Eagles introduce new acquisitions: Cary Williams, Kenny Phillips and Jason Phillips
The Eagles held a press conference on Friday to introduce their new acquisitions: Cary Williams, Kenny Phillips and Jason Phillips.
Here is a transcription of the press conference:
Q. Cary, I think most of us remember you played the Eagles last season, and there was a little bit of a brouhaha. You've been involved in a few of those. What do you have to say about that?
CARY WILLIAMS: I think they're all a part of the game. It's a learning process that we all go through, and I think that that situation that happened last year was something that I could learn from. Something I can grow from and eliminate that from my game, but still have that competitive edge and still carry that same toughness out there each and every Sunday. I just plan on eliminating that from my game, but still keeping that competitive edge and continuing to maintain what I started and continue to grow as a player.
Q. How important do you think it is to be physical?
CARY WILLIAMS: I think it's very important. Intimidation is huge in this game. I think it's one thing to intimidate, but also to go out there and play physical each and every week, week‑in and week‑out, guys look at film, and they notice those things and take those things to heart.
Q. Connor, are you looking forward ‑‑
JASON PHILLIPS: It's Jason Phillips, but I'm sure Connor is ready to roll.
Q. Do you guys see a common bond between the six or seven guys that have been signed here?
CARY WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think right now us three, at least, we have a pretty good relationship. I know Jason Phillips from my time with the Ravens. I know Kenny from a lot of guys that are talking about him, and we come from basically the same area of Miami, Florida.
We sat down and we've had conversations. And I think we have a great bond between us three, and we look forward to continuing that with other teammates.
Q. The organization bringing in seven guys that they've got, do you guys all feel like there is a purpose or why you're all here with the rebuilding effort?
JASON PHILLIPS: From what I can tell, a lot of the guys they brought in are tough, smart, legit players. No egos, and they're here to make the Philadelphia team everything it can be. From what I can tell, the guys they've brought in are those type of guys. That is the type of team that Coach Kelly's trying to bring together.
Q. What was it like, Kenny, to watch over the past two years playing for the Giants and being a rival of the Eagles and seeing what they were doing through free agency and how they were building a team and it not working for them?
KENNY PHILLIPS: It was interesting. But like I said, like you just said, I was a Giant so it didn't matter. I was hoping that they made the wrong decisions so we could beat them. Like I said, I never thought I'd be sitting here today as a Philadelphia Eagle. But I'm thankful, and blessed for this opportunity.
Q. Do you have to flip the switch from Giants to Eagles?
KENNY PHILLIPS: Yeah, it's weird. It's definitely weird. But at this point I can't say I hate the Giants. When I was with the Giants I kind of disliked the Eagles. But I can't just say right now I hate the Giants. I guess I'll have to learn to hate them but like I said, I'm just happy to be here.
Q. What made this deal more attractive to you or this deal and this situation more attractive that you wanted to come here?
KENNY PHILLIPS: Just basically a new start. I enjoyed and I'm thankful that the Giants drafted me. I won a Super Bowl with the team, had some great friendships and they're a great organization. But it's just time for a new start. I looked at the season they had last year, and I heard a lot of good things about you before I signed. And they're bringing in guys to make this team better, and I just want to be a part of it.
Q. Were you intent on leaving the Giants no matter what when free agency came around?
KENNY PHILLIPS: I can't say that. They did draft me, so I felt some type of ‑‑ I don't want to say I owed them anything, but there is some loyalty involved. So I wouldn't just run out the door. But I'm definitely thankful for this new start.
Q. How is your knee holding up after having issues with it in previous years and only playing in seven games last year?
KENNY PHILLIPS: I’m one hundred percent. It feels good, it feels good. Since the season ended, I’ve been rehabbing five days a week and continue to get strong. I took my physical today and the doctors liked what they saw. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting here. Like I said, I’m one hundred percent right now and I’m just ready to get back to work.
Q. Do you feel like you have something to prove after leaving the Giants and looking back on your knee situation and whether it’s an extra incentive to prove yourself?
KENNY PHILLIPS: I wouldn’t say there’s an extra incentive. I go out every day and try to be a better player. Not to prove anything to anyone, just to myself. I want to be the best at my position so I go out there and I work for it.
Q. Jason, what does it mean for you to be a special teams player primarily and be signed on the first day of free agency?
JASON PHILLIPS: It means a lot and they expressed interest in me. This is the Philadelphia Eagles so obviously I was interested in them. Special teams is a huge part of the game. It can completely change the outcome of what happens. To be able to come into an organization like this and contribute in any way possible, I’m more than happy to do that.
Q. What have you been told about what your role will be?
JASON PHILLIPS: I’m definitely coming in to help – especially with the returners that they have here, I mean, one block and they’re gone. Definitely special teams is going to be a role and just working in with the [linebackers] they have. They have a lot of good linebackers here and it’s going to be a great group to work with. Like I said, I’m really excited to be playing for this team
Q. You mixed it up a little bit with DeSean in that game last year. Do you guys have any kind of history or any relationship? Have you spoken since you signed?
CARY WILLIAMS: No, we haven't spoken. But me and him spoke after the game and during the game after that whole situation went down. DeSean understands where I'm coming from. I understood where he's coming from.
It's football. There are two guys that were trying to help their team win. We were frustrated at the time. It was a close game. It was a battle. And it was a hard‑fought game between us two. We both made a bad decision right then and it cost the team. Really it didn't because it was offset in penalties. But I think that that situation is behind me. I think that DeSean will welcome me with open arms. I think this organization believes in me, and I look forward to building relationships with my teammates.
Q. How do you throw the switch from winning a Super Bowl to going to free agency?
CARY WILLIAMS: Easy. You just have to do it. It's a part of life. It's transition. I've been a guy that's been familiar with transition for the majority of my life, so this is no different. I feel blessed and honored to be in this position, and I just want to come in and play football.
Q. How weird does it feel everything that's happened in Baltimore since? It's been quite an exodus. Were you expecting something like that? Have you talked to any of the other guys who ended up leaving?
CARY WILLIAMS: I was expected to leave. I knew that. I knew that they didn't want me back, and that is their decision. No hard feelings. It's a business. I took that. Now I just want to continue my success in the NFL and move on from the Baltimore Ravens. What they do is what they decided to do. I'm an Eagle now.
Q. How tough is it to be a safety in today's game? You want to be an intimidator, you want to be a big hitter, yet there is a very fine line between making a big hit and drawing a penalty and a big fine?
KENNY PHILLIPS: It's extremely tough. It's almost like they want you to touch them. But you can't do that. You just have to go out there and continue to be physical and continue to make the hits. I mean, the moment you decide that you're not going to try to separate the receiver from the ball, you're going to hurt yourself and hurt the team.
So I say, hey, just go out and hit them, maybe get fined. Just pay for it (laughing). You just got to pay for it. I've had my share.
Q. The game in 2011 when you helped the Giants win the Super Bowl. What do you think you showed the league and proved to yourself throughout the course of the season?
KENNY PHILLIPS: That I'm capable of playing in this league. I was drafted in the first round. I think I proved that I'm that type of player, that caliber of player. I was basically ‑‑ I don't want to say a role player, but I did whatever the team asked me. I was that guy. If they needed me to cover, I covered. If they needed me to play the third, I did whatever they wanted me to do. I was the ultimate team player. So I think I showed everything that year.
Q. What do you remember about that final play in the Super Bowl, knocking down that pass?
KENNY PHILLIPS: Like is the ball going to ever come down? It hung up there so long. I'm just watching it, trying to figure out should I try to catch it or knock it down? I actually ‑‑ it seemed like I had forever to think about it because it was going back and forth, like should I catch this? And I finally decided I should try to knock it down, because if I try to catch it and something bad happens, then I'm going to have to move out of New York, which I ended up doing anyways. Maybe I should have tried to catch it. But I'm thankful I was able to knock it down as we won that Super Bowl.
Q. Kenny and Cary, you both come from organizations that had pretty stable secondaries, guys who played there for a while. You got to have continuity with them. Now here you come into a case where there could be four new starters. How long does that chemistry and continuity take to build? Is that the biggest challenge you guys face?
CARY WILLIAMS: I think it starts right now in the off‑season. Us communicating before this conference is over, I'm definitely going to get Kenny's phone number. We're going to communicate. I think you have to build those relationships. It starts in the off‑season, it starts in OTAs. In order for us to be successful, I feel like everybody needs to be here both offensively and defensively. That's how it was in Baltimore, and it matriculated into success.
We're going to go into this as a family. We all want to be successful. That is the one thing I got from us eight guys signing, seven guys, however guys that signed. We all had a taste for that success. We all know what it takes to be successful. I think Coach Kelly sees that in each and every one of us, and that's why we're here today.
Q. Can you also talk about that? Can you be as good as you guys want to be with having four new starters by Day One of the season?
KENNY PHILLIPS: I think so. It's just we have to put in some work. We're going to have to put in some work. We have to exchange numbers. We won a Super Bowl up there in New York. The chemistry was the biggest thing. We can just do things without communicating. Guys would come off their man and someone else would pick them up. We knew what each other was thinking.
Like I said, the guys brought in here, I was excited. Even before I signed with the Eagles I saw they brought in Chung, and Cary, and I was excited. I felt like we could do something special. No disrespect to the guys that they have here, because they've been doing a pretty good job. But the guys that they brought in here were brought in for a reason to make this secondary better. I think it's going to be fun. I think it's going to be fun. Because we were starting from the bottom, and it's going to be a fun time to rise to the top.
Q. Jason, what was the free agency process like?
JASON PHILLIPS: Pretty quick. As soon as we were allowed to start talking to teams, my agent called me and said Philly was interested, and I got a chance to talk to him about it and throughout a deal and was ready to roll.
In free agency, you're going to want to go to a team that's going to win some games. And Philadelphia's one of those teams that's going to win some games in the next few years, so I'm glad to be part of it.
Q. Why did you think that way?
JASON PHILLIPS: Just Chip Kelly is obviously Chip Kelly. He's a great coach. He hired a great coaching staff. Just something about the Philadelphia Eagles. I feel like it's going to be a good couple of years for them. So I'm excited to be here, and it was a quick turnaround, but it was fun.
Q. Did you practice against the first team offense in Carolina?
JASON PHILLIPS: Yeah.
Q. So you have an idea of the read-option and where the league is going?
JASON PHILLIPS: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I was a four-year starter in college. They run all that stuff. The more you see it in the NFL, the more you see college defenses coming into the NFL. So it's just adapting and overcoming and getting with what they're doing. It's pretty easy to do.
Q. What do you remember about the Eagles receivers going up against those guys?
KENNY PHILLIPS: I didn't like them. I mean, it's like I say, you're in the same division. You see these guys twice a year. I played against them for five years. I respected every single one of them. I thought they had a great team even with Vick. I always respected their team. Maclin and Celek and DeSean. You have to respect those guys because they go out there and make plays.
Practicing against them should be fun. I enjoyed playing against them. But now I just can't hit them now. We've got to be the best of friends.
Q. Impressions of the organization considering that you guys were such big rivals of the Eagles in general? What was the impression from you guys up there? Maybe you build like a bad guy persona to the organization because they're your rival. But what did you think of the organization when you were with the Giants?
KENNY PHILLIPS: I didn't think too much of it. I didn't even think about it, to be honest with you. I just knew I didn't like the Eagles, which is, like I say, you're playing against them for so long, that's what you were taught as a Giant. Just like the Eagles were taught, you don't like the Giants. That's just how it goes.
But once I got here and just speaking to the coaching staff and speaking to Chip, I can honestly say I feel at home. The Giants is a great organization. But I'm really happy to be here right now just surrounded by some great people and great players.
Q. The last great safety that this team had was Brian Dawkins. Is he somebody you grew up watching and modeling yourself after?
KENNY PHILLIPS: Definitely. When you're a young safety, you need someone to look up to. And he's one of the guys that plays fast. He was a big‑time hitter even though there wasn't a fine like that back then. But he was definitely a big‑time hitter. Watching him coming out of the tunnel, crawling and everything. I wanted to try one year, but I think I'm too tall. If I get down there, I might not be able to get up.
But he's very exciting, man, just to see the way he played the game. He plays it so passionately. He's so passionate about the game. Just to be playing in a city and kind of trying to live up to him, just even try to be better, it was definitely a privilege to watch him.
Q. Cary, is there anyone you model yourself after?
CARY WILLIAMS: From the Eagles organization?
Q. No, anybody?
CARY WILLIAMS: You might not like this, but I model myself after Nnamdi. He didn't have much success here, but I don't plan on going down that path. But I always see myself as him because he's a taller, leaner guy, and a guy that I actually liked with a skill set.
When he was in Oakland, everybody in here knows he was a force out there. As a guy growing up watching the guy, that's the guy who I watched was Nnamdi. Unfortunately he wasn't able to duplicate that success here, but I plan on doing otherwise.
Q. The fans, Cary, when you don't play well, they're very vocal in this town. Now Nnamdi, now that you've connected yourself with Nnamdi, you know at the end what happened to that?
CARY WILLIAMS: I don't think I connected myself at all. I just said it was a guy that I looked at and his particular successful time. I didn't say he was one of the high guys that I looked at this year. I know he had some troubles this year. And I know it was difficult for him. But at the end of the day, fans want to take me as saying that Nnamdi was the guy that I connected myself with, I definitely looked up to him and that's my opinion.
That is who I felt was a top player at the time. And I felt that he and I our body builds are similar. He just was a guy that I happened to like. So if you take me as a joke, all right. You take me as a joke. I don't care. I'm here to win games and help my team win games as best I can, and I'm going to go out there and put on a performance each and every week.
Q. Bradley Fletcher said yesterday he didn't care which side he played on. Do you have a preference?
CARY WILLIAMS: No, I don't care either. I can play either the left or the right. That's up to Coach and what he wants to do. As far as I'm concerned, I'm coming out here and working hard and I'm ready to get after it.