Coming off a 4th straight loss and with fan demand for his firing at an all time high, Eagles head coach Andy Reid seemed to have a normal demeanor when he addressed the media on Monday. Reid appeared calm and provided the same standard, “we have to improve” answers that he always seems to give following a loss. He hardly seemed like a man who many believe is on the verge of losing his job. Here are some highlights from the press conference:
Reid’s opening remarks:
The obvious with the game that I mentioned after the game were the five opportunities in the red zone – 0-5 scoring touchdowns, and giving up an interception for a touchdown. Having seven sacks, you obviously can’t function at this level with seven sacks. Then, defensively, just our tackling was not anywhere near what we are capable of doing. We have a couple of key penalties there that enhanced field position for New Orleans. All and all, we have to sharpen up our game, which is obvious, and make sure that we coach better and play better.
On why the tackling was so bad:
One of the things that we have stressed here over the years is that you run through your tackles. Make sure that you keep your eyes up and put yourself in a safe position to make the tackle. Plus, being able to see the offensive player. I don’t think we did a very good job with that. Angles are also very important.
On why the team is struggling in the red zone:
I started with me. I look at the play calls and the design of the plays for the secondaries that we’re seeing in the pass game and the run game. Same with the fronts. Then, the execution of those plays. You go and you look at that. We’re hit and miss there. We have had some sacks and we had some turnovers. We’ve got a little piece of this thing. We need to make sure we tighten it up by putting our players in the right position. Then, if it’s a blitz, [we need to make sure] we get the ball out quickly and make sure we protect it when needed. We’re seeing some overload blitzes down there and some zero blitz down in the red zone. It seems like a pretty common look for most defenses down there. You either see “Cover Four” or you see zero blitz. Against zero blitz, you have to know that one man can’t be taken care of. The ball has to come out, and the receivers need to be aware of that and the quarterback needs to be aware of that. He needs to be alerted to it. The offensive line, they protect the inside part and give him the opportunity to get the ball out.
On whether a scheme or personnel change needs to be made:
Right now, there are a few things we need to take care of. We need to keep getting better at those things. Somewhere here, it’s going to come together. In this league, you get a win and you hit on a couple of these things and you get yourself a win and we go from there. Now, it’s going the opposite way and we need to make sure we stop that, keep practicing our fundamentals, and doing the things that we know are right. The young guys need to continue to grow. We just have to stay persistent with them.
We go back and you look at all of it. Yes, you go through it and you make sure that you are practicing right and you are practicing the right things. Not only practicing hard, but practicing the right things. You make sure that you put the players in the right position and you show them the things that they’re going to see in the game. Then, if the same things are showing up in the game, then you make sure that you execute.
On why Michael Vick is having trouble picking up blitzes:
It’s not that he’s not picking them up. There’s going to be an extra guy. It’s his responsibility to get the ball out, and/or you have to look at the receivers and make sure that they’re doing their part, too.
On whether Jeff Lurie’s comments have put additional pressure on the team:
You focus in on the job at hand. You don’t get past that. You don’t start going past and thinking about records, futures, and all those things. I know those are questions that you have to ask, and I understand that. When you’re in this thing, you are in it to practice every day. Every play, you get yourself better. There is no time to think about those things and the guys are worrying about getting themselves better to win football games. That’s number one. That’s where I sit.
On whether the team has lost confidence:
The things I saw – I saw guys playing hard. We’ve got to make plays. If guys are in position to make plays, then you have to make the plays. Coaches have to put themselves in a position to make plays. This isn’t over, and we’re all in this thing together. I didn’t sense that. Is there a sense that things aren’t going well? Absolutely. These guys want to do well. The coaches want to do well and the players want to do well. They are battling to get that done and working hard to get that done. I don’t see – that isn’t the problem right now. The problem is that you have to get a couple things bouncing your way and creating things going your way, and make a couple plays here and there. Then, you can get this thing turned around.
On the offensive line and whether they can win with the personnel they have:
Well, listen, we ended up with one starter finishing the game. One first-day starter finishing the game, and that’s not an excuse. The other guys came in; they’re going to battle. If [T] Todd [Herremans] [is down], those are the numbers that you have, those are the guys that you have and I expect them to go out and play. That’s what I expect. Again, it’s our responsibility to make sure we put them in a position where they can have success and execute.
I do. Yeah, I do. I expect them to play that way.
On whether he’s spoken with Lurie since the loss and his message for him:
Well, listen, Jeffrey’s a competitive guy. He feels like the rest of us. He likes to win football games and that’s why he’s in this business. That’s why he owns this business. That’s his expectations.
On whether Vick will remain the starter and his overall performance in the loss:
Michael is our starter.
He did some good things. There were some things, I’m sure he told you, that he’d like to have back. He did some good things.
On Vick’s early interception:
I feel like I did last night. I thought that there’s a fine line there on decisions that have to be made as far as whether it’s defensive holding or a legal play. So, they let that play go. I think the ball was in the spot where, if there wasn’t the aggressive play by the defender, that it’s probably a touchdown.
On whether the hits Vick takes are affecting his elusiveness:
I don’t think it’s because of the hits. I think he was pretty elusive last night. I mean, he made some nice runs when he was under pressure last night.
On whether he thinks the team will tune him out if they keep losing:
Well listen, I think the way this football team is wired I don’t think that’ll happen. They’re a close bunch and they’ve got good character. They fight. They battled through last year. Again, it was too late but they battled through last year and ended up winning some games. I would expect them to continue to battle through and good things will happen.
On whether he is confident the team can turn things around:
Yeah, absolutely. I like these players and what they represent. And the coaches, we’ve just got to put it together, play as one, and we’ll be there.