Andy Reid Press Conference: 9-8-05

"We look forward to going down and playing Atlanta in Atlanta. We understand what kind of football team they are. They are a good football team. It will be a great challenge for us. Of course, it is Monday night and the guys are going to work their tail off before then and we are going to go down there and see what we can do."

On whether he has seen improvement in the Falcon's passing game:

"I think that [QB] Michael [Vick] is going to keep progressing in the offense. It's a similar offense to this one and it takes a little bit to get used to. He's another year into it and he looked sharp during the preseason."

On what the chance is that CB Dexter Wynn will play:

"There is a good chance. We are going to practice him today and see how he does. There is a pretty good chance."

On whether he feels better about RB Lamar Gordon and WR Darnerien McCants learning the offense:

"We will see how this week goes. We will mix them in a little bit and see how far along they are."

On whether he expects the Falcons to do things differently from the NFC Championship game:

"I think you can say that about both sides. I think there are things that both sides wish they did better than other things. They went back and studied it. They will come up with a new game plan, likewise we will too. We go back, look at it and see things that we can do better. There is plenty of room for improvement on both sides."

On WR Terrell Owens talking to QB Donovan McNabb before the game on Monday night:

"They will work it out with time. I've said that from the beginning. Both of them are good people and they will work everything out."

On whether he was surprised watching film on any of the Falcon's players and whether they looked different from the past:

"I wouldn't say different than the past. I thought they were a very fast defense and aggressive defense. Offensively, I thought they had good team speed, starting with the quarterback. They have two running backs that they feel great about and their offensive line is coming back. They are a good offensive line. Their special teams are good. They have one of the best special teams units in the league. They are a good solid football team all around."

On having mixed results on opening day during his tenure in Philadelphia:

"I think that this is important. This is the most important game this week. That's how we take it. Next week, the team we play next week will be the most important game. The guys have been pretty good about doing that, exhausting themselves for each game."

On whether it is tough to get rookies to buy into that:

"I think they will be plenty excited. It's about getting themselves in the frame of mind where they can go out and execute. The veteran guys and the coaches will help with that."

On whether he has an idea of how much Lamar Gordon will play:

"I don't know that right now. Time is going to tell on that, until I see exactly where he feels comfortable. He seems like a sharp kid and he is picking things up well. So, we will see how things go as we work through this."

On whether he is confident OT Tra Thomas will be able to get through the whole game with the situation with his back:

"Normally it acts up once or twice a year and hopefully that was the one time it acted out. He is doing a lot of core stability work and it feels good. I think it is going to be fine. We will see how it goes."

On what he sees from the rookies' maturity:

"They have to maintain their composure, do what they can do, focus on this week, take care of business and learn the game plan. They have to make sure they master that and master their opponent. I think if you exhaust yourself there, you will be fine once you get in the game."

On being concerned with the young guys playing on national television:

"I think after the first play, everyone settles down. That is how that normally works. There are a couple of guys that will have the chance to play a bit, so I think they will be fine."

On whether he feels the players have maintained their focus through the preseason:

"That is the way I felt up at Lehigh. They came in and took care of what they could control. That was the process of going through those two-a-days. They continued that right on through the rest of the camp when we came back here. I have a veteran group that is a pretty good example to the other guys of how to do this thing. I think that they have followed the lead."

On whether the team has gotten better from last year:

"We will see. I am not going to prophesize to you. I am not that good. I am going to tell you that we are going to work as hard as we can and do the best we can. We will find that out when it's January and February."

On whether it is possible that RB Ryan Moats plays the role that RB Brian Westbrook played as a rookie:

"We will see how all that works out. He has a couple of plays in there that he is working on and we will see how he does."

On whether it is harder to be loyal to players, as it was in the past, with the salary cap:

"It makes it a little tougher. I hate using the word loyal, because when they are here you want to treat them the best in the NFL and that is important. It's not a matter of not being loyal, it's the matter of the way the cap works and the way you have to replenish with the draft to keep the whole thing working. I would love to keep them all here. Those two [Hugh Douglas and Jon Ritchie] in particular are tremendous people."

On whether he notices a change in himself and whether he worries now more than five years ago:

"I don't know. I have not looked at that. You are always excited to get the season going. I am excited for this group. I think that they are excited to get out there. I guess when you stop getting excited, that is when you hang it up and go do something else. I am not sure how to compare it to other years. I get excited every year."

On how different Atlanta is now from last year:

"I think the mere fact that last year was [head coach] Jim's [Mora] first year there and the players were just introduced to the system. They're another year older in the system and they are going to be a year better. I think you will see a better Atlanta football team than you saw last year."

Injuries:

"We don't have any injuries to report."


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