Reid Talks About Injuries and The Lions
By Lance Epstein
As the Eagles head coach Andy Reid installs the gameplan and prepares to take on the Detroit Lions (0-1), his team will do so without middle linebacker Stewart Bradley and quarterback Kevin Kolb at least until Friday (at the earliest).
On Wednesday, Reid met the media for his usual weekly press conference and informed them that Bradley and Kolb failed the second phase of their concussion test. In order for both players to sit in on meetings and take the field on Sunday, then they must pass the second phase and must be cleared by a medical specialist that deals with concussions.
However, Reid did state that both players made progress since Monday morning, but are unlikely to play unless they get some practice time in.
While the news was not good on the injury front, Reid was encouraged by the performance of backups Michael Vick and Omar Gaither against the Packers. Additionally, he liked what he saw out of center Mike McGlynn, who was forced into action after Jamaal Jackson left with an elbow injury (later revealed as a torn triceps).
Still Reid knows that the Eagles cannot take the Lions lightly especially since it is their home opener on Sunday.
Here are Reid’s press conference quotes:
"Alright, injuries. Really the only two players that won't practice today will be (LB) Stewart Bradley and (QB) Kevin Kolb. They are making progress, they did take the test this morning. They're making progress from the last time they took it. If they continue to progress tomorrow morning, then they'll have the opportunity to sit in on meetings. They did not do that today. Again, they are feeling better. Let me tell you, Stewart is ahead of Kevin right now as far as how they feel. I'm going to take this day by day, so I'm not going to tell you if they're in or out. I'm just going to follow what the doctor's testing that are taking place and follow that day by day and we'll cross that bridge down the road later in the week as far as status."
"We look forward to the opportunity of playing Detroit. It's a different Detroit team than the last time we went up there. (Head) Coach Jim Schwartz has done, I think, a phenomenal job with this group along with their general manager and scouting department at bringing in very, very good players and explosive players on both sides of the football. Really, the Chicago game, only because of a rule that's put in. They had that Chicago game won in the last minutes there. Our players had the opportunity to look at that today and get the base part of the gameplan installed and that's what they'll practice today."
On QB Kevin Kolb and MLB Stewart Bradley passing the initial concussion test:
"Really what they're doing, they've been given some exercises that they're doing. The second stage here will be if they can get cleared enough to be in the meetings. To make sure that they do that, they've got to clear the second phase here. If they clear the first phase, then they're on to the second phase."
On finding anything that he could have done differently with the two players after talking to doctors and watching tape:
"Listen, I've mentioned this before. I think, first of the all, the NFL and the Players' Association are doing a great job with concentrating on the concussion issue. As much as we can help the players, not only now when they're playing, but also, most important, with life after football I think is important. We obviously go back and look at everything. I feel very comfortable that we followed the protocol that was set forth. I will tell you that the most important thing that happened was that (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) followed up on it. He didn't just base it off of that first initial evaluation. He came back and he checked on the players to see if they had any symptoms and then the second time he checked, they did and he made the move right there."
On the Player’s Association saying specific changes were made:
"Listen, I'm not going to get into all of that. I'm not sure exactly what he said there. Obviously we're evaluating the situation."
On being comfortable with Kolb playing without practicing:
"Listen, I'm going to listen to the experts and I'm going to follow what the protocol is here and that's how I'm going about it. Right now Kevin is not practicing, (QB) Michael Vick is practicing and he's getting himself ready to play in that game. That's what I'm focusing in on right now and as far as the football part of it goes. On the medical side of those two players, getting better and going through the rehab that's available to them."
On having to reassure Kolb that he is still the starter:
"Kevin knows. Kevin knows he's the guy. We don't get into that, we just know exactly where everybody is, and that's how it works. Listen, I don't want to slight Michael at all in this, because I am so happy for this kid and the progress that he's made since being incarcerated, in both life and on the football field, and he's worked so stinking hard to get himself to this position. So I don't want to slight him a lick, for, if this thing works out, having this opportunity to start or even play in this, past Sunday. He did a great job. On the other hand, Kevin's the starting quarterback for this football team. But again, I don't want to slight what Michael's done and if he has the opportunity to be the starter this week, what he will do."
On ever playing a player that missed practice and meetings all week:
"I can't tell you that right off. I don't know that right off. Rick (Burkholder) would have an idea."
On Kolb and Bradley leaving and going home after checking in:
"No, they're around. Today they're around. Yesterday they came in and went home. Today they're around and rehabbing. We kept them out of meetings, but they're going through a rehab process and different steps that Rick has planned for them there."
On Thursday or Friday being the earliest Kolb and Bradley will return granted everything goes well:
"It just depends on the symptoms. If they clear or come close to clearing this test that we give them here, then that's the next phase that they go to, to that doctor. It can be three days, it can be five days, four days; there's not a set time on that."
On Bradley or Kolb passing the test on Wednesday:
"No they did not pass, but they made progress. They made progress from the last time they took it."
On the emergency quarterback on Sunday:
"I've got a couple of them, but I'm not going to get into that."
On going with two quarterbacks on the roster if Kolb cannot play this week:
"If Kevin doesn't go, I will probably go with the two quarterbacks, yes, with a combination of other guys that can work in as relief pitchers."
On Vick doing everything necessary and what Kolb would be doing for the game on Sunday:
"Every snap today and the way it looks, he'll have every snap tomorrow. We'll take Friday as it comes."
On Vick being different from his days in Atlanta and when he first got here until now:
"Listen, Michael had some phenomenal coaches with the Falcons. Not too many coaches are better than Dan Reeves. He was a heck of a football coach. Jim Mora, Jr., I mean, he was a phenomenal football coach. We played them in the championship game here. I can't and won't slight any of the other coaches. I will tell you the system that we're running here, he's done very well at picking it up and he's working very hard. Not only condition-wise, I think you saw that part on Sunday, but also just the fundamentals of playing the position. Getting back into the swing of building a nice, solid platform that he can throw from and be consistent with his throws and his reads and film study and all the things that are very important to playing the quarterback position in this system right here."
On Vick looking up the field to pass even when he runs:
"I thought he did that well. When he takes off and goes, he goes. He's got a little juice to him there. I thought he made some great decisions, when to take off and run, and when to move outside of the pocket. You saw a couple where he just slow-played it outside of the pocket, made sure he allowed the receivers to get to their position, and then if he had to take off and go, then he ran. There were a couple of different paces that he had going there, but the thing he was, he was very decisive in everything he did, and that was the important thing."
On team’s gameplan of corralling Vick and how the Eagles plan to attack that:
"Well, that's true. That's a true statement. We did corral him, so it's important that he focuses in on being in that pocket and throwing the football, and he's done that since he's got here. He's really handled that very well. I feel very comfortable with him, if he doesn't have to run, standing right there and playing the game."
On Vick's pocket passing will be more vital this week since the Lions will try to take away his running ability:
"Listen, I can't tell you that he hasn't focused in on that. He's a throw-first guy, and then if it's not there, run. He's done that since he's been here. Now, we had a couple things protection-wise where he had to go, but he's thinking throw first, and then if it's not there and he has to go, he goes."
On Vick still being a starting quarterback in the NFL:
On a lack of cohesion and concern with center Jamaal Jackson and Leonard Weaver out for the season:
"Those are two good football players. And the two guys that got hurt, it breaks your heart to see either one of them, because one of them worked his tail off to get back and then Leonard is coming off a Pro Bowl season, and wanted to get back there again, and win a lot of football games here. He really worked his tail off this offseason. That's not a fun thing within our football team. But on the other hand, we've got guys who can step in and play. Obviously (RB) Mike Bell has played the fullback position before, and then (FB) Owen Schmitt, we brought in, who has played in this system in Seattle under the (former Seahawks head coach)Mike Holmgren regime. So he knows the offense. I think we'll be okay there."
On LB Omar Gaither at middle linebacker when he replaced Bradley:
"Omar did some good things. Omar is a very intelligent guy, and so being a backup he's one of those guys that doesn't need a lot of reps there to figure out the gameplan. I think all of the players have a lot of confidence in him going in, and if he ends up being the starting MIKE linebacker, he'll step in and do a fine job. And he'll get the reps this week, the next few days here, so we'll see how that works."
On LB Akeem Jordan being a candidate to play middle linebacker:
"No, Omar is the starting inside backer. He'll be the starter if Bradley didn't."
On QB Shaun Hill, who is filling in for the injured QB Matthew Stafford:
"Hill, I know him well. He's a very good quarterback. He's an intelligent guy that is very quick to make his reads and very accurate with the football. I mean, he's got great command of the offense. Everywhere he's been he's had that, so I was impressed with him when he was with the 49ers, I was impressed with him in the preseason here for what work he did on Sunday, so he's a guy that can step in and play very well for them."
On not overlooking the Lions since they are much improved from past years:
"I'll tell you exactly what I've told the team. We've got a guy in our building here, on our football team, that played for Detroit and he saw the new regime that came in and the change of attitude and aggressiveness that they play with. And not only do they preach as coaches and players, but they also play that way. And then, when in the offseason they brought in an influx of some players, the (DE Kyle) Vanden Bosches that make a difference. These guys have made a difference on their football team and you look at (DT) Ndamukong Suh, they draft this kid and then they draft the running back. These are good, good football players. You click on that tape and you know. But (LB) Ernie (Sims) knows that mindset that they have up there, it's an aggressive mindset that the coach has brought in there and his assistants, and that's the way they play on both sides of the football and special teams."
On switching G Mike McGlynn from center to right guard and G/C Nick Cole from right guard to center:
"I'll leave McGlynn at center right now."