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The eagles talk about the Giants


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January 3. 2007


Q: What percentages of your rollout plays are improvised and why do you think the Giants defense has had so much trouble against the rollout?


A: I really can’t answer that question. That’s something for them to figure out. I don’t really see a lot of rollout taking place, so I don’t have an answer for that.


Q: How often do you see defenses dare you to beat them by overplaying Westbrook?


A: Are these from the writers or from the coaches? I just see us being a very balanced team. It’s one of those things where Westbrook is a guy who is very important to our offense. And obviously teams are going to be aware of him no matter where he is on the field. And so if it is a situation where they are overplaying him, it’s up to me to make the right decisions and be good and be accurate and go to the right place with the football.


Q: What, if anything, can you take from the last meeting with the Giants considering you just faced them three weeks ago?


A: It was a very competitive, hard fought football game. And it could have gone either way. It definitely came down to the wire and we fortunately made some plays at the end that allowed us to win the football game. We don’t expect anything different. We have had two great football games against them this year. I think in many ways we are very evenly matched and now that it is a playoff scenario, it’s one of those situations where there is no next time. So both teams are going to bring everything that they have and it is going to be a very physical game and we don’t expect anything less than that.


Q: How can you describe the chemistry between yourself and Marty Mornhinweg and how has it contributed to the renaissance of your career in Philadelphia?


A: Marty is a coach that I am very comfortable with. Obviously I am familiar with him having played for him for two seasons in San Francisco. He is very aware of the intangibles that I bring to the field. I think the great thing that we have is just open communication. We are able to talk about things on the practice field. We are able to sit in the meeting rooms and discuss things. And I think that is where there is such positive chemistry. And I think he just has a great mind for the game; a great feel for the game. He does a great job of calling the game.


Q: Does a play-caller have to work in conjunction with the quarterback’s comfort level for an offense to be successful?


A: I think it is important, but I think it is my experience in the west coast system there really isn’t much that I am uncomfortable with. So I think that we have a very open play book, a very open game plan. I don’t think that there is a sense of holding anything back based upon the fact that Donovan is not in the game and I’m in the game. I think that we have been able to really maintain the same system, the same terminology, obviously, the same similar schemes. I think the focus has definitely changed a little bit in the sense of allowing Brian Westbrook to touch the ball a few more times than he was previously. And so in those ways that’s really where I see the major difference taking place. But I think that as far as the comfort zone is concerned, it is very important that Marty knows what I feel good about, what I’m comfortable with, and we just go from there.




January 3. 2007


Q: How does the familiarity factor play into this game, you obviously knowing the Giants so well and them knowing you so well? Does it put more pressure on you to kind of maybe come up with some new stuff for this game?


A: I think both sides go through that. You are not going to change everything. But you are going to have a new wrinkle here or there. And it really comes down to playing good football; good solid football, and who is going to do that the best.


Q: Could you have envisioned the things that Jeff Garcia has been able to do for you, not only on the field but kind of stepping up as very much of an emotional leader on the sideline and off the field?


A: He had some big shoes to fill. You are talking about replacing the MVP of the National Football League. And so he came in and handled that like a season veteran, but he is also a very good football player and a Pro Bowl caliber football player. So he respects Donovan and has a close relationship with Donovan and never hides that. But at the same time he knows that he is in a position where he has to lead. And he is taking that to heart.


RE: Basics. Is it easier to play a team that you have already played twice this season?


A: Not at all.


Q: What makes it….?


A: When you are playing a rival - you have seen how the last couple of games have gone. It has gone right down to the end. There is nothing easy about this. It’s a dog fight. That’s what we expect it to be on Sunday; so no less.


Q: Obviously you go way back with Marty Morhinweg. Was it a difficult decision for you to turn over the play calling to him?


A: Not at all from the standpoint of trust. I only called the plays because I enjoyed doing it, so from that standpoint if there was any debate with myself, that was what it was over. But the fact is that I have one of the best in the business at what he does sitting right here and we go way back. And I have a lot of trust in him. So that it made it very easy from that standpoint.


Q: Could you just talk about your offensive line. It just seems like they have, particularly in the last month and a half, really established themselves as kind of a dominant force in these games.


A: We had a couple of new guys in there this year. It was just a matter that they made small … no big jumps, leaps and bounds, but they made progress forward. They got used to playing with each other throughout the season and part of that is being healthy. They are able to play together throughout the season; and not a lot of injuries. So they got better as it went on. They have a big chore this weekend. And so they know they are going to have to be at the top of their game for Sunday




January 3 , 2006


Q: How would you describe the intensity of Giants/Eagles games?


A: Anytime you play a division rival, the intensity level, the emotion is going to be high. You play these guys twice a year and nine times out of 10 the stakes are very high.


Q: How do you stop Tiki Barber?


A: You have to get a lot of people around the football. You have to do a great job against the run game. Obviously Tiki can hurt you in a lot of different ways – the passing game as well. I think he’s about 60-70 percent of their offense and he’s the catalyst that makes all things go.


Q: Is the key gang-tackling?


A: Yeah, you have to gang-tackle him because Tiki is a guy who can make you miss, especially in the open field. He can make you miss and cause you a lot of problems so you have to aware of where he (is) at all times.


Q: A couple of years ago on a punt you laid out Jeff Feagles. Did you ever speak to him about it and does that typify the intensity of Giants/Eagles games?


A: That wasn’t something that – your intention isn’t to go out and hurt anybody, but that was a situation where I felt like he was trying to make a play or whatever. But the intensity level here, like I said, it’s always going to be high, all right? (It’s a) division game, and obviously this a playoff game, so right now it’s do or die. You’re going to have two teams out there fighting for their life.


Q: Did you ever talk to Feagles about it?


A: No.


Q: If you’re able to stop Barber, does the Eagles defense believe Eli Manning is capable of beating you?


A: We believe he’s a very good quarterback and if you don’t get pressure on him, just like any other quarterback, if you don’t get pressure on the quarterback in this league – this is the NFL. They can beat you. We have to try to put pressure on him, make him get rid of the ball quick(ly) and I think we have to try to dictate to them the flow of the game.


Q: Trent Coles said Manning can be rattled if he’s rushed. Do you agree with that?


A: You know what I think? I think (if) you put any amount of pressure on any quarterback, if you hit them enough times, obviously they’re going to feel the pressure. But Eli has thrown a lot of great balls under pressure. The first game we played them this year he made a great throw under pressure. We had an all-out blitz and he laid it up to Plaxico (Burress) and they won the game. He made some big throws for them. I know he probably doesn’t feel like he’s playing the way he wanted to, but they’re still in the playoffs, so he’s doing something right.


Q: It looks like Jeremy Shockey is questionable this week. If he’s not able to go on Sunday, how are the Giants different without him?


A: Shockey has been one of the better tight ends in the league, so whenever he’s on the field you have to keep a close eye on him, also. But our game plan doesn’t change. We’re still going to go out and try to play our style of football and go from there.


Q: Do you know much about his replacement, Visanthe Shiancoe?


A: Yeah, after watching film on him last week, we know he’s a good blocking tight end. He caught the ball well, also, so we definitely have to be aware of where he (is). I know that’s going to benefit those guys in the running game, with him blocking and catching the ball also. I don’t think the offense really missed a beat last week.


Q: Are you surprised by how Garcia has performed this year?


A: No, we’re not surprised. Jeff’s always been a good quarterback, especially in the west coast offense, when you surround him with good players, it goes to show what type of player he was when he was in San Francisco. He had good players around him and he made big plays. He’s in a similar situation here.


Q: Given the fact that the Giants finished 2-6 and have the capacity for making big mistakes at inopportune times, is there a feeling on your team that if you get them down a little bit toward the end or if it’s close they’re the ones who are going to make that big mistake?


A: No, we’re not thinking about that. Our job is, as a defense, from a defensive standpoint, is to just try and go out and make them make mistakes. You want to get turnovers and you want to put your offense in good scoring position.


Q: Is it safe to say Shiancoe is a better blocker than Shockey?


A: You know, I haven’t seen that much film on him, but just from watching last week’s game, he did a very good job blocking. Obviously Shockey is an outstanding receiving tight end and he can block, too. I just know from watching films (that) Shiancoe did a good job blocking and catching the ball.


Q: Why have you been so successful in stopping Tiki Barber so far?


A: You know what, a little bit of luck, maybe. Jim Johnson does a great job game-planning. Obviously the players have to go out and execute the game plan. You have to be very disciplined in your run-gaps, your run-fits, your reads because Tiki is one of the rare guys in the NFL that can start one way and cut the ball all the way back outstide and break long. You can think you have him contained for three quarters and he’ll break a 50- or 60-yarder on you. That’s why you have to stay focused on him for four quarters.

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