Quarterback Tyrod Taylor
Q: So, you’re back. Feeling healthy?
A: Yes, I’m feeling healthy. Just taking it day-by-day --- preparation for this weekend, so [I] feel good.
Q: Were you close [to returning] last week? How close were you?
A: It was close, but I think it was the right decision. Of course, the competitor in me, it’s tough to say that because I want to be out there playing. As a team, we were able to go out there and accomplish a big win under tough conditions. Hats off to the guys. They worked hard throughout the week. Joe [Webb] and Nate [Peterman] handled everything like professionals and went out there and got the job done.
Q: How much did the conditions play a factor into you not being able to get out there?
A: I don’t think anybody predicted that the snow was going to be as bad as that. I think at the point of game time, it was more so just about health as far as I wasn’t quite there to where I wanted to be and where the trainers wanted me to be to go out there and fully trust that my knee was ready to play a full game.
Q: Was this a pain tolerance thing? Or is it – I mean, can you do more damage than maybe what’s already been done or is it just kind of –
A: I can probably do more damage than has been done. At this point, [it’s] pain tolerance. Like I said, it’s at a good, feels good today. I expect it to continue to keep getting better. Since this happened, I haven’t had any setbacks with it fortunately, so [I’ve] got to continue to keep doing the things I’m doing in the training room. They have a great program and a great plan for me and [I will] continue to trust them and the Lord that I’ll be out there playing.
Q: Tyrod, how encouraging is it that Sean McDermott has maintained for the past week and a half that when you’re healthy, you’re the starter?
A: I don’t necessarily think about that. My focus each and every week is preparing myself and getting the guys ready to go out there and play winning football on Sundays. These next three games, starting with this one, are very important for us as a team and for our offense. Two very good teams on the defensive side of the ball. We have to go out there and execute better than we’ve done and the time is now for us to take that step.
Q: They held the Patriots to 0/11 on third downs and when you see that, does that kind of make your eyes go up and say ‘okay, what are they doing here and kind of how good are they’?
A: [They are] a very talented team. We know they have talented players across the board and it’s been like that for a while. We look forward to this matchup, our offensive line looks forward to this matchup, as skilled players, we look forward to this matchup. It’s going to be a very good game. Of course, what they did Monday was definitely impressive with them holding the Patriots the way they did. Week in and week out, there should be no surprises in the league. Every team is capable, so we have to bring our A-game each Sunday.
Q: What element of, I mean, it’s kind of quirky because like you haven’t seen them all year. Now we’re in week 15 and now you’ve got to play them twice in three weeks. What kind of dynamic does that add to this, because there’s a lot to go off of tape-wise, but still, you haven’t played them yet?
A: I would say, like you said, there’s a lot of tape out there. As far as watching them and trying to get tendencies, of course this is a team that we’ve played but a new defensive coordinator, but a bunch of the same players. Like you said, there’s a bunch of film out there for us to study this week and prepare the best we can to go out there and execute a game-plan that Coach puts together on Sunday.
Q: Have they done anything, just playing off of what Sal said, the last two weeks? 1 conversion out of 24 on third down for their opponent’s opposing offense. Have you noticed any difference in what they’re doing on third down in comparison to the previous weeks that they’ve been so effective suddenly?
A: I would say [that they are] a very confident group. Early on, if they get a couple three-and-outs early on, they feed off that as a momentum team and we have to be able to extend drives early on; start fast, something we need to be better at as well. We take that challenge and look forward to doing it this Sunday.
Q: Do you find it in any way, I’m not sure if ironic, maybe poetic, it is that a month after being benched, after this team back in March, there was thinking of going [and] moving in another direction, is now leaning on you to lead this offense and lead this team back to the playoffs?
A: Some of that stuff is really out of my control. Like I said, day-to-day, thankful for the opportunity and I take the opportunity seriously to prepare myself, as well as this team, mentally and physically to the point where we can go out and play winning football. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The stuff that I’ve been through in my life, in my career, has only made me who I am today. I take it in stride, learn from it, and continue to keep moving forward.
Q: I know you don’t have anything to prove to yourself, but do you feel that there still seems to be something that you need to prove to people in these last three games?
A: There’s always something to prove to myself and to others. Every time you get a chance to wake up in the morning, you have to be grateful for the opportunity to do so. Continue to keep preparing, like I said, mentally and physically to go out there and do the things that I do but ultimately, as a team, we have a goal to do something special in this city and that’s, first off, get back to the playoffs. Not just get to the playoffs, [but] actually go and win games in the playoffs. It starts with one game and it’s this game right here.
Q: Tyrod, [LeSean McCoy] is 39 yards away from 10,000.
A: Chasing 10k, chasing 10k.
Q: How aware is the team and how special would that be to get it this week?
A: We’re very aware. They were talking about it at halftime this past weekend. I mean, it’s motivation for him to go out and continue to keep preforming the way he’s performing, as well as motivation to the offensive line. They want to see Shady, as well as we all want to see Shady, get to 10,000 yards. We want to help him do it.
Q: What’s it say about his career and the longevity being able to play that many games, especially the way that the game is played now, where teams throw the ball, a lot of teams throw the ball 50 times, I know it might not be the circumstance here, but –
A: He’s a special talent, and it doesn’t take just me to say that. I believe everyone on this team believes that. You guys believe that. Across the league he’s very well respected and rightfully so. Every time he’s had an opportunity to go out there and play ball, he’s done it at a high level. I’m a fan of his, been a fan of his since [his] Philadelphia days, not necessarily Pittsburgh, but – nah, just joking. Yeah, I’ve been a fan of his and I’m going to continue to keep being a fan of his and watching him perform on Sunday.
Q: Somewhat quietly, Tyrod, the run game has crept back into the top ten here now. What do you feel is going right and how might that benefit the passing game when it is going as well as it has been the last few weeks?
A: They definitely help each other, especially in our scheme. Of course, this is a balanced offense, but we definitely lean on the running game to open up our passing game. Over the past couple weeks, it’s just boiled down to execution. Early on in the season, there’s been a couple times where we would just one guy short here, lack of execution here. I think guys are just focused up and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.
Q: Tyrod, when you were hurt, I mean you were totaled on first play of the game in that Patriots game. How were you able to play for most of the rest of that game up until the fourth quarter and then some of that got worse as time went on?
A: Yeah, off adrenaline and the good Lord not making it worse. I took a shot early in the fourth quarter, that first drive, and landed directly on the same spot that I fell on the first time. My knee, not to get into detail, but I didn’t know what was going on to be honest. I talked to the trainers and at that time, I thought it was best to get it looked at [and] move from there.
Q: Did you think that it might’ve even been worse? You seemed, obviously, understandable pretty dejected when you were being taken off the field?
A: First of all, you never want to go off on a cart. As a competitor, you never want to come off the field. Like I said, I didn’t know what was going on. I knew it hurt like crazy. It hurt like crazy the first time it happened, but for it to happen two times, I didn’t understand what was going on. Like I said, I agreed with the trainers at the time. We needed to see what it was.
Running Back LeSean McCoy
Q: Here you are, 39 yards to 10,000. I know you’ve been tweeting about it on social media all season, all the way back to training camp. Now that you’re – it can easily happen Sunday. How much do you reflect a little bit on your career?
A: It’s hard to really look at my career right now, because we’re still kind of in the playoff hunt. We need big wins to have a shot, so I think after the season I can really reflect and look at my career and the 10,000-yard mark, passing that. It’ll happen - I’ll have my time and my family to talk about it and enjoy it, my teammates that have helped me get to this point. I think right now, just the most important thing is to get a win.
Q: Did the Miami defense get your attention the other night? I assume you watched that this past week?
A: Yeah, they looked good. They have, you look on the paper and look at the names on the roster, they’re a solid group. There are times where they get out of place or there’s times when, if the game’s not going well for them, there’s some plays they might take off, but when they’re rolling, they’re rolling. [Ndamukong] Suh, he gets that thing going, you have [Cameron] Wake. They’ve got a couple players, even in the back end, Reshad [Jones], he makes plays, and then [T.J.] McDonald, he just came back. They’ve got some weapons on defense, they’re an aggressive group, and they’re athletic. A lot of talent.
Q: Tyrod [Taylor] said that you guys talked about it at half time last week of possibly getting you 10,000 in that game. Is that sort of a reflection on how well you thought you guys were doing running the ball and maybe wanted to do it even more in the second half?
A: I wasn’t around for those talks - wish I was. A couple plays I could’ve, I guess, ran different, made a different cut. The long one I should’ve scored, but I didn’t make the right cut. I could’ve passed it there, but it was a good game. We won, we ran the ball well in the conditions that, I guess, were terrible. Guys up front, they had fun blocking, ran well, so we got the W [win]. Like I said, it’ll come. I’ll get to 10k for sure. Hopefully it’s this game with a W. That’s the most important part.
Q: Are you keeping an eye on the forecast and kind of hoping for, I don’t know about a repeat, or maybe something similar though?
A: I guess so, I guess I have the advantage. Whatever the weather is, we need a win. We need to run the ball well. The games that they have lost, the opposing team has ran the ball really well. That’s something that shows up. That type of team, they play with confidence, so we want to jump on them early that way we have the advantage.
Q: I know your goal is beyond 10k, but when you started in Philly [your] first year, first game, did you ever envision [that] you’d be on the cusp of 10,000 yards?
A: No. I remember just [being] 20 years old, getting into the NFL, being around guys like Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Andy Reid, I was happy to be there. Then, getting cool with Deshawn Jackson, seeing what type of talent he was, then we got Michael Vick, so it’s just – I was just happy to be a part of it; Asante Samuel, a lot of guys I played with that are big names. Then as I got better and things kept going well for me, I started feeling like ‘hey, I can be good in this league’ and maybe someday, guys can be coming into the NFL talking about me like I talked about them guys. As the years got rolling, that’s when I could kind of see it. Even now, 10,000 is something I want to do, but the main goal is I want to get 12 [thousand]. I want to get 12, surpass 12,000. That would be nice for me.
Q: Do you remember your first carry in the NFL?
A: No, but I remember my first touchdown and I remember my first bad play. I told Nate [Peterman] this story. We were going to score, we were on like the two-yard line, three-yard line and we’ve been practicing this play all week. It was like a fake run pass, right? [Donovan] McNabb was quarterback, we ran it, and as I’m running to catch it, I lost the ball in the light, and the ball hit me in the back of my helmet. The defender picked it up and ran it all the way back for a touchdown. That’s embarrassing. I was telling Nate that, and then look at me now. Those five picks, don’t even worry about. Philadelphia, as a rookie doing that, you go to a restaurant, they probably won’t serve you. You know what I mean? Those are one of those stories I’ll always remember. That one, and then my first touchdown against the Chiefs. Scored on a wildcat [formation]. Tamba Hali hit me, boom I got hit, spun out, and scored. You remember that [Derek] Boyko? Those are two plays I’ll always remember.
Q: Do you feel like the run game has rounded into form here the last two or three weeks? You guys have cracked back into the top 10, is that the consistency or at least close to where you guys expected it to be?
A: Yeah, I don’t think we’re there yet. But with the guys up front, and the running schemes, you can never count us out. The guys in the backfield, we can make plays. The guys up front, they get on their blocks. Anything can happen, we can get rolling. I think a lot of teams know that. Then, you have our quarterback who is talented, he can run, he can throw. Teams know that we’re going to run the ball, that’s the first thing they want to take out – ‘let’s get the running game, let’s take that out’. When you read all the interviews they have or all the quotes, it’s always how to stop the run game [or] take me out the game. We know that, [we] just have to make adjustments. Once we get the running game going, I think the game changes with the play-actions and things like that.
Q: How did Tyrod [Taylor] move around today, as you saw it?
A: He looks good. I can tell last week he was banged up, he was hurt. He’s so tough, that sometimes he plays banged up. I think he’s close to 100%. We’ll see, I can’t speak for him, but he looked good today.
Q: Do you find it funny that after the team was almost going to part ways with Tyrod back in March before they restructured his contract – then they bench him a month ago – and now it’s kind of interesting that with you guys in a playoff race, there he is, you guys are leaning on him. Do you find that kind of curious?
A: Yeah, it’s kind of funny. I think anybody would think that. How’d that even happen - from, not sure if it’s their quarterback, then he’s the guy, then he gets benched, and now he’s like the man of the team. It’s the NFL, [you’re] dealing with a lot of profile players, people in high power positions dealing with a lot of money. It’s a big business, so I guess it’s tough, it’s not easy.
Q: You’ve talked about Andy’s [Reid] influence on you, and what you induce, is there somebody along the way maybe who’s had a big influence on you, either a position coach or former teammate that maybe doesn’t get the recognition enough?
A: Duce Staley. Duce is an ex-player, and he’s helped me out my whole career. This is probably the first year we haven’t talked a lot. There’s times he’ll see some clips of me. Even when I was there, he’d be like, he’d call me ‘McCoy, what the hell is this?’ He’s helped me out my whole career, he really has; from a rookie to even when I was the guy. He would challenge me every day. There were times where he could get more out of me than most people, other than my brother. Now, my son is coaching me up. But, I give a lot of credit to Duce Staley from helping me out, and getting me where I’m at. When y’all see me carrying the ball crazy, that’s one thing he didn’t yell at me about, but when he did, I would always be like ‘well, I have way less fumbles than you ever had,’ or I would say ‘I’m just way better than you, how can you tell me anything?’ He’s really been big for me, that’s someone that I think [has influenced me].
Q: Have you heard from Thurman [Thomas] at all lately?
A: Yeah, we text a lot. He still challenges me too. There’s certain games where – like last game, he was like ‘hey, I’ve seen you play in the snow before, so I expect a big game. If not, don’t text me later’. Guys like that, I respect. A guy like that, I look to get advice from, see how they view my game, things I can get better at. I like when Thurman can criticize me in a positive way, it helps me out.
Q: When you look at the list of running backs who have gone over 10,000 yards–
A: I have to look at it.
Q: It’s pretty impressive, I’m sure you can guess some of the names on it. Adding your name to that list, what would that mean?
A: That would be cool, that would be dope. I look forward to doing that. That’s one thing that, when I leave this game, I want my name to be recognized with a lot of the other top backs. I think it’s really important to be a top back in your era, in your time. When you’re retired, you have kids, you have nephews , and grandchildren, you can tell them that. You can look it up, especially now a days online, you can look everything up, good or bad. Then also, a lot of retired players be hanging out in off seasons, you can bring it up, you can talk about it. You do all these things on the field more than just the income part of it - things like competing [and] being a competitor; winning games. That’s something else, I want to win a ring. 10,000 [yards] is a big part, don’t get me wrong, but I have a lot more things to accomplish.
Q: Is it tough not getting back to the playoffs?
A: Yeah that’s tough. Especially in the playoffs, I’ve seen players, they could be solid, they could be okay players, make the playoffs, then do well in the playoffs, and people blow them up. I’ve seen that where guys – I’ll give you an example – like a Fred Taylor, people don’t know how bad he was, he was a bad man, he was really, really good. I think the market and them not being in the playoffs like that kind of hurt them. He doesn’t get the credit that he deserves. When you turn on his tape, I won’t use names, but when you turn on his tape, and then turn on other guys’ tapes that were supposedly better, it’ll blow you away. That’s a great example, Fred Taylor.
Center Eric Wood
Q: Give us some insight on how it was to play in that snow bowl? Did you have to focus on your footwork, maybe more than normal?
A: Yeah, and then inevitably, you’d hit a spot that wasn’t touched yet, and you slip on that.
Q: There’s a potential for another lake effect event this week, is that something you guys are actively talking about heading into this weekend at all?
A: Yeah, we’ll be better prepared for it this time. I fumbled a snap early on a shotgun snap; the ball hit snow behind me. Then, every time I came up, I had to start moving it out of the way, even behind the ball. Yeah, we’ll probably be better prepared for it this time. I’ve been here nine years and they’ve called for lake effect snow many times during games or before games, it might be a few inches, and they get the field clear. But that, was something else.
Q: When you look at what Miami was able to do against New England on Monday Night Football, and holding them – I think there was like 25 or 30 rush yards for them and maybe Tom Brady didn’t look like Tom Brady – what do you see defensively from Miami now heading into week 15 rather than maybe earlier in the year?
A: It all starts up front with their d-line. That’s been a common denominator through a lot of my career playing Miami; they’ve consistently had a good d-line. This year is no different, they get off the ball well. We’ll have to be spot on with our technique this week up front.
Q: Kind of a strange game to say you took care of business, but you did. You mentioned, it being a coin-flip type of game with the conditions, but you put yourself in a good position now to make things happen down the stretch. What’s been Sean’s [McDermott] message throughout this week and going into this?
A: Yeah, we have to focus week-to-week. These games are obviously big. Late in the year, unless you’re sitting with a record like the Steelers or somebody, these games matter a whole lot. We don’t want to be rooting for other teams, we want to be worried about our games. Obviously, you have to have narrow focus on this week.
Wide Receiver Zay Jones
Q: A lot of people talk about how every game is a must-win game, but you’re at that point in the year where it really, it becomes even more important just because losses really knock you out at this point. How do you guys approach that?
A: It’s critical. We’re facing a really good team and we know that. We just have to take it one step at a time and today was a great starting point. We had a really good practice today, some great timing, good installs and stuff like that. Our coaches are doing a really good job of putting us in position to make plays on Sunday.
Q: From your perspective, how did Tyrod [Taylor] look out there today?
A: I thought he looked really well. [He was] commanding the huddle, doing a lot of great things. I’m seeing the game plan come together and he’s a great leader and he’s doing a good job. We had great timing today so it felt really good to be out there.
Q: LeSean [McCoy] said Tyrod physically looked much better today than he did last week and Tyrod said that last week he was close to being able to play. Did you see, physically, a pretty significant improvement?
A: Yeah, he’s just taking the field with more dominance and you can see it. [He’s] really trusting his arm and trusting his legs. He’s doing a great job. I kind of see it both from a mental aspect and a physical aspect where I feel like he’s just improving and doing the same things that he’s normally done.
Safety Micah Hyde
Q: Big games in December [is] something you’re used to. What’s the message of this team going into this final stretch of three games?
A: Just trying to get hot; trying to get hot at the right time. Every game from here on out is a playoff game. You have to play a game at a time; you can’t look forward to who’s after that or anything like that. Just play it game by game, week by week.
Q: What do you see from Jay Cutler on film, maybe from the beginning of the year to now?
A: Well, Jay has weapons and when Jay has weapons, I’ve seen in the past, he’s able to make some big plays. He just gets it in their hands and they’re able to create some big plays for them. We’re aware of the weapons that they have in the receivers, tight ends, the back, playing well. They’ve got it all right now and we’re just trying to go out there and play fundamentally sound football. It’s going to be a challenge for us.
Q: In your career, I think Jay only beat you one time in Green Bay. What worked against him?
A: I don’t know. It’s one of those things – I think we just had their number. I guess it helps we had 12 [Aaron Rodgers] also, but I don’t know. We just played pretty good football against him, but we know what he’s capable of doing. Like I said, when he has weapons, I remember one year he had a ton of weapons on the outside, running game, tight end, he was really good. We just have to be ready for that.
Defensive Tackle Kyle Williams
Q: Did you see any of the comments from fans after saying what you did after the game pouring your heart out and thanking them and about how that’s why you want to be here?
A: You know, I didn’t see it, but that’s not why I did it. I just think that they needed to know what they mean and the chord they strike with me, and not just me, [but] with our football team. It wasn’t about anything but them knowing what they mean.
Q: Kyle, with the uncertainty beyond this season, have you had any thought that this might be your last home game here?
A: No. You know, Sal asked me about it earlier and I try not to think about it, or I don’t think about it just because of, it’s a distraction for me mentally. There’s enough trouble in the day of getting ready for the Dolphins and trying to finish this strong and get to where we want to go and accomplish our goals. I’m not going to make it about me and I’m not going to think about it in those terms. I’m going to go out, it’s our last home game of the season, and we’re going to try and beat the Dolphins.
Q: Guys in this locker room have talked about the way you can rev this team up and motivate them. It’s one thing to hear it from fans and whoever else, but to hear that from your peers and the guys in this locker room about how much you mean to them as a leader and as an emotional motivator, how do you react to that?
A: It means a lot. Anytime that you come in here and spend as much time with these guys – and you pour a lot of yourself into guys – when you mean something to them, it obviously means a lot to you. I know everybody sees the pregame and the postgame and all of that, but really that’s just kind of the end of the week. The real work comes now. It comes Monday through Saturday and I think that’s where bonds are built and guys earn respect and things like that with one another.
Guard Richie Incognito
Q: The fact that LeSean [McCoy] is closing in on the 10K chase. You’ve played with him a couple of years, what do you think that says about his career and the kind of guy he is?
A: Yeah, it’s a great deal. It’s definitely a big piece of his legacy. 10,000 yards, he’s special. I really can’t say enough good things about him, especially after a walk-off touchdown win. I think his 36, or 39 yards, we were trying to get it last game, but we’re excited to get it this game.
Q: What’s it been like blocking for him throughout these few years?
A: It’s been great. He’s so shifty, and has such a knack for making people miss. That is really exciting. We know that if we create a little bit of space here, he’s going to hit a home run.
Q: Is it an honor for you to be a part of that at all? A guy that helped pave the way to 10,000?
A: It is, for whatever part I was. However how many yards he got these last three years, it’s been great.
Q: Will Sunday mean anything in particular though, assuming he gets there, to pass the milestone?
A: I think it’ll be more for him, that’s something he’s worked on his whole career. It’s cool for us, but it’s more important for him.
Safety Jordan Poyer
Q: Just speak about yourself being named the Ed Block award winner for this team?
A: It’s a huge honor to be recognized by all my teammates and all my peers. After everything I’ve overcame from last season moving forward into this season. It’s a huge honor. I’m very honored to be recognized as that. It’s definitely a blessing.
Q: Obviously you have more games to go, but to take stock of exactly how long that journey has been and how successful it’s been to this point?
A: I still haven’t really [taken] a second to look back at it, other than maybe the five seconds right after they announced that I had won. I was kind of like ‘dang, it’s [been] a long journey’. But, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world other than with these guys. Like I said, it’s a huge honor to be voted by my peers [and] my teammates for that award.
Q: For this week, how much does that Miami win over New England get your attention a little more? Obviously, you respect everybody, but coming off of that, is it a little different for you this week?
A: I wouldn’t say it’s different, it’s a good football team. They’re finding ways to win football games [over] these last couple of weeks. Every week; they have some weapons on that side of the football with [Jarvis] Landry, [Jay] Cutler’s playing well, and running back [Kenyan] Drake is running hard. We have our hands full. We had a good day of practice today, and we’re going to continue to prepare.
Q: What is it about Jay Cutler that gets your attention thus far?
A: He’s pretty savvy - he’s been like that though. He’s a savvy quarterback, he understands looks, he understands concepts. He’s a good quarterback, he’s been playing for a while, so we just have to prepare for him.
Defensive End Jerry Hughes
Q: Speak on the leadership of Kyle Williams?
A: He pretty much gets everything set for us. Whenever the game is going on, he’s getting all the information for us. He’s our quarterback up front; he’s our leader [and] he gets us all set up. I know he’s been playing for quite a while now, but just an amazing guy, an amazing teammate. The way he works, his work ethic, how he’s always here looking at film, dissecting things. He takes the game very seriously, and I think that’s great for our room, to have somebody like that to be in there.
Q: Richie [Incognito] said he’s never heard better pregame speeches, you?
A: Hands down.
A: Hands down, the guy can seriously make everybody in here run through a wall. He gets you amped up, he gets you going. [Like] when there’s eight inches of snow outside and you can’t really see anything, you’re amped up, juiced up, ready to play football. That’s just the kind of leader he is. He’s not going to say much, but on game day he’s going to get the troops riled up, ready to go. Then, you can always catch him in here working hard [and] putting in the extra work, showing the young guys how to be a veteran, showing the young guys what it takes to be in the league for 15 years and to play at a high level. He’s all of that.
Q: With respect to Miami, you see a kid like [Kenyan] Drake step into the fray after they trade [Jay] Ajayi – [he had] 53% of the scrimmage yards on Monday night – how much does that make your ears or maybe your eyes open up a little bit when you’re watching the film, seeing how much they’re relying on him now?
A: You certainly see it on the film. The explosive plays are certainly there. [His] per-yard carry is pretty high, I think it’s about 4.5, 5 yards [per carry]. But, an explosive kid, fast. We all saw what he could do, even back when he was in Alabama, when he ran that kickoff back. We understand how explosive he is. He can pretty much create holes just by the way he sets up his blockers. When you have someone who’s that dangerous and you combine that with speed, he’s pretty much a home run threat. We really have to keep all eyes on him, get all the guys flying around and try to put hats on him.
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander
Q: Speak about Shady [LeSean McCoy] in your time with him, and what this weekend may mean to him with his pending milestone?
A: He’s been special, ever since he got into this league. He’s a guy that has you on pins and needles every time he has the ball in his hands, as an opponent, because he can be at anywhere at any time. That’s all a huge reason why I signed here, being able to play alongside of him [and] what he brings to the team. He’s just a special talent, great dude, great teammate. I cheer for him as he’s chasing 10,000 [yards]. Very proud of what he’s been able to do, and it shows how, as a running back – what’s this, his eighth, ninth year in the league – the longevity and the stability that he’s had. That’s a position where you tend to get old fast, and he’s shown that he’s here for a long time in this league.
Q: He’s actually having a better year statistically on average than he normally has. He’s a yard over his average for his career. What does that say about him and his age, and how he’s maintained his body, something that you know a lot about?
A: It’s huge, and I think it’s also, obviously, a testament to his o-line; the guys that are around him as well allowing him to get downhill, and pick up some of those four, five-yard, grind them out type of runs that sometimes go overlooked or overshadowed with some of his flashy stuff – when he hits for 25, 30-yard runs when he makes guys miss. It’s just a consistency there that they have in the running game, and it’s a testament to that whole offensive line and him, as far as grinding it out.
Q: What have you seen from Matt Milano? A player developing from being a rookie, and now, obviously, becoming a starter and taking on that role?
A: Matt is a guy that has consistently gained confidence in himself, in the scheme. I think his production and his play has exemplified that on the field since he’s gotten here. He’s a guy that’s humble, eager to learn and always taking advise, whether it’s from a veteran player like myself or the coaching staff. He’s been dialed in since day one. Great to see him get his opportunity because he was doing a great job on special teams, and filling in as a rotational guy. Now, he’s the guy. Just look for him to continue to grow as he continues to face different offenses week-to-week. People [will] start scheming for him because obviously, he’s making a lot of plays; offensive coordinators will be like ‘oh, this is the guy we have to look out for, put him on the big board at the beginning of the week’. [I’m] excited to see how he continues to handle that and grow through that process as well.