Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Holmgren Pre-Practice Press Conference

by: Michael Steffes

Holmgren is talking Eagles/Hawks--here is what he has to say . . .

  • The Eagles have a great blitz package, which everybody knows. You have to prepare for that. The fact that Seneca can move a bit should help. Holmgren expects Wallace to get better each week.
  • Atkins will move into the rotation to replace Patrick Kerney? (I missed the beginning, but he is talking about Atkins moving into the rotation.)
  • Every team uses zone blitzing schemes now. Even the Hawks, but they have been burned doing it this year. If you get home it is a good play, but if you don't it often goes the other way.
  • What makes the Eagles so good? They have a great QB, a great RB, and a HUGE offensive line. McNabb is tough to tackle. Westbrook is very versatile, he does everything--runs, catches, blocks, etc.
  • Qwest Field is still a difficult place for opponents to play. The question Holmgren posed is whether the Hawks are good enough to take advantage of the advantage.
  • Last year versus the Eagles, Lofa's performance was one of the finest games from a LB that coach has ever seen. He said Lofa has been banged up this year. He is a fantastic player when he is healthy. He is very good in the classroom and prepares himself well, which is why he can miss practices and still play.
  • Holmgren shared his history with Andy Ried, from meeting him at BYU, to Holmgren hiring him to coach TEs in GB, to when he became a QB coach and was hired to lead the Eagles.
  • He talked about how they have gained a greater understanding of the Eagles' defensive scheme since that game at Husky stadium in 2002. Also, that was one of Matt's first games as a starter. The team has gotten better, too. He said the QB diagnoses where the pressure is coming from and shifts protection. If he is wrong, he gets hit. Then they get you thinking and it takes you out of your normal rhythm.
  • Holmgren talked about coaching Westbrook at the Senior Bowl. He could see he was good, but he had no idea he would be this good. He said he has vision and quickness, which is what makes him so great. It's one thing to have vision, but you have to have the quickness to use it.
  • He is pleased with the way Wallace went through his progressions last week and used his 3rd and 4th options. He said a lot of the time the guys who can run never get to their late options because they take off. He wants Wallace to run, but only as a last resort. (He has 2 carries for 6 yards so far.)
  • He talked about the decision to punt to Westbrook last year with the game in the balance. He said in retrospect that he should have made it clearer that the ball needed to be kicked out bounds.
  • Holmgren talked about Josh Wilson. He sees him getting better, and better, and better. He is competitive and tough. The third corner gets picked on. Josh is fun-loving and talks a lot to the other team. He classified him as a media darling.
The feed is crappy today; I can torture myself no longer. We will have to wait for some of the lovely folks who get to attend in person to give us the rest of the info. ~END~