Q. Going back to looking at the first matchup with Tampa, what stands out about your guy’s performance on offense? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think going back and looking, I think we got it rolling there in the second half a little bit. Obviously, we got off to a slow start. We have to be a little bit better on third down. So, we are looking through that. They did some good things defensively against us.
So, we’re going through all those situations, seeing what we can do better from the first game. And, obviously, we’re a little different team, they’re a little different team. Looking forward to the challenge on Sunday.
Q. More specifically on that, how is QB Jalen Hurts different from the first time you guys played the Bucs back in October? (Martin Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think he’s just grown. He’s grown as a quarterback. You can see the growth that he’s made from that game to now. He’s throwing the ball well, he’s getting the ball out of his hands and creating big plays with his feet, like he’s been doing.
But I think it’s just the repetition. When someone plays and continues to play and play and play, you see the growth in what he’s doing. So, we’re excited where he is at, and I know he’s fired up for this game on Sunday.
Q. How do you know Jalen Hurts is ready for a moment this big as young as he is? (Dave Zangaro)
SHANE STEICHEN: He’s played big games in college and the way he prepares – I know I’ve said this a million times – but the way he prepares for every game, that’s what you want in a quarterback. His preparation is second to none. He loves ball, he grinds every single day, mentally and physically, to get ready to play on Sunday. So, I know he’s going to be ready to go.
Q. What makes it so hard to run the zone read against Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles’ five-man front? (Jeff McLane)
SHANE STEICHEN: Well, I think he does a good job with his scheme. You look at their front guys, it starts up front with [DL] Vita Vea and [DL Ndamukong] Suh and [LB] Shaquil [Barrett] and [LB Jason] Pierre-Paul and then you got [LB Devin] White and [LB Lavonte] David in the middle. That’s a heck of a group right there.
They’re tough, they’re physical, and like you said, their scheme is really good, and he does a heck of a job. He’s a really good defensive coordinator and puts his guys in position to make plays. So, we’re looking forward to the challenge and we’ll be ready to go.
Q. You kind of mentioned their front seven there. S Antoine Winfield, Jr. wasn’t there when you guys played them the first time. What does he kind of add to their defense? And what do you have to do to account for him? (John McMullen)
SHANE STEICHEN: He’s a physical player and he can fly around and make a ton of plays. I think with all of those – you got to know where all these guys are at at all times. You have to have a plan for them and that’s what we’re being working through right now.
That’s the biggest thing, is being prepared and having a plan for all these guys.
Q. I wanted to ask you about RB Kenneth Gainwell coming out of the game against Dallas there. You guys haven’t historically given him a ton of carries when you had a full stable of running backs healthy. Did he do anything in that Dallas game to maybe even earn more carries, even if you have a healthy RB Miles Sanders and RB Jordan Howard? (Geoff Mosher)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think that’s a week-to-week basis. We’ve got a great group of the backs that we trust in all those guys. And every time these guys have a chance to step up and play ball, like [RB] Kenny [Gainwell] got a whole bunch of reps, he took advantage of his opportunity. He’s continuing to grow as a young player, learning from the veteran guys and we love where our backfield is right now.
Q. You didn’t have T Lane Johnson when you played Tampa Bay last and, obviously, you’ve been more run-focused since that matchup. How do you think the dynamics of having Lane back in the lineup and maybe the different approach to the offense will help you guys be a little bit more versatile against the Buccaneers’ front? (Mike Kaye)
SHANE STEICHEN: Well, [T] Lane [Johnson] is one of the best tackles in the league. He brings the physicality to our offensive line, along with [C] Jason [Kelce] and the rest of those guys.
But his physicality and his mindset and his attitude – that when he comes to play, he’s always ready to go. So fired up to have Lane ready to roll and we’ll go from there.
Q. As a play caller or part of the play calling process, are you only looking at the opposing defense, or do you take into consideration who the opposing quarterback is, and I guess how that factors in to the other team? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think that’s a great question. I think you got to take all that into consideration, how they play running quarterback compared to a drop-back quarterback and what his calls are. You always look at those things and we go through that process week in and week out to see how he is going to play certain quarterbacks. We’re doing that right now. That’s a great question.
Q. I’m sorry, I didn’t ask the question well. I mean the fact they have QB Tom Brady and they’re keeping the ball away from him – playing the other quarterback too, and not just the defense? (Zach Berman)
SHANE STEICHEN: Oh, yeah, that’s a great question. I think the biggest thing is any time you go into a game, we want to win the turnover battle, time of possession is huge and then we want to create explosive plays. Any way we can create explosive plays – when you win the turnover battle and create explosive plays, you got a high percentage chance to win the football game.
We got to take care of the football going into this game and create explosives.
Q. Going into that last game against the Cowboys, knowing that you weren’t going to be playing a bunch of starters, do you put in stuff specifically for the purpose of making the opposing defensive coaches spend time on it this week? Give them different looks, tendency breakers to make them waste time or just something to distract them a little bit? (Bo Wulf)
SHANE STEICHEN: I think when we game planned against Dallas Cowboys, we went into it like our normal game plan, so I don’t think there was really anything there, to be honest.
Q. I wanted to follow up on something you just said. You were talking about how deep your stable of running backs is. Obviously, you’ve got four guys who have had success in the league. What does it take on their part as far as, I guess, unselfishness and team-first attitude to exist in that kind of atmosphere, where there are so many talented guys, there might be a game or two they don’t get a touch? (Reuben Frank)
SHANE STEICHEN: No, that’s a great question. I think where we are very fortunate enough is they’re great guys and they’re unselfish and they want everyone to succeed in that room. [Eagles Running Backs Coach/Assistant Head Coach] Jemal [Singleton], our running back coach, does a heck of a job with those guys week in and week out and getting them prepared to play. Whoever is in there, they step up and they make plays. I think it’s a credit to that group and the unselfishness of all those guys.
Q. On the subject of running backs, in the first matchup with Tampa, you guys, I think, had one running back carry in the first half. Curious if that game served as a catalyst for change on offense? If you kind of looked back and view that as a turning point where you guys decided, ‘We really got to plant our foot in the ground here’? (Tim McManus)
SHANE STEICHEN: Yeah, I think I mentioned this a couple weeks ago. After that game, it was basically like a mini bye since it was a Thursday night game. We sat down and talked about where we’re going offensively. We made a little switch there and kept rolling from there. It’s been good.