Andy Reid Press Conference: 10-10-05

Injuries: "[QB] Mike McMahon is having exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his knee. They don't know by MRI exactly what was wrong there and that is why they are going in there to take a look. He does have some pain in that knee though. [LB] Jason Short has a high ankle sprain and he will be out for a while.

 [K] David Akers is improving with the hamstring strain and we will see how he does here in the next week or two. [DE] Trent Cole is improving with the hamstring strain. [DT Sam] Rayburn had an AC contusion from the game and is doing okay this morning. We did an MRI on [TE] L.J. [Smith]'s ankle. He does have a lower ankle sprain and does feel pretty good this morning. [DT] Darwin Walker is improving and [LG] Artis Hicks tweaked his ankle during the game, but he made it through okay."

Opening remarks:

"Like I mentioned after the game, there really was not a phase of the game I could take out and say was done the way we needed to have it done. When it comes down to that, it starts with the head coach and him getting his team ready to play a good football team. That part did not take place. I'll take this week and I will go back through. We will look at all phases and we will make sure we learn from the experience and we take the good from it and try to get better as a football team. With the character of players I have here, I know it will take place."

On how concerned he is by the team's inability to run the ball:

"We can do a better job there. We will continue to look at that. We have to do a better job."

On the personnel changes on special teams this year:

"We are getting down in position, we just have to take care of business when we get down there and do a little better job of tackling when we get the opportunity. Those are things we can work on and get better at. We will go through and evaluate if we are putting the right personnel in the position to do that."

On whether there were any positives from yesterday's game:

"Well, there really were not too many."

On teams scoring early against the defense so far this year:

"We are going to go back and evaluate all of that this week. We are asking the same things. We know we need to play better and as coaches, we need to put the guys in better position to make plays."

On whether the slow starts this season are caused by mental issues or caused by Xs and Os:

"We will get that worked out. That's what we need to get better at that. It probably has to do with a little bit of both sides. Again, we are going to get to the bottom of it and find some answers."

On whether he thought WR Terrell Owens wearing a [ex-Cowboys receiver] Michael Irvin jersey after the game was inappropriate:

"I didn't think so. He's a big Michael Irvin fan. On the way home, I give these guys an opportunity to wear comfortable clothes. I have done that since I have been here and he's very close with Michael. I don't think it's that big of a deal."

On the trend of not playing well before the bye week over the last few years:

"It's a 50-50 deal. I think you have to go back and look at the teams we have played. There have been some pretty good teams in there and we didn't play very well. It's probably that simple."

On whether there is concern with Mike McMahon's health:

"Well, it's exploratory. So, I'm not too sure about what's going on there and I don't think the doctors are as well. So, am I concerned? I guess I am until we find out what is wrong with him."

On the return teams not producing on special teams:

"It does concern me. I think that field position is a big thing. We can do better there, so we will look at that closely."

On whether he has thought about using RB Brian Westbrook or CB Lito Sheppard on either of the return teams:

"We are going through and talking about all that."

On whether he thinks it is harder to run if you do not do it often:

"We probably could do that a bit more."

On the ebbs and flows of dealing with quarterback Donovan McNabb's injury:

"For the most part, he felt pretty good in the game. This morning, he felt like he did at this point last week. I try to stay in touch with him during the game."

On why the team's record has been so good coming out of the bye:

"I don't know. I think when you come off a loss, whether it is before a bye week or in a normal schedule, you go back and you re-evaluate. Sometimes it can focus you in a bit more."

On whether run blocking is heavily influenced by rhythm:

"It is probably like pass protection. You do it and get yourself in a rhythm, whether you are run or pass blocking. It just depends what you put the emphasis on."

On what concerns him the most at this point in the season:

"Right now, everything."

On whether he is considering any lineup changes:

"We will see. We will go through and look at all of that. We will do the evaluation and see what we come up with."

On the status of Donovan's injury:

"He's okay."

On whether he feels the NFC East has closed the gap:

"I said that before the season. I think they have done a nice job of improving. I give credit to Dallas. They played a heck of a game and were better than we were yesterday. No excuses made."

On whether he is as confident this year as he was last year:

"Yeah, I do. I feel good about the team; we just have to play better. We have to coach better and do a better job overall."

On evaluations during the bye week:

"Normally, you go back and focus on the fundamentals. You go back and concentrate on those things."

On whether the bye week comes at a good time with all the injuries:

"I think it does. We are not using the injury part as an excuse by any means. That did not have anything to do with it."

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