Andy Reid Press Conference: 11-10-05

Injuries:"[DE] N.D. Kalu has a shoulder strain. We knew about that before and we have him listed as doubtful. We will see how he does here and he's going to be evaluated again today. He's doing a little bit better than he did, so we will see how it goes. [TE] L.J. Smith will not practice today with a concussion. He should be back tomorrow and then [TE] Stephen Spach has a foot sprain. Right now we are just trying to get the swelling out. He will not practice today.

[CB] Rod Hood has some heel inflammation. He will do what he can do. He went through the walkthrough this morning and we will see how he does this afternoon."

Opening remarks:

"We look forward to the challenge of playing the Cowboys and we understand the importance of the game, the rivalry, Monday Night Football and all those things. It's a great atmosphere to play in and our guys are going to put full concentration towards the Dallas Cowboys and eliminate the distractions. We are heading in that direction and doing a heck of a job in the last couple of days. You know we made a roster move at the center position, so we have 2 candidates there in [C] Jamaal [Jackson] and [C] Trey [Darilek]. Jamaal will be the starter and Trey will be the backup there."

On how he characterizes the mental state of the team:

"I feel good about it. They have been strong and they are ready to move on and concentrate on football. I think they are as tired of the questions as you are of asking them."

On where he thinks QB Donovan McNabb is mentally:

"I feel good about where Donovan is at. I think he feels a little bit better physically and I think he feels strong mentally. I feel good about his state right now."

On what makes him believe that Jackson can step in and produce:

"We felt good about him since he's been here. He's been banged up a little bit with injuries. He's healthy now and we feel comfortable he can go in there and play. He's a smart kid. He's big and strong. He would have been our second center had he not been hurt. We feel good about him."

Whether he will make the line calls:


Whether it has been difficult, at any point, to concentrate on football:

"I would say the last few days with all the attention put on this. That takes a little energy out of you. That is no excuse for anything that has happened in games or anybody else, but I think over the last couple of days, there has been a little bit of attention towards this."

Whether he thinks that having WR Terrell Owens not around will help out McNabb:

"I don't know that. Donovan is a great football player. He's going to continue to be a great football player. We will see how things work out."

On how the offense changes without having Owens on the field:

"Well you continue to spread the football around and when guys have opportunities to make plays, they make plays. We have plenty of guys to do that."

On whether he believes that this game is as big of a game he has coached here:

"It's a great atmosphere for a football game. You have the Monday Night Football part of it, but then you have the Dallas Cowboys. They are a good football team and so, this is what it's all about. This is why we do it as coaches and players."

On whether he prefers not having a #1 receiver, so the ball can be spread around more:

"It can be done anyway. We have had success doing it both ways and even with Owens here, we still spread the ball around, then he got a number of catches. But we can go either way."

On how his mental state of mind is and whether this has weighed heavily on him:

"(Jokingly) I weighed myself this morning and I'm the same weight I was last week. I don't look at it that way. I look at it as its part of my job, and as a head football coach you are going to have things that you are going to have to work through every year. This is no exception."

Whether this is the hardest thing he has had to do since he's become a coach:

"I don't know that. I have not gone back and evaluated the other things that I had done. It was the immediate thing I had to do and that is the way we went."

Whether there are any regrets he has had with bringing Owens to the Eagles:

"I am not going to open up that gate. I don't want to really talk about it."

On how important team chemistry is:

"We have great leaders on this team and we have always had great chemistry around here and I don't expect anything different."

On whether they are a better team today than they were last week:

"I am not going to get into that. I think we are a good football team. I thought we were a good football team before and I think we are a good football team today."

On how hard it is to refocus to play a football game:

"It's really not hard at all. You put your efforts into the Dallas Cowboys and you don't worry about anything else. That's where we are at as a football team. They are a heck of a football team. They are well coached, they have a lot of talent, they are playing well and we look at them and respect them. You turn on the film and that is where your attention goes."

Whether it is a difficult to focus when everyone asks the same questions:

"No, because once I leave this room after these 10 minutes, I don't worry about it. I am not asked it any more. I don't talk about it and likewise with the players."

On what about the Dallas defense gave the offense problems last time:

"They played great. They did a great job against us. They were aggressive offensively and they did a heck of a job. They are a heck of a football team."

On whether TE Chad Lewis can step in and play right away:

"We will see how it goes this week."

Whether Chad's availability depends on the health of the other tight ends:

"We will see how it goes. Number one, I need to see how Chad does and then we have to see how Stephen [Spach] progresses. It does not look like Stephen is going to be able to go tomorrow either. He has quite a bit of swelling."

On how Dallas RB Julius Jones affects their offense:

"They have got three good running backs and he's a heck of a player. He will have our attention. We will be aware of him."

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