Headcoach Andy Reid
Injuries/opening remarks:
‚Really, [CB] Lito Sheppard is the only one we need to talk about and he has the dislocated elbow, as I mentioned yesterday. He will be out for this game.”
‚We look forward to the challenge of playing the Saints and we know they are a heck of a football team. We have to get ourselves ready to go – we’re playing in a very intense environment down there – and that’s what we are going to go about doing this week.”

On whether they will practice with simulated crowd noise this week:
‚Yeah, we’ll do what we normally do when we have to go to an away game.”

On whether even he feels a little more excitement than normal because it is the playoffs:
‚I think anytime you’re in the playoffs – everything is faster, quicker and more hightempo – and you have to coach a little bit better and players play a little better and that’s just kind of the nature of it. I guess you’d be a little bit more excited.” On whether they plan on using the offensive line to try and control the ball: ‚We’re going to run our offense. We always try and do that, every week, the best we can”

On whether teams ignore their seeding in the playoffs because of the nature of the NFL:
‚Well, I would think so. I would think teams – they are in the playoffs and think they have a chance of winning a game. I think anybody that saw this last year – the whole year – it feels like you have an opportunity every week. That’s the way that things work, particularly in the NFC. I would imagine that’s the way people feel.”

On whether playoff experience is overrated:
‚I don’t know how to rate that. I’ve been on both ends of that. You just prepare yourself and go play. I don’t get caught up in all that. I don’t know how you do that as a coach. It doesn’t really matter. You’re not going to change one thing or another.”

On whether they watch the film from the first game against the Saints, or the Saints most recent film, to get prepared for this game:
‚You look at their games that are similar to what you do and you’re last game. You mix it in. You try looking at as much as you can and you feel it.”

On what he thinks the biggest thing is that Saints coach Sean Payton has done to turn things around in New Orleans:
‚Sean’s done a great job turning it around. Not only has he turned around the football team, but he has also given a city that was down a little bit something to be proud of. It’s a tough thing to do and he has stayed strong and stayed consistent with what he has done. He’s coached the guys well. I think he has done a great job of calling the plays, from an offensive side, which he always had, even when he was at New York and he went through that whole thing. I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for him. He’s a heck of a football coach.”

On whether RB Brian Westbrook is over the stomach virus he had:
‚Well, knock on wood. But we had it go through quite a few guys and it’s slowed down so far. I hope it stays that way. All’s good today with that. Brian is a little sore today, but other than that there are no repercussions from the flu.”

On the low percentage of teams that have beaten the team coming off a bye and playing at home and him being associated with two of the teams that have:
‚I didn’t even know that was a stat and that even happened. I know that you have to practice hard and do what you do. You don’t change a bunch of things. You go about coaching your guys up and your guys go about working and doing their thing and studying, and you go play.” On playing a team that isn’t a division rival for a second time in a season: ‚We’ve had quite a few games between us, so they are looking at our game and we’re looking at the game we played against them. There have been a few things that have changed in between, some for the good of both teams and some for the bad for both teams. You go through that and you come up with what that team is doing the last few games and what is making them so successful.”

On how important it has been that S Michael Lewis has stayed with the program throughout the season:
‚Michael has been great and he has been a big part of things. You saw what he did at Washington and he made a big hit the other night. He’s a big influence in the locker room and he’s been awesome.”

On whether TE L.J. Smith has become a better blocker this season:
‚He’s been doing a good job there, he sure has. Better, I’m not going to say he was a poor blocker before. I thought he did a pretty good job before, but he is doing a nice job right now.”

QB Jeff Garcia
On him saying after the Giants game that he thought his emotions got the better of and whether that surprised him:
‚I think anytime that you play in the playoffs, you are going to be excited about the opportunity. You want to play well. You want to go out and do the right things to help your team win a football game. I think it was just a matter of us calming down and getting ourselves collected and really figuring out what we needed to do in order to be effective as an offense. Fortunately, we found those things out in time to win the football game.”

On whether this something that he has dreamed of doing during the past few years or whether this is beyond what he could have imagined:
‚I think you always dream and really look forward to being a part of something special. I think that’s really what we have going for us right now; a great group of guys that work extremely hard, that are extremely focused on doing the right thing in trying to attain that ultimate goal. We all want to be able to achieve that ultimate goal, as far as being a professional football player, and that is something that would be awesome to be able to experience. To be part of that whole thing right now truly is something special.”

On whether it is an advantage to have played in an atmosphere like the Superdome in the past:
‚I think anytime you go into domes where the other team is having a successful year… Obviously, I used to play the Rams quite a bit when they were rolling and then [playing] in New Orleans a couple of times when they were part of our division. It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be somewhat of a hornet’s nest, but I think having finished the way we finished this year with three tough road games, in difficult places to play, helped prepare us for what we are about to see this weekend. As much as you can’t necessarily say it will be the exact same thing, we got a glimpse of it. And I think that we’re better for it. I think going into this situation, we realize and know what we are about to see. Also, having played there earlier in the year when [the Saints] were on a roll and they were doing good things, doing great things, and their crowd was truly behind them. This is a situation that is going to be exciting for all of us and we are looking forward to it.”

On how the role of the offensive line has played in the success of the offense:
‚The offensive line has been tremendous. I think anytime you look at a team’s success, it starts with the offensive and defensive lines. I think you have to have those foundations in place in order to have effectiveness in other areas. Our offensive line has done an outstanding job this year, especially this latter part of the season where we have run the football more effectively. We’ve been able to throw the football effectively and just have a more balanced attack. So much of that is attributed to those five guys up front working together as a team.”

On how much the receivers have impacted the running game:
‚The receivers have done a great job of blocking down the field. I think anytime you look at the long runs that are taking place, you’re seeing [WR] Reggie Brown, [WR] Dante Stallworth, [WR] Hank Baskett, [TE] L.J. Smith, all of those guys trying to get on people down the field, trying to make blocks that will spring [RB Brian Westbrook]. They’ve done an excellent job. I think that just shows the unselfishness of the players that we have on this team and the character that we have on this team, as far as knowing their job, knowing their responsibility, and willing to pull through whether it is a run or a pass.”

On whether he knows New Orleans QB Drew Brees and whether their seasons parallel each other at all:
‚Honestly I don’t really know Drew all that well. I just have watched him; I’ve played against him a couple of times. I feel and believe that he’s done an awesome job in his career. I think he’s a very smart, a very intelligent quarterback and he has the abilities to back it up. He’s been a true team leader to that team this year and it has shown by what they’ve been able to do on the field.”

On whether he learned anything from watching rather than playing in the Eagles‘ first game against the Saints this season:
‚I think you have to truly eliminate certain mistakes, based upon crowd noise or just the excitement of the game. We have to be more disciplined in certain areas. You can’t afford to give them a short field like we did the other night with New York. We have to be better as an offense in sustaining drives and trying to keep their offense off the field. Their defense has done a great job this year also in not allowing teams to convert third downs, getting [their opponent’s offense] off the field so their offense can have opportunities. And it’s just one of those things where efficiency is going to be a must in this sort of game.”

On his impressions of the Saints defense:
‚I think that they are a group that plays well together. I think that they have a defensive line that is just a never quit sort of group. They just keep coming after you. They keep trying to make things happen. Their linebackers play hard, they’re aggressive, and they are good tacklers. Their defensive backfield is experienced. Those guys have pretty much all, except for [Saints‘ FS Josh Bullocks], everybody has played in this league for a number of years. So, they are definitely experienced throughout that group on the defensive side of the ball. I think anytime you know that you have an offense that is going to score points, I think it takes some of the pressure off of [the defense] and they can just fly around and make things happen.”

On whether one of the keys for the Eagles‘ offense is to sustain drives and keep the Saints‘ offense off the field:
‚I think it really is. I think it’s a situation where we need to be good with the football. We need to find ways to be effective and efficient and sustain drives that don’t allow them to get hot and continue to be hot.”

On whether he thinks Westbrook is driven by not getting the respect he deserves:
‚I think Brian is just a guy who is truly driven within himself to be the best possible player that he can be. He’s a true football player. He understands the game. He understands the intangibles of the game; what he needs to do in order to be successful. He’s just an awesome player to have on this team. As much as it wasn’t acknowledged as for as a Pro Bowl invitation, he definitely is an MVP here. We truly appreciate what we have in Brian in the backfield.”

On why this teams embraces situations like a tough game on the road in a tough environment:
‚I think just the fact of having our backs up against the wall, having that underdog mentality, having the mentality that we have to come out swinging and matching blow for blow, and [we are] not going to back down from anybody. It’s really a situation where the pressure is not really on us. It’s something that we are just going in, excited about this opportunity. We’ve overcome a lot of obstacles and persevered in a lot of ways this season. I think we’ve grown up together as a team. I think in those ways, we’re very supportive of each other, we’re very focused and very driven to create success on the field.”

On how important it is for them to play well early in the game:
‚It’s always important to get off to a strong start. We can’t afford to put ourselves in a situation like we were in last week against a good New Orleans offense. It’s one of those things where, like I expressed earlier, about efficiency and effectiveness on the offensive side of the ball. We need to find a way to create success and that is not going to be easy against a good Saints defense.”

On how having a short week alters the way they prepare for this game:
‚It doesn’t really change anything. I think you can’t even think about it. You have to just keep focused and keep working on the things that we’ve been working on throughout the season. We got our day off on Monday and Tuesday becomes our Wednesday. It’s one of those things where you can’t worry about whether we should have been playing on Sunday or how the NFL could have helped us out or anything like that. It’s the playoffs, we move forward, our next opponent is the Saints and let’s get ready and get after them.”

On how important it was for the younger players to get their first playoff game under their belts:
‚I think it’s very helpful for them to understand the speed of the game and how it increases in the playoffs and how important it is to take care of yourself throughout the week and study and do the right things throughout the week so that you are mentally and physically fresh and prepared come game day. I think having that one [playoff] game now under their belts is going to be definitely helpful to them.”

On some people saying after the Giants game that he is going to need to play better this week in order to win:
‚We won the football game. That’s all that matters.”

WR Donté Stallworth
On whether he could have imagined the Saints turning it around like they have:
‚When I was down there we always had the players to make things happen to win ball games, but it was just late in the game, whenever the play needed to be made, for some reason we never made it. And that’s the thing that they’re doing this year is late in the game they’re continuing to make those plays and they’ve got a lot of talent down there and they’re playing well.”

On whether it will be a challenge for him to keep the emotions out of it:
‚No because I know it’s a mistake [to do that]. It’ll be fun going down there. It will probably be weird, but when the game starts it’s just playing football. It’ll be 11-on-11 guys trying to advance in these playoffs.”

On how tough it is for a visiting team to play at the Louisiana Superdome:
‚They get pretty noisy in there. With it being a dome, that also keeps in a lot of the noise. But, the fans, they’re going to be real loud. It’s the first playoff game in six years I think. It’ll be real loud, but we practice on certain things like that during the week to prepare for what’s going to happen down there, try to prepare I should say.”

On who he keeps in touch with on the Saints:
‚A lot of guys, too many to name really. But, mainly I’d say probably [WR] Joe Horn, [WR] Devery Henderson, [RB] Deuce McAllister, [RB] Reggie Bush. I can go through the whole roster. I stayed by those guys. We all pretty much stayed within walking distance of one another, so we were obviously real close too. [CB] Fred Thomas, [CB] Mike McKenzie, a lot of guys, [DE] Will Smith, [DE] Charles Grant, pretty much their whole roster really.”

On whether he’s talked to any of the guys this week:
‚I got a couple of texts [messages] from a couple of the guys after the game. I’m really just trying to focus in on my job. I’m not really going to go out of my way to make phone calls or anything like that. I’m just going to take this as a normal week and prepare for my business.”

On what role Hurricane Katrina factors into the Saints team:
‚There are a lot of guys on that team that weren’t there with us last year and obviously none of the coaches were there. They feel some responsibility as we did last year during the whole season and they’re kind of feeding off of that. Obviously, they have great players and they’ve got guys that are teaching them good things, but they’ve been feeding off of that and they’ve played exceptionally well this year. So, I think that definitely has an effect on their play, that they feel some sort of responsibility to the city.”

On whether Hurricane Katrina was a factor on the Saints team last year:
‚Yeah, it was. When it actually happened at first, just going to some of the places where a lot of the evacuees were, some of them had lost family members. Some of them had lost children, lost everything that they had ever worked for. And the things that surprised me the most going down there talking to those people was that they didn’t even mention anything about that. They were just wondering about how the Saints were doing, how we were doing and is everybody healthy? Is everybody ready to start the 2005 season? So, we felt some responsibility. And like I said, I’m sure now with them being back home they feel the same kind of responsibility.”

On how much of a disadvantage it is to have the short week and play a team that had an extra week to rest:
‚Well, they didn’t know who they were playing until after our game, so they’re getting the same preparation time as we’ve gotten. They’ve gotten a little more rest, but they’ve earned that. They’ve earned the right to have the bye week, but when the game starts it’ll all be football. [Head] coach [Andy] Reid has done a good job throughout the year of resting us when we need to and things like that. So, he’s been in this game for a long time. He knows what to do with his players. So, as far as preparation goes, we’ve gotten the same amount of preparation as they have for us.”

On how good it makes him feel to be a big part of the run game as a blocker:
‚That’s a responsibility that we have. We go out there and we want to get the double moves and all that, things going downfield as receivers. So, that means that the running back has got to stay in sometimes and block those guys that are like 100 more pounds than they are. So, it’s our responsibility. It’s a team effort. It’s our responsibility to go out and block those guys because the running backs that we have, they can make a lot of guys miss, so you’ve got to make sure you’re really accountable for your player.”

On what coming here has done for his career:
‚I’m a lot happier now obviously being able to display my talents a lot more than I was down in New Orleans. Just coming here first off was a good thing for me with this organization only being two years removed from a Super Bowl and me not playing in the playoffs my first four years in the league. I had some success on the field, but at the same time you can only have so much success individually to where it doesn’t even matter. The main goal is to win a championship and when I got here I knew that I would have a really good shot at making the playoffs. I’m not saying that’s all that I wanted, but we have a chance to play for a championship. That’s what the playoffs are.”

On his impressions of the Saints defense:
‚They’ve got a really good defensive line. Those guys can really get after the passer. They can get after the quarterback. They can stop the run. They can do some good things and a lot of those guys are high energy guys, (jokingly) except for [DT] Hollis [Thomas]. But, Hollis has got some good energy. Hollis is going to be fired up for this game too. I spent some time down there with him before I actually got traded here. Good guy. Their secondary is playing well. Pretty much everybody back there, I think with the exception of [S Josh] Bullocks, has got at least eight or nine years in the league, so they’ve got some experience. So, as far as receivers go, we really have to be on top of our game as far as running routes and not really showing anything too early.”

On how hard it was to not be able to play in the first game against them in the regular season:
‚It was hard. It’s always hard whenever you can’t play, regardless of the situation. But, with it being against the Saints it was exceptionally hard. And not winning that ball game didn’t help out any either. So, it was hard, but that game is gone now. We’re moving on. Obviously, we’re playing them again this week, a really good team, and we’ve got a really huge challenge ahead of us.”

On whether he can take anything from practicing against the Saints defensive backs and vice versa:
‚Yeah, you can if you know a guy well enough. You know certain things that they want to do in certain situations, but it pretty much evens out because they know me just as well as them. So, there won’t be any advantages or disadvantages from that aspect.”

On whether there are things that he does better now than he did earlier in the season:
‚Yeah, I always try to go out and get myself better every day and every week. So, there are some things that I feel I have gotten better at. But, the old adage is, ‘the eye in the sky doesn’t lie.‘ And they’ve got our film. We’ve got their film. So, I’m sure they’ll be studying a lot of the film that we’ve had and we’ll be studying a lot of their film. It’ll be a good game.”

On whether he could tell early on that Saints WR Marques Colston would have the impact that he had:
‚Yeah, I did. I couldn’t tell right away, but after the first minicamp and after coaching sessions started getting going, I could tell that he was going to be really good. Then training camp came and he really flourished. He came into his own with me not being able to do much. He was in and out, switching, alternating with Devery [Henderson] at the starting spot. Then they moved him to the 3rd receiver, or the inside receiver, and he was really doing some good things in there, so I could tell that he definitely had potentially to be a really good player. He’s a good guy. He wants to learn and he’s always looking at ways to get himself better. That’s especially key for a young guy like himself and he’s done that. I know when I was there he was always asking questions of me and Joe [Horn] about certain things. So, he has a willingness to get better.”

On whether there is a possibility he could still be in New Orleans if Colston hadn’t done what he did in training camp:
‚Yeah, that’s a big possibility, but also, Devery Henderson had played well too and both of those guys are young and playing really well. With the way they were playing it made it easier for me to be here now, which is definitely not a bad thing.”

On how much more he thinks the offense needs to produce this week as compared to last week against the Giants:
‚I won’t say we need to do more. We just have to play more consistent, just come out and start faster, eliminate some of the penalties that we had and I think we’ll be fine. Like I said, it will be a rough environment with the crowd and the crowd noise and things like that. On top of that, they are a good team, too.”

FS Brian Dawkins
On whether they fed off all of the perceived negativity when they had three consecutive away games at the end of the season and whether that builds character:
‚That definitely builds character. It challenges you in a lot of different ways. When you lose a guy like [QB] Donovan [McNabb] and you have to go on the road, you have to band together. When you are going through difficult games, losing [to] last second field goals, that type of thing. All of that stuff; it builds character. You can go two ways. You can either learn from it and build from and come together or you can start pointing fingers and backbite each other. And we haven’t done the latter, so it has definitely built us up to the team we are right now, playing some pretty good football out there.”

On how that character can serve them this week in a tough environment:
‚Mentally, we know that we can go on the road and win games and that’s the first thing. You have to believe that you can do it in order to go out and do it. You can practice and prepare, but if mentally you think that you don’t have a shot going in or you have to get lucky to win a game, then you are already defeated before you touch the field. So, going into division rival’s homes and being able to win tough games on the road like that; I think that has served us well. So, we can look back at the schedule now and look at those three games, I think they are more beneficial than before [when] you look forward to them and are saying, ‘This is going to be a hard road.’”

On what he takes from the Eagles‘ loss to the Saints earlier in the season:
‚Just the way we started out, the way they started out, we knew they were going to come out fast like that. But, we just had too many mistakes defensively and it took us too long to get going. We finally got going and then, once again, that mistake [a penalty for having 12 men on the field] at the end that gave them a chance to prolong that last gamewinning field goal drive that they had. [It was] a mistake on our part defensively that gave them that opportunity. So, we know what to expect now.”

On what he has seen from S Sean Considine:
‚He’s basically learning on the job right now. He’s doing a good job at it, but he had a missed tackle this past week; he’ll learn from that and that’s what it’s all about. When you get out there, you are going to make mistakes; you are going to do things that you are going to wish you could do better. But, you learn from them and I’m always there to help him out. If I see something or I think that we can work on something together, then those are the things that we do and talk about. So, he’s doing a good job right now actually. He finally got that interception [against Atlanta] before the regular season ended, which was on his mind a little bit. So, I think that was a plus for him.”

On how important it is that LB Omar Gaither has come back from his mistake in New Orleans and that SS Michael Lewis has stuck with the program to play the role he has:
‚That’s huge because, as a young guy, with that type of mistake [penalty for having 12 men on the field] – and I don’t believe that was just his mistake, that was all of ours. Somebody should have seen that and been able to help him get off the field, so that wasn’t just on him. But, for him to be able to come back and now we are counting on him to do the things that he’s doing – whether it’s playing that weakside the way he’s doing it. For him to be able to come back and be able to contribute as a rookie after all of that scrutiny and people talking about him like they were talking about him – it’s huge for him. And as far as Mike goes, I’ve talked about what Mike had to go through and what he’s doing for us now and what we count on him [for] when he touches the field – to make plays for us. So, I think, once again, that built something up in both of those guys; that they can go through tough ordeals and still come out smelling pretty sweet.”

On how New Orleans RB Reggie Bush looks more comfortable in their offense now compared to the first time they played them this season:
‚He was comfortable the first time. I think [Saints head coach] Sean [Payton] did a good job of not putting too much on him too fast. I think that is the role that [Payton] wanted to have [Reggie Bush] doing in that offense anyway. But, it’s smart to not throw everything at him at one time and say, ‘these are all of the things that we are going to do with you. Learn now.‘ He brought him in slowly, so now they’ve expanded it. I think that, if possible, they are probably going to try to expand it a little more with all of this time they had off.”

On whether he could have imagined Sean Payton becoming the head coach he is today even when he was the Eagles quarterbacks coach in 1997-8:
‚No, I never said that I knew exactly that he was going to have this type of success. But, I knew at some point that he was going to have success when he was here. Even when he went off to the Giants, I know that he would always help with the game plan with the Giants and we would always have a tough time against him. When he went on to Dallas,

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