Head Coach Greg Schiano
(On guard Carl Nicks)
"He was [limited].It's his foot, and I'm going to leave it at that. We're examining everything."
(On when Nicks was injured)
"I'm not sure. It just started to bother him, so he tells our trainers and we look into it. And now we're doing all the tests you can do to make sure – MRI's and everything."
(On if Nicks suffered a setback at some point)
"No, not that we know of. He's just been playing."
(On if there's a chance Nicks will play Sunday)
"Yeah, it's just day-to-day. We've got to see."
(On if tight end Tom Crabtree has had any setbacks)
"No. I think he looks more comfortable each day, which is good."
(On what Crabtree brings to the offense)
"We were encouraged in the preseason, the first three games, then he gets hurt in the beginning of that [Washington] Redskins game [preseason game four]. We thought things were progressing. He's had, obviously, a long gap between then and now, but he's practiced, he looks better each day, and I think he's going to be a productive guy there, just another weapon in there."
(On safety Mark Barron)
"I think he's playing at a very high level, and I think [safety Dashon] Goldson and [cornerback Darrelle] Revis had some effect on that too. I know you don't want to go back to that, but I think, together, they're a really tight group and now [cornerback] Johnthan [Banks] and [cornerback] Leonard [Johnson], those five guys, I think, have a good feel for each other, and they're going to need to. This game, especially, presents some unique issues, when you're dedicating resources. Defending is: 'where do you dedicate your resources?' If you dedicate your resources to stop the run, you put people a little more exposed in the pass. We're going to be challenged, so those guys need to step up. To your question, Mark is playing at a high level and getting better each week, which is important."
(On Barron being versatile)
"You're right there, especially now, with him playing down in the dime [package] – which he's a natural at – plus he plays well as a run support safety and he's a much better deep defender than people give him credit for. I think, sometimes, when you're big and physical, they say, 'You can't play the deep ball.' He can. He's gifted that way. Mark's got all the makings to be an elite guy. I think just time and reps is going to be the only thing in between him [and becoming elite]. [That] and staying healthy."
(On the affect the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive pace has on a defense)
"Well, you see people getting penalties. You see people not ready to play. So, it definitely has an effect. It's not that they do it every play. It's the ability they have to do it whenever they want to. That's what makes it a little tricky. You have to respect the fact that they could do it each and every play, although they don't do it each and every play – I mean go super up-tempo. That's going to be the challenge, and they lull you to sleep a little bit, you know? You're okay, you're okay, and then bang, they hit the gas pedal and you're not ready to go. Substitution, matching personnel, and being ready to play are three things we've got to be really alert to."
(On his transition from college to the NFL)
"I think the biggest thing in my transition was that [General Manager] Mark Dominik helped me understand the pro game, understand the personnel-end of things. The football part – we have guys that were on our staff that had coached in the National Football League, I had done it before. There are differences in the game, without a doubt, and we talk through all that, but I've discussed, many times – the biggest difference is the personnel, learning the personnel, learning all the rules that go along with it, something as simple as claiming a guy off a practice roster. Now he's got to be up for three weeks. The 46, the 53, the practice squad, the reasons you can and can't move people around – it's all foreign unless you've studied it, and as an assistant coach, you don't study it. So, even if you've had assistant coach experience in this league, it's not your responsibility, so you're really not that familiar with it. That was probably my biggest adjustment."
(On what he has seen from defensive end Adrian Clayborn)
"I think he's played like he always does: incredibly hard. I think what he's doing is he's getting more precise now that he's getting his football legs underneath him and he's back from the injury. I don't think he thinks about any of that anymore. I think he's just getting it go. I think what we're going to see is his game's going to go like 'this' [sharply up] as far as productivity, because, when you play as hard as he does, it's a matter of time. He plays so hard that he's disruptive. If he's not actually making a play, he's causing a ball to get diverted away from where it wants to go, and that's something in the run and the pass game – when you get the quarterback off the spot or you get the running back to go where he doesn't want to go, dictate the daylight. That's something that Adrian brings."
(On if the tempo of the Philadelphia offense affects the defensive line)
"I'm not sure the tempo does as much as the scheme they run – what they're doing with the gun-run. If you twist the wrong way, you're twisting away. It could get ugly. You've really got to be very, very detailed in what we do if we're moving people. Is it going to cause you to be a little less [productive]? It does, option football, because, essentially, that's what this is: It's option football by another name, or at least the potential to be that. Whether [Philadelphia quarterback Nick] Foles carries it or not, it doesn't matter. You have to account for him. That's the challenge."
(On if the threat of a deep passing game opens things up for the offense)
"I think it does. I think there's a couple things. Number one, it doesn't allow defensive backs to sit on you, on intermediate and short routes, with the threat. Whether it's consciously or subconsciously, if you don't ever go deep, they start to snug down on you more and more and more. The other things we've talked about are DPI [defensive pass interference] possibilities. In pro football, the rule is: you get the ball at the point of the foul. That can be 40, 50 yards down the field. That's a big play. There's some risk, obviously, but when you're really committed to throwing it deep, now, it's not as risky as holding the ball for late-developing routes. If you're going down the field now, it's five [steps] and throw or seven and throw – you're getting rid of the ball. So, there are a lot of benefits. It's a philosophical thing. Some people just don't believe in it. I do, and we'll continue to do it and probably do it more than we have."
(On if the threat alone of a deep pass is enough to put fear into a defense's mind)
"I don't know if it's fear, because these are pro football players, but just the fact that it's there, it's real, it's a possibility, so you have to defend it. If you never doubt it, there's no doubt guys are sitting on you. The defensive backs sit on the routes."
(On if quarterback Mike Glennon is being rushed into being a starter)
"That's a good question. Ready or not, that doesn't matter if he's the best choice for us to win. That's the first thing. When are they ever really ready? There's guys that are well into their careers that aren't quite ready. The thing that, I think, has been talked about is how mature he is, how hard he works, he's got a very good football mind. Are there things that are going to fool him? Sure. Are there mistakes that he'll make early in his career that he won't dare make later? Absolutely, because of the kind of worker he is and how smart he is. There's some quarterbacks, and some football players, that'll make the same mistakes over and over and over again, and that's why they don't play that much. This guy will learn from his mistakes. That's one thing that I'm really confident about. It's just, 'how many times do you touch it [the ball]?'"
(On what he has seen from Glennon)
"He's a very accurate passer and he's improved on just about everything through repetition, whether it's incremental 'that much' [a little] or it's 'that much' [a lot], he's improving, and he should be, right? He's a rookie who's now getting every rep. If you're not making a real steep improvement right now, then he's not the right guy. Well, he is, so that's good. Now how long can he continue to do that at that rate? Because pretty soon, it starts to lessen. That'll be how good he's going to be."
(On the affect accuracy has on the passing game)
"I think, when your receivers can feel confident that they're going to catch the ball and be on the move and not have to reach back or reach up, it takes a little while for them to really believe that. Once they believe that, now they catch the ball aggressively, running through it, and they go, and that's when you get yards after catch. When people start to settle to catch the ball because, just by habit, you have to be ready to go around to get it, you lose the yards after catch. I see that happening slowly, our guys are getting more and more confident. We just need to keep throwing it that way. As long as you do that, the guys' confidence will continue to grow."
Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan
(On if he has ever seen an NFL offense similar to what Philadelphia is running)
"No, not from a scheme standpoint, not the way they run the ball out of the shotgun, much like what people are doing in college. The thing that's most impressive is the play action it sets up off of it. You're so wound up into defending the gun-run, because of the possibility of the quarterback being a running back as well. Then they have an outstanding play action pass route concepts and formation concepts. This stuff is well thought out, [Philadelphia Head Coach] Chip [Kelly] has been doing it for years and had had tons of mileage out of it and he's doing the same thing in our league now. They're tearing it up, statistically, as you know."
(On the biggest concern for Sunday's game against Philadelphia)
"That'll be a challenge because they're on the ball all the time, yet they have different tempos. Sometimes they'll literally get on the ball and snap it and hope you don't even have your guys with their hand down. At other times, they're just going to be on the ball at a little more of a moderate pace, so you have to be selective on your subs. That's going to be a big challenge, we try to simulate in practice but, as you know, it's never quite going to be the same. They have the ability to snap it, they can repeat a play or they can make a very short huddle call at the line of scrimmage and get the ball snapped and you've got to have your guys ready. That will be a challenge, outside of the scheme itself, because it's not a conventional NFL offense."
(On safety Mark Barron)
"He's really versatile, because now he's playing our dime linebacker on third down. I think the biggest thing is he's more comfortable with our defense. We tweak and wrinkle that a little bit from season to season but for the most part, it's the same defensive package so he's really familiar and comfortable with the first and second down stuff. Aside from that, he's very talented, as you know. He is a versatile guy, he can play run defense, he can cover guys man to man, he's smart enough to play all the different zones, he's an outstanding blitz guy – that's what you're seeing right now."
(On how Barron has improved since entering the league)
"I think the biggest thing – and it's really just shown itself here in the last month – is his ability to close guys down in the open field. Maybe once or twice a game a ball will break out and his ability to really walk the guy down – just straight-line speed. You don't see it a lot from anybody because the ball is usually corralled in most NFL plays. But in a few of the break out plays, especially in the New England game, his straight-line speed to just walk a guy down and put him on the ground a lot faster than a lot of other guys would be able to do, [that] would probably be the most pleasant surprise. Although, we knew he was straight-line fast coming out of the combine."
(On Barron's abilities in pass coverage)
"It has been outstanding especially on the third down and the dime linebacker position covering guys out of the back field and covering tight ends. And he's got a great knack of timing up the ball at the reception point and what we call 'gloving it out', knocking it out with his off arm as he secures the receiver with leverage. I know he was taught that and well taught that in college and he's able to do it because he's quick enough to close on guys and get close enough when the ball gets there that he can knock it out. He can even try to catch a few of those, but we're thrilled when he at least breaks it up."
(On game planning against the Philadelphia offense)
"It's going to put pressure on our secondary, because they know that we're going to rely on secondary run support. We're not going to be able to defend the run just with our front seven. Yet they have to be disciplined in their keys to read their run pass indicators so they know that when it is a pass based on receivers releasing or offensive linemen pass protecting, that they have to convert and get into pass coverage mode. That's really what that offense does to you, it's going to make your secondary run support and we know that and our DBs [defensive backs] understand. They're going to be involved in run support Sunday, it's not just going to be a 'front seven mash it all up and we can play two-deep coverage the whole game' – that's not going to happen. It's going to be a challenge for our DBs; they know that they're going to have to be involved in run support and yet have fantastic discipline because they're counting on you over supporting and then throwing the ball over your head, and those are bigger chunk plays than a five-or 10-yard run."
(On cornerback Darrelle Revis will be matched up with Philadelphia wide receivers Desean Jackson)
"Like we've been doing the first four weeks, there are certain times where we will want to match him up on that, other times we'll try to put him in a position where it's the best based on the coverage we're playing. It's not, literally, 'we're going to put him on him the whole game,' because we don't play man-to-man coverage the whole game, especially against a team like this. There will be times where we'll do that and the huddle call will dictate that he lines up to him but a lot of times, you're just playing your zone coverage and your trying to put him in the best position to play coverage technique for that coverage."
(On if the defense needs to be less aggressive against Philadelphia's offense)
"I think you have to pick your spots because you don't want to play the whole game on your heels. Just let them run their offense and hope that you can defend it well enough. You need to try to get them off balance a little bit as well and run second level guys at the line of scrimmage and we will do that but you want to be selective because they're potentially so explosive. If you don't leverage a run correctly, the running back is dynamic and we want to try and keep him corralled. Then, again, in the play action pass, when you do pressure, you're basically playing types of man-to-man, one-high coverage. If you can cover them that's great, if not, you risk giving up a big play and we don't want to do that."
(On what Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles brings to the offense)
"I think the only difference might be a little bit more passing, as corny and simple as that sounds, but they'll still run the same rushing attack – or at least we're anticipating that – and still with the ability for him to disconnect and run it himself. If you just avalanche down on the running back, they're not going to foolishly hand it off to him. They're going to run the same run concept, and if you do that, he'll disconnect and he'll run around the end. Even if he just slide-tackles himself, if you don't defend it, it's going to be a five, six, seven yard gain. But the other thing is – I don't know, we'll find out as the game proceeds – maybe they'll have a little more of an idea to toss it around a little bit, because he can do that. You think about what a threat Vick is with his scrambling ability, but really – we played this guy last year – Nick is very athletic and has no problem getting out of pressure and running the ball and getting first downs by running the ball. He did it to us last year in our game. He's still a pain in the neck that way, just like Vick would be."
(On having played Foles and the Eagles last year)
"We've watched that game, not necessarily from a scheme standpoint, but just watching the guy, what he does against pressure and how it handles that kind of stuff. I guess, from a familiarity standpoint, it's a little bit of an advantage, but him for us too. He's seen us and knows our guys and is familiar with our personnel – maybe not as familiar with some of the new guys we've had in free agency. But we've definitely studied that film just to see: what does he do in certain situations? He did a nice job against us last year. We've got a lot of respect for him and know that he's going to be a tough guy to handle."
(On how defensive tackle Akeem Spence looks)
"Good. I was just talking to him after practice today. He's really exactly what we had hoped when we drafted him, because we play a tilted nose tackle, as you know, and he's the exact kind of guy you'd look for when you're looking at the college draft for a guy. Aside from maybe fitting that mold and being a talented guy, Akeem's a very competitive guy, and he's got a lot of pride. If you've got those two things, you've got a chance to be a really good NFL player, and he's got both of them. I think, down the road, he'll be an outstanding defensive tackle in this league – not just a first- and second-down guy, but a guy that can rush the passer. He's got a lot of talent and he's a really competitive, prideful guy."
(On if Spence's weight room strength is an advantage)
"It is, yeah. I think you do see that. It's interesting you say that, because you really can see it. He can really life guys up and really shed blockers. He can move people, and it's impressive. It might only happen two, three, four times a game where it's really like a 'Wow,' but we've seen it through the preseason games, and you'll see it once or twice during regular season games. He can really move guys. And, of course, the guys he's going against are giants. But yes, his weight room strength definitely shows itself on the field."
RB Doug Martin
(On defenses focusing on stopping the run)
"I've noticed it pretty well. It's a good problem to have, but we just have to find ways to work around it, find plays to be more productive on offense and to work around eight-and-nine [players] in-the-box. It means that the running game is definitely a big part of the offense and to stop it, you have to put eight-or-nine [players] in-the-box, so that's what defenses are doing."
(On making plays against defenses loading the box)
"In that case you just have to be patient; it's a lot of plays. I think in the last game I had about 70 plays. You just have to be patient and wait for one of those plays to be a breakout run."
(On having a heavy workload)
"As long as I feel fine, then I have no worries."
(On Head Coach Greg Schiano)
"He's doing an awesome job. I love the guy. I know everybody gets on him about being the hard-nosed, military background, but he's also a caring guy. He cares about his players and I've seen a lot of that this year, definitely. He'll come up to you can just [talks] with you, just have a nice one-on-one talk and just try to get to know you and things like that. [It's little things, he'll joke around a little bit with you and make sure you know that he's human too."]
(On the offense not being up to par with the defense)
"It is frustrating that the defense is putting in all that work and the offense isn't really up to par with what we can do. We have a lot of potential and we've got a lot of weapons on offense, it's coming."
(On quarterback Mike Glennon's progression since becoming the starter)
"He's progressed pretty well. I'm actually impressed with what he's been able to in the past two-to-three weeks. When he was behind [former Buccaneers quarterback] Josh [Freeman] I could see that he was just soaking everything in like a sponge. Right now it looks like he's ready to go."
(On Glennon's leadership on and off the field)
"When Mike came in here and when the quarterbacks were passing the ball to me, I could tell that his balls were accurate and perfect spiral and he has a great touch on the ball. He's a mellow guy, he reminds me of [quarterback] Kellen Moore at Boise State a lot-he's a little taller though. He's an athlete's first guy so we click in those aspects. He's a cool guy."