Opening comments: ML:"As we head into this week's game with the Eagles, we've got some guys having just played a game couple days ago that are still on the mend, so we'll have to see how some guys are prior to the game. We had good work yesterday, we'll have another good practice session today, and we'll culminate with things tomorrow morning and go into the game Friday evening.
"It's been a short week, but I think we'll continue to progress, which is the important thing that we need to judge. This is part of the NFL season. Not every week is the same. This is a little shorter week with a little adjustment to it. We have to focus in on a new opponent, particularly for our offense. They have a 4-3 defense with some different pressures. Offensively, they're a quick-throwing team with guys that do a great job running after the catch, and good vertical guys down the field. A pretty well-rounded offense. It's a good game to play as far as recognition of what's going to happen in a football game. They're a very well-coached group on special teams as well."
Q: Any guys you're definitely ruling out for Friday right now?ML: "Robert Geathers, (Rashad) Jeanty, (Tom) Nelson, (Fui) Vakapuna. There might be some others that don't come to mind right now."
Q: Is (Dan) Skuta OK?ML: "I think he should be OK, but that's the list of guys right now that won't play. For the rest of the guys, we'll see as we go through today, tomorrow, and Friday afternoon.
Q: You're maybe a little thin on the offensive line with Otis (Hudson) and (Andrew) Mitchell banged up:ML: "Mitchell will be out, too. We're thinner than we'd like at every position, but we can't have unlimited numbers, so that goes with the 80 (current roster maximum) number. Otis will be fine to play, so we'll be all right."
Q: How's Andre Smith progressing?ML: "He had one practice yesterday." (laughs)
Q: Did you see the tape on him, and what were your first impressions?ML: "He had a good first practice. We'll go from there."
Q: He said he was really rusty with his technique. Do you and (offensive line coach) Paul (Alexander) agree?ML: "That's what he said. We thought there was a marked improvement with some of the things they were working with him to get better at, and I saw a good transition with that."
Q: Has Andre made progress working with Dermontti Dawson?ML: "I think it was very good in regard to his footwork as he is transitioning back. He was unable to do a lot of that stuff in the springtime. We were asked not to do those things with him. As we got to training camp, at least we had the opportunity for him to do more football-related drills. He just couldn't have the contact drills. That's been good, the time Dermontti has spent with him both on and off the field."
Q: On Antonio Bryant?ML: "He's still working with the rehab and staying after it."
Q: How much did Reggie Stephens' play translate into the release of Jonathan Luigs?ML: "Zero."
Q: On Jordan Shipley?ML: "Jordan's had an opportunity to play with our first group in the three and four-wide receiver sets. He's done a good job of that. As I continue to say, he keeps being up to the challenges and learning and that's a good thing."
Q: How much will the first team play Friday?ML: "As a whole, they'll play a little more than they did last week. But some guys won't play as much as they did last week."
Q: Is this game a "dress rehearsal," as a third preseason game often is?ML: "I think every time we go out it's a dress rehearsal. I don't know that anything changes that way. It's just a matter of the playtime for different players based on the health of the position, the individual guy's health, his experience on the football team, his experience in the National Football League. That's what it's gauged on. You're not gauging it saying that the third game being the magical game. You need to gauge your football team based on each player."
Q: On concern over the first-team defense: ML: "You don't want to give up a score any time. It would have been two field goals had we not had a penalty last week. That's two pretty good offensive football teams which is a good challenge for the defensive football team. So, that's a good thing. I like that."
Q: What did you think of Rey Maualuga, with a lot of snaps at middle linebacker?ML: "He played probably more in the game than the snaps he had recently in practice. He handled the whole week and did pretty well. Linebacker is linebacker, I think you guys make too much business of what the names are and so forth. If I see SAM (strong-side outside) linebacker one more time, I will throw up (laughs).
"It's an outside linebacker, it just doesn't matter what it is. I can't tell you whether it is strong or weak. It is all based on set, formation and defensive call. It's really not a big deal."
Q: Is middle different than outside?ML: "Not necessarily, I think you will see Dhani (Jones) play outside linebacker. He has lined up and played at outside linebacker in practice. Obviously, Rey has moved in. All the young guys, all the backup players are prepared to play all three linebacker spots. It's really not a big difference; it is based on how you coach the guys. We have one linebacker coach, they all get coached the same. They all go through the same techniques all the time, the same keys and reads and understandings. So, we it is hard to differentiate like that. You only have so many guys dressed on Sundays, so they better be ready to play based on what happens in the game."
Q: Do you envision (Mike) Nugent getting any field goal opportunities this week?"ML: "Hopefully. I do."
Q: Is he healthy?ML: "He has been healthy. We rested him the second half of last week's game. He'll have an opportunity to kick on Friday and that was the big thing."
Q: Thoughts on (long snapper) Mike Windt?ML: "I think Mike has handled this pretty well. I'm sure this has been a good experience for him. Much like the placekickers and punters and specialists that perform in the National Football League, it's got to be a little bit of time on task, and they have to get a little bit of opportunity out there under the lights. I've been pleased we have been able to give Mike the opportunity thus far, and we will see what happens. But it has not been too big for him. He has done well in the games and well in practice, and that's why he is still here."