Today Frank Spaziani sat down with the media to answer questions about spring football. The Eagles have two more practices: one tomorrow and the spring game on Saturday. Predictably, the questions centered around the status of Mark Herzlich as the Eagles head into the Jay McGillis Memorial Spring Football Game.
Here are the highlights from the teleconference.
On the status of Mark Herzlich:
"Mark had a rod inserted in his leg in December so he's about 4 months removed from that. He has participated in some spring. This is territory that no one's gone before. We've let Mark do what he can do. We've held him out of any kind of hitting obviously. He's participated. He's been in some drills. He's certainly nowhere near ready to play but it's remarkable to see him where he's at right now. I'm hoping that it works out for him but it remains to be seen. There's just too many variables."
On the variables Mark is dealing with:
"There's so much with this. First of all, psychologically. Once he's physically ready and he feels like he's 100% and he can do everything, then psychologically he has to adjust or overcome or whatever the term is. He is playing with a titanium rod in his leg. There's just a lot of stuff that has to go involved in that and first of all, he has to be physically ready to go."
"He looks great. He walks in the room, you wouldn't think he skipped a beat. And to be honest with you, watching him do drills and watching him do certain things out there, I'm amazed at where he is at. But when we do certain other things, you can see he's nowhere near ready for this level of competition. We just gotta see if that comes around."
On whether Herzlich and Luke Kuechly will share the field next year:
"Oh, absolutely. That's the least of concern with that. If he's ready to go, there's a spot for him. Trust me ... We've had Luke in the middle this spring. Those guys are so natural. Mark has played all three [LB positions]. Luke has played two out of the three, and I'm sure he could play the other one. They're interchangeable. They're very good players."
On the stability of the QB and RB position heading into the season:
"Let me put it this way. At this time last year, we're way ahead of where we were at quarterback. That's for sure. Do I feel comfortable? No, because we still have two sophomores and two true freshmen at that position, a relatively inexperienced group.
At tailback, of course Montel is an outstanding player. But we got lucky a little bit last year. We had to use him too much. We had some injuries this spring and our backup situation leaves a lot to be desired."
On Matt Tennant and Mike McLaughlin's prospects in the NFL:
"First of all, talent-wise that goes without saying. They were a big factor in whatever we were able to accomplish last year. But moreso was their leadership and their understanding of what it takes and how to work and bring along, especially in the transition. Those guys had three head coaches so they did a tremendous job. I'm anxious to see as well as a lot of people what the NFL people think of them. I think they're good football players and they're certainly great people. There should be a spot for them, but once again, I don't make those decisions."
On why BC's style of defense has been so successful:
"We've had good players. That's the first thing. We've been able to have a couple very good players in there and a lot of other players that understand what we have. There's been a tremendous continuity. We put it in. We instituted it. We started it. They grew and it's just a learning factor. They know what's happening and the carry over from year to year and practice to practice and game to game and season compounds itself. It's only beneficial."
On how the young QBs behind Shinskie look:
"Dave is the incumbent but no jerseys are tattooed on you. As I alluded to earlier, we are in a lot different situation this time in April than we were last April. We feel we've upgraded ourselves talent-wise over there. The young boys, Mike Marsovetra, this is his first spring. He's a true sophomore now. And then the two young boys that just came out of high school - Rettig and Bordner - graduated and enrolled early and they didn't disappoint us. They're fine prospects. They're by no means ready for prime time but we like what we've seen at this point."
On inexperience in the Eagles' receiving corps:
"One of our main concerns with our program right now is our receiving corps. We lost Rich Gunnell. We have some guys that have been there this spring but no one really stepped forward really. We've had some injuries. Colin Larmond [Jr.] has played for us and made some big plays. But he's been injured a little bit this spring. That's an area of concern that we are going to have to address X and O wise, and certainly talent-wise."
Spring football thoughts?