December 26, 2002
It seems that you couldnít have written a better script for this one.
I think it is going to be fun. It is going to be an emotionally charged game and itís a rivalry where they have gotten the better of us the past few games. It is going to be a lot of fun and I think the stadium is going to be buzzing. You have to really love the playoff atmosphere.
How much better is this team playing now then the last time these teams faced each other?
I think we are playing better. I think we are executing better offensively and we are taking care of the ball better. You need to do both against this defense because they are playing great. They are the kind of defense that makes you be patient. To think we are going to go out there and make a lot of big plays against them, we are kidding ourselves.
Are you a desperate team right now?
I would say we are very desperate. We have to win this game. If we donít win, we go home. Itís about as desperate as you can get.
Is there something specific about their defense that separates them from other defenses?
I think one thing this defense does or doesnít do, is give up big plays. Usually, you see a defense and they give up a big play some of the time. These guys, you just donít see anybody get past them. Obviously, their secondary is playing great. They are athletic. Their linebackers are making plays all over the field. Their defensive line is probably the most improved part of their defense. There is not a weakness on this defense. You have to be patient. You canít expect to get a lot of big plays. You just have to be patient and put some drives together.
You expect to see Shockey for the game after he missed practice today?
Jeremy will be fine. He will be ready to go Saturday. It will be hard to keep him off the field.
Re: the offense clicking.
I think we are executing a lot better. We are taking care of the ball a lot better also. We havenít had a lot of turnovers lately. And I think we have just gotten good at what we have been doing. We havenít changed a lot. We are basically running a lot of the same stuff we have been running all year. I think we have just gotten better and better and as a result we are scoring more points and just moving the ball better on the whole.
Is it fitting that two rival teams can play spoiler in the finale?
I think it is. You look at the NFL and the matchups they have this week and they couldnít have scripted it better for themselves. For us, you have to love playing in a game like this. It is going to be emotional. It is going to be physical. Itís going to very competitive. Itís one of those games that you just want to enjoy.
Re: the Eagles and not having Donovan McNabb.
He is a guy we have seen twice a year for the past few years. He is a guy who is a big part of their team. But, you have to give them credit the way they have continued to win without him and that is a big task. Feeley seems to be doing real well.
Re: the fans.
I think they are going to be pretty fired up. I hope they are. If you canít get fired up for this game, you probably shouldnít walk in the stadium. I think they will be fired up and we are going to need them. You need all the help you can get against a good team like that.
Re: Points and turnovers.
We have to take care of the ball and win the turnover battle. You do those two things and capitalize on opportunities. If we donít capitalize on opportunities, it is going to be a long day for us.