Weather or Not, Birds Ready
There has been a lot of talk about winter weather at the Meadowlands affecting Sunday's playoff game. Right now, predictions don't seem to make it that much of a factor.
Weather or Not, Birds Ready
It was inevitable that Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was going to be asked about the weather in his Thursday news conference. Wind was a huge factor in the last meeting with the Giants at the Meadowlands, Dec. 7, and of course, we all know the Birds (and kicker David Akers, specifically) benefited from playing indoors last week at Minnesota.
Right now, weather.com doesn't forecast anything horrendous for Sunday. The high in East Rutherford, N.J., is predicted to be 32 degrees, nippy but not that cold for mid-January, with an estimated 13 mph wind, which would be significantly less swirly than last month's conditions. Apparently, it will be sunny.
"I've been up there before, going way back," Monrhinweg said. "I don't even worry about it. If it's windy, it's windy; we'll do certain things. If it's not windy, we'll do certain things ... we don't even worry about that."
Morhinweg, however, had answered a similar question earlier in the session very differently. Asked about the effects of weather, Mornhinweg said that cold, rain and snow aren't necessarily that big a deal, but that with wind added to the mix, there is an effect.
"It was a wicked wind the last time we played them," Mornhinweg noted.
Special teams coordinator Rory Segrest was asked if Giants Stadium wind history makes him nervous.
"I don't know if I'd say it makes me nervous, but it's definitely a concern going in," Segrest said. "I think, this week going in, it's going to be a matter of gloing out in pregame and seeing what it's doing, and, hopefully, we're not in a situation where we have to kick any long field goals with the wind in our face."
So there you go. Wind either does or does not affect the game. But the bottom line seems to be, it shouldn't be the big story on Sunday, because it isn't going to be really howling.
Meanwhile defensive coordinator Jim Johnson was asked about not having suspended wideout Plaxico Burress to scheme against: "It makes a difference, there's no question about it," Johnson said. "We'll still mix up our coverages and fronts, but it makes a difference without Plaxico. The bigges thing with Plaxico was trying to get a good matchup. We didn't have anybody we could really match up. We feel we have a guy who can match up against (replacement Domenik) Hixon a little bit, but Plaxico was so tall that it was hard to match up sometimes."
Also, Eagles general manager Tom Heckert has canceled his interview in Cleveland, according to a report on NFL.com, Heckert reportedly saying he does not know new Browns coach Eric Mangini and wouldn't be comfortable with the setup. It seemed likely the Browns were going to hire someone who has history with Mangini, anyway.