"I thought they needed to get away and have them come back fresh mentally and physically," said Reid, who felt that his team's first practice on Monday went very well.
Looking back, Reid knows that there were problems and that his team simply has to do a better job on the field. He believs that in the past, he's seen two different teams; the one that looks great in practice and the one that falls apart in games. "I've mentioned this before, we can say anything, but it is about how we play on Sunday."
As for what the key problems were, Reid believes they're obvious. Reid thinks the keys are getting off to better starts in games, renewing the pass rush and getting players to hang onto the ball. Dropped passes have been a killer for the Eagles and Reid believes that his players simply have to focus more. He also believes that there are a number of reasons for the slow starts and the declining pass rush. Putting emotion back into his team is just the remedy that Reid thinks his team needs. "We already talked to them about it. We've covered that. It's important to come out every week with emotion and we'll do that this week," stressed Reid.
So, the age old question of whether he will run the ball more has to come up and Reid is as non-commital as always. "We'll see how it goes," said Reid when asked about an increased ground game.
If there was anything that Reid stressed, it was that Donovan McNabb is not to blame for the Eagles woes. Reid gave a terse "no" when asked if he thought McNabb had any role in the amount of dropped passes that the team has. He went further in defending McNabb when asked about his quarterback's play in the first half of the last three games. "I've mentioned this before, that we all have a piece of that pie, from the play calling, to the quarterback, to the offensive line, to the wide receivers and so on. Everybody - tight ends and running backs - everybody has a piece of that pie. We all have to do better. It is not one guy. It is a whole unit here." Reid also believes that he has to do a better job of play calling, in order to put McNabb in a better position to succeed. "It starts with me on the offensive side and [defensive coordinator] Jim [Johnson] on the defensive side and so. We've all got to do better. We went back and looked at it very hard."
What else Andy Reid had to say:
"With injuries, really, the only thing we need to talk about here is [DT] Mike Patterson did have surgery on his hand and he is fine. He practiced on Monday and he'll practice today and he'll play in the game."
"We look forward to the challenge of playing the Washington Redskins. They are coming off a big win and [they're] an explosive football team. Our guys, they came back in a good frame of mind on Monday and we look forward to practice today."
On why he gave the team the bye week off:
"I thought they needed to get away and have them come back fresh mentally and physically."
On how important it is to come out fast and get up early on Sunday:
"You try and do that every week. You try and come out and get your best plays in and score. And then likewise on the defensive side, just not allow them to score. It's important that you do that every week in this league."
On why they have failed to score any touchdowns in the first half of the last three games:
"It's been for various reasons. We'll get it straightened out."
On whether something needs to be adjusted or fixed to get the fast start they need:
"Different things have taken place, whether it's the play calls or errors, a combination of things. We have to get that straight."
On whether sacks are down because of what the opposition is doing or the players not executing:
"It's a little bit of a combination of things. We'll do a better job up front and in winning those battles up front."
On the Redskins secondary:
"They've done some good things. They've been banged up there a little bit and had some different people in there. I think that was the main problem. They're getting people back now, so they look like they did a pretty good job this past week."
On Redskins DB Troy Vincent's blocked FG against the Cowboys this past Sunday:
"It was a great job by Troy. He came in and made a play. He's been doing that his whole career. He's a good football player. He's been a nice addition for them."
On whether he is surprised by the amount of dropped passes they've had:
"We've got to do a better job there. Guys will focus in a little bit more."
On how CB William James might fit in:
"Really, I just saw him on Monday during the 10/10/10 period. We'll have a little bit better idea today. But he moves around well. I remember playing against him and game planning against him. It's just a matter of him getting back up to speed and he's been working very hard at doing that."
On what the CB situation is this week:
"We'll see how it goes this week."
On where the time of possession stat falls in his list of concerns:
"It depends if you're scoring or not. If you're scoring a lot of points that's okay, if you're not that becomes an issue. The last couple weeks we haven't done a good job with either one of those."
On whether the dropped passes is the function of throwing a lot or more on the receivers:
"We've got to focus in a little bit better."
On the status of the return game:
"Right now, Reno is doing it."
On whether he needed a break:
"Only from you guys."
On whether the coaches took any time off:
"We took a couple days off, yeah."
On QB coach Pat Shurmur and the rumors surrounding him and the Michigan State coaching job and whether he thinks he has a shot at it:
"I do. I think he would do a great job for them. I heard his name mentioned for it and I think he'd be a heck of a selection for them."