Interim Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo
December 13, 2017
Opening Statement: Welcome. We were inside today, as you saw. We had a pretty good practice, I thought. Got some guys banged up. Pat (Hanlon) will get that to you. Some guys working through some bumps and bruises. Other than that, Iíll open it up. Weíre on to Philadelphia, obviously. Another NFC East opponent. Good football team. I mean, we know what happened with their quarterback. I really felt bad for him. Thatís a good football player. Heís good for the league, but we have a lot of respect for (Nick) Foles, as well. Iíve seen him operate back down there in Philadelphia a couple years back, so it wasnít like they dropped off too much. So, having said that, Iíll just open it up.
Q: Any update on Justin Pugh?
A: Not yet. Heís still away with the evaluation. Nothing yet.
Q: What worked in your first game against Philadelphia this season for you as a defense and how can you do the same thing on Sunday?
A: Funny you say that. I didnít think that it worked real well and the only reason I say that is because I was watching the end of that game last night. I want to say six minutes to go, or four or five, we still had a three-point lead and so thatís our responsibility on defense to hold the lead and we didnít do that. They tied it up and then they hit the long field goal and, you know, the last play they got in a position to kick a 61-yard field goal. Just didnít get operated the way itís supposed to. So, thatís what I remember. Now, there were moments in there as I was watching third quarter plays. I was looking up there and saying weíre doing pretty good because the score is down and then they scored a couple of quick ones. Itís hard to remember that whole game, but I do remember it was one of those games where we felt defensively that once we got the lead that late in the game, itís up to us to keep the lead and win the game.
Q: I think they ran for 180 yards against you guys.
A: It was something, yeah, theyíve been doing that to a lot of teams. I mean, theyíre a pretty good rushing football team. Thatís our number one focus this week.
Q: They didnít have Jay Ajayi when you first played them.
A: No. But they had some pretty good runners, too. I believe isnít that when Darren (Sproles) got hurt? I canít remember how early in the game he got hurt, and we didnít concentrate just on that game. Thatís quite a ways ago and teams develop offensively and defensively as the season goes. So, I flipped through it real quick, but weíve watched a lot of their last five or six games. I do remember the number and didnít like it. I canít remember all the plays, but I know they popped a few out there that, you know, we got to do a better job.
Q: How have the Eagles developed in the past four or five games that youíve seen?
A: Yeah Ė they operate offensively like clockwork. I mean, theyíve got weapons on the outside. The tight ends are, you know, they got enough of them to worry about obviously and add in another running back to a group of running backs that are really good and itís running back by committee. You got to be aware of which running back is in the game. It changes how they attack you running the football a little bit differently and certainly with Carson Wentz there, you put on the tape. I said this before. Heís like Houdini. He made all kinds of something out of nothing. Thatís what heís really good at. But, the system that Doug (Pederson) runs down there is taxing on you defensively from a standpoint of you have to stop the run so everybody gets heavy on their toes, and yet they got a really good play action pass game. I read somewhere where they werenít connecting on a lot of those shots that they took, but I see a lot of them they do connect on. Those are the ones that weíre concerned with.
Q: How does the game plan change with Nick Foles at quarterback?
A: I donít think itís going to change all that much for us because youíve got to stop that run game. It really didnít matter who was handing it off. Now, I think Foles throws a really good football. That throw he made against the Rams to kind of clinch it, that was perfect. He threw it, they got a first down and kind of iced it. When he went in there and you watched that game, and heís only played Ė I think I looked at 26 or 27 plays heís had this year because I donít believe he had any in preseason. And, you watch him in the Rams game. He obviously does a really good job getting ready to play a football game because they didnít skip a beat when he went in there. Didnít look like they limited with any checks or anything, so theyíve done a good job down there coaching them and heís obviously a pro at what he does.
Q: What does Jay Ajayi do for their offense?
A: Yeah, a little bit. Now, Iím not going to say a complete change of pace back from (LeGarrette) Blount, but a little bit better dynamic outside. Although, 29 (LeGarrette Blount) can do it all, too. All three of those backs are really good. We got to be concerned with them. I think theyíre pretty good pass blockers, too. They ask them to pass block quite a bit. A challenge both scheme-wise and the talent at running back.
Q: Eli Apple had an eventful end of the first game against the Eagles with a pass interference and the Alshon Jeffery play on the sidelineÖ
A: I remember that one. I canít remember the pass interference.
Q: Eli Apple has had an eventful season. Where is he now after today?
A: Practiced today Ė not with the starting group, but got reps in there. Worked with the scout team. He did some special teams reps, so weíre kind of getting him, trying to oil him back up. Weíll see where he is at the end of the week. At the end, you got to make a decision on 46 players, so thatíll all unfold as the week goes.
Q: Eli Apple is not on the injury report.
A: No. No. Heís gotten past that, so weíre good to go.
Q: Whatís the deal with this guy?
A: This guy being?
Q: Eli Apple. Whatís the deal with him?
A: I donít want to pass judgement on a kidís attitude or character. I think thatís just between me and him, but the tweeting obviously was very disappointing. I think I mentioned that the other day. We got past that with an apology. Weíre men. Now, he has some Ė heís going to have to deal with some repercussions because of that. Heís a young man that, look it, Iím into building up and not breaking down. So, weíll keep trying to build up.
Q: Will Eli Apple get fined?
A: Iím not going to say that. I think thatís between me and the player.
Q: Eli Apple is a top 10 pick in his second year. You have to get him on the field at some point.
A: At some point, we got to do that. Thatís the goal. Thatís the goal.
Q: Has Eli Apple indicated that heís willing to be built up?
Q: Did Eli Apple play better last year?
A: You know, I really thought Ė I think I kept saying this to you all early in the year. I donít have a great memory, but Iím going to go back and I remember he had a couple of those penalties and then maybe got beat deep. I remember saying to you all that, look, I get that as a corner, thatís what sticks out. But, there are many snaps where Eli was covering his guy and they didnít throw it there and thatís what goes unnoticed. Then, as the season progressed, I thought right before he hit this rough period that he had two or three games there where he played really, really well. We need to get back to that.
Q: Do you have Romeo Okwara coming back this week?
A: Not sure on that yet. He could, but I want to see the health of the other guys and all that.
Q: Has anything changed regarding Davis Webb and his status or practice reps?
A: No. Not right now. No. Itís been the same. But, Iím going to reiterate that Davis is a young man thatís preparing like he would start in the game. Thatís just how he is. Made a couple great throws today. Two against the defense.
Q: Will Davis Webb be deactivated on Sunday?
A: Thatís they plan right now as we are here today on Wednesday, December 13th. That would be the plan.
Q: You made Damon Harrison the defensive captain when Jonathan Casillas went on IR.
A: Yeah. When JC went on IR, we did that. Whatever day it was last week. It might have been Wednesday or Thursday.
Q: Was that just your decision?
A: Yeah. In this particular case, yeah. Heís a leader.
Q: Is there any shot that Davis Webb will get a start in Arizona?
A: I donít know that yet. I donít know that.
Q: Damon Harrison told us earlier in the season that heís not a leader. You said he is.
A: Itís funny you say that. I just said, God gifted you with some leadership tools. I mean, we talked about that. He was more than willing to step up and be that guy. He doesnít like to be in the forefront of things. You know how there are all different kinds of leaders. Thereís guys that lead by example. Thereís quiet leaders. Thereís vocal leaders. Heís a leader.
Q: Does it make sense to shut Landon Collins down?
A: Weíll have to look at it. I donít know if heíll let us. Sometimes you got to protect these guys from themselves, but didnít do anything today. Weíll see tomorrow and then he would have to convince Ė look it, I donít want him to go out there and get hurt any worse. Weíll do the right thing.