John DeFilippo - Thursday, November 14, 2019

(Opening Statement) "It's good to get away and get mentally rested, both as players and coaches, physically rested. It's good to get everybody back and healthy again. Obviously, we have a big game on the road this week in Indy. They do a really nice job on defense. I have a really good, close relationship with [Colts Head Coach] Frank Reich and he's done a fantastic job with that football, which is not unexcepted. So, we have our hands full this week and we're looking forward to the opportunity."

(On how much he expects an uptake in the offense with the return of QB Nick Foles) "We expect a lot of all of our quarterbacks. The game will turn out the way it does on Sunday. You never know with a guy coming back that's been off for so long. And your goal, early on in the game, especially if a quarterback's been playing a long time where it's his first game back, is to gain confidence early. So, we're going to do some things that he's comfortable with and try to get some things going early that we think we can have success with. So, I think it's very important that you get the guy that's been out of it – and he's human, he's going to have some, not anxiety, but he's going to be anxious to get back out there and play as well, so we just have to make sure we control those emotions. He and I have talked about that, and [we'll] take it one play at a time."

(On why he thinks there is a correlation recently between having success as a head coach and being a former QB) "Well I can only speak of [Eagles Head Coach] Coach [Doug] Pederson and Coach Reich, because obviously I worked very closely with those two guys for two years in Philly. First off, those guys are tremendous people. So, I think when you're a really good person, I think that carries over into you being able to be a leader. And those guys are really, really good in front of a team. Frank's experience in getting up in front of our offense, he was fantastic. So, I think those guys being great people helped them be great leaders in that position. Number two, I think when you play quarterback, and I don't mean to be prejudiced against any other position on our team, I think you do see the game a little bit differently, I do. I think especially offensively, you see it more from a big picture standpoint, because as a quarterback you have to be concerned about the protection, about the routes, about the sights, about the hots, about the play calls coming in. Getting ready, understanding how to get ready for a game. As a player getting your routine down, which is very similar to coaches and coaches routines throughout the week. So, I think when you've experienced that for so long, and both those guys, Coach Pederson and Coach Reich had such long careers in the NFL. And the other thing that I think goes understated with that, is the guys that coached them. You talk about the Mike Holmgren's of the world, and the Marv Levy's of the world. I mean, those guys had tremendous mentors when they were playing, and tell great stories about how those guys had really helped them along the way, so I think all those things that I mentioned have, at least from those two guys that you mentioned, I think I would say has really helped them, but you'd have to ask them."

(On what he expects to see from the tight end position over the last seven weeks) "Just go out there and do their job. That's what we're looking for, for all the positions. We're young there, and they're doing what they're asked to do and I'm looking for them to go out and do their job."

(On Foles being a great teammate in the locker room and off the field) "It's funny you ask that question. My wife and I were taking a walk on the beach right before we came back to training camp, and we were talking about the season coming up and this and that. And I said Nick is one of the most unique personalities I've ever met because of the qualities you just mentioned. And on top of that, it's genuine. You meet guys along the way that you're like, 'Man, that's not really genuine, he's kind of faking his way through this thing.' Nick is as genuine a person as you'll be around. So, I think when you take onus in other people, I really think they tend to gravitate towards you. And his leadership style is he can be aggressive at times, there's a bunch of different ways he leads. He can listen like you just said, and then he leads by example. So, I think when you equate all of those things into his leadership style, I think people just naturally gravitate towards him."

(On the easiness of the transition of the offense back to Foles) "Our base system's in, and Nick practiced all offseason and in training camp. And obviously my past with him, I kind of know what he's good at, and things that he likes and doesn't like. So, I think that transition, that layer of cake is off the table. So, I think it's going to be easier maybe than some other transitions, but we'll see. Like I said, it's all about getting the quarterback comfortable, it's all about protecting him. Everything starts with protection, especially when you have a guy that's been out for a while with an injury."

(On why he believes Foles is a clutch player late in the season) "I don't want to speak for Nick, [but] I think his faith gives him tremendous ease. And me being around him, that's very genuine. I think his faith gives him a lot of confidence in himself, confidence in the system. And the fact that he believes that he's going to go out there and do well. I think Nick is, because of the topic's you guys have asked earlier – the leadership style, people gravitating towards him – I think he has a tremendous amount of belief in his teammates. And so, I think when you have firm belief in yourself, and a firm in your teammates, I think you have a chance to go out there and play well. And the other thing that Nick does a fantastic job of is he is in the moment all the time. When you talk to guys about taking it one play at a time, he literally takes it one play at a time. And I talk about short-term memory in here a lot; he defines short-term memory. If he goes out and has a bad play on Sunday, we're going to move on and get better from there."

(On why he thinks Foles is a good deep ball passer) "Number one I think his arm talent obviously. [His] God-given arm talent is fantastic. And guys have a knack for judging angles and speeds of receivers, and I think Nick has a great, great judgement of that. I mean, that's not easy to do. A lot of times on deep balls the receiver or the tight end's getting banged around a little bit, so you have to see the second level release on the defender. And obviously I think being 6'5" and a half, or 6'6" helps a little bit, too, to be able to see that. But he does a great job of judging angles and judging speeds of his targets."

(On how important trust is between Foles and his receivers on deep throws) "It's big, it's big. As coaches we always talk about knowing your personnel, right? Well, that's part of playing the quarterback position as well. And knowing who's going to go up and make a play for you. Knowing who's, hey, if I underthrow this thing, the worst thing that's going to happen is this target is going to go up and break the ball up for me and help me correct my – you know, maybe not the ball where I wanted it to be. So, I think him knowing his personnel goes back to relationships and getting to know people and knowing them on and off the field. I think that helps him have trust in his guys."

(On if Foles will feel pressure when he returns to the field) "I don't think anybody's immune to that to be honest with you. I think we all feel pressure and it's just a matter of how you handle that pressure. I think that as the week goes along, and the game plan gets in, I think when you feel more confident with the plan, and you know where to go with the football in every look, I think that's going to help ease some of that. But there's going to be a little anxiety, there's no doubt about it. I think if you don't have anxiety, or a little anxiousness before the game, personally, I don't think you care enough. So, I want guys to be that invested that hey, I'm putting pressure on myself to go out and perform to the point where it doesn't affect your play. So, you can use that as a sense of urgency, you can use that as going full speed all the time, and use that energy in different ways and letting the game come to you a little bit as the game moves along."

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