Coach Whisenhunt's Wednesday Practice Report


(on the toughness of having a short week)

Maybe in some ways it is. I think, physically, it's tough. Then you lose a day of preparation, especially for an opponent that you don't know. It makes it difficult. Usually when you have a short week you go against a division opponent, somebody that you have some familiarity with. Going into Philly against a team that does some things differently, it's a little bit more difficult, so that probably has an advantage, because you've really got to focus then.

(on how they can slow down the Eagles' fast-paced offense)

They go at their speed. You just have to be prepared. That's the big thing with this offense. That's what we're working on this week.

(on if the Eagles game against the Packers was misleading)

I don't know about misleading. It seems like that's happened a lot in the league this year with different teams. Green Bay's a good football team, and they went into Green Bay and played well and made some plays on them. That happens. Philadelphia's a good football team. It'll be a challenge going in there playing.

(on the physical challenge of facing a high-tempo offense)

One of the things that you have issues with is trying to substitute, because that's where they make it difficult on you with that pace. Hopefully we're in pretty good shape. Especially with the weather being cooler as it is, it makes it a little bit more manageable. That's part of the reason that they do it. We'll prepare as best we can for it.

(on how practices are being handled this week)

What are we right now, just a little bit over 36 hours from the game? That's not a lot of time. Especially when you play a physical game like that, so we're a little bit lighter on the front end. We conducted at more of an easier pace today, and we'll gear back up tomorrow. We probably won't go in pads this week. Generally that's what we've done on a short week after a Monday night game, really try to focus on the tempo of what we're going to see and the specifics of what we're trying to do from a playing standpoint.

(on if the team feels that the close game against Pittsburgh indicates progress)

That implies that close was OK. I don't think we feel that way. I think our team knows that we're making strides, that we are improving. That's an important piece of it. Regardless of that, we've got to find a way in the fourth quarter to make a play. There are three things. We missed some gaps, defensively. Offensively, we dropped or didn't complete a couple of balls that could have made a difference, and we had a punt in the fourth quarter when it only got, I think, 26 yards out of it. That's a big-time field position thing there. Those are the things that we have to do better in those situations. We've made a point of talking about it, working on it, and we feel like we're going to get into those situations in games, and we've got to come through.

(on Zach Mettenberger preparing for this week and what he hopes to see out of him Sunday)

Zach (Mettenberger's) improving and doing a lot of good things for us. We've just got to continue to see him grow in that. A short week is another test for him. Going on the road into this environment is another test of seeing a defense that will bring a lot of pressure, being able to handle that. What you want to see is us win a game. That's what we need to do.

(on Zach Mettenberger improving against playoff-caliber teams)

We're seeing that from a lot of players. We've got four rookies that are starting, and we're getting a chance to see those guys. We're doing it from a lot of our young players. That's this league. I think it's valuable to be able to see your players, see them improve, and we feel like that's what's happening with most of them.

(on what he expects from Eagles QB Mark Sanchez)

I think he's a veteran guy that's been in the league for a while, and he's been with that team since camp, so I don't think they really change anything. He just operates their offense.

(on what makes Eagles WR Jordan Matthews special)

He's a big guy and good speed. We certainly liked him when he was coming out, felt like he had a chance to be a good player. He's getting opportunities, and he's taking advantage of those. That's what you've seen. He makes the catches, he's good with the ball after he catches it. He's a nice young man. I'm not excited about facing him as an opponent, but you're happy to see the success that he's having, especially being a Vanderbilt product.

(on if he has memories of hostile Eagles fans)

Not really. I didn't play Philly a lot when I was playing. I know we went in there a few times and played at the "The Vet." That was an interesting place. You see a lot of different things, but I don't remember anything specifically about it.

(on Eagles fans presenting a challenge for Zach Mettenberger)

I think it's similar to Baltimore. Baltimore's a great environment. Their fans do a nice job. Philadelphia fans, they're passionate about their team. A little bit crazier, maybe, but it's a good football environment. I think it's really more about focusing. He's handled the noise, he's handled this pressure. This is another opportunity to see if we can get better doing that.

(on Zach Mettenberger developing leadership skills)

I think that's one of the things that's really stood out about Zach (Mettenberger) and the decision was made to go in that direction was because we've seen that type of characteristics from him. It's important to that position. A lot of times as a rookie, you get in there and you don't necessarily have that or that's expected of you. I talk about dealing with the protections, changing plays. His ability to do that and get those guys on the same page, that is leadership, and he's doing a nice job with that. I know the players respect him. I think after the game the other night, everybody was disappointed, but the number of players that approached Zach and supported him, I think that's an indication of leadership.

(on Delanie Walker's injury status)

He's going to see the doctor tomorrow, so we'll have more clarification on that. He practiced and was fine today, and we're certainly hopeful that he'll be able to clear it.

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