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Andy Reid Conference Call Transcript

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid addresses the New England media during his conference call on Wednesday, November 23, 2011.

Q:What are you first impressions of this Patriots team?

AR: They're very talented and [have] great coaching. It's obvious, I mean when they get banged up they put another guy in and he plays. I have a lot of respect for the coaching staff and the head football coach and the players. They're good players.

Q: Are you upset that the trading deadline is over so you can't make another trade with Bill Belichick before the game?

AR: We'll get one. We'll get one in the draft somewhere.

Q: How many do-or-die games have you played this season so far?

AR: It seems like every week in the National Football League is a do-or-die game. That's kind of how you approach it I think from a coaching standpoint.

Q:How would you summarize the way that this season has gone especially with such high expectations and now just fighting just to get back to .500 at this point in November?

AR: You know what? I don't get into all that. I just get into - I think as coaches you're problems solvers. You get in and you try to figure it out and make sure you put the guys in the right position and coach your guys up - that's kind of what you do. There's no time to look back or look forward - you get so entrenched in the moment and making sure you get that right.

Q:How would you evaluate the overall body of work to this point then?

AR: Like I said, I don't look at that. The season's not over, obviously, so you have to keep playing and right now all my energy is going into the New England Patriots.

Q: Going back to the do-or-die theme. If you guys don't win this week do you feel you have any chance at all of reaching the playoffs?

AR: I don't worry about all that. I worry about all the energy going into the Patriots. That's where my concerns are.

Q:Your quarterbacks are tied for the NFL lead in interceptions thrown. When you evaluate that, is it a combination of poor decision making or just bad luck? What has contributed to that?

AR: Well, listen. I think we all have a piece of that. I think as coaches we got to make sure we put our guys in the right position and there're a lot factors that go into interceptions. Bottom line is we have to continue to get better in that area and that's what we're working on.

Q:When you first heard the term 'Dream Team' did you know what it would sort of result in? Did you sort of hit your head and go, 'Ohh no, this is going to be annoying?'

AR: I don't worry about all that. I don't worry about that stuff. Ask somebody else on these questions. I'm a very simple guy, so I don't get into all the whole philosophies and things and all that stuff.

Q:I imagine dealing with media firestorms and there seems to be a million of them, it seems that's part of how you manage it and deal with it right?

AR: Just coaching, just coaching - that's all I do. I don't worry about what people say. I know you guys have your jobs to do and so on and I respect that, but I don't worry about all that other stuff. I don't worry about what's said about what's real with my team and [I] make sure that we get right.

Q:When you signed Asante Samuel in 2008, what was appealing about him and how has that played out in the years that he's been with you?

AR: He obviously likes to play the game and he's very good at it - all the interceptions in his career. Our team here, he brought very good energy and we enjoy having him. He loves the game - I guess that would be the answer.

Q:What's Michael Vick's status today and for Sunday's game?

AR: He won't practice today and [we'll] just take it day-by-day and see how he does here. Vince [Young] will take the reps today. We'll see how he's doing tomorrow. He threw yesterday a little bit and little more as we go on here.

Q:What impressed you the most about the way Vince Young strung together 18 plays under pressure, on the road on Sunday night?

AR: I'll probably say just what you said right there - under pressure he focused it in. He started off a little bit slow. I felt like he was getting used to the speed of the game. It's a little different than going up against the scout team or being a part of the scout team. He progressively got better and kind of settled down and did a very nice job. Really, his last 19 throws were pretty good.

Q:Has Jeremy Maclin made any progress this week?

AR: Yeah, he will practice today.

Q:It seems like LeSean McCoy has been one of your most consistent offensive players this year. Can you talk about what he's brought to the team?

AR: Again, he's a good player. He's good in the pass game both catching the ball and blocking. Then he's a good runner in the run game. I think he understands the schemes we're asking him to do [and] getting a little better feel for his offensive linemen. Most of all, he enjoys playing the game.

Q:A lot has been said about the Patriots defense this year. From what you've seen on film, could you discuss what you're seeing that they're doing well or not so well?

AR: Well, I mean they're a good football team. They got after Kansas City. I can't get into all the other stuff, but they're a good football team.

Q:A lot of the guys on the Patriots defense today were discussing the challenge of covering an offense that can shift out of the pocket and do a lot of different things after a play breaks down. How much of a challenge is that starting in camp, making sure the wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs can be on the same page as the quarterback, once Michael Vick or Vince Young breaks from the pocket?

AR: Well, I think that's important. I think it's just a matter of getting used to each other and having some base rules in there for them. I would probably answer your question, the first part, that if you asked our defensive guys they would be saying the same thing about the New England offense - they have a lot of quality players. To answer the latter part, it's just getting to know the quarterback.

Q: Where does your connection with Bill Belichick connect back too?

AR: We knew each other as assistant coaches and then really when he became the head coach at New England I came here as the head coach and we developed a close relationship. Chris Berman will take all the credit for that.

Q:Why is that?

AR: He talks to both of us, so it feels like setting up your best friend on a double date.

Q: It is unusual for two head coaches to be friends, right? I would imagine you couldn't be best friends with all 31 other coaches. How does that sort of manifest itself with Bill Belichick?

AR: I think we both love football. We love the game. We're both put in a position where we're responsible for personnel decisions, so we both talk about that. That's kind of where we go. Bill is a big family guy - I know he's got a number of kids and I've got a number of kids, so we talk about the kids.

Q:Can you speak about the confidence that Vince Young showed especially on that long drive? How good was it to see that emerge in a situation like that?

AR: Look, I think it was good from a - probably the main thing I would tell you is that Vince came here under a bit of scrutiny. I'm also good friends with Jeff Fisher, so I understand the situation that took place there. He came here with a little bit of a cloud over his head, but he's done nothing but work hard [and] study - he's doing it the right way. He and Michael [Vick] have developed a very close relationship as has Mike Kafka - that group is very tight. I think Michael's example has been very good for Vince. I think Vince's attitude has just been unbelievable.

Q: Did you ever consult with Jeff Fisher about Vince Young when you guys were looking into him?

AR: I've talked to Jeff over the years, so I - Jeff's never going to say - he never hits on the negative on anybody. That's just not how he does, so I don't even go there with him. Obviously, I have the defensive line coach from his team here [Jim Washburn] so I knew that part of it; I had talked to him about him before we brought [Vince] here but I didn't go there with Jeff. He always said positive things about him, so I was good with that.

Q:Nnamdi Asomugha has faced some criticism this season. Do you feel he's deserved it or how would you assess his play overall?

AR: You know, I really think he's done some good things. We're asking him to do a ton. He loves the game and he's learning every week and I love his approach to everything. He's a pleasant guy to be around. Again, he's another guy who loves to play the game. He wants to be the best and again, we're asking him to do more than what he's done in the past. We're moving him all around - inside, outside. I just think he's handled it well.

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