HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
"Short turnaround from watching the video. Not much looked different. I had a good seat last night, seeing everything. As I said about three of four hours ago, a lot of things to like offensively. Of course, got the running game going. Dameon (Pierce) was outstanding. Offensive line did a great job. Had our opportunities. Turnovers always hurt you and they hurt us. Other side of the ball, we did some things better, but some of the same things popped up. Played the run a little bit better. Pass game-wise, we gave up some things that we shouldn't have. Had a mishap with our special teams. What that leads to is, you playing the best football team in the NFL, close but not being able to get over the hump."
What was the understanding you reached with WR Brandin Cooks?
"I'm not going to go into the understanding or any of that. What I told you yesterday is that Brandin (Cooks) would be back in the building today with the team. He was back in the building with the team. That's what I'll tell you. Any other questions that come from that, we're not going to talk about that. I'm sure you can probably understand why, because there's nothing to say. I can talk a lot about what happened last night. This little mini bye that we're getting, after a physical football game like that and the amount of games we played in these last three together, the guys deserve a chance to catch their breath."
What did you see from RB Dameon Pierce last night and his impact?
"It's kind of the same song on a lot of what Dameon (Pierce) has been doing. Did he run hard last night? Second effort, the defensive player with him coming at, just a lot of the same things. How I've talked about him since his first preseason game, that's what we see it seems like every time he gets the ball. What has changed a little bit, he carried the ball how many times last night? 27 or so? Maybe we need to give it to him more, because it seems like something positive is happening for the Houston Texans when he has the ball."
How encouraged were you by what the offensive line was able to do last night?
"When I'm talking about Dameon (Pierce) that much, it really should, and Dameon will tell you, it does start with the offensive line. They did an outstanding job, starting with LT (Laremy Tunsil). It's good to get A.J. Cann back into the mix. Tytus (Howard) played hard. We dressed four tight ends and they had a say in that also. Whenever we're taking about Dameon, we should talk about Troy Hairston. He loves playing fullback and what that means is he loves being the lead blocker. It's not like he's going to get a lot of passes thrown his way. Fullback in a way is kind of like the nose guard. The nose guard knows he's going to get double-teamed every time. There's a good chance that Troy his going to have contact with someone on the other side every play. It seems like he loves it."
OL Scott Quessenberry mentioned that the run game was successful because the Eagles front was similar to the Chargers and Bears front. Is that something you felt like you could exploit?
"I don't know about exploit. In most teams in the NFL, half of us run something that's similar. This late in the year, there will be a lot of crossover. If Scott (Quessenberry) said that benefited them, I'm all in favor of it. What I saw is that we played an excellent defensive line, an excellent defense. It's one of the best in the league. It seems like each week we've been saying that an awful lot, especially up front. We play some good defensive lines. I'm sure that's what he was talking about."
With the run game being more efficient this year, why do you think the yards per drive and points per game remain the same?
"We have to finish. I'm talking about some things we're doing better, but still. It's one thing about getting yards and getting physical and doing some of the things we're doing, but we've got to get it in the end zone. It's as simple as that. We had our moments, but just playing good, consistent ball and finishing the right way, we haven't made it there yet. We'll start seeing more W's once we're able to get that taken care of."
How much power and speed did you see from DL Jerry Hughes in his bull rush?
"First off, what Jerry Hughes has and the reason why he's played in the league at a high level, is just motor. He's a guy that plays hard. Is he a free agent trying to make the ball club? Is that who he is? Rookie trying to make it? That's the way it seems. This is my last down and I need to make the most of it. Then, the technical part of it that you're talking about, when you're an outside rusher, you need to have a bull rush. You need to have a spin move, a dip in the rip. There's a lot of different things you can do, spin move. When you've played that long, you have it all at your disposal to use. That's what he's doing. Just love what he's brought to the table. In big games like that, you expect your best players to stand out and he did."
What's been you evaluation of QB Davis Mills halfway through the season?
"Just looking at his play, and we're looking at it that way, especially when you have a little break where you're not just playing and have a little more time to evaluate exactly what you've been doing, I like a lot of the things that Davis (Mills) has done. When you do evaluate him and just evaluating him based on last night, he didn't have his two top receivers, but you can't just look at that. How I evaluate him, he's made a lot of good plays. I think with most young quarterbacks in the league, there's some common things they're all doing. They're not playing consistent football like they will play eventually. There's a group of the second-year quarterbacks that I'm taking about and Davis is in that group. We like a lot of things he's doing, some things we need to clean up. That's how we'll evaluate it right now and we have more than a half of football season left to go. Can't wait to see how much improvement we make going forward."
How beneficial is it to have DB Tavierre Thomas back playing nickel?
"First off, just excited about getting Tavierre (Thomas) back into the mix. One of the toughest guys on our team, plays hard, everything we're about is who he is. Now, we've got to work to get him back into the mix. Desmond King can play some different things too. He can play nickel, he can play some corner and our plan of what we're trying to do is play multiple guys at all positions, defensively. We'll find a way to get him back but it's good to see playing some nickel, being a gunner on the punt team and we'll get him more and more."
How would you assess the progress OC Pep Hamilton has made with the offense?
"I think we start over each week. I thought we had a great game plan to go against the Eagles. That's what Pep (Hamilton) is all about, as smart as there is out there and I like what the offense has done. Each week we seem like we're growing and we're finding things out. You just look at how many reps Dameon (Pierce) had early, that has increased. We've gotten all of our tight ends involved, talking about Teagan's (Quitoriano) first action of getting him a touchdown pass early on. What Chris Moore and Phillip Dorsett did. Having to change the game plan based on what you have is part of being a coach and I think the guys are doing a good job of what they're working with."
How do you feel with the roster turnover on defense and where do you feel this process is at right now?
"We're not where we need to be. If anyone has been around for two year or whatever you said there, we're not where we need to be. We haven't played our best ball defensively. If a guy is still here and he's stayed, we feel like we can get more production going forward from them. Of course, Maliek (Collins') situation is kind of tough, when you have an injury. Keep this in mind about the defense as a whole, the most important position is the three-technique position that Maliek plays. Not having him there kind of affects and awful lot of people, but we'll continue to let the guys play. Feel like we're headed in the right direction with who we're playing. Now, it's about, we talk about Davis (Mills) in all of this. I thought last night we showed signs of more life and all three phases need to do that going forward."
How did playing Titans QB Malik Willis get you ready for playing Eagles QB Jalen Hurts?
"I think that's a good point that you made. It helps when you're playing a similar quarterback skillset-wise. You're right, they're different, but they're both athletes that can run. You just picture the quarterback position, you assume all quarterbacks can throw. Then there's some that can throw and that are mobile enough to move around into the pocket. But a totally different offensive gameplan that we faced in these four days from Sunday's game against the Titans to last night. I knew Jalen Hurts was a heck of a player coming in, even more impressed after we played him."
Is there anything that you learned about the offense this game that you didn't realize before?
"Probably tough question to answer because each game is new. You see different things. You have different guys moving to different roles each week. Seems like that's been the story of this season so far. Offensively, we've stayed consistent as some positions, offensive line for the most part, quarterback, running back, but wide out and tight end positions, you have to just be able to plug guys in and keep going. It's exciting when you see guys do things that they haven't, giving them that opportunity. It seems like that's what we've gotten each game."