Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo
November 3, 2016
Q: On the situation at safety.
A: Not much has changed, to be honest with you. We are not sure where Nat is, we are not sure where DT (Darian Thompson) is right now and really Landon and Adams have been getting all the reps right there. We are filtering in some other guys just in case, emergency guys right now, but yeah, we are thin. We thought we would be getting some guys back, but we are going to have to wait and see if that happens.
Q: Nat Berhe wasnít cleared today?
A: He did some things, he was limited, but I donít know the official status. It is still protocol right now.
Q: What has made Carson Wentz so effective against the blitz?
A: Yeah, I think he is a pretty good football player. I really didnít know what to expect because I hadnít studied him and then as you get deep into it with the extra week you have a lot of film. I am impressed with him; our players are very impressed with him. He is a big, strong, athletic quarterback that, I think, shows a lot of intelligence. Sometimes you see rookie quarterbacks that worry more about getting the ball somewhere than worrying about moving a safety with his eyes and he does that. I think he is well coached. Frank (Reich) and Doug (Pederson) obviously are both former NFL quarterbacks, so he is getting some really good coaching there and I think they have been real efficient with what they have been doing with him. They have been in a lot more manageable situations because of the run game and the things they are doing, so I think that has helped them have that completion percentage and he obviously was ready to go out there and play. They made the move, pulled the trigger and it has worked out pretty good for them.
Q: Has Adams played well enough that if you got some guys back he would still be out there?
A: Well, the only way to answer that question is to get somebody get back, have them get out there, see how they are doing and then make a decision who plays. But we are at the point in the season where a lot of the guys are going to have to play. Some may walk out there and be the starter, but I think they are all going to have to play. I think that he has done a solid job. You are talking about somebody who originally got cut at the 53, brought back on the practice squad and he has taken full advantage of his opportunities. So he is the guy right now. He is the guy we roll with.
Q: What words come to your mind when you think of the types of games that are played in this division?
A: We talk about these divisional games. You have to win your division first, in everyoneís opinion, before you can do all the other things that you want to do Ė make the playoffs, win the Super Bowl, all of that, so it begins there. So we have had two opportunities, this would be the third and we have talked a lot about this being an NFC East division game, what it means, the rivalry, past Philadelphia-Giants games. There has been a lot of that talk and I think rightfully so. It is an important game.
Q: Do you like your matchup with your cornerbacks against their receivers?
A: I will tell you what I do like. I like that our guys are back and healthy. I like the fact that we are able to get Eli (Apple) out there and maybe get Dominque (Rodgers-Cromartie) back inside and if you have seen enough of our games, you know that these guys have been in a lot of different places. We would like to have them settle in and have them in certain spots, so it feels like that now. It feels more like we were at the beginning of the season, which is a good thing. Everybody that we line up against, in our opinion, is an All-Pro. That is how we treat them and we just hope at the end of the game that we have done better than them. But I am just happy that the guys are healthy right now.
Q: You moved Vernon and JPP around. How much of that had to do with Vernonís wrist?
A: Some of that had to do with it, yeah. Then there is comfort level and there are matchups and who they have at the two tackle spots, so there are a lot of things that go into it, but that had something to do with the movement of both those guys.
Q: Do you feel more comfortable keeping him on the right side now? Is he healthier to that point?
A: To be honest with you, I havenít really dug deep into that. I really rely on Pat (Graham) and Z (Jeff Zgnonia) and OV and JPP to figure that out. Look, what is nice is that they are both willing to play either side and they both feel like they can do it. Now, when the hand issue was a factor, I think OV felt more comfortable on the left side. He is getting better, he is getting healthier, so what we do with them moving around we will see going forward. But it is nice to know that they can do both.
Q: Now that we are at the midway point, do you guys kind of let Kennard go a little bit more?
A: Oh yeah, he is going to get in there and play. A little bit of it has been dictated by what the offense puts out for personnel. I was very happy with what he did over in London in some passing situations, so we need to get him oiled up. But everyone has a role. I talked to the guys after they came back from the bye week, that as we self-scouted and looked at the film, there are some guys we want to make sure are healthy as we get towards the end of the season, they may get less reps, we have guys that kind of deserve to play a little bit. I like it when everybody has a role, so we are trying to do that.
Q: How do you assess your pass rush to this point and did how Vernon played in London affect your expectations for him the rest of the way?
A: That London game has been so long ago. I am being honest with you. I think that we did some good things. I know they only got 10 points, so we must have done something right. Look, all we are hoping for and I tell these guys all the time Ė what we are trying to do is to be better today than we were yesterday, so if we are doing that, then that is good. That doesnít have anything to do with where we started. If we can do better today than we were yesterday, then we are getting somewhere. We donít find out what that is going to be like until we get in the game, but I am hopeful that guys are finding their groove. We are midway through the season, everybody knows what they are doing and we can play some good, aggressive football.
Q: OV isnít a guy that is going to tell you how hurt he is.
A: No, absolutely not.
Q: How much better can he be if he is healthier in the 2nd half of the year?
A: Well, look, obviously we thought that he was a pretty premier football player and he has been that at times. But I do know that the hand has affected him. I think we all know that. But you hit the nail on the head, that is never going to be an excuse, he is not going to take himself out because of it, he has practiced all the time, there are times that he keeps his hand out of it. He is being smart with him. He is like all of us, as we are standing here. I would like him to be 100%, but I am not so sure it is there right now.
Q: Do you think back to last year about where you guys were coming out of the bye? That game in Washington was the first game out of the bye and it kind of changed everything.
A: Until you said that, I really couldnít remember the whole scenario. What was our record going into the bye?
A: Oh, we had a later bye.
Q: But you guys were in first.
A: And then we went down to Washington and we lost. Can you tell that I havenít really thought about it? Honestly, I really havenít. Each year stands on its own. I am more focused on this team.
Q: Division looks pretty good this year, right?
A: No question. Dallas has gotten better and better since we played them and confident. Washington is winning games. They played Cincinnati in London right? They almost won it. And Philadelphia, that is a good football team. I am impressed with the quarterback, I really am. I didnít really know what to expect and I think they are happy that he is doing what he is doing.
Q: What about him?
A: You look at the schedule and all of a sudden they put a rookie quarterback in there early. Everyone gets excited about playing a rookie quarterback if you are on defense, but he doesnít look like a rookie quarterback to me. He really doesnít. Not the way he functions. Iíll give you one thing that impressed me right off the bat Ė he throws the ball as good going left as I have ever seen a right handed quarterback do it. He is really good at that. He is well coached. I didnít see any of the college games because I didnít study him, but obviously he won a lot of games. I know that. He is pretty good. He is really good.