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What We Learned From Wednesday's Media Availability

Andy Reid and Alex Smith spoke to the media on Wednesday



OPENING STATEMENT: **"As far as the injuries go, Allen Bailey, Dee Ford, Tamba Hali and Albert Wilson will not practice today. We did elevate Dadi (Nicolas) up. He's on that return list where he can practice for 21 days, not counting yesterday. So he'll end up practicing as we go here. Look forward to the challenge of playing the Giants. I've had a few games against them. Record never matters, you've just got to go play. They've got good talent, good coaching on that team. We're going to prepare ourselves to go play against a good football team in a hostile environment. It's important that we get ourselves back, we've been off for a week here, so it's important that we get back and get in the flow of things and we'll do that today with a normal Wednesday practice."

Q: With Tamba (Hali), is that a setback or part of the plan?

REID: "A little bit of each. His knee swelled up a little bit. But kind of anticipated that, that's what it's done over the last few years, so we're just backing up on it and letting it calm down. Then we'll go from there."

Q: How do you make sure your team feels you're playing against a good team in a hostile environment?

REID: "We've got to take care of our business first and foremost. We've got things that we need to take care of, clean up as coaches and players. So that's what we're going to do. We're studying them and at the same time we've got to make sure we look in the mirror first and take care of our business. And that's where you start."

Q: How do you weigh the execution of the big plays versus the design and the success of the play actually happening?

REID: "You spend time working them. Some of these we've worked since training camp, you've seen that. We're just kind of pulling them out and using them now. Other ones you create as you go. You keep track of the pluses and the minuses on the newer things that you add, we're very critical of that. But time goes into doing that. Most of all the players, execution, they take to those things. They enjoy doing that kind of stuff and the challenge of it. My hat goes off to them for trusting you when you bring something new in."

Q: The play against the Cowboys at the end of the half, was that one you had been working on for a while or did you draw that one up in the dirt?

REID: "We don't draw a lot of them up in the dirt. They might look that way, but we don't. That's one that we work on every week. That's been one that we've had in for a long time."

Q: How much time did you spend during the bye in addressing how you can better stop the run?

REID: "We've got a bunch of areas that we've got to do better. We did for who we played the last game – we've been up and down in that area – so we held them under a hundred yards, which not too many people have. You can take something positive out of that. The consistency is what we need on both sides of the ball and special teams. We've got to make sure that we're doing a better job at that in those areas. If you put everything into the run then it's going to be too full. You've got the run, you've got the pass game – you've got to do both. So that's what we're attempting to do, be better at all positions and all phases."

Q: Back to the Dallas play – Tyreek (Hill) gets all the credit because of his speed, but talk about the blocks.

REID: "(Demarcus Robinson) did a nice job. The two tight ends did a nice job downfield. So it was good. The guys executed very well."

Q: As you do that self-scouting, have you noticed teams playing you differently defensively the last four or five games?

REID: "Everybody has got their own little flavor that they do to try to stop you. Then it's important that you make the adjustments or know that they're doing them prior to and doing that. I wouldn't tell you necessarily that it's the same thing that you're seeing, that's not it. Everybody's got their own little flavor to what they're doing. Consistency ends up being the thing that we've got to do a better job with."

Q: But not necessarily different the last four games then the first?

REID: "There's been a little bit of the same stuff that's been in there."

Q: How much after the bye week is there a sense of lost momentum and how difficult is that to regain?

REID: "I don't put much into all of that. We've got things that we need to get better at. I would tell you that's the primary focus to these questions that we're asked. We see things that we need to get better at. We see the things that we're good at and we see the things that we're not good at. You're always trying to get better in these different areas. That's really where your energy goes. It goes there during the bye week and it goes there when you come out here and you practice."

Q: What stands out about Damon Harrison, No. 98 as a player?

REID: "First you go back to where he came from. William Penn, that's a smaller school I believe, it's a Division three or two. He's a standout in the National Football League. He's one of those guys. So coming from that small of a school and then be able to achieve at this level, my hat goes off to him. He's done a nice job with it. Good football player."

Q: Why do you feel like you have so much success coming off the bye week?

REID: "Oh boy. I have no idea on that. I don't know that, I'm not even sure what the record is. I don't know what other teams do. I don't get into all that. We kind of just do what we do and then try to get better. I mean if I had to pick one thing out that's what you try to do."

Q: How much of an extra eye do you have out at the first practice coming off a bye week?

REID: "I brought them in on Monday. Ran them around. That way you get a little bit better look today. Kind of get back into the swing on Monday, then they have a day off, then they come back today and they'll be fine."



Q: **How cool is it to be nominated for the Art Rooney Award?

SMITH:"Cool honor. I didn't know anything about it but heard about it a couple days ago. But, yeah, it is a cool honor. You try to be a good sportsman out there, I'm not always. Luckily, I'm not mic'd up too often. You just try to go out there and play hard and keep a level head."

Q:How was your bye week?

SMITH:"It was good. Spent a lot of time with the wife and kids and good to get a few days to go back to being normal. Being a dad and a husband and just a bunch of days just to spend with them."

Q:Why do you think Andy Reid is so good coming off the bye week?

SMITH:"I think it is hard to point to one thing. There are so many things that go into it. Certainly, I think he does a great job of giving guys time off. We get to stay off our feet. Not just physically, but mentally you come back recharged. I think there is a lot to that, actually. And the coaches work very hard all bye week. They take the time to analyze up to this point what is going on in all areas and how can it get better. All those things."

Q:Is it easier to get into a routine with these noon games coming up?

SMITH:"Yeah, we haven't had many up to this point of the Sunday noon game. I think it will be nice to get into a routine. Certainly, our focus is we will play anywhere any time. I think we had gotten used to that, so reverting back to a little bit of a routine will be nice. Focus, obviously, is on 1:00 in New York."

Q:Do you do a self-assessment during the bye week?

SMITH:"No, not at this point. You are just trying to get back, take advantage of the week. Work hard, get healthy and get ready to roll. It's hard. Every defense is so different. It is really hard to compare apples to apples all these weeks. You just move on and get ready for the next opponent. You try to thrust your focus looking forward and getting ready for the next one."

Q:How do you try not to focus on the struggles of another team?

SMITH:"You turn on the tape. These guys have been close in a bunch of games as well. They went to Denver and beat a good football team in Denver. These guys are capable. I think more we have to focus on us and what we have to do here. We need to take care of our business, regardless."

Q:How did the Ellen Show come about?

SMITH:"Found out about a couple days ago, the entire story of the Watson family. Obviously, I thought it was a very cool story and I was honored to be a part of it when they asked."

Q:Have your kids seen it?

SMITH:"I don't know if the kids have seen it. My wife has seen it, but I am not sure the kids have."

Q:What are some things you noticed about the Giants defense?

SMITH:"They give you a lot to prepare for. They maybe do more than anybody when it comes from a scheme standpoint. Every coverage in the book, they can play it. Every pressure, they got it and then some. They have a creative coach that can do a lot. These guys make you prepare for a ton so you really have to be in the details as you prepare for them."

Q:What do you think about the opportunity and the position you have put yourself in with seven games left?

SMITH:"Everything we want is still right in front of us. I think this is the point in the season where teams separate themselves and we have that opportunity in front of us. I think it is too early to look up and start doing any kind of math or anything like that. Just have to keep getting better every week. Even after a couple weeks ago in a tough loss, you have to find a way to improve on that and help us moving forward."

Q:How is Demarcus Robinson doing?

SMITH:"Yeah, he is a young receiver who was thrusted into a lot of playing time. He is extremely talented and can do a lot. He has so many tools. I think he has done such a good job of preparing. There is so much that gets thrown on your plate just like that. I think being able to handle all that and still play fast, he has done that. I think a guy that jumps out on tape and all the pride that he has to do all the things he does, whether it is blocking or running, whatever you ask him to do. He is going to go out there and give you everything he has."

Q:The offense runs through the Z receiver, does that make the X receiver get less targets?

SMITH:"No question, I think you hit on it. The X receiver in this offense it unique. The split in, so much of this is built to the Z. You just never know. There will be some games where you don't get a ton of looks and then, bam, you have to get ready because whatever the defense does may dictate that the ball goes that direction. I think the last few years, that has been the nature of that position. A lot of balls come in spurts. A lot of opportunities come in spurts."

Q:Are you at the point where you guys are on the same page?

SMITH:"Yeah, I think so. They communicate real well. And I think he sees things really well. As the weeks go on, you get more and more opportunity there to kind of work on things. Like this week, these guys throw a lot at you so you prepare for a little bit more so you continue to work on these things."

Q:Have you noticed if teams are playing you different these last four weeks than the first five?

SMITH:"It is hard to say. We ran the ball really well early in the year. That is every team in the NFL. Every man and defensive coordinator would tell you they need to stop the run. That's not really saying a ton, but at some points you can see it has been a focus. They have done it in different ways from week to week. Especially when you think about the last few opponents, they are so different scheme-wise and personnel-wise, they do it different ways. It is hard to say. Like I said, I think a lot of defenses, that is their starting point. Not let teams do that, and certainly when we play them, they will try and shut that down."

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