Since Thursday night when the Eagles held their Flight Night event, the offense has been struggling. However the team is getting healthier by the day and some players have even returned to the practice field. After practice today, head coach Andy Reid spoke to the media about the injuries, offense struggling and the defense being ahead of the offense.
Here are his quotes:
The Injury Report:
"[C/G] Nick Cole practiced for about half of the practice, we sent him in, again he has a little bit of a sore knee. [LB/DE] Ricky Sapp again he went part of the practice, he's got some knee swelling, should be able to get that out of there. [C] A.Q. Shipley practiced through group install, some of these guys we are just getting back into the flow here. [DE] Victor Abiamiri is doing better with his knee improving, [RB] J.J. Arrington did not practice, with a foot strain, [RB] Mike Bell was able to practice through group install today and he's making progress which is a good sign. [DT] Antonio Dixon is actually doing really well, with a concussion, and we'll see here within the next few days, we should be able to get him back out here. Victor, [S] Macho Harris, he has a hamstring strain and I bet you he has the worst one out of all of them, so that's going to take a little bit of time. [G/T] Todd Herremans is doing better, he's working hard, [C] Jamaal's Jackson doing better, [WR] Jeremy Maclin ran today and yesterday so we'll just see how he does in the next day or so here, but like I said he's doing very well. Then [CB] Asante Samuel worked out today and again is making improvement. So, long list but a lot of the guys are fighting like crazy to get back out on the field."
Reid’s Opening Remarks:
"Good work the last few days, good work this morning, tough practice this morning, the guys worked through it. We got a little heat out here and that's a good thing. It's been fairly cool up to this point so it's good to get the temperature up and let them get used to that, they're going to have to deal with that in the early part of the season. But, again, improvements are being made. I thought the defense did a very nice job today, which is a good sign, we did a red zone drill and I thought that they were very sound in the red zone and guys made some plays. The time is yours."
On Nick Cole being “the guy” at center with Jamaal Jackson injured:
"Nick's knee was bothering him, yeah, so I pulled back on him today, we'll just see how he does. We might give him a day or so to get that thing rested up and we'll see, we'll see how he does, but he's got a little bit of swelling and we're going to take care of that."
On Nick Cole and G Mike McGlynn competition at center:
"We'll Nick's the number one guy right now, but he's hurt."
On McGlynn improvement at practice:
"He's doing well at both guard and center, so he's got a lot of reps the last couple of days at both spots, and he's doing very well, we'll see how it goes."
On the offensive line gelling:
"That was Larry's question. He stole your question, dude [joke]. Yeah, the cohesiveness of the offensive line is huge, and the luxury that we have is that we have veteran players that have played in the game, so if you have a guy that's nicked up you have another guy that can step in and go. I'd love them all to play there and there's nobody I'd like to play there more than the quarterback to make sure they're all together, but I think that [QB] Kevin Kolb has a lot of trust in the guys that are out there now because they've all got game experience, and we're very fortunate with that."
On Herremans playing during the preseason:
"Yeah, listen we're just taking it day by day here, and I told you before that I'm trying to relieve a little pounding. Like the doctor said, the worst thing for that foot is continuous pounding. We'll, there's no more pounding that he's going to take than during two-a-days, so I'm trying to eliminate some of that and just gradually ease him back in and just make sure that he's with us for the whole season."
On WR DeSean Jackson practicing again and how he looks:
"Yeah, he is, I'm not sure that he has his legs back all of the way and that he's completely 100 percent right now but he wants to be out here and he wants to work through it and get his legs back under him and go. But when he gets out here it's hard to keep him out of the huddle, and I actually pulled him out a couple of times and let other guys take plays just until he gets back into the swing. It's a little different than his rehab program; once you put the pads back on all of a sudden you're right in the middle of it. It was good to get him back out here."
On any concern with the offense struggling the last few days:
"Well the positive I think is that the defense is playing well. That's a positive. And then everybody on the offensive side, we need to get better, and continue to push through this. Normally what you see is that you see offenses come together a little bit later than defenses, if you do have a good defense. So, I've got to look at both sides of this thing, and the positive to me is that the defense is playing very well. We've got some corners now that are showing up and we need that, and that is an important thing. Then listen, from the offensive standpoint, we've got to do a better job, and we're going to keep doing that and keep getting better as we go."
On what if the offense needs to improve on any area:
"There are a few things yeah, but they are working through those."
On what those areas are exactly:
"We'll you said it, you can't obviously have the interceptions, you can't have the sacks and the quarterback's running around way to much with the pressure that he is getting right there, and so we've got to take care of that. Now on the other side of that is when they are running the football they are getting big yards there so we just have to get the throwing part of it down a little better."
On the performance of Stacy Andrews:
"Yeah he's doing some good things, and there are some things he has to work on, but the one thing that he's doing is working, he works like crazy, and doing very well with it."
On Andrews overcoming the obstacles he had last year:
"You know what he's doing is he's been consistent through that practice, you don't see fatigue where he starts to rise up, you don't see that. You don't see him drag his leg at all, everything looks good there, and he's focusing in on techniques. Stacy is a tremendous run blocker and he's putting a lot of emphasis in his pass game, trying to make sure that he keeps his hands in there tight and everything's working for him. And I'm telling you that he works his tail off and that will help him get better at those things, and he continues to be very good at the things that he does well."
On the cornerback position with Asante Samuel being hurt and Patterson stepping up:
"Listen Dimitri, you asked about Dimitri, yeah I think he's doing a good job, that pick out here he completely read that play, that was a nice job on his part. We've got to be able to back him up a little bit there with our route because he did a nice job right there."
On LB Ernie Sims picking up the defensive scheme:
"He's doing a good job with it. He's doing a good job. Ernie's a very aggressive guy. If you didn't know that, but that's like new news here. Very aggressive guy."
On rookie WR Riley Cooper and his camp:
"The thing Riley needs to do is just continue to learn the offense. He's made a lot of big plays, but just so he gets all the formations down and all the different looks that the defense is throwing at you and the adjustments you have to make. He's working hard at that. He's got a great attitude, and he's made some plays."
On QB Kevin Kolb getting more than usual amount of reps during the preseason due to it being his first year as starter:
"Will I increase the playing time with the new quarterback? I think I'm going to keep it at about the same. I'm kind of working through that right now. Normally we start off with a quarter or so, in that area, with that first group. But I'm working through just to see where we're at with that, but we'll see how that goes."
On DE Brandon Graham playing with the first-team defense on nickel packages and if it was situational:
"The top eight guys. I don't even care. I don't care how that thing works out. I want them all to play. I want them all to have confidence that we can call on the next guy and the next guy steps in and you don't lose anything. Now, in the nickel, we're using him in nickel situations, along with DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. Both of those two are working in nickel situations. And then that helps keep everybody fresh and going."
On DT Trevor Laws starting on the nickel packages:
"Laws is working on the nickel stuff, too. Laws is doing very well right now. He's just got to keep going."
On Laws being the team’s best pass-rushing defensive tackle:
"Well, you have to think he's right up there, yeah. He's doing an nice job of that."
On how receivers the Eagles are going to keep this year:
"The wide receiver core, that's a competitive deal. Obviously, you can't keep all of them. They're making it tough on us, and that's a good thing. I'm curious to see how they play in the games. We're getting to that point now, you're in those dog days of two-a-days with the light at the end of the tunnel was a week from yesterday with a game. I think they're all battling through these next couple of days here so they can have an opportunity there, and I think as coaches we look forward to seeing how they play in the game."
On the preseason being a barometer on if the offense is struggling or the defense is striving:
"Sure. You do. We'll just see how it all works."
On the backup tight end competition between Clay Harbor and Cornelius Ingram:
"I like Harbor, and I like Cornelius. I think they're both talented young guys with a nice future of playing at this level. You're going to have a few mistakes there, just because of their youth, but they're battling through, and we'll just see. Time will tell on that, but they sure have great attitudes and are very willing to work. It looks like Cornelius is working through the knee issue. That's a good situation there to have, with those two young guys."
On the blocking skills of both tight ends:
"They're both getting better. Coming into it, this wasn't their strength, Clay probably being a little bit better than Cornelius, actually, in the blocking area. But both of them need work there and will continue to work there, but they're making progress, that's a plus."
On WR Kelley Washington as a wide receiver and on special teams:
"We know Kelley's a very good special teams player, and has been, really, during his career. And then as a wide receiver, he's picked things up fast and made plays for us here, so again, the more familiar he becomes with the offense, he'll become better than what he is right now."
On the lack of live hitting in practice due to the amount of injuries:
"I'll bet you if you ask some of those linemen if it was live today they'd probably tell you 'yeah.”
On injuries being the reason for lack of hitting:
"If you really study this. See what practice we have in the afternoon. Then check tomorrow and see what practice we have in the afternoon, then you'll be able to put it all together. You'll look like a genius."