Friday, September 16, 2005

Andy Reid news conference

From the Eagles:


“Everybody practiced today. You saw [QB] Donovan [McNabb] out there with his pads on. He was getting used to them. We have a little protective reinforcement in there for him and he is getting used to that.”

Opening remarks:
“It was a good week of practice and we look forward to the challenge of playing the 49ers. They are coming off a big win against the Rams where they looked sharp. We understand that it will be a big challenge for us and our guys are preparing that way.”

On whether there is anything Donovan McNabb is unable to do:
“He seems to be able to do everything. I was being a little bit cautious with him yesterday and he didn’t want any part of that. He felt good and went out and made all the throws. I was not sure how he was going to do with the deep ball yesterday, but I think he answered that. He threw the ball well.”

On whether the injury will affect his ability to run:
“No, he has full movement to run. I don’t necessarily want him to get hit there again, but if needed he will run.”

On whether he is officially starting on Sunday:
“Yeah, unless something crazy happens. He will play.”

On how comfortable he is with the play and depth of the defensive ends:
“I am good with the players there. I thought the ends played well last week. We will gradually increase [DE Trent] Cole’s role in there. He played a handful of snaps last week and that will continue to increase. [DE] Juqua [Thomas] is continuing to learn the scheme, getting better at it and he played a handful of plays last week. We feel pretty good about it.”

On whether it is safe to assume more of an emphasis in the running game this Sunday:
“We will see what happens.”

Whether [WR] Terrell Owens is visibly excited to play his old team:
“T.O. has one speed out there and that is full speed. I have not seen anything different from him. He is ready to go and feels good.”

On how [WR] Darnerien McCants and [RB] Lamar Gordon will fit in to the game on Sunday:
“We are continuing to increase their roles and giving them more opportunities and we will see how the numbers work out once we get in the game. Each one of them has their select number of plays.”

On every team with a 100 yard running back winning last week:
“That is a pretty good thing for those teams.”

On Hugh Douglas being named Eagles Ambassador:
“Well I missed him so, [owner] Jeffery [Lurie] and [president] Joe [Banner] put together a plan for keeping him around here for the next few months. We will have him speak in the community and do some work representing the organization. He is good at that. He has a great personality and it also allows him to be around the football team. He is a positive influence around those guys.”

On whether he has to address Hugh as “Mr. Ambassador”:
“I don’t think so.”

Where will the Phillies finish?

This is an amazing race and the reason that the wild card is so good for baseball. The Phillies, Marlins and Astros could take this down to the final day of the season.

So, what's going to happen?

When they met last week at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies did not have to face the Marlins two best pitchers, Dontrelle Willis and Josh Beckett and the Phils took two out of three. It's safe to say the Marlins have the advantage when the three-game series begins tonight. They will send out Brian Moehler (6-9, 4.00 ERA) tonight, followed by Willis (21-8, 2.49) and Beckett (14-8, 3.53). The Phillies will counter with Jon Lieber (14-12, 4.42), Vicente Padilla (8-12, 4.67) and Eude Brito (1-0, 1.72).

The Phillies showed heart going 5-2 against the Braves and Marlins in the last week. Certainly, they will need a similar result. With 15 games remaining, it is doubtful that anything worse that 8-7 will have a chance to win the wild card.

While the fans stayed away from the Cit during this homestand, there is no question it still is better to play at home than on the road. The Phillies are 45-33 here and and 33-36 everywhere else this season. There are 12 road games remaining and only three at home against the Mets on Sept. 26-28.

It's gut-check time.