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Joe Vitt Previews Matchup Against Philadelphia Eagles

Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Vitt spoke with the media after practice on Saturday to preview the contest against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football


New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe VittPost-Practice Media AvailabilitySaturday, November 3, 2012Watch Vitt's Press Conference

Opening Statement:"Today in practice we had our short-yardage, goal line and red zone. We had a good, crisp practice. The preparation continues for the game on Monday night. Darren Sproles, as I announced yesterday, did not practice and will not play. Courtney Roby did not practice and will not play. Joe Morgan and David Hawthorne are probable."

What did Sproles break? A certain bone in his hand?

"I am not a doctor. He is not playing, he hurt his hand."

Did it happen in the game?

"Yes. This is like the Warren commission."

People care about Darren Sproles…

"Well, he is not playing this week. He loves our fans and I know our fans love him."

Are you optimistic he could only miss one game?

"I am not a doctor. He is not playing in this game and this is the only game we're playing this week."

How do you look to replace the spark that he gives you?

"Next man up. We've got good backs here. We have practiced our backs hard all year long. They've had a good week of preparation. The next man up is going to go and take his place."

How would you assess all of them as pass catchers?

"Good, that's why they're in the league. I think Pierre Thomas is a really good pass catcher. I think you've seen Chris Ivory catch the ball, he's a real good screen runner. I think Mark Ingram is a real good catcher. Mark Ingram is so good he catches punts and kickoffs. All three are good."

Because of his position and the injury, does Darren Sproles need to be back to 100% before he can play?

"I am going to tell you, I am not a doctor. He is out this week, he's got a bad hand. The only game we can play this week is Monday night and he is not playing."

Do you expect Travaris Cadet to be the kick and punt returner?

"He has worked that position some. So has Pierre (Thomas). So has Mark Ingram. So has Joe Morgan. That's why we close our practices."

Matt Ryan had a lot of fun against the Eagles defense, do you see things that are similar here?

"I think that Atlanta's receivers are big and tall like Marques Colston is and Devery (Henderson) is. I think they probably matched up pretty well against their corners. I think Atlanta's wide receivers made some real good acrobatic plays. They did a good job with some double-moves. When I'm looking at the Philadelphia Eagles defense, I am not looking at the Atlanta Falcons offense. We're trying to match up what our people do against that defense. They are good corners and that's a good defense."

Have you been surprised that Philadelphia has had some issues running the football?

"I think that their call in the run game (is) dictated on the score of the game, weather conditions in the game. When they have run the ball and they run the ball successfully and they win the game it's 155 yards a game. They are averaging 15 to 16 carries per half. That's a pretty good run-pass ratio. I think that's what they'd like to do. If the game gets out of bounds one way or the other, then you've got to adjust and you might throw the ball more. That is what's happened. With the game being even, they've had a fairly balanced attack and it's 155 yards rushing when they win the game."

Obviously he was a little rusty when he first came back, how much do you expect Jonathan Vilma to do this week?

"I think this, I think it's a tribute to Jonathan Vilma that this is really his third preseason game. I said this earlier in week, if I had to do it over again I would have cut some of his reps back late in the game last week. He's had a good week of practice. He continues to get stronger, he continues to get his timing down. He is working very hard. As always, we have a high expectation level for Jonathan Vilma."

How has David Hawthorne looked this week?

"Looked good."

What did you think of your defense's practice this week?

"I thought our defense had a real good week. I think last week for Denver they had a real good week. The preparation was good, it was crisp. Now we have to take to the game on Monday. We've got to be more consistent, especially late in the game, in the way we execute. They've worked hard. They've been diligent in their preparation. We expect that we'll play well."

Steve Spagnuolo has spent a lot of time with Andy Reid. Do you find that factors into a game?

"You got to be careful. If I play one of the teams that I've been with, you can't make it personal. It has to be business. The more you watch the Eagles tape, with the acquisition of Howard Mudd there in the run game, it's gone a little bit away from the West Coast offense and it's a little more like the Indianapolis Colts running game. A little bit more trapping, a little bit of tackle traps. And, obviously, with the speed they have at wide receiver, more downfield throws instead of possession type throws with the West Coast offense. I'd say Spags is real familiar with the guys on that staff and worked for Andy for a long time, (but) this is business for him. It's business for us. It's really kind of a different attack then we've seen before from the Eagles since the last time we played them."

Do you think they're familiar with the way Spagnuolo calls the game?

"Yes, that's why we work hard all week long to establish what they do best and take that away. They're going to have an auxiliary plan and they're going to make adjustments. The one who can make the best, the most, and the quickest adjustments has the best chance to compete and win."

Michael Vick has talked about his confidence. Is that something you think you can exploit?

"Let me tell you something, I said this earlier in the week, we're going to get Michael Vick's A-game. We have played Michael Vick before. He's got rare qualities. He can extend a down, he can beat you with his legs. He's accurate. He can really hold the ball a little bit longer and wait for things to happen because of his escape ability. He is one of those quarterbacks that keeps you up at night. When the whole play breaks down and you think you have him sacked and you think you have a negative play, it's plus 40 the other way. We have to finish the down."

Did you like the experiment of moving Cameron Jordan inside from the outside?

"Cameron is going to play outside, then he'll play inside a little bit in some rush situations."

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