Thursday, August 18, 2005

Eagles offensive coordinator news conference

From the Eagles:

Brad Childress Press Conference
8/18/05

On whether he has greeted WR Terrell Owens yet:
“You know what? I really haven’t had the occasion to. We have been in a couple of installation meetings and by their nature they are kind of one-sided. It’s not really a question and answer; it’s more of up at the screen, presenting and you are not getting feedback from anybody. So, I have not.”

On whether he thinks T.O. owes him an apology:
“I don’t have any hard feelings. So, no I don’t need an apology.”

On whether he thinks he needs to discuss the situation with T.O.:
“I don’t think so.”

On how T Tra Thomas looked at practice this morning:
“It was good to see him out there. He was taking his sets and I think [DE] Hugh Douglas was rushing him. They always have a pretty good war. Over the course of the years they have, with Hugh rushing him. It’s just good to see him get back out there and get his timing back up and then he’s got to go through some of those training camp rigors that the guys are starting slowly to pull themselves out of; the soreness. But he has done a great job conditioning wise and weight wise, you still can’t simulate of the banging and bumping and all those kind of things.”

On whether Tra is back sooner than expected:
“Yeah, I guess slightly. I know that he was going to stay on the drug for another month.”

On when he expects Tra to be able to play:
“I wouldn’t think he would be playing this week. But, I think that he will probably be back in the mix practicing, hopefully, next week.”

On whether he thinks Tra will be able to do some contact during practice:
“Possibly, I think they are probably going to finish the drug. I think it is just a sign that he is out there practicing with his gear on that he is getting ready to transition back in.”

On how long it takes a guy like Tra to get back into contact shape:
“I just think it’s probably, more than anything, speed of the game thing. Just like our guys the other night, in those first couple series, you have to get it amped back up. Practice speed is one thing, game is another. So, I think it is more of a matter of seeing some of that stuff full speed. But, it will take him a couple of weeks, I’m sure, to get him back in the groove.”

On the extent of his plans to work T.O. into the Ravens game:
“Right now he is part of the whole game plan. He is playing a couple of different positions. So, he is preparing to be able to play against them. I haven’t heard anything to the contrary. But, usually we don’t make any decisions of who’s in and who’s out until probably about a day from now.”

On what T.O. had to do to catch up on the work he missed:
“Again, he is guy that takes good care of himself. Of course, he left with those aggravated groins and just have to make sure those are where they need to be, so that he can both protect himself and give a good accounting of himself. That is ongoing. Football wise, couple of things he needs to get up to speed on. But, he certainly has an aptitude to be able to do that.”

On how T.O. looked in practice today:
“Looked fine, looked fine. Looked good.”

On the routes WR Reggie Brown, WR Billy McMullen, and rest of the receivers ran against the Steelers:
“The biggest thing, I think, is that they made plays when they were there. When the ball was around them, they all made plays. I can remember, maybe, one drop that we had that may have been questionable to [TE] Steve Spach. So, when the ball was around them, they did well. Now, the refinements, the route depths, the getting in and out of the breaks, that type of thing, where the releases are, it’s all the minutia now that they need to pay attention to. Then, they still need to be able to do that all full speed. So, we were encouraged with what we saw from all of those guys.”

On how he thought T Todd Herremans did after reviewing the film:
“He did okay. Just like you would expect, first time guy getting pass rushed in a game setting, there are some things that he can do better. He would be the first to admit that to you. But, I don’t think he was wide-eyed. I think he did just fine. We gave him a little chip help on occasion, but we do that everywhere on occasion. So, he did a good job for his first game as a professional.”

On whether RB Bruce Perry is a bigger factor with RB Correll Buckhalter hurt:
“He’s going to get some turns. He had a nice run the other night, you saw him lower his pads, dip his pads, and run through that first contact. So, he’s got some ability. I think he made an error on his first pass protection, again, first play in the game, stepped the wrong way. So, you see that with guys that playing for their first time. You don’t want to accept it, you want to make sure that the next time you see him in this game that he has improved in some of those areas.”

On his confidence in RB Ryan Moats being able to run between tackles:
“I think the first thing is that you are running with your eyes and he’s got good eyes and he’s got good instincts. You just need to make sure he is not guessing in terms of cutting the football back. I think the other thing in running between the tackles is he’s always going to have leverage on who ever he hits. He’s got a chance to contact those people below their pad level, so consequently, you see him come out the other end. He’s going to add thrust to the pile. We don’t have any trouble running in between the tackles, again, he is hard to find in there when he comes through those holes.”

On whether RB Brian Westbrook had to play catch up at all since he missed some time at camp:
“Just in a couple of areas. That installation starts and he missed, I think, five or six installations, most of which he’s heard before. Everything is a refresher and now that we are into this game mode, really for each game, you are giving them a distinct set of plays that they are going forward with. Now, it’s when we come back in practice and go back to all the things we did day one, when he wasn’t here day one, you hope that those things come back to him because you usually are not going back.”

On whether he thinks that Westbrook’s problems with his contract are wearing on him:
“No, I don’t read minds. I don’t know that.”

On whether Westbrook is putting forth the same effort:
“Yeah, he is doing a nice job.”

On QB Mike McMahon seeming to click in the game versus Pittsburgh:
“They said that he was very bright-eyed on the sideline during the game. Again, he was playing with Ryan Moats, so he was kind of directing the show, making sure everybody was where they were supposed to be. He did a nice job of doing a couple things with his feet, being able to step away from a rush, not only on the scramble, but being able to step around some trouble and I think he hit a deep crossing route as well. Even though he has been part of this West Coast offense, all of them go different ways. It kind of splinters off and you head your own direction. So, some of the things that Detroit was doing, we are not doing the same way here. He has to learn the way you are doing it and how you are reading it and how you are looking at it and our verbiage, so to speak. But, he is doing a nice job with that and I thought he did a very good job in the game.”

On whether he thinks it is an advantage or a disadvantage that the Eagles are playing two of the best defenses in their first two preseason games:
“I don’t ever look at it as a disadvantage. You like to check and see when you are playing your best against their best, whether it is for a quarter or for a half, it doesn’t do any good to push somebody else around that maybe is not going to be on that squad. It’s good from the standpoint that it was a 3-4 front, which is something that we can always use work on. We don’t see that many, although Dallas, reportedly, is going to that front. But, I think it is great to play against very good defenses because then you really have some kind of measuring stick, even though it is preseason and maybe the tempo is not exactly the same. You are playing good versus good, you have an idea of where you stand.”

On whether he has the hope that Correll Buckhalter will be back in the near future:
“I always hope that we can get him back, I just don’t know exactly where he is at medically right now. He is rehabbing and going through that whole process. Am I hopeful? Yeah, I’m hopeful. I don’t know what that does to the situation, but I hope we can get him back, sure.”

On what has impressed him about Reggie Brown:
“I just think, probably, we know what kind of skill set he has and that was why he was drafted where he was drafted. But, then getting it into play, full speed ahead with all of the information that has come at you, and then being able to process that, still play full speed. You see guys that play full speed and then all of the sudden they will have a lapse and won’t catch the football, just kind of know the fundamentals of the position. I just think he has done a great job of assimilating all of that information, getting himself in the right spots and then making a play when it got there. Now, hey, he may be chopping a route off by two or three yards or four, he may not be using the right technique, but those are all things that we will work with. He is doing a great job in terms of that as a rookie.”

On the role he thinks Reggie will have this season:
“Well, certainly he’s good enough to get on the field as a 3rd, 4th or as a drink of water for somebody. He’s got a chance to get on the football field and we would not have any reservations about doing that.”

On whether any of the backup tight ends have separated themselves:
“No, those are great battles at the backup tight end positions. We have [TE James] Whalen, [TE Stephen] Spach and [TE] Andy Thorn. I have mentioned before that that is as good of a group of free agent tight ends that we have had since I have been here. They all bring a little something different to the table. They are all extremely smart and don’t make errors. They can play on the line of scrimmage and change the line of scrimmage. Most of them are also good special teams players.”

On whether they are looking for the backup tight end to be different than L.J. Smith:
“Not necessarily, because lets say that L.J. was to get nicked. You sill want to be able to run routes with your tight end. You don’t want a slug in there. So, you don’t necessarily look for a guy that is different than him. There are certain things that you have to do in the framework of this offense and that is not negotiable. You have to be able to do those things.”

Eagles defensive coordinator news conference

From the Eagles:

Jim Johnson press conference
08-18-05

On whether he expects to have defensive tackle Sam Rayburn on Saturday:
“I think probably there is going to be a decision made tomorrow, if it has not already been made. I think that it is very questionable right now. We will just have to see. It’s probably a 50-50 chance.”

On how Rayburn looked at practice today:
“A little rusty. He doesn’t have a lot of strength in that arm right now. He’s got to get his strength back. As we know, he hasn’t practiced a lot, so he was a little rusty.”

On how he thought the young guys played on Monday night:
“I think that every time you go into a preseason game, you look for the good and the bad. So, there were some good things, especially out of the young rookies. [DT] Mike Patterson showed exactly what we think of him. He still has good quickness, but he still has to work on his pass rush. But we were happy with him. Martin Patterson, the free agent linebacker, had an awfully big game. We were impressed with him. I think that [LB] Matt [McCoy] is still struggling with some stuff. I think that outside linebacker is a hard thing to learn. He’s still struggling a bit, but he is going to play a lot more this week. We only played him about a quarter, but he needs a lot of reps. We have to get him into the game more. But, some of those young guys, like [DE] Trent Cole, we are really happy with him. I’m not sure he’s going to play Saturday night, but he got a lot of reps and it was good to see him perform that way.”

On how linebacker Martin Patterson has looked so far:
“He’s a very physical linebacker. He shows, in between the tackles, that he can play middle linebacker. He can take on a lead block. He takes on a lineman well. He’s still working on his pass coverage. I probably think that is his weakness, but he’s had an excellent camp. No question about it.”

On whether he thinks that Martin Patterson is ahead where most rookie free agents in his position should be:
“I think so, yeah. For a free agent young guy coming in, I think he’s done an extremely good job. He’s ahead of a lot of guys we’ve had.”

On how much being out has hurt defensive end Trent Cole:
“It’s just the reps. It’s just a rookie learning the system. It’s a shame, because he was really coming along well and this is going to set him back a bit. But hopefully, we can still get him ready for the opener.

On the progress that Jason Short has made from this point last year at the linebacker position:
“Night and day so far. Again, he had a great game the other night. He had a lot of plays, 50 some plays. He looked like he could be a linebacker for us. Again, he is still making some mistakes and he has to work on that. He didn’t have a great week of practice. He knows that, but he did play well in the game the other night. He’s going to play a lot this week. With [LB] Greg Richmond down, he’s going to have to fill into that SAM linebacker as far as a backup. But we are happy with him. He’s really so far ahead of last year.”

On whether he would have said that same thing about Jason this time last year:
“I had a bit of question, I really did. He really struggled. He was a good special team’s player, but he struggled at linebacker. But right now, [Linebacker Coach Steve] Spagnuolo has done a good job with him and has got him ready. He seems like a different linebacker this year so far.”

On whether this is one of the better groups of young linebackers he has had since he got here:
“Well, I say we have a lot of versatility with [LB Mark] Simoneau and [LB Keith] Adams. But, the thing we miss right now is Greg Richmond. We were counting on him and he’s going to be out for a while. We are still mixing and matching a bit and I think we will find guys for that SAM linebacker and that MIKE linebacker. But, at least we have some guys and depth to work with. We will just have to see how it shakes out.”

On defensive tackle Keyonta Marshall’s development:
“Yeah, he did a nice job. He’s showed that he is a very good run player against a good run offense last week. He made a lot of plays inside. He held his ground. I think that he has to work on his pass rush, no question about it, but he did show us he can play in the NFL. Now again, that is the first game and we will see how things go the rest of the 3 preseason games, but he looked very good against some good offensive linemen last week.”

On whether he has heard anything at all from defensive end Jerome McDougle:
“No. It’s one of those situations where we are staying out of. We are just going to let him get ready when he can. Talk to [head coach] Andy [Reid], talk to [head trainer] Rick [Burkholder] and we really have not even tried to tell you the truth. We know that it is tough, not a lot of conversation right now.”

On whether he is concerned with the depth of the defensive line for this week:
“Yeah, especially at defensive end we are a little short this week. We will have to really watch it. We will see how much we play that first group. I’m sure that we will play them a heck of a lot more than last week. We just have to watch it. Guys are going to have to double up a little bit. No question about it, we are light there.”

On whether he would consider playing defensive tackle Darwin Walker at end:
“No, not this week. Not unless it is a real emergency. Not this week.”

On the timeframe of getting linebacker Greg Richmond back:
“I don’t know exactly. You have to talk to the trainers. But it’s going to be a while.”

On why he is high on Richmond:
“He is a very intelligent guy. He’s very strong. You know he was a defensive end in college. He can handle a tight end because he has good strength. Just what we saw of him early, he’s a good special team player and a very physical player. He is a pretty good athlete, so we liked him. It’s just a shame.”

On how many defensive ends will be available this week:
“We will have 4. We will have [DE] Norm [Heuer] rotated in there, so we will have four.”

On how the young safeties played last week:
“I thought they did well, [S] Quintin Mikell especially. He showed he can still help us right there. I thought that both those free agent corners, [CB Linj] Shell and [CB] Aric [Williams] did a nice job. I was happy with that. I think that the two safeties hit a wall a little bit. Just the mental part of it, so they probably were not as aggressive. But I thought the corners did a nice job.”

On whether he can assume that defensive tackle Corey Simon is going to be here for the season:
“If a guy is not here, I assume he is not going to be here. I think it’s as simple as that. We just have to go on. If he is not here we are making plans and if he is here, great. But, that is how we have to approach it.”

T.O. and Pop Warner football

This is a must read on a day when there is no real T.O. news.

It comes from Broken Newz

Thursday, August 18, 2005
Terrell Owens Sent To Pop Warner League To Work On Maturity
8/18/2005 - Matt Myford

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In a shocking move Wednesday, the Philadelphia Eagles sent disgruntled wide receiver Terrell Owens to "the nearest Pop Warner league so a bunch of seven-year olds" can teach him how to "act more maturely."
Owens has been feuding with coach Andy Reid, quarterback Donovan McNabb, and the Philadelphia media in a concerted effort to acquire the biggest ego in post-Napoleonic history.

Reid dismissed Owens from training camp last week, saying his star wideout nagged him enough times to "make it feel like my wife was in training camp with me."

Owens should "greatly benefit" from being around children, an Eagles team psychologist said. "If we can get him to start acting like he's eight when the regular season rolls around, we're ahead of the curve."

"Generally speaking, most professional athletes are like big, brawny pre-teenagers," said a behavioral psychologist. "Kind of like an 11-year old who can kick your ass. Owens, however, is behaviorally deficient even by those standards. Think of him as a toddler with big biceps who can run a slant pattern."

Owens will be forced "to run on his knees" and "tackle gently" in his new league, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus. "He'll also learn stuff like not talking over coaches, waiting in line at the water cooler, and to refrain from referring to himself in the third person."

In other NFL news, Denver Broncos' 64-year old wide receiver Jerry Rice went to run a fly pattern today and "his left leg just fell off."

Silence is golden

All is quiet on the T.O. front. He was excused from practice this morning because it was for special teams. (They need it after Monday night.)

We might, fingers crossed, be able to get some football related stories in the paper for the next couple of days.

We will, however, let you know as soon as T.O. and Donovan talk or even share a light moment.

Super Bowl book

As the Eagles were making their run last season to Super XXXIX in Jacksonville, the staffs of The Inquirer and Daily News were combining on a book deal to chronicle the events.

You know the outcome. No win, no book.

But the coffee-table book was 80-90 percent complete. What to do?

We decided to post the book on the Internet. For this distribution, we titled it Unfulfilled Dreams. Check it out!

Jim Jenks
Sports Editor
The Philadelphia Inquirer