Andy Reid: Press Conference Highlights

Philadelphia head coach answered questions about his quarterback, Jeff Garcia, and how the team has come together so well over the past few weeks.

Injuries:
[CB] William James is still sore from the strained calf and he'll struggle a little to make it back this week. [SS] Michael Lewis is making progress; again well see how he does this week. And then [LB Dedrick] Roper sprained his MCL and we will have to see how he does this week. He probably won't be able to practice tomorrow.

Opening Remarks:
I was proud of the football team for this game, both coaches and players. I thought they did a nice job against what I consider a very good football team. It starts with the O and D line and they stepped up and set the tempo and then you go all the way through the team after that. But really with those two groups, they set the tempo for the rest. The coordinators, I thought did a great job of putting together a nice game plan, one that was very manageable for the players and they went out and executed it. I thought it was good to see [K] David Akers get a couple of field goals that were very big for us in that game. The mechanics of the snap and hold and everything looked solid. I will say this; we still haven't really done anything. We've put ourselves in a position where we are going to be able to go to the playoffs, other than that, we still have some things out there that we need to keep working for. It's important; I always say that we stay focused with a good Atlanta Falcon team coming in here.

On whether he worries about complacency creeping into the team since they have secured a spot in the playoffs:
There is not a lot of time for that this week. It's a situation where it's a quick turnaround. So it's a matter of everybody getting back where their bodies are back ready to go for this next go around. And then it's a matter of them looking at the Falcons and seeing what they are all about and they know what is at stake there. Hopefully with that, there won't be any complacency.

On the Eagles winning three consecutive away games against divisional rivals and where that accomplishment ranks among everything he has done since he's been with the Eagles:
I don't know any of the records. I don't know if we've done it here. But, that's a nice accomplishment. It puts yourself in the position to do some things, like win the division.

On whether winning three consecutive away games against divisional rivals is as hard as it seems:
I'm sure it is. We kind of take every game like it's its own little deal and put so much emphasis on each game, whether it is home or away, that you don't get caught up in those types of things. But, with the way it's happened here, with history, it must be tougher than, I guess, we think. We just feel that we had three tough games and maximize[d] ourselves each week the best we could.

QB Jeff Garcia (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
On what play was called prior to the 4th quarter timeout when it was 3rd-and-1 and QB Jeff Garcia ended up scrambling for the 1st down and whether he was surprised that Garcia was able do that:
We had a naked on, where he boots out and has the opportunity to throw the ball or run the ball. They covered the throw so he took off and ran and that was the right thing to do. To answer the other part of it, he's doing some good things. He is a little bit older, although you wouldn't know it by the way he acts or his enthusiasm, the way his enthusiasm is and his ability to run the football. You can tell in the way he handles the offense and the game plan, those are all the things he's very mature on and you can tell he's a seasoned veteran with all of that stuff.

On what Garcia's enthusiasm has done for the rest of the team, including the defensive players:
When you lose somebody like [QB] Donovan McNabb, who is such a big part of the personality of a team, Donovan is always there and keeping guys going and
doing this, you are not quite sure what to expect if he goes down. Now Jeff jumps in and all of a sudden, he's got this fire, a different personality then Donovan, they have different personalities, both kind of get to the same point. But, he brings a lot of fire and that's the part that they like about him.

On whether he and the coaching staff learned more about what they can do from the adversity they faced this season:

I think what it comes down to without over thinking it, you basically go back to the fundamentals and you do a lot of analyzing, a lot of soul searching as players and coaches. The players are right in there too. So, as players and coaches, you do a lot of soul searching and then you just get back to what you know and get better at it and you practice it.

On how much he thinks it was physically beneficial for Garcia to have only played in six games and not the whole season:
(Jokingly) Like he's the Roger Clemens of football? I don't know. The guy has been this way since he got here. Obviously he wasn't playing in the games, but he hasn't changed since training camp. He's got a fiery personality and he throws and throws and throws, so with the exception of the 30 or so times that you throw in a game, he's throwing as much as anybody everyday. He takes every scout team rep out there or had been.

On Garcia willing to take a hit in a game and whether he has benefited from only playing in 6 games in that sense:
It's probably a good thing, being at that age, its probably a good thing. But, I wouldn't put it past him that he couldn't handle [playing a full season],so I don't want to slight the kid either. He's pretty tough.

On whether Garcia has done anything that has surprised him:

I liked the way he came in with the leadership part of it. Again, I can't emphasize that enough; when you are replacing your leader on your football team, you can come in and take a passive approach at times, and that is not the way this guy did it. And I wasn't sure of that. I was sure he could still do the 3rd down stuff and still move around and complete balls and all of that. But, I wasn't sure of how he would step up like he has.

On whether he was concerned or curious about the differences between Garcia and McNabb:
When [Garcia] came into camp, he refused that his group was the second group. He said they were 1B or whatever he said, but he refused to say second group and he was rallying a lot of young guys in there. I was curious to see if that would carry over when we made this change, would it carry over with the older guys? And he did, he didn't change, he kept it the same way.

On Garcia being the first backup QB under Reid with experience as a starter (and went to three Pro Bowls) and whether he thinks that has been a factor in what Garcia has been able to do:
I think so. It gives him credibility within that huddle I think and to do it the way that he's doing it, he's not afraid to get after guys. At the same time, he will encourage guys. And you need a little credibility in there, especially when you fill in like he has. Those Pro Bowls I think have helped.

On whether he thinks that all of the coaches were on the same page earlier in the season when they weren't winning and needed that self-evaluation:
I think we were all on the same page. I didn't see anybody wanting to go a different direction and I think the players were with us. We when put the pads back on, they never complained, they knew we weren't doing very good at that time and we needed to just get a little bit better. And they said, whatever it takes, lets go.

On whether he expected to be where he is now a month ago and that he has accomplished something:

I look at it one game at a time, so I think anything is possible and I'm pretty simple that way. To say I didn't believe it could happen, no, I felt like we could do whatever we needed to do, we just had to get it going in the right direction. Some of this thing in this league is a little momentum and a play going your way instead of the other way which can happen in this game. We are fortunate, where maybe earlier we weren't getting the plays that we wanted and now all of a sudden, were getting them. And it has worked out for us.

On improved tackling and less dropped balls by receivers being the most improved areas of the Eagles play recently and how much that has contributed to their recent success:
I think it's helped. You've got to be able to do both of those things and do them consistently. So, those were two points of emphasis that coaches and players went after and it's gotten better. We can still improve; there is only room to improve as a football team.

On whether making the playoffs this year feels different to other years because of McNabb's injury and the fact that they were 5-6 earlier in the season:
I'm not going to say it's a bad feeling. We are glad to be where we are at, but it's not over. We've got to keep going here. So, to sit back on everything that's happened in the last year, we get back [to Philadelphia], we get back on the film and now were right here with you. So, there is not a lot of time when you have a Monday game to think about all of these things you are asking. So, were moving ahead.

On whether he has anyone doing advance work on possible teams they could meet in the playoffs:
Yeah, we are. We are doing it. We are on top of that. I don't even like talking about that.


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