Training Camp Transcript - Aug. 17

On if there is a different feel to practice coming off of a win:"I don't know. That'd be… We haven't thought about it. Maybe. But, you just kind of take your team where you find it. We've got so many things to work on. It's nice to work on them through a victory, but it's preseason. It's an extension of training camp, so it's really not an issue right now."

On if the defense is playing a little faster this summer: "I'd have to go back and look at last summer to make the comparison of the defense from this summer to last summer. I think they've always played fast here, and you know that's a credit to the coach we're about to play, obviously, and the guys that have been here for so long. But they're playing fast right now, there's no doubt about it. Today, with the exception of one brief period, they were all over the field. And the offense had a good day today, too, especially the 'twos.' In the third-down scrimmage we had, the 'twos' were three- or four-out-of-five against the 'ones.' Offensively, that's pretty good."

On what he sees from G Ben Grubbs as he returns to the lineup: "Ben has a chance to be a dominant player. And the thing about Ben is that he is so motivated to be a dominant player. And right now he's [dealing with] the ankle. He's had the ankle surgery, and I think he's working through that. It's painful, but he's really a tough guy. I'll be really surprised if he's not a dominant football player."

On whether any players show resistance to the "dirty jobs" on special teams, especially rookies: "With the special teams players and resistance – we always encounter resistance for the most part. (laughing) They just don't know. They don't know how hard it is. They don't know how good those guys are. I guess they equate it maybe to college when they're the best player on the field and the guys they are going against aren't. It's not like that anymore. That gunner vice – if you watch any of that in the game – that's tough duty. And our guys did a good job for the first week."

On how the rule change to the three- and four-man wedge on special teams will affect NFL teams: "With regard to the three- or the four-man wedge, the new rules… They're going to have to tweak what they did, because just like Washington was a four-man wedge, there are a lot of teams that are those big four-man and three-man wedge teams. They're going to have to change their personnel a little bit, and you just can't do it. You just can't get into those big wedges. And I think it's a good rule, because a lot of injuries – and really tragic injuries – were starting to happen, or close calls were starting to happen. So, I think it's got a chance to make kickoff returns more difficult. And it's going to make guys that are more active kickoff return guys – like Brendon Ayanbadejo or Tom Zbikowski – they're going to be more of a factor, because you won't be able to just put those smaller guys into a big wedge anymore. They're going to be more one-on-one and have a chance to make more plays on kickoff coverage."

On whether teams may be circumventing that rule by converging at the point of contact: "Oh, yeah. They're going to circumvent the rule, yeah. They're going to try to cheat. It's going to be up to Mike Pereira and all those officials to make sure it doesn't happen. That's their job. But they are. They're going to try to cheat the rule, sure. We're not."

On how G/T David Hale has looked in his transition to center:"David Hale has looked OK. He's now a two-position guy. He's high cut, which is good for the quarterback. At the same time, he's got to play a little lower with more power, from a more bent-knee position."

On if C Matt Birk has taken a leadership role with Hale:"Matt's done a great job with David and Chris Chester. Matt's a real leader and teacher. He's done a great job with all those guys."

On the fans he brought onto the field:"The Williamsons. Erin's dad, when she was like 2 years old, used to come out to Eagles special teams practice back 10 years ago, so we had a chance to get to know the whole family way back when. They've followed us ever since. It's been neat. They had a tough time with the Eagles/Ravens game though. They said they were rooting for Coach John, so that was all right."

On how unusual it is to have a father and son on the same team:"How unusual is it for a father and son to be on the same team is because Bryan and Greg Mattison... Is there anyone else in the league that has that? You've got the Robiskies, I guess. Yeah, the thing about that is, I'd say, we made a concerted effort not to bring Bryan in here early on. We thought, scouting-wise, we looked at him coming out. We were surprised he didn't get drafted. We made a push to sign him as a free agent because we thought he was a really good player. I think the family decided it wouldn't be the best thing to start out where his dad was coaching. As fate or providence would have it, it turned out where he got released by the Jets, and we had a need at D-line. Now he's moved to O-line, and he's done really well. He's here strictly for his ability to make this team, and he's got a chance to make this team now or in the future. He's doing a heck of a job."

On how using three running backs has been able to work so well:"With the three running backs, it's real simple. There's no pie of success. Everybody, we want to maximize everybody's success. If one running back is running well or having a good day, it doesn't mean it's taking away from somebody else. We want all those guys to reach their full possibility as players and as people, and that's all you can really do. The more players you have, the better. We're not going to throw a guy out the door because we have a good player at his position. We want to have as many good players as we can have."

On if he anticipates more teams having a three running-back approach, with Jets' head coach Rex Ryan starting that this year:"I wouldn't even think about it. I couldn't care less what other teams do with their running back situation. We're happy with ours, and we think we have a couple more young guys coming out that are going to be good players. So we're going to go with four, maybe five. We're not limiting ourselves."

On how he is going to divide the reps between players: "It works out the same way it used to in the old days because there was unlimited [players], then there was a 120, and they worked their way down to 80 now. So, before you had longer training camps and longer practices. Now you have somewhat shorter training camps, and we basically have shorter practices. You look at the Dick Vermeil 3-3 ½-hour practices in the old days. The guys who were the first- and second-teamers were still taking an hour and a half to two hours worth of reps. But you have all those other guys to look at. Now, we've looked at all those guys through scouting or in the offseason. So, basically, the number of reps correlates to the number of players that you have."

On if it's a good idea to have parents coach their kids above the youth level: "My dad's a coach, and he was involved with us all the way through. It probably depends on the dad or the mom. It probably depends on the coach. One thing our dad always said was – he had a great line – he basically said, 'Hey, I'll be your dad, you let whoever be your coach.' That's what a dad should remember. Even when he is the coach, he's the dad first."

On if his offensive philosophy is to have interchangeable players, like his defense has: "That's a great question about mixing and matching different personnel offensively as well as defensively. Our philosophy has always been that you put guys in position to do the things they do well. Cam [Cameron] has taken that to another level. Cam has been an offensive coach for so many years, and that's always been his thinking. He's been that way at Indiana. He was that way at Michigan. He was that way with the Redskins and the Chargers. He just has been that kind of thinker. When we've got David Hale lining up at tight end in a two-point stance; that's pretty interesting, to say the least. Now we've got defensive guys playing offense. Guys like it. If you've got a guy that has a talent, why wouldn't you put him out there and give him a chance to utilize [his talent] and help your team win?"

On if he is pleased with T Oniel Cousins' progress: "Yes, very pleased with Oniel Cousins progress. He's done a great job. Oniel has steadily improved, but then all of the sudden he'll take a big jump, then steadily improve and take [another] big jump. I thought he took a big jump in this last game. He lined up at left tackle against a top-10 pick, whatever [Brian] Orakpo was. He did a nice job."

On what he thought about ESPN's Chris Mortensen giving the team praise: "I didn't see Chris Mortensen's report, but we've got a lot of respect for Chris. I'm glad he came. The bus was shined up and polished – it looked good. There was a guy polishing the chrome during practice. I thought about throwing him out, too, but he was outside the fence. (laughter)

On if there was any significance having P Sam Koch kicking field goals: "That's emergency. You always have to have a punter who can kick field goals just in case. I found that out with the Eagles a few years back. You guys might remember Mark Simoneau, the linebacker who was kicking field goals and extra points? You always have to have a backup plan."

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