Eagles Hold Off 49ers, Improve To 3-2: Andy Reid's Monday Morning Reflections

Has the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback controversy been reignited all over again? We’ll see. Kevin Kolb, who started in place of the injured Michael Vick on Sunday night, played well during the Eagles’ 27-24 victory over the winless San Francisco 49ers. Was his performance (21-of-31, 253 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs) good enough to retain the starting QB duties for Philadelphia’s Week 6 home game against the surging Atlanta Falcons? Good question. My guess is he will, but partly because it would be cautiously wise to let Vick rest his injured ribs for at least another week. Who knows though? It’s not as if head coach Andy Reid has been entirely conventional with his approach to managing the dynamic situation. Reid was rightfully not put on the spot just yet with that line of questioning during his Monday press-conference. He did, however, answer a number of questions about last night’s game, the ever-changing injury situation for the Eagles, and what the team will be hard at work correcting and improving upon during the upcoming week of practice and preparation. (Transcription courtesy of Eagles’ official team site.)

On injuries: “On the injuries front, RB (Eldra) Buckley has a elbow hyper-extension, OT (Jason) Peters has a knee sprain and MRI in the morning, CB Dimitri Patterson finished the game with a little back strain and WR DeSean (Jackson) had a knee strain from the last punt that he returned.”

On tonight’s performance: “It was a good win. It’s tough to win on the road, particularly this far west, in what I think is a good football team. Things just have not bounced their way. (Head Coach) Mike Singletary, I think, does a heck of a job. He has a tough, tough football team. That defense out there, I game planned against them all week and that’s a tough bunch to get yards on and likewise for their offense. They are working some things out, some young guys in there. They’re explosive at times, and in that defensive side too. Special teams, what a difference that made for them. (WR Ted Ginn) is an explosive player. Once they get him back in the offense, he’s an explosive player. All in all I’m proud of my football team. I think that they played their hearts out. Five takeaways in defense, (S) Quintin (Mikell) got his first touchdown as a pro. Offensively (LeSean) McCoy, you’ve got to give him credit, he’s a tough kid. There was no doubt he was going to play. He practiced, he went places a lot of people won’t go with a broken rib, 92 yards, carrying the football, 130 total yards. (QB) Kevin (Kolb) had 103 quarterback rating. (QB) Michael (Vick) is still starting quarterback so we won’t get that controversy going there. That’s what it is.”

On resilience shown against the 49ers: "They’ve done this, this is what the 49ers, when I say a tough football team, this is what I’m saying… You’ve got to play four quarters against them. We talked about it all week, their ability to come back. They did it against the Saints, you saw them against the Atlanta Falcons. This is what they do, they play four quarters. I’m proud of my guys, it’s been a long day today. We came out Friday, it’s been a long couple days on the west coast. The guys stayed focused, they kept pressing the defense. The defensive line then stepped up and played their hearts out against what I think is a good offensive line. I’m just proud of them. "

On backup quarterback Kevin Kolb’s performance: “You know I think he did a pretty good job, we’ll look at the tape and see. There are some things I think he could have done better. I think he’ll tell you there are a couple throws he’d like back but all in all he managed the game well. He was accurate, there was no hesitation putting the ball in tight holes. He did it with conviction. I thought he stepped and played like we know he can play. The guys have so much confidence in him, everyone was right with him.”

On taking control during the second half: “We need to do that. You’ve got to do a little thing here and there, they (San Francisco) did a good job. They had two nice defensive plays against our tight end. When you’ve got opportunities like that, you’ve got to finish that. That’s something we can do better and learn from that.”

On scoring a touchdown right after the 49ers: “It was, again, special teams we’re working through that. We lost leverage on it. You can’t lose leverage with Ginn. He got us a couple times there. Right there at the end he got us. They were able to push the ball in. We came back. I started from the 20 and we took it and moved it right down the field. I thought the execution was good. We had a holding right there in the red-zone. We overcame that and scored which is tough to do.”

On not having K David Akers kick at the 30 and 36: “I’ll tell you it was very windy down there. It was blowing… having it back I probably would have let him kick at the 36 there, even with the wind. That’s the direction the wind was blowing, I should have punted that thing down there and let our defense play it. David felt good about it. Normally, when he feels like that he normally pumps them right in but that wind was so gusty, even though he had it, I should have used better judgment on my part.”

On not having all their starters playing: “I don’t think this crew cares. They just say okay, next guy get in. That’s a tribute to (General Manager) Howie Roseman and the job he’s done with the personnel. Players just believe in their guys, they jump in and go. I don’t think they really care who is out there and who is not out there. They play their hearts out, that’s what they did.”

On how they forced 49ers QB Alex Smith into turnovers: “I go back, I have a lot of respect for him as a football player. He’s had so much turnover and Mike’s working on stabilizing that for him. That’s a tough, tough thing as a quarterback and I don’t think people realize how tough that is. The one common ingredient among all quarterbacks is that if you can get pressure on them then you’ve got a good thing going from a defensive standpoint. That’s what we were able to do.”

On the toughness of RB LeSean McCoy: “I’m going to tell you, he’s a tough nut. There was zero hesitation throughout the week that he was going to play. He was safe to play which was most important, then it was a matter of him being able to endure it. He wanted the ball, he wanted the ball, he wanted the ball. Tough kid.”

On Kolb’s improvement: “I think he will continue to do that. I think that a young quarterback, that’s what you’re going to see. I mentioned that from the beginning. There’s a maturation process that takes place when he plays. You just don’t step in one year and set the world n fire. That’s not how this thing works. That’s the reason why Michael moved into that spot. It cuts that maturation process down when another guy plays. The kid stepped up and played well today. He did a heck of a job, he had an opportunity to prepare all week. He was in the building long hours, he worked very hard, his teammates believe in him, which is a huge thing. He went out and performed on national television, a road game—which he had not done before. Nice job with it.”

On a more physical appearance by the defense: “The guys were relentless, I thought. Not that they haven’t been. They were coming off the football and playing relentless football. You’re talking about one of the best runners in the NFL. They were able to do a pretty good job against them. I don’t know the final numbers. The tight end (Vernon Davis) is a heck of a player, he got a couple down the stretch there. Looked like he got hurt after the last one, he’s a dangerous guys. Crabtree, I thought, played out of his mind, he had a phenomenal game. He made some moves out there that for a wide receiver were something.”

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