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Packers-Eagles Wild Card Playoff Post-Game Quotes

Posted by Duke Bobber on January 9, 2011 – 11:51 pm

Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid Press Conference

1.9.11


On the loss:

“I told the team that I appreciated the fight that they gave. We just have to do a better job as coaches and players all the way around, and on third down in particular. That summed this game up on both sides of the ball. We just didn’t do good enough, in particular on third down and in our kicking game. We have a lot of things to evaluate.”

 

On the player of Packers rookie RB James Starks:

“He did a good job. They have a good football team and they’re well-coached. He did some good things.”

 

On what he was thinking as the offense was marching down the field on its final drive:

“I was thinking about the next play. You’re trying to put your players in a position to make a play, and we didn’t do a good enough job of that.”

 

On the reason for the two missed field goals by K David Akers:

“He missed both of them. You guys [the media] saw it. He missed those.”

 

On the Eagles final offensive play which resulted in a Tramon Williams interception:

“We used four verticals there, and [QB] Michael [Vick] pumped inside and threw outside to [WR] Riley [Cooper], and the corner just made a nice play on it.”

 

On whether defenses have played WR DeSean Jackson differently late in the season:

“They’re playing him a little bit different, but we also have to do a better job of giving him an opportunity.”

 

On whether he is surprised that Green Bay orchestrated three long touchdown drives against the Eagles defense:

“I expect us to do a better job there. But it’s a tribute to [Green Bay].”

 

On how injured QB Michael Vick was at the end of the game:

“He was able to shake the thing off and get back in and go. He was pretty sore, but he was able to walk it off.”

 

On the injury suffered by WR DeSean Jackson:

“He hurt his knee.”

 

On whether he felt a defenseless receiver penalty should have been called on the pass intended for TE Brent Celek on the final drive:

“We lost the game. We had a lot of opportunities. I’m not going to complain about all of that stuff. We have to do a better job.”

 

On whether Green Bay blitzed as much as he expected:

“They blitzed quite a little bit. They started off the game that way and they kept it going. Then they played off, and they came back to it. Down the stretch, they kind of pulled off it a little bit.”

 

On whether the Packers blitz created problems for QB Michael Vick:

“It did on the first play, but then we were able to adjust and make some things happen. We were able to make some plays, but not enough.”

 

On the officials’ confusion with the illegal touching penalty on the two-point conversion attempt and whether the delay prior to the re-try benefitted Green Bay’s defense:

“I thought that’s what it was from the start. We were told [that there would not be a re-try] so we had to get the kickoff team ready. That [delay] had nothing to do with the play that we tried.”

 

On why the Eagles offense was not able to maintain the level of play that it exhibited in the comeback win against the New York Giants:

“We did some good things tonight. You probably wouldn’t be asking me that question if we didn’t throw the interception [at the end of the game]. We played some good teams, and that’s how it works.”

 

On whether he was surprised that the Eagles offense was sluggish tonight:

“I don’t think it was sluggish. We didn’t execute as well as we need to, but it wasn’t a matter of effort. That’s not what it was.”

 

On choosing to attempt a field goal instead of going for a 4th-and-1 early in the fourth quarter trailing by 11 points:

“You kick it and it’s an eight point game. The right thing to do is to kick it. The guy [David Akers] is a Pro Bowl kicker, so I’m thinking he’s going to make it.”

 

On why Green Bay rookie RB James Starks was effective:

“I would give credit to [Green Bay’s] offensive line. I thought they did a nice job. Starks did a nice job of hitting the hole. It looked like he was patient. He’s a big, strong kid and he hit it hard.”

 

On the decision to replace Winston Justice with King Dunlap at the RT position late in the game:

“We had a couple of penalties on that drive, and I felt maybe a little change might help.”

 

On the youth of the team and whether it reached its full potential:

“There were a lot of guys that had an opportunity to play that don’t have a lot of years of experience. That’s not an excuse for today at all. I told the team that I thought they played their hearts out and we just have to eliminate some of the mistakes that we made. We all need to do better, starting with me. I appreciate their effort, and there were some experiences this year that will help us down the road.”

 

On a FOX network report that Eagles coaches and trainers did not want QB Michael Vick to go back in the game after being injured:

“It didn’t come from me. I didn’t know that. I didn’t hear anything about that.”
On whether he is surprised that Green Bay punted to DeSean Jackson at the end of the game;

“A little bit.”

 

On why the Eagles struggled all season with red zone defense:

“I’m not going to point to anything right now. That will be one of our offseason projects, obviously.”

 

On how important the two missed field goals were to the outcome of the game:

“We can all count. Those points would have helped.”

Eagles QB Michael Vick

On his throw into the endzone on the Eagles’ last play of the game:

“The last play we had four verticals and I just took a shot at the endzone. I could have checked it down to the back and I feel like I got greedy and took a shot at the endzone and didn’t throw the right ball I wanted to throw and then it got picked off.  It’s a bad way to go out, but, hey, I went out swinging.”

 

On whether spiking the ball was an option on the last drive:

“Spiking the ball is an option, but I mean you just got a first down and you want to keep attacking, keep them on their heels and clock it for what? Take a shot downfield. Or do the right thing with the ball.  I felt like I could have checked it down to the back and I felt like I tried to do too much. I got greedy. I have to see it on film, but it’s hindsight now and it’s just something I have to learn from.”

 

On why the offense took so long to find its groove:

“I mean Green Bay has a good defense.  They have a great scheme and have a lot of good players over there and they played fast. Sometimes you come out and you’re not going to score points at a high rate. You’re not going to execute at a high level and you just have to keep pushing, keep fighting and that’s why there’s four quarters in the game.”

 

On why the team has struggled to find an offensive rhythm since the Giants’ game:

“I think we did some good things out there. I think in every game we played in since the New York game we did good things, we just set ourselves back. We had a lot of penalties, a lot of plays we didn’t make and we still managed to make plays and do the right things. We just didn’t put enough points on the board. Enough.”

 

On how bad his ankle injury was:

“It wasn’t that bad. I mean I rolled it, but it was nothing that was going to stop me from going back out in the game.”

 

On what offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has meant to his development as a quarterback:

“[Offensive coordinator] Marty [Mornhinweg], he’s been everything to me.  Each and everyday we work hard. He’s very stern. He stays on top of me and makes sure I’m doing everything that I need to do to progress as a quarterback. I know in this league guys get opportunities and he’s one of the ones who will have an opportunity at a head coaching position I think and very deserving.”

 

On whether the end of this year felt different than other seasons:

“This one hurt more than any one, any of my previous seasons that I played a full season and had an opportunity to play in the playoffs and like I said I just think that I didn’t finish.”

 

On why the end of the season hurts more than other seasons:

“Because I expected so much out of myself. I knew in coming back and having the opportunity to play the position this year I could play at a high level and in this offensive and it’s just disappointing to myself and to my teammates that we didn’t finish this year the way we wanted to and I certainly feel like I could have done a lot of things better and I didn’t do it. I guess you just have to learn from it. That’s life.”

 

On how he would assess this season:

“It was a great season but the ultimate goal is winning the Super Bowl and to do that, each and every week, everybody has to be on one accord, in tune with the game plan, flying around playing fast and we didn’t do that tonight. It was a great season, but that’s not enough.”

On how much harder the end result was, knowing that they got so close to winning the game:

“To be on the 27 yard line and for me to make the decision that I made and try to get the big play, that’s something I definitely need to work on. I try to do everything I can to possibly protect the ball, keep the ball away from the opposing team and make positive plays and I failed to do that in that situation. It’s something that I’ll have to really work on in the off-season and it’s something that we’re going to have to work on so I’ve just got to deal with it on a personal level.”

 

On whether he wants to sign a long-term contract with the Eagles:

“As of right now, I’m not even thinking about a contract situation. I’m thinking about what just happened thirty minutes ago. It’s unfortunate because you can’t go out and correct it the next week. You just have to deal with it in your own way, keep believing in yourself, keep pushing. I guess the good thing about it is that there’s always next year. You get another opportunity but it’s going to hurt for right now.”

 

On whether he expects to be back:

“I hope so but in this business, you never know. We’ll see. I’m going to stay optimistic and keep believing. I still feel like I can play at a high level for the next couple of years. Still have a lot of work to do, though, and I’m conscious of that.”

 

On what he plans to do this off-season:

“I’ll probably be here, spend time with the family. Just have to take time off for myself and, I guess, watch a ton of film, try to get better.”

 

On the offense’s confidence level on the last drive, after the two big plays that preceded it:

“We were very confident. We thought we were going to win the game. I thought we were going to win the game. I had an upbeat feeling about myself. I felt like I was in control. I felt like everything that had happened up until that point happened so that, in the end, we could be victorious. We would be having a different conversation right now but that didn’t happen and I wish we had had a better outcome.”

 

On whether he had felt that the season would have a different ending:

“I thought it was going to have a different ending. You always expect it to. Just being a confident player, I visualized us going all the way but, hey, I guess that wasn’t in God’s plan. It didn’t happen. I don’t even know what’s going to happen next year or where I’m going to be so I can’t even say we’re going to have the opportunity to do it next year but I enjoyed this season. I felt like I made a lot of improvements. I’m proud of my teammates. I’m proud of my coaches. It’s just disappointing that we didn’t finish.”

 

Eagles Post-Game Locker Room Quotes

 

 

WR DeSean Jackson

On whether he is frustrated the way the game ended:

“It’s tough. The way I am feeling, especially because we lost in the first round two years in a row, it’s just really tough, especially because of how much confidence we have in ourselves and as a team. We haven’t played well; it goes all the way back to the Dallas game.”

 

On why he thinks the team struggled the last few weeks:

“I don’t know. I think a lot of teams did a good job of seeing what we do and pinpointing it. As a team we need to do a better job of stepping up and not let it happen. We were just not able to do it.”

 

On his knee injury:

“It was close to being knocked all the way up. I am fortunate that it was just a sprain, but when it happened, I was very scared and didn’t think I would be able to come back into the game. I came into the locker room and got some treatment. I just sucked it up as much as possible.”

 

On how frustrating it was for him as an individual:

“It’s very frustrating, especially with the dynamic of our offense and what we are capable of doing. We just were not able to put it all together these past few games. As a professional team we need to figure out how to go out there and still make plays and make things happen, no matter what the defenses are doing. It’s on all of us, offense, defense and special teams. We just have to do a better job.”

 

On how tough this offseason will be:

“It’s the same feeling as last year. It’s going to be a long offseason. I will just try to be as positive as possible.”

 

On the possibility of a lockout:

“Hopefully we don’t have that. But, whatever it is, personally, I will take some time off and get back on my grind and work hard.”

 

WR Jason Avant

On how he will remember this whole season:

“When you have a team that has as much talent as we have, it’s tough to end it like we did. I will remember some of the things we did well. But, in the offseason, I think the things that fuel you for the next season are the things that you do wrong. I will look back at it. I don’t think I made enough plays this year for my team. Everybody has to look at themselves and think about what they can do better, on every side, coaches and players. We are certainly disappointed. We are going to be humble as we can in order to turn it around. If there is anything I can work on this offseason, so that I can make better plays next year, I am going to do that and give it my all.”

 

On the offense’s performance:

“It doesn’t sit well. Anytime the defense holds someone to 21 points, we expect to win. We just didn’t do it. You can go back and look at specific things. I dropped a big pass. There were a whole bunch of things that went wrong. As far as us making plays, we just didn’t do it at the right times this year. It hurt us at the end. We have to take advantage of opportunities and we just didn’t do it today. Hopefully we will get better, especially with the intermediate stuff. We need to execute better.”

 

On the similarities with both Packers games:

“It certainly passed through my mind. You know, Green Bay is a good team. They had some injuries this year and still made it to the playoffs. They are clicking on all cylinders right now and they are confident. We didn’t play up to their level today. We left a lot of plays out on the field and it didn’t happen.”

 

On whether this loss was tougher than the Dallas playoff loss last year:

“Falling short is very disappointing. We didn’t see ourselves going out like this. We wanted to continue on and play, but it happens like that sometimes. You have to give Green Bay their due. With everything that was done this year, we expected to make a play at the end of the game, it just didn’t happen.”

 

On whether the team took a step forward this year and what they can do better next year:

“I think that one thing we can do is executing our offense better as far as eliminating negative plays like sacks and dropped balls. I think that is the biggest thing that we need to do. We were up there in a lot of offensive categories and we overcame so many big penalties. We put ourselves behind the 8 ball. I think that if we can execute better, pay closer attention to details, focus every week  and get a bit more disciplined, I think we can be a lot better. Once you get to the point that we can execute and hold the clock, we will be stronger. We need to keep drives alive. We need to get past these things to become a dominate offense. It will help our defense out a lot. That’s the next step.”

 

WR Riley Cooper

On the play formation and decision to go no-huddle following his reception on the final drive of the game:

There was no huddle, but when I caught that slant back, I thought he [QB Michael Vick] was going to spike the ball, stop the clock, but he didn’t. Not a big deal. He called all-go. I look back, I was behind the guy and I looked back and the ball was in the air. You all keep saying there was contact, I don’t know if there was contact, but…done.”

On his reaction when he saw Green Bay CB Tramon Williams intercept the pass intended for him:

“The game’s over. That was my reaction. I don’t even know if I touched the guy when he was on the ground. As soon as I saw him come down with it, I said ’That’s game over. That’s season over. That’s it; done for the rest of the year.’ A bad feeling.”

 

On if he thought the plan would have been to spike the ball after his first reception on the final drive before the Tramon Williams interception:

“It’s not a big deal. Once I caught it, I thought we would come back, spike the ball. There’s no confusion. It’s just something I individually thought. I thought we were going to come back, spike it, get a play, and then run the play, but we didn’t. Like I said, it wasn’t a big deal at all. Everyone knew what was going on, everyone knew we had all-go on. Because he [QB Michael Vick] did not spike the ball, that has nothing to do with the outcome.”

 

WR Jeremy Maclin

On his reaction to the offense only scoring 16 points after it had been so much more prolific at times this season:

“I was very frustrated. We could have put more points on the board, obviously we know we’re capable of it, and we’re definitely capable of doing more than that.”

 

On his reaction to the loss:

“It sucks. I’m saying the same thing that I said last year, and that’s starting to get old a little bit. I just wish the outcome would have been different, that’s all.”

 

On whether he feels the team is closer to going deeper in the postseason and if he thinks the team took a step forward:

“If you want to look at it like that, go ahead, but a loss is a loss.”

 

On what he was thinking on the last play of the game:

“When the ball went up, my eyes kind of just followed the ball. When I saw the defender right there, I was thinking in my head ‘Oh man’. The dude [CB Tramon Williams] made a nice play on the ball.”

 

On what he feels happened with the offense over the past few weeks:

“I’m not big on all that. You treat it as a whole new game, a whole new season, so I can only speak on this game. We just didn’t get the job done.”

 

On K David Akers missing two field goals:

“We had all the confidence in the world. We got the ball, moved the ball down the field, obviously we put ourselves in a position to get the job done, but just came up short.”

On the injuries, change of quarterback, and if the team showed its full potential:

“No. If I said yes, I’d be lying. We have all the pieces to get down to Dallas for the Super Bowl. We just didn’t quite put together the puzzle right.”

 

TE Brent Celek

On his mindset:

“It’s so frustrating because you’ve got a whole other offseason and training camp before you can get back out there again.”

 

On his thoughts toward the end of the game:

“We had a chance to win it there at the end. We just didn’t come through. I start to look at the whole season, I go back to everything. All the flashbacks come to my head. We screwed this week up, we screwed that week up to put us in this position. We never should have been in this position, but we were, and we didn’t take advantage of it.”

 

On the Packers doing anything surprising on defense:

“I don’t think they were doing anything different than what we’ve seen. They were bringing blitzes, there were times they were playing Cover-2. You’ve got to give them credit. They’ve got a good defense. They did a good job getting to the quarterback a few times. It comes down on us. We didn’t play solid offense the last few weeks. It’s disappointing because I feel like we played so well at certain points in the season. To have it come down to this, it’s frustrating.”

 

T Winston Justice

On what he feels happened to the team in the final three weeks of the season:

“We just didn’t execute. Green Bay just out-executed us. They just came ready to play. Seriously, in another year we can learn from this and get better.”

 

On whether Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews did anything to surprise him in this game:

“Not many. He was always a good player. Watching film, he was a good player. He didn’t really do anything that really surprised me today, but I shot myself in the foot. Like I said earlier, I had two penalties on one play. I’ve never had that happen to me before, so it’s kind of hard to get over. I just shot myself in the foot. I was lying too deep in the backfield and that’s what happens.”

 

On the decision of T King Dunlap replacing him today:

“Hey, the coaches did what they thought was best for the team and I’m on the team, so I agree one hundred percent.”

 

T King Dunlap

On how sick he was tonight:

“I was fine. I played with pneumonia in college. I’m good. It was just a little head cold.”

 

On being so close to score at the end of the game:

“We were good. We were down more than that in the Giants game. We knew that if we came out at halftime, made some stops on defense and come in and move the ball downfield, we could finish. It hurts to come that close and see it. We were confident we were going to score. That is what we do, move the ball down the field and get in the endzone.  But, the guy made a great play on the ball and got an interception. That was it.”

 

DE Trent Cole

On this marking the end of the season:

“It’s a terrible feeling. We come out and expect to play like there’s no tomorrow. It just didn’t work out today. We kind of started off the game pretty badly and turned it up the next half and got back on track. We just didn’t pull it out. The guys fought hard to get back. We just didn’t pull it out. Green Bay is a good team. Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback.”

 

On the success of QB Aaron Rodgers converting third-downs:

“We knew they were going to do that. The only thing you can do in a situation like that — it’s hard to get through — you’ve just got to [go in a] straight line, go straight to him. We were trying to do that, and he was just throwing. We tried to do what we can to execute in all aspects of the field, but we just didn’t all come together as a team.”

 

On the balance of the Packers offense:

“They used the running game here and there. They passed the ball quite a few times. We just tried to get the pressure on [Rodgers] and do what we were supposed to do. When it comes to third-down, you’ve got to get off the field. You must get off the field.”

 

DT Antonio Dixon

On how the Eagles executed the game plan against Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers:

“You can blitz and run, but he’s a good quarterback. Our coach called a pretty good game.”

On whether he was surprised at Green Bay RB Brandon Jackson having so much success at running the football against the Eagles defense:

“Yeah, he surprised me a little bit. But, it’s the NFL. Anything can happen any week. We just have to learn from it.”

 

LB Ernie Sims

On the play of Packers RB James Starks:

“We knew he had potential and that he would expose us if we let him. That is exactly what he did.”

 

On the overall performance of the defense on 3rd down:

“3rd down wasn’t the only problem. We have to do better on 1st and 2nd down. We have to limit the offense on those downs to give us a chance on 3rd down.”

 

LB Jamar Chaney

On whether the Packers did anything unexpected on offense:

“Not really. Everything they did, we pretty much practiced. I thought we did a good job, but this is the playoffs — stuff is going to be magnified. You’re going to find out your weaknesses and your strengths.”

 

On the Packers success running the ball:

“They’re a good running team. We didn’t downplay that at all this week. They’ve got a good formation they run out of with those three backs in the backfield, and they just create extra gaps. We practiced all week but it’s a tough running game to stop when they get into that kind of formation. We knew they were going to come in and run the ball. The first time they played us, they ran the ball pretty well, when they had [RB] Ryan Grant. We knew they were going to run the ball, but when it’s time to make plays, you’ve got to make plays. It’s the playoffs — you’ve got to step up.”

 

CB Asante Samuel

On the defense’s performance:

“We allowed a few [big plays] the first half. We came back in the second half and corrected things, but at the end of the day when you don’t get the victory, we didn’t make the plays to win the game.”

 

On whether he was surprised Green Bay ran the ball as well as it did:

“Yeah, definitely surprised. The first downs they made running the ball, passing the ball, I’m surprised at everything. Not surprised at all.”

 

On what he says to his teammates after a loss like this:

“Stick together, we’re a family.”

 

On how far he thinks this team is away from going to the next level:

“Not far at all. We’ve got work to do. We’ve got to put it all together and play more consistent.”

 

On what his thoughts were on the final play of the last drive while being on the sideline and if he thought the team was going to pull it out:

“Yeah, definitely. You think you’re going to win the game, you think to yourself  ‘Are you going to make it?’ When you see him [CB Tramon Williams] intercept the ball, it took all the breath out of you.”

 

CB Dimitri Patterson

On the defensive gameplan:

“We just wanted to come out and challenge the receivers, make it hard for [QB Aaron] Rodgers, not give him any easy looks. That’s what we tried to do. That was our goal.”

 

On the struggles defensively in the red zone:

“It’s just one of those things we just could not get corrected all year. It came back to bite us again. We just couldn’t capitalize, for whatever reason.”

 

On the Packers’ success converting on third-downs:

“They were very successful on third-down. I don’t really know exactly why they were so successful without looking at the film. The bottom-line is we didn’t get off the field for whatever reason. And I played a big part. They had, what, 18 first-down completions? That was tough, especially in a critical game like this where everything counts. But with all that being said, we were in position to win the game.”

 

On what this loss feels like:

“It doesn’t feel good at all. We had high expectations coming into the playoffs. Not to reach that expectation is definitely disappointing. You work all year, all season, training camp, for this moment. Not to secure this win is very disappointing.”

 

S Quintin Mikell

On his feelings after the loss:

“It hurts. I felt like we would go much further than we did. Anytime you lose, it hurts. An exit in the first-round when we were playing so well mid-season is frustrating.”

 

On the difference between the defense mid-season and today:

“I’m not sure. It’s hard to put a finger on it. I really don’t know. Obviously, we were playing with much more confidence, we were getting turnovers. We got a couple today. We were playing with confidence in the second half, but I think in the first-half, defensively, we let too many points on the board.”

 

On the struggles defensively in the red zone:

“It was just execution. The first [touchdown], we weren’t executing right. There was one where he was scrambling around, and it’s tough when he gets out of the pocket and he’s scrambling. That was tough. They threw a screen on the other one. We just have to get there and make the tackle.”

 

On what the team needs to be a contender next year:

“It’s hard to say without really knowing what’s going to happen next year. I think this was a good experience for us defensively. You can’t come out and spot a good team points. We’ve been saying that all year. We’ve been having trouble with the red zone all year, and it came back to bite us today.”

 

On the experience for the younger players:

“We’ve been saying all along that it’s not easy. It’s not easy to win in this league, especially in the playoffs. For us to come out and play the first-half [like] a completely different defense than in the second-half. It’s playoff football — every half has to be like that second-half. And for some reason, it just wasn’t there at the end.”

 

S Kurt Coleman

On whether the Packers did anything unexpected on offense:

“To be honest, nothing really surprised us. We had a really good gameplan about how they were going to attack us. They ran the ball well that first half. I thought in the second half we stepped it up, especially stopping the run, and I don’t know the stats, but I thought passing-wise we did a solid job, especially on the outside with their explosive receivers.”

 

On the success of Packers RB James Starks:

“If we won, I wouldn’t have cared. But, obviously, that was probably the biggest difference. They just kept running the ball and they ran the ball well. He found a lot of holes, and kept on running and got the tough yards.”

 

On the red-zone situations:

“It’s tough. They got down in the red-zone three times, and they scored three times. It’s frustrating, especially when you get them in third-and-longs and a lot of third-down situations. But at the end of the day, we gave up 21 points against a great offense. I thought this defense played very well in the second half.”

 

K David Akers

On this being the toughest moment of his career:

“Sure, football-wise, yes. It’s the playoffs and you’ve got to do your job to keep things going. It’s a tough day.”

 

On the wind affecting his kicks:

“It was really all over the place today. You could see, we were kicking deep both ways at times and short both ways at times. It shifted all over the place. It’s Lincoln Financial [Field] and I’ve played here a lot of years. You just go out and feel it how you feel it at that time. Sometimes you guess right, sometimes you guess wrong, and I did on the 41 [yard field goal attempt], that’s for sure.”

 

On the snap and hold being executed well on both missed field goals:

“Yes. Those guys are always great.”

 

On the missed 34-yard field goal:

“I don’t know. I have to watch again. It didn’t feel right. It came off a little weird. I don’t know, I just have to look at it. It doesn’t really matter — it didn’t go through.”

 

On his mindset late in the game:

“I want to do whatever I can to help the team. I just don’t want to hurt. Any opportunity I go out there, I want to do well for them. I really feel badly for my teammates, coaches, the organization and all that. I’ve made a lot of kicks in my day. Today, missing them, it hurts. I don’t know what else to say. I didn’t do what I should be doing.”

 

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy Press Conference

Opening statement:

“I’ll start off with our injuries. [WR] Donald Driver has a bruised knee. Just an overall outlook of the football game, we just want to congratulate the Philadelphia Eagles on a great year. We have so much respect for them as an organization and what Andy Reid’s done here over the last decade. So to come in here, to this environment, is a big win for us. I’m very proud of our football team and the way we played in all three phases, coming down to the end with the big turnover for our defense. So with that I’ll take your questions.”

 

On how confident he was in his defense on the last drive:

“Oh very confident. You know, we talked about it all week, just to keep them out of the end zone. They’re a big play offense and I thought [defensive coordinator] Dom [Capers] really did a great job of sticking to the plan and with the coverage and pressure, in particular there in the red area, with the amount of pressure he was able to bring with the red zone blitz to keep them out of the end zone. They’re an explosive offense and you hope you hold them under 20, we felt very good about that. We would like to have some point production on offense, that’s always the case. When you put 21 on the board, we’re very confident in our defense we’re going to come out of the thicket.”

 

On the performance of RB James Starks:

“James Starks is just a fine young man, very talented young man, just hasn’t played a lot of football over the last two years and that’s really been the biggest challenge. And everybody knows his story coming off of PUP and we’ve just been trying to get him ready, had a couple packages in the game plan today for running the football. He established a hot hand early and I rode it. So, we’re very proud of him individually, it really speaks volumes about our offensive line and I thought we did a very good job playing on their side of the line of scrimmage and James did a good job of hitting the holes and running after the first hit and so forth. Very talented young man, he’s got a lot of football in front of him.”

 

On if he encouraged QB Aaron Rodgers to be patient:

“Absolutely. I mean look who we’re playing. We’re playing in Philadelphia, it’s a credit to their organization, just the crowd noise, the atmosphere. We did a very good job with communication, we didn’t have the pre-snap penalties, didn’t handle the ball probably as well as we would have liked with the two turnovers. But our communication was excellent today. So we knew we were going to have to be patient, take what they give us. They played us pretty conservative from a pressure standpoint, third down was more of their pressure down. Played a lot of quarters, they played with a lot of patience on defense, we had to do the same thing. So just a couple conversions here, we probably would have had more production. This is a tough place to play, clearly one of the tougher places to play in the National Football League, in my opinion.”

 

On this being a milestone win for QB Aaron Rodgers:

“Milestone? That’s what you talk about. We don’t look at it that way, I think you know that. Gosh, I just don’t know why we have to talk about that today. We’re just getting started. This is the first round, we’ve established ourselves as a football team. We won a big game here in Philadelphia versus a championship caliber program. And we have the opportunity to go to Atlanta, so we’re excited about playing the number one seed down there. Aaron’s got a lot of football left in front of him. He’s going to be playing for a long time, and I think those conversations should be talked about at the end in my opinion.”

 

On his ability to contain QB Michael Vick and WR DeSean Jackson:

“Well, you can’t take them all away. And I’ll tell you, they’re dynamic. Just the week of preparation, was just very impressive. The statistics speak for themselves and just the ability to run the ball, you just got to keep Michael contained, that’s hard. He caught us a couple times in a four man rush and was able to get out of the pocket. And he’s so dangerous with the ball against the space. They did a good job blocking us up with a seven man protection, eight man protection coming back to the ball with two vertical out-of-field routes. I thought it was a well-coached game. I thought it was, schematically, there were a lot of challenges out there. I’m sure from your standpoint, it was probably a heck of a game to watch.”

 

On their long scoring drives and third down conversions:

“Well frankly, that’s the way we like to play. I think you have to be able to play in the NFL to win over the long term. We have individuals on our offense that can make big, straight plays. We have a quarterback that can stretch the field and make all the throws. But to win week in and week out, you got to have a combination of run and pass, and that was our plan, obviously, coming in here today. So we have confidence in the 3rd and five, six, seven range. It’s just with our pass protection, we feel that’s a strength of what we do. To be able to handle multi-scheme pressure schemes like Philadelphia has, the ability to keep the defense off the field, especially playing against an offense like that. So our plan was to come in here and establish the run and play a favorable dime distance, have the patience and take ourselves where we can.”

 

On RB James Starks’ contribution:

“Well I haven’t seen the final statistics, but I know he was the hot hand. When I call plays, I watch the line of scrimmage, the line of scrimmage and the quarterback’s feet and that tells me about as much as I need to know during the series as far as what’s going on out there. So you’re able to gain a lot of information and James was a difference maker. He was a difference maker for us, just the way he was running the ball. He’s a gifted athlete, he’s a longer levered individual and he falls forward. I just love running backs that fall forward, especially when they’re 6’2”. So that’s a big part of his success.”

 

On Rodgers’ ability to buy time in the pocket:

“I think, and I’m obviously biased, Aaron Rodgers is probably as good as any out-of-pocket quarterback there is in football today. His ability to play in the pocket, trusting his footwork, the time clock, the ability to come out of the pocket to buy time, that’s Aaron’s strength. And I’ll talk about what I’ve already said, he has the arm strength to make all of the throws. He gives you a lot of versatility as a playcaller and as an offensive schemer when you have a quarterback…and now with his experience, playing as well as, he’s a special player.”

 

On the difference between this season and last season’s defense:

“Oh it’s a number of factors. We’ve talked about this time and time again. Second year in the system is just so important, just number one the communication is just so much better. The second part is you’re really streamlining the concepts, you have a better understanding of what individuals can handle certain things, what are their strengths, areas to stay away from. We’ve had so much change on defense, but we’ve been able to stay true, conceptually, to the things that we do best. As far as statistically, our adversity defense is so much better than last year. Our red zone defense is so much better than last year. Those were our number and two emphases coming out of the off-season, the evaluations in the off-season. So when you’re able to go through that, spend the time in training camp and you see it show up over the course of the year, that’s what you like to see. We’re playing very good defense, particularly the scoring defense.”

 

On why he decided to go to Starks as much as he did today:

“Well it’s hard, it’s a juggling act. We have so much faith in [RB] Brandon Jackson, [RB] John Kuhn has done very well in packages.[RB] Dimitri Nance really hasn’t had as much opportunity. He’s given us a spark here and there. But you have James, everybody recognizes the talent, the ability and he has a chance to be a big time player in our offense. But he just doesn’t have the experience. I think everybody understands the schedule. It’s hard to go back to training camp OTAs and all the things that he missed due to his injury and to catch him up to speed Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It’s just a little different and we try to give packages each week and every opportunity he’s been given, he’s done a pretty good job.”

 

On what winning two consecutive close games does for his team’s confidence:

“Well you have to win the close games in the playoffs. We knew we were going to come in here, we knew it was going to be a 60 minute fight. We spent so much time on the overtime rules this week I thought, heck, we might as well go into overtime too. This is the way it’s going to be. We’re on the road, you play uphill when you get off the bus and you have to overcome the atmosphere that you’re playing in, particularly the communication challenge. It feels good.”

 

On retaliating after the Rodgers’ turnover:

“Well it was very important. I think it was evident to everybody the momentum really swung in their direction. The crowd was really into it. We had the two long drives in the first half, so it was very important for us to respond. And more importantly, we were playing with the wind and that was a focus of mine just from a play selection standpoint, the third quarter, to lose a series like that, take that away from you, was something you didn’t want to get into and they responded. That drive was very important because the wind was going to the Eagles there in the fourth quarter.”

 

On the repeated 2-point conversion attempt:

“Well I’m just glad we got it right and I think everybody feels that way. Just talking to the officials on the sideline, I’m just glad we got it right because no one wants to be talking about it a week after the game—coaches, officials, players all included. I thought they did a good job of stopping it and getting it right. We’re going to focus on Atlanta right now.”

 

On if he has any time to savor this win:

“Not really. We start Thursday night on Atlanta just because you have to from a preparation standpoint. For me personally, I’ll watch Atlanta on the bus ride and plane ride home because tomorrow our game plan day. So I think it’s going to be one of the ones after the season is over, you’ll look back on.”

 

On the rotation of kickoff returners:

“Well it’s a little bit…we’re not quite sold on one yet. It’s just an uncertain thing, just to be honest. We’re working ourselves through a couple of things back there, so that’s definitely something [RB] James [Starks] does very well. I thought [CB] Patrick [Lee] did a good job last week. Just kind of working our way through that.”

 

On WR James Jones’ drops:

“Well in fairness to James, he clearly had the obvious opportunity right there before the half to put it to 21. But he has a thumb he’s dealing with. So he’ll fight through it, he’s a warrior, he takes great care of his body, but he’ll be the first one to tell you he needs to make that catch.”

 

On if he intended to punt to WR DeSean Jackson:

“Well it depends when you’re on the field. Obviously kicking into the wind was a factor, but we weren’t real excited to give him too many opportunities punting the ball. I think that was evident we were trying to get the ball out of bounds. But field position was at a premium there and we needed to cover that last punt. We were able to get the holding on the return, which obviously helped.”

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

On the contribution of RB James Starks:

“It was huge. The way that [RB] James Starks was running the ball tonight was maybe one of the most important factors in this win. He set up some of the play action that we did and when it was second and ten there in the second quarter, he gets a 30-yard run. He ran great and I am so happy for him. He is a great kid and he has really grown a lot in the past couple weeks. He was big tonight.”

 

On whether or not he expected such a contribution from the run game:

“No, I didn’t to be honest. I thought I was going to have to play a good game and be efficient and do a good job on third downs, which we did. I thought that we were going to have a few more passing attempts, but the way that [RB] James [Starks] was running, we just stuck with it.”

 

On whether or not RB James Stark is the RB they have been looking for all year:

“Ryan Grant is the back we have been missing all year, but [RB] James [Starks] stepped up and did a nice job. You have to give [RB] John Kuhn, [RB] Brandon Jackson and [RB] Dimitri Nance some credit for running the ball this year, but coach has gone with the hot guy and the hot guy today was James [Stark] and he did a great job.”

 

On being able to communicate with the line:

“[C] Scott [Wells] did a good job with the declarations and the adjustments and it was a really good communication game tonight. That is the most important thing when you are playing a defense like that. There are so many different pieces and different blitzes they can bring and we did a good job picking them up and being efficient passing the ball.”

 

On finally winning his first playoff game:

“Well in all my time being a football fan I have never seen one player win a game all by himself. It is a good team win for us and I will let you guys write what you want on that.”

 

On how he felt when WR DeSean Jackson caught the final punt:

“I think everybody in the stadium held there breath when [WR] DeSean [Jackson] caught that ball. Being a former Cal player, I have been watching DeSean and following his career and seeing the run he had that really helped us get into the playoffs against the Giants. When he caught that ball I think everybody was just hoping that somebody is going to tackle him. He also had that big catch on that drive. He is explosive and the team is explosive and thankfully [CB] Tramon [Williams] came up with a big play for us, like he has all season. He has been a Pro-Bowl player, but unfortunately he did not get the nod. He has played incredible one-on-one coverage this season and I am not surprised that he made a play like that.”

 

On his feelings after the final interception:

“A lot of relief I think. It is a tough position as a quarterback to be on the sidelines and not be able to have an impact on that play, just hoping that the defense comes up with a stop.”

 

On the play of the defense taking pressure off of the quarterback:

“I think so, yeah. When you have [RB] James Starks running for 123 yards, that takes some pressure off the passing game. That was unexpected, but with the defense playing as well as they have, you don’t want to take it for granted, but it has kind of been expected over the past few weeks. They have played excellent.”

 

On the feeling after the win:

“It feels great. It is disappointing to lose your last game like we did last year, but there are a lot of resilient guys in the locker room and a lot of guys, like I said last week, who stepped up and who we can expect a lot of things from, a prime example being [RB] James Stark tonight. We have had a number of contributions from players who at the beginning of the season were not expected to play big roles for us, so I think that shows what kind of character we have in our locker room”

 

On the importance of the second Packers drive of the half (after the Eagles TD):

“That was one of the most important drives of the game. The Coach [McCarthy] had a good call on third down there and you want to give some time to dial it across the middle. It was an important time of the game. The crowd was just getting into it and we needed to give our defense a break and make it a two-score game again.”

On dealing with the crowd noise:

“The crowd in Philly is great and it is a great sports city. They know when to cheer and when to be loud, and it was something we had to deal with, but as I said [C] Scott Wells being my extension at center made some great calls tonight and adjustments and we did a pretty good job under pressure. When we had to, we converted those third downs.”

 

On the importance of long scoring drives:

“That really has not been our forte this year, but I think all three of our scoring drives were over ten plays and we cashed in our opportunities in the red zone three for three. So, that is what we are looking for when we prepare for a game and talk about our goals and that is being good on third down, being good in the red zone, and not turning the ball over. I had one turnover tonight, but other than the other couple we did a good job tonight.”

 

On the second TD pass:

“It was actually a screen pass and they covered it up pretty good. I moved to my right and [CB] Asante [Samuel] may have lost where [RB] James [Starks] was and he kind of moved to the pile and I didn’t throw him a very good pass, but he made a great catch on that.”

 

On when he first realized that RB James Starks could make a contribution like he did tonight:

“Tonight. I think we saw the potential in him way back when he got here, being athletic, long strides, elusive, but we hadn’t seen much until the San Francisco game when he was getting his feet wet and ran for 73 yards. Then the next week he doesn’t get a whole lot of action, I think it was Detroit, and then he was inactive for a game. I think he really learned the last month or so how to be a professional and that this is a seven day a week job and you have to practice well if you are going to play on Sunday. His practice habits have really improved in the last month and he has been reenergized and had a big game for us tonight.”

 

On the importance of the win streak that they entered the playoffs on:

“No doubt about it. This team had its back against the wall. We had two games we had to win and we came up with two great efforts. We had to win two games with two tough opponents in the Giants and the Bears and to beat the Giants the way we beat them, and then the Bears game we struggled, but we won the game. We have a really resilient team, especially on defense to hold the Giants to 17 points and the Bears to three points, and tonight the effort they put forth. We had a lot of effort and a lot of confidence and hopefully we can carry that over into another game.”

 

On the success of third down conversions:

“Well a couple of times we had some small coverage stuff where they got some pressure, but it left a couple of guys open. The other times we ran the ball better than we have on third and short tonight. [RB] John [Kuhn] had a big conversion and [RB] James [Starks] as I said was running the ball very well. To get to above fifty percent for us was big. We have been average to below average on those conversions on third down and we did a better job tonight.”

 

On the challenges of a short week going into Atlanta:

“Well I think the greatest challenge is to see where we are at health-wise. Hopefully we come out of this game pretty healthy. I think guys can handle the short week as long as we are feeling good and healthy. It is nice to know we are going to be back on the field in six days.”

Packers Post-Game Locker Room Quotes

RB James Starks

On his play in the game:

“You are expected to produce when your number is called on this team.  This season was a process that I had to go through and I am doing better with it. This was a big win for the team. The coaching staff put me in a great situation today and I am really thankful for that.”

 

On where he was the last couple of games:

“I was with my family playing some games and watching the games and eating some popcorn and taking it all in. I just knew I would get my chance and I had to be ready to go when my number was called.  Hard work definitely does pay off.”

 

On what it feels to break the Packers rookie rushing record in the playoffs:

“I really take my hat off to everybody on this team because it is not just what I did. The offensive line and the receivers really did a great job to make this happen. People really got body on body and really gave me the holes to run through.”

 

On what he needed to focus on doing in the game:

“I had to think about the fundamentals and making sure I did them as I carried the ball. I had to get back to breaking the tackles and I knew that ball security was very important. I think these are things I still have to get in tune with and continue to get better. The coaches have done such a great job of getting me prepared for this bigger game.”

 

TE Tom Crabtree

On whether he ever expected to play in such a big game in the beginning of the season:

“No and I would not blame anyone if they did think they would see myself, and guys like RB [James Starks] and that we would help win a game. A lot of us guys just continued to prepare for if our number was called and it really helped us in this game.”

 

On whether he was excited to get his first touchdown:

“Absolutely it felt great and it was funny because I scored and the crowd just did nothing. There is not better time to do this then in the playoffs.”

 

On how nice it was to see RB James Sparks run with the offense so well:

“It was really nice to see him get his chance and play so well.  It really is a boost to the offense when you see a guy running his heart out. You want to make plays for him. He really made big plays and picked up critical first downs.”

 

On how it feels to win the last few games in Philadelphia:

“I think it is huge for us because this is a very good football team. The last two games we have played disciplined and we have to play that way to win. This is a tough place to play at.”

 

On why he did not keep the football for his first touchdown:

“You know I have no idea what I did with the ball.  I scored and just threw the ball away and I really should have kept it for a memory. I probably should have kept it but the guys are telling me somebody on the team has it.  We worked on the play and it paid off because the defense did what we thought they would and I was able to get the first big score.”

 

DE Cullen Jenkins

On how he feels after the game:

“To be honest I am so tired right now. I am so glad to be back out there with the guys and I did not feel 100%, but it was enough to help us win.  My injury was a little sore but they played me enough to work it out, and we will rehab it again this week and I will be out there.”

 

On how it felt to see the wins the last couple of weeks and then play today:

“It was tough to watch the last couple of weeks because so many of the games were close.  I wanted to be out there as much as possible to help but could not.  I spent time biting my nails but we have just come up with the big plays as of late to win big games.”

 

On how it feels after the way they played in Arizona last year:

“This definitely feels a lot better to get the win. I think last year helped us in Arizona to realize that the regular season does not matter.  We must step it up and play tough in the playoffs.  It prepared us for this season. In the playoffs we have needed to step it up and on our side of the ball this year I have seen it. This was a big win for us in Philadelphia.”

 

S Nick Collins

On whether the team got confident in the last couple of weeks:

“I think we really did because we won some critical games on the road and that brought us confidence. We had some close games as of late and with this team if we defensively stopped them from scored touchdowns we would win the game. This is how we have been playing and things are working.”

 

On if their defensive plan really worked against QB [Michael Vick]:

“I think this week we really wanted to have a game plan that could stop Vick and we really played it to a “T” and it really paid off for us.”

 

On whether the coordinators really asked him to step up and be a leader:

“Always I think they expect that of me. We have a close knit back in our secondary and I think the coaches really expected us to communicate strongly and make plays. We really went out and executed a lot of the things we planned for and it enabled us to get this win.”

 

On what went through his mind with the interception to end the game:

“I just thought yes we really did it. I am so happy for the whole team and this organization for our first win since like 1997 on the road in the playoffs. It is just a blessing and we need to keep it rolling. I just want us to move on and make plays.”

 

On what they need to do in their next game:

“We are going to have a tough game next week because Chicago will make plays.  We really are going to have to do many of the things we did today to win. The offense again needs to get the lead on the road and then defensively we can make the plays to keep us ahead. We need to play our brand of Packers football and we can get the win.”

 

Courtesy of Philadelphia Eagles


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