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Interview Transcripts: November 19th

On whether he has any extra incentive for this game since it is against his former team:"I don't know if it's extra incentive. I think there's different incentive, the fact that it's guys that we've spent a lot of time together, we respect, admire and have great relationships with, personally. Like any player… I know Fabian [Washington] felt that way about the Raiders, and Chuck Pagano felt that way about the Browns, as did Jerry Rosburg. All of our guys, from one week to the next, have those kinds of feelings. Vic Fangio felt strongly about the Texans, so that part of it is there."

On any further update on T Jared Gaither's shoulder:"He's rehabbing and working to get it better, and that's what it's at. You saw today it's in a sling, so we just have to see how it progresses."

On if the Gaither's MRI indicated any damage to or dislocation of the shoulder:"Not that I have anything I want to report."

On WR Derrick Mason's shoulder:"It's very sore."

On how the offensive line performed against the Giants' pass rush:"Well, I thought everybody did a good job, including Joe [Flacco] and the receivers with the different adjustments. Of course, Jared, with the one arm, was tremendous. The young guys going in the game played well, along with the help they got from the backs. So the pass protection part of it was a positive."

On whether it is strange to coach against Andy Reid when some Eagles fans are calling for him to be fired:"You know, I haven't really seen too much of that. I haven't really noticed too much of that. Over the years, there has been pressure on every NFL coach, and Andy Reid handles that type of thing probably better than any coach in the NFL. He's just a rock. He'll be fine."

On if it is necessary to talk to the players about the rules regarding a tie:"No, I'm pretty sure that they're up on that right now. I think they'll know the rule."

On Flacco getting better every week and how he has reacted to last week:"Joe does a great job with that. I think his whole thing is to get better from one Sunday to the next. He goes to work, comes in on Monday. He spends a lot of time in here watching tape. He's here all day on Tuesday. He just works to make himself better. I think he takes all the analysis out of it and just tries to become a better player from one week to the next, and that's probably why he's getting better."

On whether he tries to imagine what Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson might come up with and how he would block it:"Not really, because Jim has got a pretty exotic package. Over the years, he's run all the different things he's run. Now, if he comes up with a new blitz that we haven't seen before, it'll be a new blitz nobody's seen before. He's got them all. We're going to have to anticipate a little bit how he's going to attack our protections, a 'what if?' type of a deal. He'll have a couple blitzes ready for every type of protection we've run, so that's part of the guessing game. Really, more than anything, just being prepared for what he might do – that's what we do."

On his connection with Ray Rhodes that got him to Philadelphia:"I didn't know Ray Rhodes. Michael Lombardi was the GM there at the time. He knew Scott O'Brien, and that's how the interview came about."

On if T Willie Anderson did more today and could step in and play this week if Gaither can't go:"I would say, again, we're hopeful about Willie, probably like we were last week. He's moving around better than he did at this stage last week, but not well enough to say for sure that he's going to play."

On whether Eagles QB Donovan McNabb is still pretty dangerous:"I think Donovan looks more like the Donovan McNabb of three or four years ago than he does of last year because he looks to me like he's 100-percent healthy from the injury. He had the knee injury, and that slowed him down a little bit last year throughout the year. Toward the end of the year, you saw him becoming Donovan again, and this year he's been Donovan. He's moving around well in the pocket. He's putting his foot in the ground. He's throwing the ball well. He's the same Donovan McNabb he's always been."

On how Eagles CB Asante Samuel helps the secondary and allows pressure to be put on the quarterback:"He does a great job of playing the quarterback and playing the receiver. He sees it all. He does a great job of breaking on different throws. He closes exceptionally well. I think he's leading their team in breakups, maybe one of the top league leaders in passes broken up. He adds another tremendous corner. Now, they have three tremendous corners – we all know who those guys are – plus Joselio Hanson, who does a tremendous job. They've got three really good safeties they can play with there. They've got a deep secondary, and they're playing good pass coverage, as a result."

On if he had to simplify things for Flacco at the start or threw everything at him and let him sink or swim:"It's kind of a black-and-white question, whether he got the whole offense or not. He got the offense that our offense was ready for early in the year. It wasn't so much, 'How much are we going to knock out of it for Joe? This is the book.' The offense is ever-evolving, so I think what Cam [Cameron] does a great job of is taking a look at our guys, what they do well, and setting the offense up for what they do well. Of course, the quarterback is a big part of that."

On whether he has had to tend to Flacco emotionally, helping him stay level-headed when things get crazy or stay confident when he has had tough times:"It's probably not even a concern with Joe. He's Joe. He doesn't get upset. You don't have to massage Joe at all. You just go to work. He goes to work on the job he's trying to do this week, and it's really all about football with Joe."

QB Joe Flacco

On how much Eagles QB Donovan McNabb's game has influenced him:"That's who I grew up watching, so you got to see a lot of those guys. They've had a good team for a handful of years, and Donovan has been playing really well. For as long as I can remember, he's been a pretty darn good quarterback that takes care of the ball, and it should be pretty cool to have him come into Baltimore and go against the Eagles."

On if that's where he gets his scrambling ability:(Laughing) "No."

On if it will be strange to go up against a team that he grew up rooting for:"I don't know. I don't really know what it's going to be like, but right now I'm really just approaching it like any other game. It doesn't feel any different. It just feels like they're another NFL team coming in. We're getting ready to go out there and give it our best shot, and try to put another win on the season. It should be pretty cool, but at the same time, they have some different guys on the team than when I grew up watching them. And I'm playing against them now, so it's a lot different."

On facing a team that does a lot of blitzes and what he has to look for:"New York, actually, they do some of these same things. Philadelphia probably does a little bit more, but they're pretty similar in the way they can bring their blitzes. Philadelphia brings it from a lot of areas, and you have to make sure your eyes are up and you know where to go with the ball. And they're good at what they're doing, so we're going to make sure we scheme, that we have a good scheme going into the game, and we're running plays that we're all good at and we're good at executing. I think we'll put a good plan together this week and we'll be ready to go out there and execute it well."

On if he ever dreamed of playing for the Eagles when he was younger:"No, not really. I guess I always dreamed of playing in the NFL, but I never really picked out a team that I would like to play for. Philadelphia was really close to us, and we ended up watching it every Sunday, but I never really pictured myself playing for those guys."

On if he knows the tie rules:"Yes. Everybody is making too big of a deal about that one."

On if he sees improvement in himself over the past nine weeks:"We've improved as an offense, most importantly, and that's what you want. You want to look at the film and say, 'Man, we're getting better.' And you can see that if you watch us. I don't really know [about his own play]. I don't really want to get into the little details, but we're definitely getting better as an offense."

On if the preparation for games later in the season feels any different to him:"No, not really. I haven't done it before, but right now it feels the same. We treat every game as if it's as important as the next. Right now, Philadelphia is the most important game we have, and I'm going to treat it like I have every other game this year."

On if home-field advantage comes into play now:"Yeah, it'll be good to get back at home. I think we've got four of our last six games at home. But the bottom line is a football game is a football game, and you go out there and play it between the white lines, and it's all about how you go out there and prepare during the week and play on Sunday. It's fun to play at home, and it probably adds a little bit of something, but the best team wins."

On if there was something in his upbringing that keeps him grounded:"I don't know. I think most guys go out and they try to deal with it in their own way and try to play the best they can. Sometimes you're going to have good games and sometimes you're not going to have good games. You have to realize that. It really comes down to how you handle the games that you don't play well in. I think I've been brought up, I guess, to do a good job of that, but I couldn't really tell you."

On his way to deal with having a bad game:"I have no idea. I don't really know how to answer that. I'm just being myself."

On if his family helps to keep him humble:"Yeah, I talk to them. They're my family, they're just like any other family. Like I said, I guess it was just the way I was brought up, really just who I am. It's not really a task to stay humble. It's just that everybody has their own personality, and it's just who I am."

On how his pocket awareness has grown throughout the season:"I think the more you get comfortable standing back there and going through your reads, the more comfortable you can feel in the pocket. You start to get your pocket awareness back to what it was like when you did feel really comfortable, in college and high school, and you knew what you were doing. So now, the fact that I'm getting really comfortable in the plays that we're running, I can stand back there and be more comfortable. And I think I have good pocket awareness and it's only going to improve."

ILB Ray Lewis

On if he'll talk to Eagles QB Donovan McNabb this week:"We do talk a lot. Me and Donovan have been friends for a long time. Actually, we've been talking the last couple of weeks, just about life. Football kind of comes up, but it doesn't really come up. I don't know if I'll call him this week. I might."

On if too much is being made about McNabb's comments regarding tie games:"I didn't hear it myself. I heard somebody talking about it. I just think it's been blown way out of proportion. You don't know everything about a business. I don't care what business you're in. I think he just needs to move on and get over it."

On whether McNabb still has it after all these years:"If you watch him on film, you know he's still got it. I think he's having probably one of the best seasons that he's had in a while. They have a lot of weapons over there. DeSean Jackson is playing extremely well, being as young as he is. I liked him coming out of college. [Brian] Westbrook is always Westbrook, and L.J. Smith is having a great year. I just think he has a lot of his same weapons around him, and that's why the chemistry is the way it is."

On if Westbrook is as good as they come:"Oh yeah, it doesn't get any better. Really, it doesn't get any better than him because of the type of person he is on and off the field. He's probably one of the greatest competitors that you would ever find yourself around. But you're talking about being able to do anything out of the backfield – running, catching, pass block – whatever it is. He has the ability to do all those things."

On whether he sees a comparison between Westbrook and RB Ray Rice:"Yeah, absolutely. They're change-of-direction running backs. Any time you get that type of mix, Ray Rice has the same type of abilities – real low to the ground, can make a lot of nice, sharp cuts. Westbrook is kind of the master of it right now, and he's just a great player when you're sitting there watching him on film."

On how tough it is to defend Westbrook, particularly when he's catching the ball out of the backfield:"That's what they use him for. In that West Coast offense, they love creating mismatches for him and things like that. When you see it on film, you see… I think we have a game plan in to try to slow him down a little bit. Guys like that, you let them get them, but you just rally around everything else, absolutely."

On how long it feels since the last home game:"When you miss your bye week and you've got five out of six on the road, it's just long. It's just long, man, and you dread through it. You get through it. You fight, you fight, you fight. You go from plane to plane, this and that. But it just feels good to not have to go get on a plane this week and get to stay at my home. Saturday is a regular Saturday. Lie in your own bed for a while and things like that. I think the guys kind of feel it, too. Not just in here, but the city is kind of feeling it, you know? We've been away from Baltimore for almost over a month now, so just to be back playing at home… You never want to go through that rough of a schedule, to have to do that. But I think to come out the way we did, I don't think you can ask for anything else."

On how John Harbaugh's approach is progressing through the season and how he's doing as a rookie head coach:"I don't see anything different. John approached Day One from mini-camp the same way he approached training camp and the same way we approach every practice – full speed, get your work in, everything will take care of itself."

On how proud he was to see his son, Ray Lewis III, selected as the top 8th-grade player in the country:"Those are the things that, you sit back as a father and you're overwhelmed with. He called me and told me the news, and I'm like, 'Son, to be the first pick of anything is huge.' But he's a great kid. Ray III is probably one of the greatest kids you could ever be around, a very humble child. He just loves playing the game. I have to slow him down a lot critiquing people because he'll critique people like the media critiques people: 'He's sorry, Dad!' [I tell him,] 'You can't speak about a man like that, son!' Things like that. But just to see the honor so young is really heartfelt, from a father."

On if Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta are scouting him already:"Yeah, Ozzie already asked me for his number (laughter). I told him I haven't signed my agent papers yet. We'll get back to him."

On how bad he wants to hit someone coming off of last week's game:"You don't really try to hit anybody. You just try to go out and play your game. That's all you try to do, just get back on track. Same thing I told the guys when we were on that winning streak, 'Take it and move on.' You can't stay stuck in anything. When you've been in this business as long as I've been in, you understand there's a win column and there's a loss column. After it's over, it's over. When Monday is over, it's over. You come back to work prepared to work and prepare for the next team because the next team doesn't care what you've done the last game. The next team, the Philadelphia Eagles, is worried about us. They're not worried about what they've done in Cincinnati, and that's where our focus better be, as well."

WR Derrick Mason

On the team's morale after Sunday's loss:"[It's] still upbeat. We have six games left? Five? Six? I don't know. The season is getting long here. But we have a lot of games left, and we understand that. One win or one loss is not going to make or break this team, so we're going to continue to move forward as if it was any other week. We just want to win a football game right now."

On how his shoulder feels:"I could be better. I do have limitations, but we're going to see how it goes this week like we did last week, and make a determination Saturday or Sunday."

On if he will just observe practice this week:"That's up to the trainers to decide what I do doing the week. If I can practice, I'll practice. If I can't, then I'll make sure I'm out here paying attention, trying to get the mental aspect of the game down, and make sure I do something after practice, if I don't practice, physically, to get my heart rate going. We'll see how it goes this week, and obviously we'll see Sunday if I go or not."

On if his shoulder feels worse now than it did last week:"No, because last week it was fresh, and I was dealing with a lot of swelling. Now, it's just aching. I don't know whether it's the weather or not. You know, older people tend to say when their bones ache it's starting to get cold. Maybe that's the case with me. But it's an injury, and you have to deal with it as such."

On how it feels to be playing at home on Sunday:"It feels good. Finally, we're back at home. And I think at the beginning of the season we looked at it, and you put your head down a little bit and said, 'Man, we're taking this long road stretch.' Especially after we couldn't play early at Houston, and you look at it and say, 'Man, we're away four out of the five games, five out of six games we're away.' But, then as you start to really pull it back, and you see come the end of November, late December, you're at home. That's what you want, because we are a very good home team, and what better place to go these last stretch of six games, to have the bulk of them at home?"

On how they'll handle the Eagles' pass rush:"Of course, we're not going to rush anything. We're going to stick to our game plan. We have faith in our offensive line that they're going to hold up against a very good defensive line. And we're not going to rush things. They're in the business of trying to get you to rush things. Typically rushed things in this league, you mess up sometimes. We're going to be fast, but we're going to be under control. As long as we have faith in the five guys in front of us, I think we'll be OK."

On if the team should step up as a whole during this time of the season:"Yeah. Championships are won, and teams start to separate from the pack, in late November and December. And it hasn't changed if you look throughout history. The teams that have excelled in this league have done it in the last two months of the season, or last month and a half. And it's no different this year. We will find a way to make sure the end of this month and throughout December that we are a very good team."

On how much Eagles CB Asante Samuel has added to Philly's secondary:"He adds a lot. He adds another veteran leader to the bunch, a guy that has proven himself in this league, year after year. It wasn't a one-year thing with him. He's proven himself to be a very good corner in this league, and to have 'Dawk' [Brian Dawkins] back there with him, I think it makes their secondary even stronger. Sheldon Brown is on the other side; he's playing very well. They have a very good back end. Those guys are playing exceptionally well, and they have those guys up front that are rushing the passer and making things a little bit harder for the opposing team's passing game. You add Asante Samuel to an already very good defense, then you're going to make it even better than what it already was the previous year."

OLB Terrell Suggs

On whether QB Donovan McNabb is still the same weapon he was six, seven or eight years ago:"I think so. He looks back to his true form. He looks better than ever. He's definitely back. So same job as every week – get to the quarterback."

On if RB Brian Westbrook is as good as they come:"Definitely, because he can catch out of the backfield. He can do so much for them, running and catching. We're seeing two of the best in the league this week. It's definitely going to be a challenge, so let's see what happens."

On whether he expects this week to be as physical as last week:"Yeah, definitely. After you have a game like that, a lot of teams tend to try you. So I think it's going to be physical. I think they're going to come try to hammer us up in M&T, so I think it's going to be [physical]."

On if he thinks the Eagles will try to test them after seeing the Giants game:"Absolutely. I would. Wouldn't you? Yeah, I think they definitely… I think everybody is going to come try us. So yeah, I think it'll be a physical game."

On how bad he wants to get on the field coming off the loss:"You definitely want to get that sour taste out of your mouth, that nasty taste. We've just got to be patient and wait for Sunday to get here, but you've got to take the necessary steps from Wednesday to Sunday. You can't win the game today. All you can do is prepare for it, so we're going to do our best. We're going to wait for Sunday to get here. But in the meantime, we're just going to prepare for them."

On being excited to play in front of the home crowd:"Definitely. We had that three-game stretch and got two of the three. So now, we get to come play in front of the best fans in the world. We're definitely going to need them on Sunday. We're definitely going to need a little help."

On what he's seen from John Harbaugh as a rookie head coach as the season has progressed:"What have you seen?"

(Reporter: "I see your record.")

"Well, there you go. I'm 26. I haven't been around this game long enough to comment on something like that. I think he's doing good. It's not how you start; it's definitely how you finish. So let's see how we finish these last six."

On whether the last six weeks of the year is when you can tell what a team is made of:"I think so, definitely. Character is built, especially, around this time [in] November, December. You see what kind of character your team has got. We've got good veterans around here, so we'll try to make a little run at this thing."

Head Coach Andy Reid

On if he takes much pride in the fact that John Harbaugh has had such a good start in Baltimore:"Well, I'm proud of him. I'm proud of what he's done, I'm proud of the players that have rallied around him. That's very impressive to me."

On his thoughts on working with Harbaugh when he was in Philadelphia:"He's a great football coach. He could coach any position on the football field and have success with it. He did special teams and the secondary [in Philadelphia], but can coach anything."

On if he looks forward to facing Harbaugh and the pride he feels in helping him get the job in Baltimore:"He worked very hard to get the job himself, as far as making himself a good football coach. His dad was a big factor in that, and here he just worked his tail off. So he's the one that deserves the praise on that. He did a great job with us. Again, I'm very proud of him. He and I aren't going to be playing each other. It's our players that are going to be out on the field going after it, and I know both sides will be ready."

On if the games he plays against coaches he knows well are tougher than others, are they awkward or not different at all:"I think when the game starts, they're the same. Obviously, beforehand, you know each other and it's different that way. But once the game gets going, it's a football game."

On how important it is for his team to bounce back this week coming off last Sunday's tie:"We'll have to play better, and that's what we're going to do."

On how he feels about so many of his former assistant coaches become successful coaching other teams:"I'm proud of all the guys. I feel very fortunate to have had good assistant coaches, and I still have good assistant coaches. You cannot be successful in this league as a head coach without good assistant coaches. I've been very fortunate. I'm very proud of those guys. I always wish them the best unless we're, obviously, playing each other. I always wish them the best on their seasons."

On how DE Victor Abiamiri is doing with the Eagles:"He's playing very well. He's coming back off a bad hand [injury], and he's worked his way back in and is getting playing team and getting better every week."

On if he's impressed with the play of rookie QB Joe Flacco:"He's done a great job. He's done a phenomenal job. He deserves every bit of credit that he gets. It's tough playing quarterback in this league, let alone being a rookie and playing quarterback in this league and having success the way he has."

On what he focuses on the most when game-planning against the Ravens:"The offense focuses on the defense and the defense focuses on the offense."

On if there are any specific Ravens players they will focus on:"They've got a lot of good ones, man. The Ravens have got a lot of good ones on defense and I think that's where most of the accolades go to. Then you put on their offensive side and you're going, 'Oh, my goodness.' And then they've got some young guys that are just playing out of their minds right now. So there's a lot of talent. Special teams, likewise. You know with John and [Jerry] Rosburg you're going to have good special teams, so you've got to consider that part, too."

On where he feels QB Donovan McNabb is with using his legs as a weapon as a quarterback:"He's probably run a little bit more this year, [now] that's he's been healthy, than he has in the couple of years past. He can still go when he has to go. However, you get wiser and smarter in this offense as time goes on, so he doesn't do as much as he did back when he was a rookie and the first couple of years in the league."

On what stands out to him about Flacco as a rookie:"I think his poise. He's fearless in the pocket. He gets rid of the ball. In college, Joe would stand in that pocket and he'd hang on to that son-of-a-gun until the last second and try to make a play. He still has that tenacity about him, but he gets the ball out even quicker now. He sees things so well right now. I just have been very, very impressed with him."

On what ways CB Asante Samuel has improved the Eagles' secondary:"He's a great player, so anytime you can add that caliber of player to your group, I just think it can't do anything but help you. He gets his hands on the ball a lot."

On whether he is surprised by how much attention the tie game and Donovan McNabb got in the national media:"Listen, I don't worry about all that stuff. I guess for your sake, unfortunately, but I don't get into all that. Donovan has handled it so well. I know the reality of things, and that particular thing there is irrelevant in the outcome of the game. It's had a lot of attention that I think was unnecessary. It doesn't have any factor on things."

On if he remembers the first time he played against Mike Holmgren and can he anticipate the feelings that Harbaugh may have facing him this Sunday:"Like I said, I think you want to do your best, and I think now that I'm on this side you want to do your best. I think that's probably the plan every game. I think the familiarity of each other's personality, that's the point you get taken care of before the game and then you move on and you're playing. So I don't think it becomes much of a factor there."

On how he felt to beat Holmgren the first two times their teams played:"I was glad we won those games. That was at a crucial time, so I'm glad we won those games. I didn't sit there and go, 'I beat Mike Holmgren!' That's not how I felt. Fortunately, neither one of us had to play because it would have been pretty ugly. But our players played very well against them those first couple of times."

QB Donovan McNabb

On how his style as a quarterback has changed since the beginning of his career when he was more of a running quarterback and now he's more of a pocket passer:"I think when you get a little bit more experience in this league and begin to have been a part of different types of schemes that they throw your way -- you've seen the blitz packages from different teams, you know what you may be faced with due to your personnel – you begin to register a little faster in the pocket and know where you want to go with the ball. And that's just normal. If you look at some of the rookies that have come through this league, including myself, where it seems like you're looking to just one side of the field, and as you begin to get more and more experience in this game, you begin to see the whole field and know what you can do in this league and just try to use your ability to obviously aid in what you're trying to do on the offensive side. I'm still using my legs if I have to, but just giving these guys an opportunity to make plays for me."

On if he feels he is using his legs more now to buy time in the pocket to make sure his receivers get open:"Yes and no. In this league, quarterbacks use their legs, no matter if people say they're mobile or not. Peyton [Manning] and [Tom] Brady, they use their legs maybe to adjust in the pocket. That's something that I do at times. Some guys may tuck it away and run. Some guys may buy time with scrambling to maybe hit a guy 20-30 yards down field. Whatever you can do in order to help the team. You're going to be asked to do that at least two or three times in the course of a game, because you're not going to be able to just sit back in the pocket and go through all of your receivers and be able to, just really, pretty much relax and chill back in the pocket. You won't be able to do that in this league."

On how he feels about facing John Harbaugh, does he have a favorite story from the time he spent with him in Philadelphia, and how much of an asset will Harbaugh be for the Ravens in facing the Eagles:"I'm excited for coach Harbaugh. John is a guy who worked extremely hard while he was here and a guy that I talked to constantly while he was here working with the special teams and then moving over to the secondary. The guy is knowledgeable about the game, comes from a family background of obviously athletes and coaches, and I'm just excited with the success that he's had over there in Baltimore. For him to go into a new style of play, bring in a coach that he coached with at Indiana [Cam Cameron] and then draft a young quarterback that he can help to develop, it's a great sign for him, and he's showing a lot of positive things for all the Baltimore fans."

On if he knew Harbaugh well enough in Philadelphia to know that he would be a head coach someday:"There are a lot of coaches over here who have that capability of becoming head coaches. I've seen guys move on, like Brad Childress, to become a head coach. I've seen some of our assistant coaches [move on]. Even Dave Toub, who was the assistant to coach Harbaugh, who moved on to become a head special teams coach [in Chicago]. Steve Spagnuolo moved on to become a defensive coordinator from a linebacker coach and working with the secondary. The list goes on of guys that have moved on who have left here and become either coordinators or have put themselves in great positions to become head coaches."

On his thoughts on using his arms and his legs to beat the Ravens' defense:"I've shown that I can do both, and I think the thing for me that's important is I use it at the right time. When you play a team like [the Ravens], who have kind of have that ball-hawking ability, you want to be able to take care of the ball and put the ball in the right position for your guys to be successful. Knowing that they're a team that applies pressure, they're a team that has had a lot of success, despite last week, with stopping the run and just have put their offense in great positions to be successful. We want to make sure on the offensive side we will be able to sustain drives and come out with points."

On if he feels the fact that he did not know the NFL rule on ties has been overblown, as Ben Roethlisberger said he believes 50% of the NFL is not aware of the rule:"I believe he said more than 15 percent. Fifty percent? Yeah. It's blown way out of proportion. That's something that happens, when the story is brought out dealing with me out here in the Pennsylvania area, it happens. As you can see, more and more people are starting to come out and be honest. When people ask a question, you be honest with them. I'm not the only one that didn't know it. It's funny, when people begin to make remarks and comments like they knew about it, well you'll know it after the fact. Now you'll see that everyone in the NFL will know that there's only one overtime now because of what I've been through."

On how he and Andy Reid are taking the criticism that's coming their way:"I'll be honest and say that it's kind of hard to not listen to it or hear it, especially here in Philadelphia. But to pay attention to it, no I don't think either one of us pays attention and it never affects what we try to do around here. We've both been a part of it for 10 years. So it hasn't been roses, so to speak, throughout our 10-year career here. So the way I've handled it is to continue to have thick skin, stay focused on your goal, continue to work hard and make sure the guys here in this building understand that none of that negativity will affect what you do, your game plan, your work ethic, and obviously, stepping out on the field and trying to do whatever it takes in order to help the team."

On where he feels the Eagles are given the tie game last week:"We've had in the recent weeks [the attitude] of having a must-win attitude, and we still have that attitude. We can't focus in on where we're at in the standings or what people may put us in toward the end of the year. We can only control what's in front of us. Right now, our main concern is to make sure that we're prepared going into this Baltimore game and doing whatever it takes to win."

On whether he feels the NFL should get rid of the tie:"Yes, I believe they should get rid of the tie."

On if he'd prefer to play all day rather than have a game end in a tie:"That's the game of football; that's what happens."

On his relationship with LB Ray Lewis and how it feels to go up against him:"We're very close. We communicate. We've communicated this year a couple of times. We communicate a lot in the offseason. Ray is a guy who has had a great career in Baltimore and a guy that people look up to. He's a role model and a guy who sets the tone on and off the field. We all try to do different things in order to boost the positive input of the NFL. Ray and I both try to come across that way and make sure that these young guys understand that in order to be the best at what you do, you're going to have to work at it and that you show by example. So Ray is a guy I'm looking forward to playing against. We've had great battles together since college, and we're looking forward to having a good time."

On if it's like a chess match when he and Lewis face each other on the field:"It is, it is, because we both are entertainers and we both have a great time. So we know it goes both sides sometimes. One may get the best of the other and then it comes back to the other individual. It's enjoyable; it's an enjoyable time."

On if he's had a chance to see Ravens rookie QB Joe Flacco and what he's done this year:"I've had a chance to watch him. I've watched him on film a little bit versus some defenses which we had to face. I watched him on TV if we had a late game. Just his progression and development has been outstanding. You look at the two rookies who have come in this year – Matt Ryan and obviously Flacco – and the success that they've had with their given teams and where their teams are right now in the standings. You just haven't seen that in recent years. Most people know that when rookies come in, they struggle a little bit and they don't have as much success as these two have had. And it's just a tribute to just the way the game has changed for us now. These young guys that are coming in are challenging with teams that put them in great position to be successful, and teams are rallying behind these guys."

On the perennial speculation that he and the Eagles may part company, and whether he can envision an Eagles team without him and vice versa:"Absolutely not. Absolutely not. It seems like we're going to be going through this whole process until something is solidified. But, that's part of the game. That's part of the game and the same went for Ray over there. People thought Ray would probably be gone, but [he's not]. We'll see what happens, but I don't see that happening."

On if the speculation about him leaving Philadelphia bothers him:"Not at all, not at all. I know I have the ability to play at a high level in this league. I know what I'm capable of. I know what I can do, and I believe the organization knows the same way. And the fans and everyone else knows the same way, too. Sometimes when you've been in a position for so long, people are anxious to see what could happen if… But I don't see that happening."

On what it's like to have a healthy TE L.J. Smith back on the field:"We're able to do a lot of different things now that he has a foot up. [He has] outstanding stats. He's done wonders for us in this offense, and we're trying to feature him a little bit more, as well as some other guys. L.J. is looking good, he's doing a great job, and I look forward to great things in these next couple of weeks."

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