Andy Reid Press Conference

The Eagle's head coach talked about the draft, Lito Sheppard, and much more in a press conference yesterday. Read the transcript inside.

Head Coach Andy Reid Press Conference


Opening remarks:

"I mentioned the other picks earlier, so from the sixth round on here, we drafted a guard in Mike Gibson, out of California. Mike played tackle at California, both tackle [positions]. He was a right tackle [two seasons ago] and this past season, he was a left tackle. He's played guard and center, so he gives us a little flexibility there. We also traded [a sixth-round pick] Cleveland for a fifth-round pick in 2009, which we'll feel good about in 2009. We were still able to get a couple players who we really liked. Joe Mays, a linebacker out of North Dakota State. He's a short, stocky linebacker who made a tremendous amount of plays. He really jumped out at you when you watch film on him, even though it's a little bit of a smaller school. We felt that he was a really exciting player to have. [LB] Andy Studebaker went to Wheaton College, outside of Chicago. He tested really well. If you pull up YouTube, you can learn all about him. He's a pretty talented guy. He's very intelligent and very gifted athletically, to where he can play linebacker, outside linebacker, or defensive end. He played defensive end in college and had a bunch of sacks. He's a pretty sharp player. We'll see how that transfers to this level, both with Joe and with Andy. We finished with King Dunlap, who is a left tackle out of Auburn, and a huge man. He's very gifted, his father player in the National Football League, his mother was an Olympian, a track athlete. He's very gifted, athletically. He's started down there for a number of years. He was a very high recruit for Auburn. Things didn't work for him as he went in the draft, but we look forward to seeing if a little change of scenery doesn't help out here in Philadelphia. He'll have an opportunity to challenge for one of those backup tackle spots."

On being able to project production out of players from small schools:

"We've had a little luck with that. [LG Todd Herremans], our starting left guard, is from a fairly small school. We've had some luck with smaller school guys. You want to make sure that they dominate at that level. If they're lucky enough to have been in an all-star game somewhere, where they can show against bigger guys and you evaluate that, too. The number one thing is they have to jump out on film. You have to say that at that level, he is playing the best he can play and he is absolutely dominating the player over him. Then you hope it carries over. You go out and work him out. Our coaches did that, and our scouts did a phenomenal job of finding these guys. These schools are very small and they took the extra effort to go to the school and work these kids out to see what they're all about. That's part of the process there."

On whether he went into the draft thinking he would have used 10 of his picks:

"I mentioned that I really felt like the middle rounds were very good. I thought the first round was a solid round, but I didn't think it was a great round this year. There were a couple players that we tried to trade up for and it didn't work. So, we started moving back and we got in that area where we thought it was right. I thought we pulled out a few players who have a chance to help us down the road."

On RB Lorenzo Booker:

"I really liked the kid coming out last year. Then, the film I watched of him this year, he played a little bit at the end of the year last year and did very well. Coach [Bill] Parcells and I are friends and we talked, and I know that he had a pretty good minicamp. They're able to do that with a new coach. I think I'd at least be getting the same player I saw in college, and he's done it at this level for a very short period of time, but he's done it. So I was able to at least see him against players of this speed and caliber. I think he can come in and help us. I feel very good about it and I will consider it as a draft pick. I used a fourth-round pick on it and considering that I got a third-round pick who has been in the league one year for a fourth-round pick, I think that's a pretty good deal."

On what he would say to people who say he is drafting for next year, not this year:

"I can understand that. There are people who are going to criticize. There are going to be some who like it and some who don't. The important thing is the ones I drafted who could play, could play. Right now, I mentioned this earlier, the three that we picked up on the first day, and I include Booker in that, they have a chance if things work out right to come in and help this football team win games. I can't say that I've sat up here every year and felt that way. There are certain guys who we brought in that I thought it would take a year or they were playing behind a player that they probably weren't going to beat out. These three, barring injury or doing something I wouldn't expect them to do, I think they could come in and help us win some games this year."

On drafting QB Kevin Kolb last year:

"I thought we needed that last year. There was a player that I liked, at a position that we needed a backup at, at that particular time. I don't pick guys necessarily to be backups; I pick them to be future starters. I don't want guys who are just career backup guys. That's not what I'm shooting for. It might happen that way at times, but it's not what I'm shooting for. With that, that's a pretty important position, and we needed it, so I took it."

On whether he feels the need to talk to CB Lito Sheppard about his situation:

"Yeah, we'll work something out. Something will be worked out."

On whether he received any offers for Lito this weekend:

"Not significant ones."

On how he sees the team's cornerback situation working out:

"We'll see how it all works out when we get to that point."

On whether there's a possibility that Lito will be excused from mini-camp:

"That's not what I'm looking at right now, no. He's part of this football team, just like everybody else."

On whether there's a chance that CB Jack Ikegwuonu will not sign with the Eagles and will sit out 2008 and re-enter the draft in 2009:

"I'm not concerned about that, no."

On whether he feels Ikegwuonu will sign:

"That's what I've been told."

On the versatility that all the new offensive linemen seem to have:

"You know that I've always done that. Most of the guys that we have playing for us were college tackles. I think that's important. I like that versatility. I've got two of them that I think can also play center and I think that's important. It presents a lot of competition and that will be good."

On the new trend of slimmer, quicker defensive ends being a result of the NFL being more of a passing league:

"Everything's set up that way, it's a speed game. The fellas that we're bringing in, and have brought in, are speed players. That's not to say that they can't play the run. I would like to have them play on the other side of the ball and still play physical and all those things. But, yeah, I'd say pass rushing is important."

On whether, with the offseason moves, he feels the Eagles are contenders in the NFC East:

[Jokingly] "I appreciate you reminding me that everybody [else] made the playoffs. Yeah, we do. We're going to be in a pretty good NFC East, and we want to make sure that we do a little better job in it."

On whether there's a chance that Lito may still be traded:

"No, as I sit here, right now, Lito is an Eagle. That's how it is, just like every other guy on this football team. It gives us one great opportunity for a nice secondary. The way to use him is just like we used [former Eagles CBs] Bobby Taylor, Al Harris and Troy Vincent. We just rotated all of them and they were all starters in our eyes. Just let them play, that's the way I look at this secondary."

On whether he will restructure Lito's contract or their will be other concessions:

"We'll talk about all that. I'll talk to Lito about that."

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