Vick update; trying times for Eagles' defense

Juan Castillo said his players are working hard to correct their problems on defense. (Clem Murray/Staff file photo)

The Eagles' coordnators were at the podium today. Here is a sampling of what they had to say:

* Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo conceded these are trying times with the Eagles struggling. Castillo mounted an impassioned defense of Eagles coach Andy Reid, after being asked how he felt, with Reid's job security being called into question, partly because of the gamble he took in promoting Castillo.

Castillo said: "In life, you work hard, and you work hard, and you outwork people. And usually when you do that, good things end up happening, sometimes later than sooner. But if you just outwork people, and do things the right way, like coach Reid has done here, and the way he he's taught me, which is work hard, believe in all your players, never talk about your players, coaching fundamentals, and you know what? Nine out of 12 years going to the playoffs is not a bad thing. It's not over yet. We're working our ass off. The players are doing it. The coaches are doing it. You talk about coach Reid -- let me tell you, that man works 20, 21 hours a day. Sometimes 22 hours a day. That's what we're all doing now, to try to get this going ... The fans don't like it, the organization don't like where we're at, but more than anything, we don't like where we're at. Our players don't like it.

"Do they have character? Yeah, we have character ... We're going on things we've done, we've had exeprience, we'd have success with doing ... We believe in what we are doing.

* Addressing the problem in fourth quarters, Castillo said the players are working hard and you have to believe that things will change. He said these are tests on how strong your faith is. He said third downs were the critical issue late in the game against Arizona.

* Castillo said you have to credit Larry Fitzgerald for some of the great catches that he made. Castillo said some of them came in double coverage, there were some tipped balls.

* Castillo also pointed out that the defense has scored a touchdown in each of the last two games.

* He said the Giants are going downfield with their passing game more often than they were early in the season. Castillo saw this as a function of increased confidence.

* Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he knew Michael Vick was hurting a little bit against the Cardinals on Sunday. He said he did not know it was broken ribs, but it certainly did help explain a few things once he learned of the injury.

* Mornhinweg said Vick will not have to practice to play Sunday. He said he remains optimistic that Vick can play and called him a "tough man." He said he knew Vick was doing everything he possibly could to try to be ready to play.

* He pointed out that with five drops the Eagles' offense did not help Vick very much.

* On the progress of Vince Young, if Vick can't play, he said, "[He's grown] in leaps and bounds. He came in without any type of offseason at all and with a little bit shorter camp. He’s been working hard both on and off the field and in the classroom. [Quarterbacks coach] Doug Pederson has been doing a great job and has great confidence in Vince. I think he’ll play well.”

* Mornhinweg said the Eagles could have given the ball more to LeSean McCoy, but he said there were some one-on-one opportunities in the passing game that the Eagles did not take advantage of.

* Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (hamstring, shoulder) did not participate in the walkthrough, although Mornhinweg described him as a fast healer. Riley Cooper would get the playing time if Maclin did not play. Obviously, since the Eagles promoted Chad Hall from the practice squad, Hall could be active.

* Mornhinweg said it was a good possibility that left guard Evan Mathis (turf toe) would be able to play this week.

* Mornhinweg discounted the impact of Kevin Kolb calling out plays, saying it had absolutely no effect and disputed the idea that Kolb had any idea what the Eagles were doing.

* He said the Giants are quite possibly the best pass rushers in the NFL.

* Special teams coordinator Bobby April said Hall, elevated yesterday from the practice squad, will also be a returner, playing behind Dion Lewis on kickoffs and DeSean Jackson on punts. But April said those decisions are up to head coach Andy Reid.