Head Coach Raheem Morris
(Opening statement) Obviously we got outplayed today by a better football team. They outplayed us across the board; they made bigger plays than us. You have to win in the red zone, you have to get down and you have to score touchdowns. You have to set yourself up and score touchdowns. Try to play a little bit more aggressive when youre playing a better team like we played today. We went for it on a couple fourth down opportunities. We have to have better percentages than that especially when we get chances to score down there within the red zone. We have to go back and look at the tape and evaluate what weve done and what were doing and see where we are.
(On the play of his wide receivers today, such as Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton, and the number of dropped passes) Thats an issue. When youre playing with a young quarterback those plays have to be made by those caliber players, those caliber receivers. Both guys dropped a bunch of balls today. I dont have the exact number here, but you have to make those plays for your young quarterback so he can present himself with a better day than he had. He did throw the two interceptions playing against that much pressure; a whole lot more pressure than we thought we were going to get in the first place. We have to have better protection up front as far as executing the plan. We executed the plan in the second half but we should have executed in the first half to not allow some of those pressures to be as inviting up the A gaps as they were. The guys have to get it. We have to stop making excuses for ourselves and thats just the bottom line; the same thing with the wideouts.
(On his decision to go for it on fourth downs instead of kicking field goals) Youre on the road, youre playing against a hostile environment, you have fourth and inches and you want to be aggressive in those situations, in those times. They just make a couple big plays on you. You feel like you can get a yard on anybody. You feel like you should get a yard on anybody or an inch on anybody. They stood up and made big time plays and we fumbled the snap away on one of them. Those things just cant happen. We have to at least get two of those in order to give yourself an opportunity to at least get three. You cant have a turnover; you cant have a turnover on downs. In some of those situations, if they do stop you, it becomes a big, huge play for those guys and it was.
(On the play of QB Josh Johnson today) Its really hard to grade Josh on some of those plays, on some of the drop balls he had today. He could have had an 80-yard bomb on the first throw of the game. He had some opportunities for other people to catch some passes from him, but we dropped some passes today. He still had a few turnovers which were deadly in the red zone. We cant let those happen. He did use his feet well and he took chances downfield; the things we asked him to do. We have to continue to get better. We executed a couple two minute drives well, very well. We have to continue to get better. We have to continue to grow with him and we have to help him. [TE] Kellen Winslow stepped up big today. He had a big game for him and he helped [QB Josh Johnson] out big time. He caught some nice passes.
(On Josh Johnson handling the blitz) Josh did a nice job of getting to where he was supposed to get to as far as protection. Everybody has to be on the same page. When he makes the call, everybody has to get it and you cant make excuses for yourself which we did a little bit in that first half. In the second half, those guys responded. He knew where he was supposed to go with the ball. We just have to protect him better. We have to be locked in. We cant get distracted by the noise and the environment or whats going on or cant hear. Theres no excuses in this league. You have to go out there and play football.
(On whether he was disappointed with the play outside of Josh Johnson) Theres no doubt about that. The guys around him have to step up for him. Like I said, on the positive side, [TE] Kellen Winslow did step up for him. We need everybody. When youre talking about playing a young quarterback like Josh, having him go into a hostile environment like Philly, somebody has to step up and make a play for him. When you have zero coverage in the back end, and he puts the ball in, you have to catch it, you have to make somebody miss and go score. Period.
(On whether he is satisfied with where the team is mentally at this point) No, we have to be a tougher football team on ourselves. We have to catch those balls; you cant have that happen. We have to go out there and play.
(On whether he will make any changes) We have to go to practice first. We have to go to practice and see who can step up and perform and see who can catch those balls and throw to those people. Thats what well do.
QB Josh Johnson
(On Asante Samuels second interception) I just tried my best to put it in a spot where I knew where [WR] Sammie [Slaughter] was going to be, and I just put a little bit too much pressure on him and it ricocheted off his hands and right into Asante Samuels, and he was right there, and it was a gift to him. Its another frustrating play, and we had a lot of those plays like that today.
(On the Eagles defense compared to the rest of the NFC East) The Eagles blitz package is a lot different than a lot of teams. They have a defensive line that is very athletic, so it allows them to do a lot more things than a lot of different teams can do. They can bring different blitzes, that allows them to bring more linebackers and DBs because their ends are able to drop in coverage, and cover a lot of ground. They have a good blitz package, and for me being a young quarterback, it was good that I got to see it, because now we know what we got to do in our offense to be able to try to combat with that if other teams see that and they want to take that and try to do that versus us.
(On whether he expected to see the amount of pressure he faced today) They showed it, and no, we didnt [expect it]. We worked on it, and we had a check for it, and we got to our checks early, but when a team does that, there is a 50/50 chance it can be a big play [for us] or a big play for them, and when you are up 21-7, you take that risk of trying to create big plays for yourself, and if you give up a big play, youre still up 21-7, and I think thats the approach they took to us in the second half. We just have to keep fighting. A lot of guys do that, and thats why Im proud of the guys that kept fighting.
On the support he received from the teams veterans and how the dropped passes affected him) I feel like Im getting a lot of support from the guys. [Dropped passes] happen. They are out of my control. All my job is, is to get those guys the ball. What happened with the drops, I cant control that. So, for them, I know those guys will do what theyve been doing, and thats fine. So, Im not mad at anybody about that or anything. It happens. I had mixups. We all make mistakes, so its not about pointing fingers. Its about all of us looking ourselves in the mirror, and what can I do to help this team get a win? Its not about you lost it this game, this person lost it this game. We all lost the game. We lose as a team, and we win as a team. Thats how this game works.
(On his fumbled snap) Honestly, I cant even remember what happened. I felt like I did the same thing I have been doing. We got tape tomorrow, so if it was my fault, I will admit to that. Im not sure exactly what happened, it happened so fast. Ill get a better look at what happened tomorrow. And that was another big playeven if it was a short hop, I got to do my best to get the ball, so I mean, thats what it all boils down to. And thats what the frustration is about. Its not about when a team physically beats you; its about when you do a lot of things that hurt yourself. Thats the most frustrating part about it.
(On talking to Donovan McNabb after the game) I talked to [McNabb] and Mike [Vick]. I was more frustrated, but at that time it was a great honor for me in my life to see those two guys and to have a conversation with them, it was extremely joyful moment for me, and to sit there and watch him play, it was a joy to watch. I mean, he was one of the guys I looked up to growing up, and when you get the opportunity to see him play in live action, I mean, I feel blessed.
(On what McNabb said to him) He told me to keep working. He likes the way I play the game. He told me to keep working, and hopefully we can build a relationship together, and that is what Im trying to do, so I can become a better quarterback and try to pick some things off of his brain, as well. We lost, and that was the frustrating part of that, but I did have a conversation with him and I tried to talk to him after, so that was good for that part.
CB Will Allen
(On what happened in the game that led to the loss) The Eagles simply made the plays and we did not. We have to learn to make the plays through out the whole game to win games. We just did not make the plays in the game and that is what it came down to.
(On whether Tampa Bays defense seemed to struggle another week) The Eagles had some deep throws on our defensive again and we just did not make the plays. We get paid just like the Eagles do and that is a part of the NFL. You have to make plays to win and be accountable for what you do. Our defensive has to start to make plays when the ball is thrown in their direction.
(On whether the team thought they would have to play a perfect game to win) I did not think that we had to play perfect to win but we do have to make plays. I think the Eagles on both sides of the ball offensively and defensively just played a better game than us. And when this happens you will lose.
(On what the team needs to do to keep a positive outlook) We have to keep together as a team and gel. Each player has to be accountable for their own work during the week. Players are going to have to go out and work harder and be accountable to correct what they might be doing wrong. We need to come back next week and get that first win.
DE Roy Miller
(On what it will take to get a win) We cannot let the big plays happen because teams like the Eagles are an excellent team. The Eagles have a lot of very talented players on their side but we cannot let them score that quickly.
(On whether there were any bright sides of the game) We felt like we were still in the game most of the game but then the score just started to get away from us. We are fighters on this team and we just have to continue to fight and do what we need to do to get a win. We need to get a win because we look at one another all week and we know that we are working hard.
(On how happy he was to see [DE Jimmy] Wilkerson get three sacks) You really do have to give Jimmy a ton of credit because there were a lot of max protect plays out there and he still got the sacks. He was able to get to the edge and get some sacks and do all that he could do to keep us in the game. I really think he did a great job on a great offensive line and a great quarterback that the Eagles have.
G Davin Joseph
(On whether the blitzes from the Eagles made it tough to make plays) We had planned for the Eagles to make a lot of blitzes but we just did not execute the plays. You are going to have some of their guys free and we have to pick up the right guys in the schemes and we did not always do that. I think we needed to do a little better of a job picking up those blitzes.
(On whether being 0-5 for the first time since 1996 will weigh on the team) It is about tomorrow and we cannot live in today. This game is over and we just will have to move forward. I believe in every guy in this locker room and in every coach and we just need to get our first win. I would not trade a coach or a player on this team right now.
(On whether he was disappointed that the team did not have a better running game) The Eagles defense did an excellent job stopping the run. They really filled the gaps really nice and that enabled us to make some nice throws down the field. I think what hurt us was that when we got into the red zone we did not execute plays really well. When you get into the red zones you have to get scores out there.
(On what it is going to take to get the offense moving) We are going to have to execute the plays better out there to win games. We have the plays and the players to make plays but if you do not execute them properly you will not win. You must execute the right plays first if you can even think about winning the game.
LB Barrett Ruud
(On whether he is frustrated with the play of the defense) I think we played a little better last week but I think today we got beat to much over top. You will not win a lot of games if you give up to many big plays. I think we have to look ourselves in the mirror and be accountable for our own play. We need to find some ways quickly to improve ourselves.
(On what it will take to not give up the big plays) We will not win games if we give up the big plays. We have to make the plays and not beat ourselves out there. There is no room though to point fingers. If you give up the long pass or the long run most of the time you beat yourself. You cannot win games doing this.
(On whether it seemed that the cornerbacks were on receivers but not turning around) You do have to give credit to Philadelphia because they do have some really good receivers. Obviously with [QB Donovan] McNabb and their receivers are going to make the plays. We have to only look at ourselves and make the plays. It is frustrating right now but we all just need to look at our own selves and make the plays.
S Tanard Jackson
(On whether he was frustrated by the big plays the Eagles made on offense) We really worked hard this week and it is frustrating because we were beat on some plays. We really focused on trying to not give up the big plays, but unfortunately it happened. I think that was the key to why we got behind in the game. We knew with the two receivers they have that they were capable of making the big plays.
(On whether he knew that three of the Eagles scoring drives were in less than 1 minute) That is not good because we are not allowing our defense to rest enough when this happens. We have to learn to have our defense and the offense and special teams all play well in one game, and we will get that first win.
(On whether he is troubled that the defense has given eight long touchdowns) I think part of it is that this is a little different of a system then we were accustomed in the past. There is a lot of match up protections in our system and it is about us though. We have to make the plays on the opponents that we are playing against. We are out there to stop these plays and right now we are not doing it.
(On whether the cornerbacks were not turning around on the deep passes) I think we were not turning around on the plays and we are paid just like the other players are and need to make those plays. They just made the plays on offense and unfortunately they were two very deep passes. We wish it would have gone our way but it did not. I think this is a character test for this whole locker room and we need to play better. I think we are at the point that it will only get better from here.
Head Coach Andy Reid
(On injuries sustained during the game) [CB] Dimitri Patterson has a quad strain and hell have an MRI in the morning. [CB] Ellis Hobbs has a wrist sprain and hell have an MRI in the morning. [CB] Asante Samuel has a calf strain and hell likely have an MRI in the morning.
(On the victory) Id like to just thank the fans for their support. It was a great crowd and a great day for football. Tampa Baythe old saying is that its never as bad as you think, and never as good as you think. I think that holds true. Raheem [Morris] is doing a nice job as head coach there. Hes a young guy who is doing it the way he wants to do it. He has some young players who are playing their hearts out, and they have a great energy on that football team. On our side, we had too many penalties. Every win is a good win in the National Football League, but we have to sharpen it up. We had way too many penalties. It was good to get [QB] Donovan [McNabb] back in there, and I thought he played well. [WR] Jeremy [Maclin] had a pretty nice day out there and caught the ball well. In order for all of those guys to do their jobs, [the offensive line] has to do a nice job. Defensively, the turnovers and interceptions were big. I thought Asante [Samuel] and [CB] Sheldon [Brown] came up big there. All in all, it was a good day, but there are plenty of things to work on before next week.
(On whether WR Jeremy Maclin could possibly retain his starting position even when WR Kevin Curtis is healthy) Well see. It was a great job by Jeremy. Its great to have two players that we know can play that well.
(On the return of QB Donovan McNabb from injury) He felt pretty good. He took a couple of hits, but not many. There werent a lot of times that he got hit. He tweaked it a little bit, and from a confidence standpoint, you never want him hit, but it was good that [he did get hit] and felt comfortable coming out of it. I saw him run the football, and I wasnt sure that would be quite as much of his game today as it was early. He did a nice job with it and was smart getting out of bounds.
(On whether opposing defenses are focusing more on WR DeSean Jackson and TE Brent Celek) You saw them roll to the strong side and play inside-out on DeSean with man coverage and safety help. They were pushing a lot towards that strong side, so we mixed things up a little bit and we were able to utilize some mismatches there with Jeremy [Maclin] because of the coverage.
(On the offensive plays run from the wildcat formation) I dont have the stats with me right off, but it doesnt jump off on me like it was phenomenal today. I didnt think it was as productive as it was [in past games], but I have to look at the stats. [The media] is probably sitting there with the stats already knowing the answer to that question. It wasnt blowing up my blouse out there.
(On whether todays game plan called for the use of fewer wildcat plays) Its part of the offense. Some plays in the offense you use at certain times according to the way theyre playing you [defensively], and at other times you dont. We used it as much as we wanted to use it according to what they were doing [defensively] and what we felt we could get done.
(On why Michael Vick was inserted at quarterback instead of Kevin Kolb after Donovan McNabb was removed from the game) I wanted to give him some game reps there. Kevin has had the game reps. Michael needs that, and I think hes at that point where he could utilize some snaps there.
(On whether the play of WR Jeremy Maclin will prevent future opponents from rolling coverage to WR DeSean Jackson and TE Brent Celek) It just depends on what they figure their matchup situations are according to their personnel.
(On whether he plans to consistently rotate Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy at the running back position) Well see. Like I said, this is all just easing [Westbrook] back in and getting Brian back to where he is comfortable. He came out of this one healthy and good, so thats a plus.
(On the return to action by LB Jeremiah Trotter) He ended up with 20 plays, and that was right about where we wanted to get him somewhere between 20-25. I think it was good for him. Hell be the first to tell you hes been sitting on a couch, and when you come off the couch and play, the game is a little quicker. Thats good. He got in and mixed it up. He had a couple of nice stops in there. It was good for him. He plugged his gap, and I thought it was good for him to get back in the swing.
(On how much he plans to play Trotter in the future) Well see how he does. If I could get him 20 [plays] today, I was happy with that. Well just see what next week holds for him.
(On earning his 100th career head coaching victory) Id rather have 100 than none, so Im not going to tell you that its not nice. I appreciate [the media] asking, but Im not [focusing on it].
(On the play of Tampa Bay QB Josh Johnson) I really like that quarterback. Hes a smart kid. We were putting a lot of pressure on him, and he hung in there and he threw it to the right spots the majority of the time. Things will work out well for him down the road. Hes a talented kidvery talented.
(On the decision to activate DT Antonio Dixon while deactivating DT Trevor Laws) It was a matter of numbers there. We had a couple of things in for Dixon where his size and push were going to help us. Thats not necessarily the way its going to be every week, but for this game we went that way.
RB Brian Westbrook
(On how it felt to get back on the field after his injury) It was exciting to get back about there. I had a little time off so I definitely needed that rest, but it felt good getting back out there with my team.
(On his form out on the field) I definitely felt really good. The few opportunities I got, I think I did really all that I could do with those carries, those catches. I think just now, [I] just had the opportunity to get my feet wet with this game. Now Im looking forward to more touches next week.
(On his catch and touchdown run) It was one of those plays where we got single coverage with the linebacker and anytime youre lined up against the linebacker, singled up, you have to try to take advantage and [Eagles QB] Don[ovan McNabb] was able to hit me. It was a run. We were able to run the ball a little bit against those guys. We didnt get a lot of chances, as far as the running backs. The offensive line did a great job blocking.
On whether he needed that touchdown play to get back some confidence in himself and his ankle) Not really. Really, I was confident of the rehab that Ive able to do. I was confident in myself going into the game, so I didnt really need one play in particular to say that I was more confident in my ankle and my knee and all that. I was just waiting to touch the ball. Just really waiting to get the opportunity to touch it.
(On whether he was happy about the number of times he was used in the game) It was different from the previous six years, or six, seven years or so. It just worked out that way today. I guess its one of those things that I have to learn how to do a little bit better.
(On whether he thinks he will have the same number of touches going forward) Im not sure, I guess its really up to [Offensive coordinator] Marty [Mornhinweg] and Coach [Andy] Reid, as far as [how] they want to use me in the future.
(On what his touchdown play may have done for people who had doubts about his ability) Hopefully people still understand that I can still do those types of things. Hopefully if I get some more opportunities they can see that a little bit more. I can still be a very dynamic player in the NFL, theres no doubt about that. I just have to go out there and get the opportunity as well.
(On how WR DeSean Jackson, TE Brent Celek and RB Jeremy Maclin are stepping up and how that can create opportunities for him) We have a lot of playmakers on this team. [TE] Brent [Celek], [RB] Jeremy [Maclin], [WR] DeSean [Jackson], [WR] Jason [Avant], [RB] LeSean [McCoy] guys that can make plays, even [FB] Leonard Weaver, that can make plays. So anytime a defense has to prepare for that many guys wide receivers, tight ends and other running backs its going to be tough for them to really stop everybody and so really I think [that] if we had more opportunities running the ball, we would have been able to expose them a little bit more as far as the different defenses they played. But we didnt get those chances today. The receivers had a great game. Anytime you get one receiver with however many, 150 yards or whatever Jeremy [Maclin] had, thats a great game.
(On the impression Donovan McNabbs performance made on him today) I think Don[ovan], he played tough. Of course Im sure hes still a little, little, hurting a little bit from his injury, but he played tough. He stepped up in the pocket, took a couple of shots. He threw the ball well. Were excited about it, Im excited about this team.
(On whether it was hard to get into a rhythm having only ran a few rushing plays) Anytime that youre expecting to run maybe 30, 35 plays in the first have and you only run almost 20 plays, its hard to get in the rhythm, especially when youre scoring on long pass plays early on in the series, like we did with [WR] Jeremy [Maclin]. So its definitely hard to get into the rhythm, but you love to score. You love to put points on the board and its going to be games that we are going to have to battle like that, like we did in the first half. We battled penalties, we battled. Really its tough for our offense to get into a rhythm when youre like that. But theres going to be games like that and we have to weather those storms as well.
(On whether he was in communication with head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder throughout the game because of his ankle) No. Not at all.
(On whether it was important for him to mention Tampa Bays record and the fact that the Eagles were coming off a bye week to the younger guys) It was important for us to go out there and play our game, execute our game. I think we were a little rusty and that caused a lot of those penalties early one. But its important for us to go out there every single game and handle ourselves. Its not so much what the defense is doing, but for us to go out there and do our thing catch the ball, run the ball, throw the ball down the field, play good defense and special teams. We have the ability to do that as a team and if we do, well be fine.
(On how it felt to get back on the field after his injury) It has been effective in the past. I know its something that defenses definitely have to prepare for. Hopefully itll be more effective than it was today in the future.
QB Donovan McNabb
(On how he felt about his performance in his first game back from injury) I felt pretty good. I knew it would kind of be a slow process, didnt think it would happen as fast as it did with that first touchdown. When you step away from the game for a couple weeks, you just want to get into a rhythm and get your feet under you a little bit. Offensively, I thought we did some really good things. Some things, obviously, weve got to clean up, but whenever you look up at the scoreboard and see that you were able to win it, it makes it a lot easier watching film the next day to prepare yourself for the next opponent.
(On how long it takes to get his timing back after sitting out a couple games) Well, our practices are kind of up-beat, so you get a good feel of game tempo, but it may take a quarter, it may take a couple plays, it all depends on the rhythm that you get early. It could be a deep ball, it could be an intermediate pass, whatever it may be to kind of get things clicking. It just so happened to be the deep ball for the touchdown that really got us going on offense. We werent able to run that many plays in the first half -- I believe we had 20 plays in the first half. In any offense, thats really kind of odd, because normally you run about 35-40 plays, and you contribute to them, obviously, being out on the field and being able to execute different plays, but I thought in the second half after that first series, we were able to get some things going, moving the ball downfield and coming out with points.
(On how he felt physically throughout the game) I felt pretty good. In this whole process, its going to take time. I was able to move around and be very effective in a lot of different things we were doing, pick up some first downs with my legs, so its always good to do different things like that.
(On whether he had any concern with how the first hit he took would feel) Not at all. Ive been in this game for a while, and you just want to protect yourself as much as possible, but you dont even want to think about it and limit yourself in what youre doing. You just want to play the game and let it flow for you. After that first hit, I kind of shook it off and just moved on to the rest of the game. The offensive line did an excellent job today of just giving me time to go through my reads and get the ball to the open guy to give him an opportunity to make the play.
(On whether it is difficult to gauge this years Eagles team) Its difficult for anybody to know where theyre at right now. Ive been in this game for a while where youve seen a lot of teams come out hot, and everybodys saying theyre the best team in the league, and all of the sudden they dont make the playoffs and things dont really work out well for them. I think, for all of us in this league, this is a time when youre gauging the different players that you have, and what you can do in the offense. Quarterbacks are getting comfortable with the guys around them, running the offense, [and] knowing what theyre seeing. Running backs [are doing] the same. [Defensive] coordinators are trying to come up with what blitzes are really the blitz that they want to use in certain situations, and what they want to take out. I think in this situation, its an opportunity for us to get adjusted with one another, with the receiving corps, with the tight ends and running backs, so that by mid-season and toward the end, were hitting the thing rolling.
(On whether he thinks the first two offensive plays -- scrambling for a first down and then throwing a long touchdown pass -- show how far hes come in his career) [The] thing that Ive been working on throughout the years is just pocket presence. Watch old films, and the Dan Marinos and the John Elways -- the older guys -- then you watch some of these other guys who are kind of from my era, the Peyton Mannings, the Tom Bradys, the Carson Palmers -- the list goes on -- its not about running all the time. Its about buying time for your guys in the pocket, and having that trust in the guys up front that theyll be able to hold their blocks. Thats something that I try to incorporate into my play, and I did that today. I was able to use my legs to let the defense know that obviously that can happen, and also just trying to step up and buy time in the pocket to deliver to the guys.
(On whether this game will be a memorable one for him after putting up big numbers coming off an injury) For me, its just another game, a game that I can feed off of going into next week. You just want to go into next week feeling either better or the same as you did last week, and know what youre seeing and be able to react to it. Like Ive said, there are going to be times where the offense hits a wall, or whatever may be, but we know [with] the type of talent that we have, that with one play or maybe two plays we can get this thing rolling pretty much right where we want to go with it.
(On the lack of spread formations on offense) We had some empty packages, spread some guys out and [got] guys on mismatches. You dont want to show your hand every time you play. I think, for the offense that youve seen with [QB Kevin] Kolb in there and when [QB Michael] Vick comes in, theyre different wrinkles. And believe me, we have a lot more in store for what we want to do this year. I think its important that you get that rhythm and get everything adjusted for the base package before you can throw anything else out there. I think that were at a point right now where our base offense can be very effective. Now we can open up the door a little bit for more things to present to defenses. Today, we didnt open it up as much. As the season continues on, well throw some different wrinkles in there and see how it goes.
(On the ability of young players like WR DeSean Jackson and WR Jeremy Maclin to produce so quickly in a complex offense) Everyone is different. I think a lot of it deals with the experience and the comfort level that everyone has with each other. Maybe in the previous years, we might have been doing too much, and then we got back to our base offense and guys were able to execute. Like I said to the last question, if youre not able to execute the base offense and do it effectively, really theres no need to throw different wrinkles out there, because now it feels like youre just reaching and digging. I think right now, at this point, [with] our base offense, weve been very effective getting the ball to the [TE] Brent Celeks, the DeSean Jacksons, the Maclins, the [RB Brian] Westbrooks, the [RB LeSean] McCoys. Now youre able to show the defense something different, but still have that base offense mentality. DeSean had a great rookie year last year, [WR] Reggie [Brown] had a great rookie year his rookie year, and now youre seeing Maclin really open it up for himself. Teams now have to pay attention to him. Now its not just drop back and throw it to one guy -- weve got four or five guys that can make plays for us.
(On the defenses ability to take Jackson out of the offense today) They did, and I saw that. They rolled the coverage a lot to his side, and you want to get your weapons going. Teams are going to do that. Teams are going to try to take someone in this offense out of it -- the Westbrooks before, all the way back to [former TE] Chad Lewis and taking him out of the offense. Theyre trying to take DeSean out, and when you give [other] guys an opportunity to make plays for you, I have full confidence that they will.
(On the progression of McCoy) Hes really progressing. When you have the tutelage of learning from a guy like Brian Westbrook, whos been at the top of his game throughout his career, [McCoy has] learned so much from him right now. Hes able to pick up the blitz package, and we have the confidence that he can catch the ball out of the backfield and make big runs out of the backfield. Hes truly progressing, and in this offense hes an added weapon for us. We can use him in certain situations. We can throw him out there and feel confident he can pick up yards. We can put him and Westbrook out there together and still keep our base offense going.
S Quintin Mikell
(On whether he was satisfied with the defenses ability to make key plays) Thats always good when we get those turnovers. Its always good to get them in those situations. So going forward now, we know what can be done. I mean, obviously we have a lot to work on. You know, we were on the field too long and we got to fix those things but it was good to get those turnovers.
(On whether the team could have played as much coverage if they didnt have RCB Sheldon Brown and LCB Asante Samuel on the field) It makes it a lot easier. You know, we have two of the best corners in league. I mean, I think Sheldon [Brown] is really underrated. Obviously, we know what Asante [Samuel] can do. Whenever you have that, it makes it easier for coaches to call those zero blitzes.
(On why Tampa Bay was able to convert so many third downs) Well I mean, a lot of it was making stupid mistakes. We had a lot of penalties. Theyre a good team. A lot of people, because they havent won yet, think that theyre not a really good team. But, you know, they are whole different team with that QB [Josh Johnson] and when he is able to move around in the pocket and create plays with his legs, thats tough. I give it up to him and obviously we got a lot of stuff we need to work on, but they made some plays too.
(On wining by 20 points and still being frustrated by their mistakes) I think around here, you know, we are used to excellence around here. Thats always good. I think that when you come out of a game like that and know that we could have played better and everybody is upset about it, thats a good thing because now we can go back to work and fix those things. When we made those mistakes, it killed us. If we were playing in a tighter game, it would have been a different story. Luckily our offense was hitting all cylinders and that bailed us out a little bit.
(On if theyve turned the corner and are no longer losing to inferior opponents early in the season) Absolutely. I think these are the type of games that, its always tough because you never know exactly how everyones going to come out. Obviously, we didnt execute great. We were a little sloppy, but we got those turnovers and thats just good to have that under our belt and to know that, look we might make all these mistakes, but you never give up. You know, even though they all the way down in the red zone or theyre going for it on fourth down, we dont give up. So thats the good thing we take from this.
(On whether they will be able to zero blitz against teams with passing capabilities) We did a lot of blitzing today. I think if we played a team that was picking up our blitzes and doing those things like that today, that it might be tougher. But I feel like we have good enough players to really hang with anybody no matter what play is called. But At the same time, if we are playing like we did today in some of those blitzes, its going to be a long day. So we got to fix those things.
(On Josh Johnsons connections with TE Kellen Winslow) You know, hes a good player, man. They had some good calls on him. We had, a couple times actually, I think all but one we really had blitzes on him. They kind of saw them and we just didnt get there in time. Whenever youre playing a good, mobile quarterback and you got a good tight end like that, you know, stuff happens. He caught one on me today. I was in position, but you got to make the play. And thats what it boils down to, and were going to go to work on those things and well fix them.
WR Jeremy Maclin
(On his first TD as a pro) We got bump and run coverage. It is a go ball and I had to beat the guy in front of me. Thats pretty much what it came down to.
(On whether he felt like he was up to speed with the offense) I felt like I was up to speed before hand. With the talented group of guys we have, I think big games are going to rotate between the guys because we have so many guys who can do so many things. Today was just the day where the plays were for me.
(On whether he expected to have a big day today) I expect to make the play. When the ball is thrown my way, I expect to make the play. The number of balls I get, I dont know. You just have to be ready when it does come your way.
(On whether he was determined to make an impression today, being a starter) You just have to make the best of your opportunity. I said it before, its unfortunate that [WR] Kevin [Curtis] got hurt, but it was very fortunate for me to be there and step into that role. When he does get back healthy, he is going to be a guy who is going to help us. We are just going to let the coaches decide what is going to go on.
(On whether he feels he stamped himself as a starter) That is not for me to decide. I just have to make the best of every opportunity.
(On whether e thinks he has learned the offense quickly and the perception that it takes rookies a long time to learn the offense) The offense is hard to pick up, but I have been learning it from day 1. You just get in the trust of the coaches and the quarterback. That is why the results have been what they are. Like I said before, it is what it is and you just have to make the best of every opportunity. You have to make sure that when your number is called, you make the play.
(On whether he was surprised that QB Donovan McNabb had such a strong game today) No, I saw it all week.
QB Michael Vick
(On his 11-yard run) Everything broke down. I got a little rush from the left, so I just tried to move a little bit and let it be natural. I still tried to look downfield, but it wasnt there. I was just playing ball and being natural with it, let my instincts take over. That was good for me.
(On whether being under center was more natural for him) Yeah, being under center is more natural. That is what I like to do, thats what I enjoy. In due time, I will get my opportunity.
(On the play that he came out of the game) I got kneed in the ribs. Took a shot. X-rays were negative, I am okay.
(On being uncertain on how much playing time he will get week-to-week) Yeah, its going to vary week-to-week depending on the flow of the game. That is something I totally understand. The important thing is for the offense to flow, to get into a rhythm, for those guys to build up a lead and for whenever I get out there, to provide for the offense as much as I can.
(On whether he had a sense going into the game today that he was not going to be used as much as he had been his first game) We cant determine how much I am going to be used. It all depends on the flow of the game, the field position and other things. I am just ready whenever my number gets called.
CB Asante Samuel
(On the defensive penalties and overall play of the defense) It was ok. We have to get a little more disciplined with the penalties. We played alright and gave up a couple plays but they have a good, young quarterback over there. Im really impressed.
(On the interception at the end of the first half) They were doing a sit down in the dig route and the quarterback led him to the outside a little bit. It tipped off his hands and I read it. I was trying to score but they were swarming around me.
(On whether the defense could confuse QB Josh Johnson) Of course you can. When theres a young quarterback with less experience, especially against our team with the way we blitz, but [Josh Johnson] is definitely going to be a good one.
(On the constant pressure on QB Josh Johnson) All I know is every game were going after the quarterback. I dont know how many times a game it is, but thats our style. Aggressive, get after them, and make them nervous.
CB Ellis Hobbs
(On what he feels he needs to work on) I definitely think I need to work on some things, as a competitor. Someone who is always trying to critique himself, I think that I have plenty to work on in my game. I think everyone individually feels the same way. Collectively as a team, we have a lot of room to improve.
(On how a team can develop and prove itself midseason) Its still so early to judge anything because as important as each game is right now, once you get to November and December, it all doesnt matter anymore. The teams that start off so fast and so well, sometimes ends up on the tail end of it and when you go out there, you have to understand as you get along in the season, the more crucial the games get, especially for us as we approach our divisional games.
(On how important it is to win certain games by large margins) I think the score is important but I think its more important to be fundamentally sound. When you go out there and say that you didnt play to your opponents level, meaning you were in the right positions, you were making the right calls. You were doing what you needed at the right time. The score dictates that. We have the athletic talent and ability. No one can hold us in that department. We have to continue to get better mentally and buckle down on the little things.