Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Getting to this point, what have been the highs and lows and how have you been able to get this thing going where you have your team playing well at the right time heading into the playoffs now?
“There’s been ten highs and six lows.”
More specific than the record, what have you guys been able to do well to pile up some wins late in the season?
“I’ll be honest with you there’s nothing more important than the record and that’s why I say it this way. We played well ten times. We didn’t play well enough and got beat six times. That’s the most important thing and all we ever talk about here, winning as a team. I think we’ve played very well together as a team in all three phases for us on offense, defense and special teams. That game last Sunday was a microcosm of what the entire season was like. I thought our defense did a really good job holding Dallas to 22 points. Our special teams came up big, especially with the punt at the end of the game. Our offense was productive enough for us to win the game.”
What do you see with the Saints offense that is the most dangerous thing and what you really have to work on combating?
“Their quarterback. I just think Drew’s (Brees) a hall of famer. He has such a great understanding of Sean’s (Payton) offense which is probably the most difficult offense to defend because they attack you both vertically and horizontally. When you have a guy that can pull the trigger that can direct it like he directs it, it’s pretty special to watch and you couple that with him having
Does the fact that he has a quick release and is so hard to sack change anything?
“No, you’re aware of it, but that’s the thing that really separates him and the great ones. Tom Brady gets out before you get to him, (Peyton) Manning gets out before you get to him,
You look at the Saints’ dominant home record and losing all five of their games they lost on the road, do you put any stock into that going into this game or do you just prepare for them regardless? Do you look at home and road tape separately? Do you even pay attention to that?
“We defend schemes. I think it makes for a great narrative to write in the paper, but I know how hard they’re preparing and what we’re preparing for. It’s not like our mindset is that we’re playing away from home so we don’t have to prepare for them, but everything we do is based on situational football. What are they doing on third down? What are they doing in the red zone coming out? What is Rob (Ryan) doing defensively in those situations? That’s kind of how we look at it. I think it makes for a great story but I don’t think anybody in terms of anywhere you’re preparing in the NFL looks at road records or home records and say they don’t play well in those situations and we don’t have to prepare (the same way we always do). We control what we can control and that’s preparation for a really good football team.”
Is there one specific development that has been the biggest surprise for you as the head coach of the Eagles?
“The one thing about it, this is a team. The entire group has been outstanding in terms of their preparation and approach, no matter whether we were successful or not successful. We were very consistent in that and I think that’s the one thing that sticks out for me.”
Rob Ryan likes to use a lot of personnel groups and I know the way you run things offensively it may counteract that. Is that one of the things with this offense that really helps this thing thrive that teams can’t make personnel changes as much as they would like and that you guys can dictate the tempo?
“No, I just think Rob makes changes when we make changes. He does such a good job of matching up, but within the league rules if we can change, they can change. I think it’s a mistake when people say they’re going to be stuck with a certain group on the field versus a certain group. If we have two tight ends in the game, he’s going to be in the right matchup for two tight ends and if we continue to have two tight ends in the game, he’ll be in the right matchup to begin with. I don’t know if people say they’re going to get stuck with the wrong personnel grouping. They’re allowed to match with our personnel in. If we keep our personnel in, he’ll keep his match in.”
Before you came here you heard a lot about the Philadelphia fans and their passion for the game. Did it even exceed a level than what you thought coming in here, what the Eagles mean to the city?
“No, I just think it’s awesome. It’s one of the things that was attractive to me about this situation. There’s such a high expectation of this team and such a passionate fan base. That’s an awesome environment to be a part of.”
“Two outstanding athletes that bring a real good skill set to the game. I knew Cameron a little bit because he was at Cal. So, I faced him when I was at Oregon. Junior was actually at Temple, so the guys around here know him a little bit, but (they are) two very dynamic pass rushers that you have to be aware of where they are. Rob (Ryan) does such a good job of getting that favorable matchup, I think that’s kind of the fun part of coaching, how he’s going to try to get those two matched up against us.”