Eagles Players Speak After 17-12 Loss To Skins
By Lance Epstein
It was a somber mood in the Eagles locker room after Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins handed the Eagles their second loss of the season.
The Eagles had plenty of chances, but they squandered them away due to penalties, poor clock management and a bad half of football from the defense.
So far this season, the Eagles have failed to win a game at the Linc. More importantly, they have lost six players due to injury in the two games played at home.
Now, the Eagles must make a long road trip out to the West Coast to face the 0-4 San Francisco 49ers. They play the same Niners team who nearly pulled off the upset of the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday and the Saints two weeks ago.
If the Eagles want to get back to winning football games, then the offense must score more than 12 points. Additionally, the defense has to stop Niners running back Frank Gore. On the season, the Eagles are giving up more than 135 yards on the ground.
Here are some quotes from inside the locker room:
RB LeSean McCoy
On crossing the goal line at the end of the first half:
"I felt like I crossed the goal line. I think my knee hit before I crossed the plane."
On his initial thoughts about the Michael Vick injury:
"I thought he would come back and that it was a minor injury. The good thing is our starter in the beginning of the season was (QB) Kevin Kolb. Hopefully Mike can come back, but its good to know Kolb can do the job."
On raising his level of play when Kevin Kolb is under center due to Vick running more than him:
"It was kind of the same. I saw some of the same room after Kolb came in. The game plan really doesn't change too much, slightly a little bit. It's all the same."
T Winston Justice
On offensive line’s biggest problem:
"I don't know. All is know is we have to get better."
On the offensive line’s performance so far this year:
"We need to get better. There are always going to be critics. We just need to get better and that starts in practice."
On the emotional start to the game:
"It was pretty high actually. It was probably the highest it's been all season. We just need to start faster, that's it."
On the Redskins fighting more in the first half than the Eagles:
"I don't know. Maybe it just looked that way. We just need to start faster. We can't start in the second half, like we've been doing. We have to start in the first quarter."
WR Jason Avant
On the quarterback switch affecting the wide receivers:
"It really didn't throw us off at all. I think everything was the same. We're the same offense. Mike Vick and Kevin Kolb are good quarterbacks. The things you see with Mike is not the design, it's just something that happens. The offense never changes. I think we moved the ball pretty well, we just didn't do it consistently."
On having two hands on the ball and nearly pulling off the miracle:
"I'm going to be dreaming about it for a while. I gave great effort for it. I don't know how I let it jump out of my hands. I jumped up and I guess someone knocked it out of my hands. I don't know, I haven't seen the film, but I tried my best for it. I was surprised I didn't get boxed out, so I knew if I could jump I would have a chance at it. It was a tough loss. We've got to get this team going so we can play better next game."
On the final play being designed for him:
"No (laughing). There was a lot of moving parts in that play, it's predicated on what the defense is doing and normally (WR) Jeremy Maclin is the person that's going to jump up, but I think they quadruple-teamed him or something and that's what made it hard for him to get down the field. So it was just me and (TE) Brent Celek, so it was us versus them. We almost had it, but almost is not good enough."
LB Stewart Bradley
On the defense’s overall performance:
"We've got to play better. That's what it comes down to. We had a tough start. We allowed way too many yards, too many easy drives those first few times. You've got to be ready for teams to do different things when they come out there. Nobody is going to run the stuff they've shown the first couple weeks, and that's part of playing in the NFL and part of adjusting to NFC East opponents. We didn't do a good job of that."
On the halftime adjustments:
"I think we just went back to guys reading their keys. We had a better idea of the runs they were going to do. We knew they were going to run a lot of play-action, but some of the counters had personnel we weren't expecting. That's part of the game. Once we did see everything, we did a better job of stopping it in the second half, but we dug too deep of a hole."
On playing against McNabb:
"I think he definitely hurt us with his legs a couple times. That's what he brings to the table. He's an elusive guy. He obviously has a strong arm, and he hurt us with one deep pass. You live and learn."
On the team having too much adrenaline to start the game:
"You don't want to make excuses. Trying to make plays and forcing stuff sometimes, you miss reads, and normally things that you play into and you see, you miss. I think that was the case. Tough field position that first drive. They had some runs out of personnel groupings they usually don't do. We were able to do a good job of adjusting and playing them."
S Nate Allen
On his third interception on the year:
"I was playing over the top of Ellis Hobbs. I saw McNabb was going to throw it to the guy I was playing over top of, and I just went up and made a play on it."
On the defense’s outlook the rest of the season:
"We've just got to keep our foot on the pedal and bring energy all four quarters, for 60 minutes."
On adjusting the gameplan at halftime:
"Not really. We just started tackling better, started wrapping up. We just executed better."
On the emotions being different this week compared to the previous two weeks:
"That's how a season is going to be. There are going to be ups and downs. You've got to push through it. You have to recover from it, and just keep pushing on and win."
On McNabb and what impressed him:
"His arm strength. His play-making abilities. A couple times, he got out of the pocket (and) got a first down with his legs. He's a great quarterback. Everybody knows that. He had a good game tonight. He was playing well. He's got a great arm."
DE Brandon Graham
On the performance of the defense:
"We've just got to start fast. We've got to stop coming out and starting slow -- that's why they kind of got an edge on us. I believe we're a team that keeps fighting and that's all you can ask for. The possession we had on the last drive of the game…we've just got to come through with it."
On allowing yards after contact:
"Yes, that was tough. The extra-effort yards, you don't want that as a defense. We're just going to get it corrected. It's tough we lost today, but it's not the end."
On poor tackling in the first half:
"You'll always be disappointed, but you know you can work on those things. We haven't really had too many problems up until now, but now we've got to turn it up a little bit more."
On the adjustments made at halftime to contain QB Donovan McNabb:
"We just keep coming, keep on pushing. We know when he gets to dancing back there, he's trying to run most of the time. We've just got to get better."
CB Ellis Hobbs
On what the defense learns going forward:
"Anything you don't tighten down on that exposes itself early in the season, you're going to continually see. You've got to take it upon yourself as an individual, as a player, and then as a defense, to say that this is a weak spot of ours, and we've got to strengthen up."
On shutting down WR Santana Moss:
"That's just one aspect of the game, though. That's one dimension to the game. You've got to be stronger everywhere else. I can't really comment on everything, I haven't seen the film, obviously. I just know we've got to tighten down as a whole."