Exclusive interview with Andy Reid

January 5, 2011 3:57:41 PM PST
Action News sports reporter Jamie Apody sat down with Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid in an exclusive interview talking about Sunday's playoff game with Green Bay, Michael Vick, and Eagles fans.

Jamie: Arguably, this is your youngest, most inexperienced playoff team ever, would you say that?

Andy: It probably is, but with that you get this energy that's incredible. We've got a good blend of veteran players that have been there, it's kind of exciting.

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Jamie: How is this team different than the ones you've had in the past?

Andy: They're all different, that's what so fun about the whole process, that you go through. This one here, it's just you're holding back that energy level every day. It's not you go out to practice they're bouncing, that's probably the biggest difference.

Jamie: Michael Vick hasn't played a playoff game since 2004. Does that concern you, the whole nation talking about this guy, about him keeping his emotions in check in this game?

Andy: I think he's pretty good with that. He's able to focus in. He's been in the NFC Championship Game, he knows all the hoopla that comes with that and the playoffs so he's got the experience and the age, he's one of those guys. I think he's in a good place.

Jamie: What's your sense of him of how he's handling such hype and going into a huge game for him?

Andy: He's around the building so much, so he's sheltered a bit from that and his preparation is incredible. With Marty [Mornhinweg] and James [Urban], they're right in there with him.

Jamie: Would you agree that he is the catalyst of the team?

Andy: Normally, on a good team, you have the one guy that's that guy, but it's important, when it's that situation that everybody else just doesn't rely on that guy, that they all pull their weight and play to their best. That that one guy that makes everybody feel that way, the great ones do that, they bring out the best in the people around them.

Jamie: What's it like for you to play the Packers with your history there?

Andy: I've been there a couple times in this situation with them, I had a great time in Green Bay. It was a phenomenal place to start and great people there, I still have close friends there. But we're the Philadelphia Eagles and between the coaches and the players and the people in this building, we've all worked very hard to get to this position and go forth against the Green Bay Packers, so you separate it right there. You understand that. Do I respect them? Absolutely, but I've got our guys right here and we're getting ready. Jamie: How has your team changed from the team that lost to the Packers in Week 1?

Andy: Both teams have changes, just from the fact that our injured reserved lists look like all star teams. That's the way the National Football League is, but it's also a compliment to both personnel departments. You look at what Howie [Roseman]'s done here and he's given the coaches an opportunity to continue to achieve between the Draft and free agency and so on that we've got depth and a lot of teams don't have that. So even though we took a few injuries in, the next guys stepped up and did well. You saw that in the Dallas game, we were playing our seconds and thirds, I never look it at that way, people say that because you have to list them somehow. I look at it that they're all Philadelphia Eagles and I expect them all to be ready to play. That's what they did against Dallas' first group and that's a compliment to the personnel department.

Jamie: Everyone talks about this may be the best offense you ever had, but what are your thought on the defense going into the playoffs?

Andy: The neat part is they're getting better. Ok, you have a new person come in, he gets a little experience, he continues to get better, and Sean [McDermott]'s feeding them some good stuff to work with and the coaches are working hard and the players are working hard and they kind of blanked out all the stats and that's a good thing, that's what you do, you work to make sure as an individual that you get better and then jointly as a defense you get better. Don't worry about the other stuff. It doesn't matter. You concentrate and focus in on those things and that's good enough.

Jamie: Do you think the defense is good enough to take you to a Super Bowl?

Andy: Absolutely. There's great energy there. They fly to the football. You saw Sean took three guys that Howie brought on that are very good players that really weren't with us for more than a week and went and compete against the Dallas Cowboys. That's a tribute to the players for learning - big, strong, smart guys that are tough - and for Sean and his coaches on the defensive side getting them ready and Howie and his staff bringing these people in to give them an opportunity to play.

Jamie: It seems we've seen more emotion out of you this season, good and bad, than ever before. After the Minnesota game, you were probably as mad as we've ever seen you and after the New Miracle at the Meadowlands, you were as giddy as we've ever seen you. Do you sense that?

Andy: I think everybody was giddy after the New York game. That doesn't happen in this league, that's a rare thing, so you want to enjoy it for the little bit of time you can. On the bus ride home, your mind is clicking into the next game as a coach, so you have a very short period of time that you get to enjoy it with the players and the coaches and then you're moving on.

Jamie: You have had so much success at home during the playoffs, to what do you attribute that to?

Andy: Our fans are unbelievable and I've been on the other side where we came in on the bus and it was not a pretty thing when the Eagles were playing at Veteran's Stadium and I was a Green Bay Packer at that time and this was not a good place to play. You were not liking it as a coach and you were not liking it as a player, something was a bit intimidating about it. So our fans, we've got this beautiful new stadium, and our fans are right on top of the other team and you're dealing with a team that's a very explosive offense and that noise level that our fans can produce is really second to none in the NFL. I know they take great pride in that. They are the 12th man in the way they handle themselves.