Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for Herm Edwards after the last three weeks?
Vermeil: "First, you have to realize he has only lost one more game than they lost last year going into the fifth game. We could very easily be one and three ourselves if it hadn't been for a 28-yard run at the end of the game against Cleveland. I think Herman and his coaching staff all know that nobody is immune to adversity coaching in the NFL. And what they have to do is believe in themselves and stick withy their plan, and don't blink, just keep going. Last year after four games they were +11. Right now they are –6. That pretty much explains part of their problem.
Q: When you talk to Herm every week, do you get a feel for how he's handling things so far?
Vermeil: "I think he is doing well. It is almost not realistic to start out your first year as a head coach and do as well as he did last year. More often than not, when a guy comes to a new coaching job he is taking over a team that has won three or four games, so it is tough to get them winning early. He took over a halfway descent team that won two years in a row nine games or something like that, and he did a better job. He won 10 games with them. I think in the process he is very realistic in knowing what it takes and when you lose players to free agency. The one thing I always recognize is his feet are always on the ground. He is not way up one day and way down the next day, riding a roller coaster. You just can't do that and be a successful coach in the NFL.
Q: Do you think your demanding method of coaching could still work with these new age players?
Vermeil: "I am coaching today more like Herman is coaching today. At 56-years-old, I am not the yeller and screamer, and the intense SOB that I was. I used to believe when I was coaching the Eagles that I could control the tempo of the practice schedule. I can't do that anymore. I would wear myself out. What I do now is I coach coaches, I lead, I direct, I motivate, I organize, I detail, I critique, and try to make a contribution to the tempo. But not like I did in the old days. And more in the profile that Herman is doing now.
Q: Is it going to be easier emotionally facing Herman because you did the first time last year?
Vermeil: "I know what we went through the last time, they beat the hell out of us. He showed no respect for his elders there. I expect them to be at their best and get that thing turned around and get going, because it's so easy to define their problem. Their running back last year had almost 400 yards right now. Now he has just over 100 yards. They are 15-5 when he rushes for over 100-yards. So they have to get him healthy. And it's our job not to let them be successful and let their fifth game be the game they turn it around. I hope it is the sixth game of the year.
Q: What do you think of their quarterback?
Vermeil: "I know in college he had a tremendous touchdown to interception ratio. And I always look at that first. He has thrown a couple of interceptions this year, but in other appearances he had touchdowns and no interceptions. I think he is an honor student, a bright guy that normally handles the pressures of his first go at it better than someone who is not as bright. There is almost a trend for some unheralded player to come off the bench and take over a game and become an instant hero. It is happening with Rodney Peete in Carolina, Kelly Holcomb came in against us and put up all kinds of points on the board. It is happening around the league. It happened for me with Kurt Warner. It happened last year for New England with Brady. Our job is to not let it happen for one week with Pennington. Next week I am rooting for him."