't know exactly how we're going to do it with the other things. I've got to see that first."