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Philadelphia Eagles 40 - 49ers 26: Nolan Nuggets

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After a hideous 4th quarter performance, I (and many of you as well) was quite curious to see what Mike Nolan and the players would have to say about the game.  Well, here you go.

On what happened in the 4th quarter: "Just became less effective, I guess. Naturally the defense had their problems as well so I wouldn’t put it all on one. I thought we were moving the ball well the entire game. I thought we had a good mix. I thought we ran the ball well. I thought we passed it. I thought we kept them off balance. I thought it was a good plan. Naturally a couple of turnovers there at the end and a bad punt gave way for them to get some points. So we’ve got to play better as a team. It takes a team to win a game, especially against a good football team like Philadelphia."

Fooch: You guess?  Really?  I thought the game plan was solid enough through the first three quarters, but the fourth quarter was a mess.

On the challenges: "Well, I was right there on the sidelines for the first one (Desean Jackson catch). All I asked upstairs is, was it clear that he caught it in bounds. We had it on the billboard when I saw it as well and I thought it was very close. My question was, ‘Did he have possession?’ I saw his feet. I wanted to know if he had possession because if he was still bobbling it, then naturally it wouldn’t have been a catch. So that’s why I did that one . . . 

Details on the challenge of the field goal: "The field goal. Yeah. This is not a complaint to the officials but they have to make a signal at some point that says it’s above the bar or not. Because as it is, I challenged it not knowing if it’s above or below. What I’m saying is if the challenge…I still have to challenge because I threw the red flag. Because I asked him, ‘Is it challengeable?’ And he said, ‘It really doesn’t matter now that you threw the red flag.’ So either way it was going to cost me. So in the discussions right there, they have to correct that. There’s got to be some kind of signal that says it’s not only good but it’s not challengeable or it is. Obviously that didn’t cost us the game. But anyway, [it’s] something they’ve got to fix . . .

"When he came over, I asked him the same exact question (how can they reverse that if there’s not a camera at the same place where the referee is?). Other than, can I challenge it? He asked the guy, ‘Was it below it?’ And they all kind of said it was. But outside of that, I said, ‘What views are you going to see? Are they going to be different from what I see?’ And he said, ‘I’m just going to see what they give me on the monitor.’ That was his response. So it’s not as if there’s a camera, I guess. If there was, he’d have said, ‘there was one.’ So as the way it’s setup now, it’s all fine and dandy. Basically what they get to challenge is if you’ve got a situation like last year where the thing bounces off the cross bar or hits the little machine that’s there. Then you get it. Otherwise, it’s ineffective. The challenges don’t mean anything . . .

"I thought maybe there was something…because I didn’t think it was good, to be honest with you. I wanted to hear what he had to say coming over. That’s why I also thought that coming over if he said, ‘You can’t challenge it because it was above the [upright].’ I was going to say, ‘Well then I get my challenge back.’ But he says, ‘No, you’re not going to get your challenge back.’"

On the 4th quarter play-calling: "You know, we’ve just got to finish. I’m not the coach and I don’t make the calls. The Eagles made big plays. We made mistakes and we lost the game. Our coach did what he thought was the best thing for us to get a first down and move the ball. We made mistakes toward the end. They made big plays and they won the game."

"We just need to keep playing and having fun, and keep playing hard, like every play is our last. We didn’t. We got ahead and we got comfortable. The Eagles played great defense and made great plays. They turned the game around and they won."

On Frank Gore being taken out of the game plan in the 4th quarter: "I believe whatever play Coach Martz calls is the best play for our offense. We were trying to move the ball and be aggressive. He is going to call the play that he feels is going to be the most successful."

On the weak pass rush: "The Eagles, they max-protect and they run that west coast offense. [Donovan McNabb] gets the ball out of there pretty quick and with this defensive line it’s kind of hard to get a rush when they max-protect, especially when he gets it out of there quick. At times we did get pressure, but for the most part we didn’t make the plays that we needed to."

I think Gore and JTO's comments seem sufficiently forced to indicate a little bit of frustration in regards to the play-calling.  Of course, I could be reading too much into this, but I don't think I'm completely off-point.  All in all, they better be frustrated by the late game performance.