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Players Reactions From Inside the Locker Room

Vick, Offense And Defense Discuss Season Opening Loss

By Lance Epstein


After the Eagles saw their improvable fourth quarter comeback fall short, backup Michael Vick, the offense and the defense talked to the media about the loss.

Vick discussed his opportunity to showcase his skills to the rest of the league. He also touched upon the 4th-and-1 play call that ended any chance the Eagles had at pulling off the comeback.

Besides Vick, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and backup (now starting center) Mike McGlynn talked to the media. Maclin gave some insight on which quarterback he would like to see starting next week. Meanwhile, McGlynn discussed replacing Jamaal Jackson and being the long-term solution at center.

On the other side of the ball, starting cornerback Ellis Hobbs believes the Eagles defense executed their gameplan, but also knows they need to play all four quarters. Rookie free safety Nate Allen discussed his first career interception, while DE Brandon Graham and LB Ernie Sims talked about the loss of middle linebacker Stewart Bradley.

Here are some quotes from the locker room:


Offense:

QB Michael Vick:

On knowing how QB Kevin Kolb was feeling at halftime:


"I didn't know exactly how Kevin Kolb was feeling. He just had a distraught look in his face and I got concerned, but seeing him throw the ball on the sidelines, he was throwing strong, so I figured he was going back in. On the next possession he said he wasn't seeing things clearly, so he opted to come out and that was probably the smart thing to do. Health is very important in this game."


On the opportunity presented to him in the second half:


"The second half, it was a different feeling because you're down 17 points. You can't just come out of the gate. We come out and we get a positive play and then we get a fumble. They go down and score, so it made things a bit tougher. But at the same time you've got to stay optimistic in this game and ultimately I believe in myself and I believe in the players around me and everybody's ability. I trust the system and I just know we had to keep fighting and that was the most important thing."


On Vick of '06 and how it felt today:


"Well honestly I felt good when I was out there. I felt like I could play three or four more quarters. So that's a good thing. My legs weren't tired. I felt like I'm in shape, in great shape. I felt like I'm battling and that I fought and that I had the instinct and desire to win. I had the old feel back and that's a good thing. So to be able to go out and be mobile and able to move and be efficient at times, and even though there are things I need to work on, I'm positive with not only my performance, but my teammates because they fought hard and they fought back."


On his performance and whether it was a big step towards becoming a starter again:


"Hopefully, like I said I still feel like I can play at a high level. I feel like if I had been out there for four quarters maybe we would have had a chance to win the game. But it's all hindsight now. I feel like I'm like 25 or 26 again even tough that's not the case. I'm not naive to the fact that I am 30, but it's good to leave the game feeling good after taking a couple of hits. I'm not saying that I'm aching or hurting in every area on my body. I'm excited and I'm happy. I'm upset that we lost."


On playing catch-up:


"I only had a half to play catch up and we were down 17. Things have to happen fast. You have to make things happen quickly and every drive counts. You have to be efficient and you have to put some type of points on the board. Any three-and-outs and any situation where you have to punt, you're only giving the opposition a chance to go out and put more points on the board."


On first play of the game:


"(Jokingly) Well, honestly I won't say who screwed me up on that play. I just made sure, I tried to make sure I was on the ball and not offsides. Somebody told me to slide back. I won't mention the name. From my understanding, it was just to throw Green Bay off, give them a different look, a different feel. We had some other plays within the game plan that we would count on, but Kevin got hurt and wasn't able to go out and execute them."


On the 4th and 1 play that ended the game:


"4th and 1, we just didn't get it. A play like that, everybody has to buckle up their chinstraps and go out and get it, including me. If there was something I could have done to get the yard, that's what I had to do. But I'll go back and look at the film. We'll all look at the film and figure out what happened and what we can do better."


On Green Bay defense and what they were doing on the 4th and 1 play:


"Yeah, they got a penetration and everybody got a good push up front. Things happen so fast when you're out there, you've just got to react. I tried to react, but ultimately it was too late."


On it being tough to confuse a defense when running the ball out of a shotgun:


"I mean, it all depends. The key in this game is to keep the defense off balance, to play pitch and catch, play keep-away. If you can do that, you have almost a 100% chance in winning the game regardless of how you play, whether it's in the pocket or outside the pocket. You just have to execute and that's the most important thing."


On using his natural instincts more when he drops back to throw compared to a designed running play:


"Not necessarily, I mean in the sense that it is different. When it's a designed run, everybody has to go out and execute and go out and make sure the play is going to work and be efficient. When you play in the quarterback position, and as I referred to the wildcat offense months back, when you're out there and you're playing full term the defense can't get a good indication of what you're going to do. When you go in and out of the game, they can't get an indicator. When you're out there it makes it a lot easier when you're out there full term."


On incompletion in the end zone where he could have run for a touchdown to make the game 27-24:


"I think that play could have been a game-changer. It's probably one of the plays that I beat myself up over for the next three days about. Sometimes you get indecisive. Sometimes you want to give guys a chance. You can go back and look at the film and you realize what you could have had. Who knows, maybe I could have scored, maybe not. Maybe they would have collapsed and got close and forced me down at the one-yard line. It's all a hit or miss. You just have to be, like I said, optimistic at all times and believe in the guys around you."


On being in a game where so many key players were hurt:


"You know what, once (FB) Leonard Weaver went down, it was like the domino effect, guys just started falling and dropping. We lost (C) Jamaal Jackson and that's why I'm so proud of all the guys who stepped up and fought. Guys had to come off the bench and had to fill roles and play -- run and execute plays that they hadn't had a chance to rep. It's a credit to them paying attention in meetings and being ready for whatever. I'm pleased with their performance and like I said the next guy always needs to be ready to step up."


WR Jeremy Maclin:


On Vick's being effective and utilizing his speed:


"It helps a lot. When a guy can come out of the pocket and use his speed, it certainly helps. I think Mike did a tremendous job coming in for the second half and stepping in for Kolb. He provided us with a spark. We can't start that late though. We started late today."


On seeing the Vick from a couple years ago:


"I think he got his legs back. That is what makes the dude special. The fact that he can scramble out of the pocket and run just as well as the DBs back there helps him out. That is part of his game."


On whether it would be helpful to practice with Vick all week if Kolb were out:


"I think it will help whoever is going to play to get the reps all week. I think that helps. We will see how Kolb is and if he can play next week. Vick just has to be ready."


On injuries suffered in the second quarter:


"It hurts, but at the same time, the people coming in for them have to step up. Vick came in and did a good job. (C) Mike McGlynn came in and took control of the line and (RB) Eldra Buckley came in and did decent at fullback as well. We have to go with the guys we got. We never want to lose a player, but everybody else has to step up."


On Kolb’s tough game:


"I feel bad for the guy. He was more excited than anybody to go out there and play. Nobody wants to compare him to (former Eagles QB) Donovan McNabb, but he wants to come out and prove that he's the guy and he's going to take us where we need to go. We still have faith in him. Hopefully he can get healthy and ready."


G/C Mike McGlynn:


On his surprising opportunity:


"There was really a lot of question with 'Jack' coming back, but I was just preparing myself to play. There's so much question about everything. The only way I can look at coming into this game is to look at it as you're going to get some more reps; that happened. We just came up a little bit short. We'll just get back to the film room tomorrow and get ready for Detroit next week."


On the lack of cohesion along the offensive line showed up today:


"It's tough having that camaraderie, but you cant make excuses. We're paid to do that, do our job, go out there and block. Like I said, we'll get in that film room tomorrow and correct our mistakes."


On his feelings C Jamaal Jackson getting injured again:


"It's a tough thing that happened to Jamaal. I feel sorry for him. It's tough…I just know what he's going through. It's a hard thing to deal with. Things like that happen in this game. It's tough. I feel bad for him, definitely."


On being confident that he will be the starting center for the long-term:


"We'll see. My job now is to take advantage of the opportunity. What I do with it, is what it will be."



Defense:


CB Ellis Hobbs:


On performance of the defense:


"We did a heck of a job executing the gameplan. We had some low moments in the game, which is going to happen. The Packers aren't who they are just by chance; they're a good offense. I think we did a good job of trying to execute the defense. We just have to tighten up in some areas."


On the defense needing to improve:


"One play or the other didn't beat us. We just need to tighten up and play four quarters, and we'll be okay."



LB Ernie Sims:


On what he will take from today’s game:


"Everybody was talking about how good Green Bay was, but what I take from it is that we've got a hell of a team, too. Everybody was underestimating us. I really feel like we had a legitimate chance in that ballgame, we just didn't make plays when we had to. I really think we can build off this game. This was a big game for us, especially being the first game. It says a lot about our team and our character. I'm really proud of how we fought back. I'm just happy to be on this team. I'm excited. And I think we've really got a bright future ahead of us."


On his Eagles’ debut:


"It felt really good. First of all, the Kelly green, amazing uniforms. The atmosphere in that stadium was great. I'm really excited to be in Philadelphia."


On Stewart Bradley’s injury:


"We were going to make the tackle and Stew actually ran into my thigh. I saw him try to get up but I wasn't sure exactly what happened. Unfortunately, it was a crazy situation. Stew is a tough player. I felt (the collision). I've got a big bruise on my thigh. I think he's going to be alright, though."


On facing his former team next week (Detroit):


"Of course it is going to be a little different because I have some emotional ties, but for the most part, I'm going to approach this week just like every other week. I'm going to go in tomorrow, watch the film from today, start breaking it down and getting ready."



FS Nate Allen:


On his performance:


"I gave up a few things and we just couldn't get it done."


On the defenses’ performance:


"I think we had some miscommunications on some things. Nothing we can't fix. We're just going to get back in practice and work everything out."


On what the defense/team can take from the loss:


"We just fought back and that's always good, but at the end of the day you always want the win."


On the end of the game:


"We definitely got going again, especially when we needed it there at the end. We had some good momentum. The crowd was behind us. We got the ball back and we just couldn't finish it right."


On his first career interception:


"It was good, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't get the win."


On what he has learned early in his rookie year:


"Quarterbacks are smart. I gave up something and I just learned from it. Just got to come back next week and get ready."


On LB Stewart Bradley and his loss:


"It was big losing someone like Stewart Bradley, but we've just got to keep playing."



DE Brandon Graham:


On the performance of the defense:


"We aren't going to do anything but get better as a defensive line. To see us getting sacks early on, that was a good thing. Great start. We've just got to keep getting better offensively and defensively. We can't have highs and lows like that in a game."


On what the defense can learn moving onward:


"Just look at film and see what we could do better as a defense to make sure that we come out with a win next time. We're just going to keep working. We'll keep fighting hard. The fight was out there. I think we're going to keep getting better every week."


On the defensive stops at the end of the game:


"That was a big spark because we knew we had to get stops. I'm just happy we kept fighting. I just hope next time we pull through, but I'm happy with the fight that we had."


On pressuring QB Aaron Rodgers and the defensive line rotation:


"He didn't know where we were coming from. The Packers didn't see it coming. I think it's a good thing that we're switching it up. I like it. Whatever the coaches want to do, I'm just trying to win."


On losing of Bradley:


"It just opened up the door for the next person. Stew is going to be back. You've just got to fight through it. You practice every day. You better step up when your time comes. A lot of people talk about not getting playing time -- it's your time when you get out there."

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