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Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles

Posted Nov 29, 2012

On why there will not be any changes to the starting lineup on defense this week: "I think you show in practice every week from training camp until now (that) we have possible lineup changes and people compete every day. There’s nothing set in stone. We play our best guys. If there was somebody that was stepping up to play better, (then) they would be playing."

On what role he played in the release of DE Jason Babin: "Not much. That’s something handled by management and the head coach. Jason was a great player for us and he’s been a great player in this league and we just wish him the best."

On whether he is surprised that the defense has gotten worse since he took over as defensive coordinator: "More surprised that we’re not winning ball games. It’s not about me. It’s about a team as a whole. Everybody has their part in it, me included. I’ll take my share of the blame as well. We just have to play better and we haven’t been."

On whether the transition from Juan Castillo to him has been more difficult than anticipated: "No, I don’t think so. (In) football you block, you tackle, you stop them, and the game doesn’t change too much from one person to the next. There will be coaches after us, there (were) coaches before us. It’s not going to change the game. You play, you coach the best you can and you try to come up with wins and it hasn’t happened (yet)."

On whether the Eagles have the right players to be a good defensive unit: "Yeah, you always think you have the right players here as well as the coaches. We just have to do a better job and we haven’t been."

On his evaluation of CB Brandon Boykin so far this season: "I think he’s a lot more headier. He’s a lot smarter. Playing the nickel as a first-time rookie you’re going to see certain things during the year that you don’t encounter in training camp. Different guys play at different speeds and he gets to go against the quick guys, the big guys and the tall guys, and I think he’s handled it well. He’s been a professional all year."

On what the starting safeties have shown that suggests they should keep their starting jobs: "They’re tough and they play smart. They play smart most of the time. They’ve made their mistakes as has everybody else. That’s not just the safeties that (are) fighting for a spot every day. We’re all trying to get better as a whole and if there was somebody behind them (that) we thought could step up in play (then) they need to show that too. So we’ve got the guys that we’ve got. The guys are playing hard and they’re playing tough and they’re trying to get better."

On how much the release of Babin reflects on the failure of the wide-nine scheme: "I don’t think that points to the failure of the wide-nine. We’ve got guys (that can play). (DE) Brandon Graham can play, (DE) Phillip Hunt can play, (DE) Vinny Curry can play, (DE) Darryl Tapp can play, (DE) Trent Cole can play. We have a bunch of defensive ends. There’s not a failure or success ration of any. We just have football players and we think we have pretty good ones."

On whether he thinks the wide-nine has been a success in Philadelphia: "Again, the wide-nine is just a front. It’s still a front four. Whether you line a guy up a step wide or a step closer, it’s not totally a wide-9 defense. It’s just a four man front and you move it as such. As a whole we haven’t been getting it done on defense, so I don’t think it’s just pointing a finger at the wide-nine in general."

On how Curry played in his first NFL action: "I thought he played hard, he played tough. He’s got some technical things to clean up. He found the football and that’s always a good thing. We’re going to move forward from there."

On his impression of the defensive rookies and their mindset during an extended losing streak: "You’ve got a lot of young talent and they play well. It’s no different than coming in as a freshman in college or a freshman in high school. Football is a game that you can master early. You’ll see some tweaks here and there but I think these guys handle it professionally. They came (into the season) in shape so they’re not having that mid-season swoon that a lot of rookies have. Their maturity has a lot to do with that and I think they’re doing a good job."

On whether he has to coach the players differently to manage their mindset during losing streaks: "You do that whether you’re winning or losing. If you’re coaching when you’re winning then you have to coach them from getting to big headed and not doing what they’re doing. If you’re losing you coach them to make sure everybody mentally is on the same page. As a coach you inherit that."

On why the players keep blowing coverages that the coaches indicate are basic principles: "As a coach you’re disappointed on any touchdown but from a standpoint as far as why are guys grasping (concepts) or not grasping, we have to make sure it’s communicated better and they have to carry it out. So as a group, as a whole, coaches and players, we’ve got to be on the same page and there are calls that I’d like to have back (and) there are plays that players would like to have back. You learn from it. You take it on the chin. You don’t want it to happen (and) you’re (angry) that it happened. As a coach you are and as a player you would be too and you carry it on your sleeve and you wear it, and these things can happen but you can’t dwell on them. In this league nobody is going to feel sorry for you. You take your lumps, you get better and you move on, and you get better each week."

On whether the defensive scheme is utilizing CB Nnamdi Asomugha to maximize his skill set: "I don’t think this defense is built around Nnamdi, nor should it be. We’ve got 11 guys out there. His skill set is for a corner, as is any corner, and within that scheme there are things you can do depending on who can come in a play and what’s being taught that week that you can (use). You can utilize those things that may be advantageous to him but it may not be advantageous to the others. Right now, in the defense we’re playing and the other guys we help too, I think we’re doing everything we can with Nnamdi."

On what LB DeMeco Ryans has done well this year despite the players struggling around him: "His biggest strength is his mental capacity. He can handle a lot and he understands adversity because he’s been through a lot coming back from and injury and all. And he’s played well. But not wining ball games, as a coach and as a player, nobody plays well when you’re not playing well as a group. We win together and we lose together but from a mental standpoint as far as keeping everybody on the same page, he’s been doing a great job."

On whether Boykin has the ability to play cornerback on the outside in the future: "He’s a corner first and he can play nickel and that remains to be seen whether he fails or succeeds on the outside in the sink or swim category. I think he’s a good football player and a good athlete and his chance will come to play out there."

On whether Boykin has the size to play on the outside: "Yeah, there’s a lot of guys in the league that size playing."

On what Graham has shown the coaches this year: "I think he’s gotten better mentally. I think he was a little immature and then coming back from injury he was probably a little hesitant. His work ethic has picked up. He is an intelligent football player and this is kind of learning the tricks of the trade as you go. Brandon, he’s tough, he’s relentless, and the more he plays the better he gets. We’re looking for good things from Brandon as we go forward."

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