Reid Sees Plenty Of Missed Opportunities

Andy Reid was understandably upset about his team's performance against New Orleans. The Eagles' coach hangs the loss on not taking advantage of opportunities.

Don't take anything away from the New Orleans Saints. Andy Reid acknowledges that they played the Eagles tough on Sunday and did what they had to do to win. Still, Reid wonders what the outcome might have been if the Eagles played up to their standards.

"When you are playing a good football team you have to make sure you come out of the chutes, especially when you're playing at their place. We didn't do a good job of that. We need to not only start faster but we need to finish stronger and we didn't do that," acknowledged Reid on Monday.

So, what can the Eagles do differently?

"You need to start better. You need to make some plays and put your players in a position to make some plays earlier," explained Reid.

The Eagles had chances Sunday, but failed to make the most of them, especially on third down plays, which Reid found especially bothersome. "Third downs, they did a better job than we did on third downs. Again, we need to eliminate some errors there and we'll be better off."

The Eagles now have two losses on the season and both had similar overtones. In the fourth quarter, the defense couldn't keep the opponents at bay and the offense couldn't put the game away. Reid has analyzed both losses - and the games that the Eagles have won - and thinks the problem is more than just the fourth quarter. "We need to do a better job in the first quarter and the fourth quarter when you really look at it," stressed Reid. "That fourth quarter is important and we [need to] continue to push through and stay aggressive and that starts with me, being aggressive in my calls, [defensive coordinator] Jim [Johnson] being aggressive in his calls, and then the players following the same way."

As for the defense, Reid thinks there are problems that are fixable. "We need to do better there. That's something we are working on. We're going to get that fixed." While Reid wouldn't comment on any potential changes in the depth chart, Michael Lewis was replaced late in Sunday's game, in favor of Sean Considine, leading to speculation about who may be starting Sunday in Tampa Bay. As for Lewis, Reid would only say "we haven't gotten into all of that yet."

It looked like linebacker Matt McCoy would be a candidate to miss time with an injury after leaving the game Sunday. Reid said that McCoy was doing much better on Monday and it doesn't appear that he'll have to sit out against the Buccaneers. Reid also said that Rod Hood (heel) and Donte Stallworth (hamstring) are still day-to-day and he doesn't know whether they'll be able to play next week.

What else Andy Reid had to say...

Injuries/opening remarks:

"[LB] Shawn Barber has a neck strain. [WR] Reggie Brown a quad strain. [G] Todd Herremans came out just for a bit, then he ended up going back in, because of his knee. [DE] Darren Howard has a groin strain. [CB] Rod Hood has the heel strain and then [WR Donte] Stallworth still has the hamstring strain. The guys are getting better. We'll just see how they do here in the next little bit."

"I thought New Orleans did a nice job against us. They obviously started the game faster than we did and when you are playing a good football team you have to make sure you come out of the chutes, especially when you're playing at their place. We didn't do a good job of that. We need to not only start faster but we need to finish stronger and we didn't do that. Third downs, they did a better job than we did on third downs. Again, we need to eliminate some errors there and we'll be better off."

On what can be done to get the guys out there and going from the first snap:

"You need to start better. You need to make some plays and put your players in a position to make some plays earlier."

On what can be done to help the defense not be on the field so much:

"When you have opportunities, both in the run and the pass game, on your possession throws and then runs, you've got to get positive yards on those. We did that better in the second half. There is always good and bad in the games. I thought that third quarter, the guys came out and played pretty good football right there and we did just what I am saying."

On whether it is dangerous to rely on big plays:

"That's not what we are relying on. We want to be successful on the other plays too. We've got to do a better job there."

On whether the game plan was to try and throw the deep ball as much as they did in the first half or if things just unfolded that way:

"We're always going to throw the ball down the field. We've done that since we have been here. We need to make some plays on the ball and we weren't able to do that."

On how his teams of the past were always a fourth quarter team and whether he is concerned with his defense's performance in the fourth quarter:

"We need to do better there. That's something we are working on. We're going to get that fixed."

On whether there might be changes on defense:

"Not necessarily. We're looking at everything right now."

On the problem of burning timeouts early:

"I've got to do a better job of getting [plays] in sooner and then you add in there a little bit of the noise. We had one game where the headsets went out, with [offensive coordinator] Marty [Mornhinweg] and I and the quarterback. There's a bunch of excuses you can throw in there. Bottom line is I've got to get them in there to the quarterback sooner and clearer."

On why they had to use their last timeout before the two minute warning:

"I don't remember that one."

On whether clock management is something that can be worked on:

"That's a loaded question, but I have taken a couple hits with clock management so I am not sure exactly how to answer that. We can do a better job there - I guess is what I'll tell you."

On whether the Superdome was louder than expected:

"We knew it was going to be loud in there. That's not an excuse. We've played in loud places before, Kansas City last year which is probably as loud as you're going to get. We just have to do a better job of handling that situation."

On whether he would have done what the Saints did at then end of the game, kneeling to kill the clock before attempting the last second field goal:

"That's exactly what - because what I was going to do was, I was going to let them score and then get the ball back and go. That's what we would have tried to do if they weren't going to do that. You let them take the ball in and then take your chances of getting the ball back and going."

On how the Saints put it all on their kicker, John Carney:

"Well, they did, that's the safe way of doing it. He's got a good kicker. He's kicked a few balls before."

On whether he ever considered letting them score on third down:

"Not at that point, no."

On whether he expects all the hurt guys to play:

"Yeah, I think so."

On whether LB Matt McCoy is okay after leaving the game with an injury:

"Yeah, actually Matt felt pretty good today. He came back and felt pretty good."

On whether he expects to get WR Donte Stallworth and CB Rod Hood back this week:

"We'll see. We are taking it day by day."


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