Head Coach Joe Judge
Opening Statement: Today we'll prepare for Philadelphia. Obviously, you talk about this team, there's been recent experience between us and them going back a few weeks, but I always think it's a mistake when you play someone for the second time assuming they're the same team or you're the same team. Both teams have had some change in recent weeks. We'll have to go ahead and look at that and approach that as a team in terms of what we have to do different or better as a team, and what they've improved at and what their strengths are as a team. You talk about offensively, obviously this is one of the top rushing teams. You go back through the statistics – since the 1985 Bears, really no one has run the ball more consistently through a stretch or effectively as a team. That's something that comes with note. That's their running backs, that's their quarterback. They've done a very good job of extending plays and capitalizing on opportunities.
Defensively, it really starts up front with these guys. They create a lot of opportunities for their defensive backs to make plays. You talk about their front and the pressure and how well they're stopping the run right now as a team. This team is really improving overall, really hitting their stride.
On special teams, they're very aggressive. They do what they do in a lot of regards, but what they do has some multiples built into it. A lot of the movement up front, the aggressive rushers on the punt and field goal that you've got to account for. They do a very good job of playing their techniques and winning their matchups. That being said, we have a lot to prepare for. We'll get going today as a team and continue throughout the week. Any questions?
Q: Because they probably think they threw it too many times against you last time, do you expect them to come out even more run-heavy than their personality?
A: Well, we didn't do a good enough job stopping the run last time. They ran the ball for over 200 yards on us, so you do that and you're (not) going to give yourself a chance for success. Do I expect them to throw the ball? We absolutely do, but I don't think it's going to take away from the run game, as well. You look at them even last night in that game against Washington, they ran the ball very effectively, but also took their shots down the field. You talk about (Eagles Tight End Dallas) Goedert, this guy is really coming into his own, being effective as a player and definitely a weapon in this league. Smitty (Eagles Wide Receiver DeVonta Smith) being a young player, I said last time, you knew what this guy was going to be coming out. He's obviously one of the top players in the league. They use him in a lot of good ways, they create opportunities versus man-to-man with him, moving him in different places, really creating some game plan opportunities. You watch him play in the backfield, he gets isolated against linebackers at different times, so they're very creative in how they use their pieces and they're very effective with them.
Q: Any COVID-related updates? Any guys coming back?
A: Really there's nothing new to this moment. (Defensive Back) Keion (Crossen) has been placed on the list, that was shared. Really looking at it, (Wide Receiver) Kadarius (Toney) has an opportunity to get back in the building tomorrow. We expect him to be here with us. That being said, in terms of where he's at physically from the injury he was dealing with as well as COVID, we'll have to wait and see where he's at tomorrow to see whether we can get him on the field.
Q: Any sudden change of heart on naming a starter at quarterback?
A: No, we're going to watch the guys practice throughout the week and we'll see where they are at the end of the week. I wouldn't expect any announcement until maybe the end of the week at the earliest.
Q: Kadarius's injury changed from a quad to an oblique. Where did the oblique come in there?
A: That was something he aggravated, an injury back in the Tampa game. It's something he was dealing with. It obviously restricts someone at his position. We haven't seen him for over a week now, so we'll have to see where he is physically when he comes back.
Q: What has the season been like with him? It seems to be so choppy. Even in the Spring you didn't have him. How much has that kind of—
A: There are a lot of things that are really outside of his control. What I've been pleased with him is when he's been in the building with us, when he's been healthy and present, he's really done a really good job. When he's been removed for different reasons – obviously, he's dealing with COVID right now – he's done a good job staying engaged in meetings. One thing that's really a strength of his is he's very, very intelligent. He has the flexibility to play a lot of different positions. He really learns the entire offense conceptually and it gives him flexibility within it to play in different spots, which really with his skillset, that's something you look to do is build him in for matchups in different places. I'm really pleased with the way he's worked. Obviously, there have been some setbacks. These are things that are outside of his control. He's tried to play through injuries, he's been set back with some different things. Sometimes you have things pop up, that's just the reality of it. I think for any of these rookies, the nature of it is it's a long season. There's not a guy who's a rookie in the league who's played a season as long as they ever will in the National Football League and this year being 17 games instead of 16, you throw that on top of the three preseason games and postseason for a lot of the guys, it's a long season. The reality is, you look at what the guys are doing right now. By the time they hit Thanksgiving (in college), their season is over. Maybe they've got some kind of league championship game, they get a few weeks off, they play a bowl game and that's it. There's no down time like that in the league. You get a bye week, but that's not nearly the same as the down time they get leading into bowl practice. So, about the time you get to halfway through your season, they've already played a full college season, including preseason and the games they're playing already, so it's just different. When you talk about the rookie wall, I've been pleased this year with our guys in terms of pushing through, staying active. We talk to our guys a lot of times about changing the stimulus of your daily routine to make sure you don't hit that wall, that kind of just mental block that you naturally hit. They've done a good job with that. I haven't seen any of our guys really hit that wall, if you would say. I think that our guys inside, the assistant coaches and some of the support staff, have done a good job helping them through that path.
Q: Kadarius – COVID aside – are you concerned about him being a little injury-prone? He's had a series of ankle, leg, feet, quad, oblique. Are you concerned about that? He's not the biggest guy.
A: I think he's compact built and he's very, very strong and explosive. This guy's got great muscle tone. Talk about his body type, this guy is explosive. His body type is how he's built and structured. Everyone goes through nicks and bumps. You can't always control all of the injuries and what you can control is how you rehab, recover, come back and get ready for when your number is called when you come back. He's done a good job of that.
Q: When you're evaluating (Quarterback Mike) Glennon and (Quarterback Jake) Fromm this week and trying to make a decision on Sunday, obviously you've seen these guys in practice the last couple of weeks together. Maybe the reps are a little different, but what do you need to see?
A: We've seen more of Mike than Jake. Jake's been new to the offense. We saw a little bit of Jake in the game the other day. I said the other day, there's a drastic difference between starting an NFL game and just coming in at the end, so there's a lot of things you're going to see structurally, defensively, the situations in the game that pop up. Playing the entire game is a lot different than coming in at the end of the game and just playing a snapshot for us as a team to see. Both guys have worked hard, both guys have done very good things for the team. I'm pleased with the way both guys showed some leadership with the groups around them. We're going to watch them go through, watch them run the offense, prepare for it and we'll make our decision at the end of the week.
Q: You've said in the past that your practices are structured the way they are and you've got to go in, get your work and basically get out. Will you structure anything differently over the next couple of days to make that decision and to have more to evaluate from that quarterback spot? Or is it just really let's just go through a week of practice and see what we feel Friday or Saturday?
A: We'll have a couple of things built in in terms some good-on-good work and some competition work just based on where we're at with our roster and what we need to see anyway. We'll look over completely how we practice. Will we add some things to it to make sure we get a good snapshot of everyone involved? Absolutely.
Q: With (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones), this is the first week where he's been shut down. Will you give him anything extra or any other responsibilities now that he knows he's not going to play? You said he's been helping, but something maybe more structured now that he can maybe help?
A: I don't think there's much more Daniel could have done than what he was already doing. My expectation for him is to continue on the path he's on of helping his teammates to stay mentally engaged and keep preparing. Obviously, through his rehab is where he's going to have to get his conditioning and some throwing and things of that nature. But he's done such a phenomenal job for us already. My expectation is just for him to continue doing what he's been doing.
Q: Were there any other injuries besides Shep (Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard), obviously? Is (Running Back Gary) Brightwell any closer to being back this week?
A: We'll have to see how he moves around. He'll be a little limited today with the trainers. That's nothing too far out of the ordinary for not finishing the game. We'll see how he progresses and hopefully get him in practice tomorrow.
Q: Was there anybody else in the game who got nicked up?
A: Just normal nicks and bumps.
Q: You were asked the other day about Daniel's future and you said something like, 'I'll coach the players, that's for other departments to handle.' It seemed like a change of tone for you. What did you mean by that?
A: The reference that was kind of being alluded to was more contractual. Obviously, I deal with the personnel in a large quantity. We talk about the evaluations, who's coming in, the draft, free agency. That's something I've been involved in and I always want to stay involved in. When it comes to contracts, I've told the players this before, I don't want to be involved in contracts. I want to coach the players. It's tough to coach a player and have the players understand and truly believe that you're playing the best players all the time when you've had to negotiate a contract. After you negotiate with someone and get them on the field, whatever it may be, sometimes there's a little bit of an incentive that 'I had to go through all of this to get this guy here and now I've got to play him to justify that.' I don't want to ever be in that situation. I'm going to play the best players based on how they're playing. That's what we're always going to do here. I don't ever want to be involved – at this moment, I'd say I don't ever want to be involved in the contracts at all. That's not something I'm interested in doing. I want to coach players.
Q: When you look at (Tackle) Matt Peart and evaluate what he did the other day – I think he took the last five series or whatever it was – did he do enough for you to say, 'Okay, he's my guy. He's going Sunday, he's going to start Sunday'?
A: I would expect all of our linemen to play on Sunday. I expect them all. Matt did some good things in the game the other day. He's done some things he's got to clean up as well, same with all of our other players. There are some positives that we've got to keep building on and we'll come out here today in practice and work on correcting things that we did in the game on Sunday that weren't good enough, but he is making some strides. I'm pleased with the way he's working and the attitude he comes out here with. In terms of our rotation on the offensive line, I would expect to see everyone this week.
Q: How are you handling this week with Christmas and the players and scheduling and all that?
A: Actually, timing-wise, it's worked out really well. With Christmas being on Saturday, it really is just going to lay out as a normal Wednesday, Thursday, Friday for us. Friday's obviously Christmas Eve and then on Saturday, we'll travel. What we'll do is we'll give the players the morning, we'll come in here in the afternoon and we'll have our normal Saturday day-of meetings, but we'll make sure that everybody who has family in town or children, whatever it may be, that they have time to see them and spend Christmas morning with their family.