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Philadelphia Eagles News

Def. Coordinator Sean McDermott

Opening Remarks: "Just a couple of follow up remarks on the game, I'm sure everyone is anxious to hear the announcements from the game the other night. That game turned into a track meet and I don't think anybody in that defensive room including myself is satisfied with the way we played the other night. Within that there were some positives on the defensive side. Number one, the three turnovers, one of them for a score and the third down stops at critical points in the game, getting the ball back to our offense, but when you look at it and you face the facts we didn't play well enough on defense. The important part though is that we keep that in mind and we look to improve and we keep the faith in ourselves and our players and we get back to playing good, solid defensive football this week."

On whether they have gone back and worked on the fundamentals of tackling: "We do. The thing with that is we've worked on tackling all year long and we didn't tackle the way we'd like to on Sunday evening. We've pulled out the mats which is another mechanism we normally utilize in training camp to reinforce wrapping up. We've done that as of yesterday."

On whether he looks at past years when the defense has had bad games and sees how they worked through that: "You always go back and you reevaluate yourself as a play caller and as a coach, as a position coach even, seeing that what your teaching is showing up on the field in terms of the fundamentals. And then the scheme, making sure the defenses in this case that we're calling, that we're executing those defenses and/or if they're the right defenses at the right times during the game. You look at it from all different angles."

On whether he thinks defensive play, positive or negative, is contagious: "You're right and that happened the other night that was part of it. In similar situations the other night players were trying to do too much and as a result weren't taking care of their job trying to make that play, specifically on one thirds down that comes to mind. The players recognize that, that's all part of this process, which is encouraging to see right after the game in the locker room and I think the players have conveyed to you as well that they knew that they didn't play well and we didn't play well collectively as a unit on defense."

On whether his response to the defense playing poorly is different depending on if it's a problem with the scheme or a lack of effort by the players: "I remain myself number one. Number two, it's important that they understand that this was one game and we came a week ago within one play of shutting a team out. There are highs and low in a season. I think back to the Dallas game last year where that was also a track meet. We go back to being who we are and we go back to working on fundamentals and the fundamentals that need to show up in the game."

On whether he talks to CB Asante Samuel about prioritizing tackling: "Asante knows that tackling is not what brought him here. Making plays on the football is what brought him here. He's a very intelligent guy to understand that number one. But he also understands on this defense you are expected to tackle and he knows that that is a role. If you are out on the field that he has to tackle and he did that. I think he's, aside from that one play that was bang bang play the other evening, I think he's, the last two weeks, done a good job with his tackling. He continues to work on it. Is he where he needs to be? No, from my standpoint and from his standpoint and you ask a player to work on it and he works on it and he's going to continue to work on it."

On what kind of challenge the 49ers shotgun spread offense poses: "It's an interesting little twist from the shotgun that we're seeing (49ers QB) Alex Smith utilize on first and second down. They run from it. They also throw from it. And then, they lineup with two backs and, as we all saw on Monday night, put the quarterback under center and pound the ball on you down hill. They have a little bit of a wrinkle that you're not seeing other teams run, be it on first and second down."

On whether he is surprised that 49ers WR Michael Crabtree has been so effective given how late in the season he started playing: "When I saw him installed into the offense immediately it somewhat surprised me from his conditioning and making sure he was in the right condition physically so it wouldn't incur injury. Their offense has changed since they got him over the last six weeks. Now Alex Smith is playing with a lot of confidence on his second tour of duty here. They have some weapons with (RB Frank) Gore and the two tight ends and Monday night they beat a good Arizona football team and really beat them handily."

On whether he expects more from LB Akeem Jordan this week: "We do. With the second week coming off the injury now, he played just about the amount of reps we thought he would last week being about twenty plays. We expect him to be a little bit better this week physically, coming off of the injury and then playing that middle position and moving around like he's doing, having him build up a little bit of experience at the same time."

On what the 49ers are doing with TE Vernon Davis in the red zone to get him the 11 TDs he has this season: "He does. He had 10 prior to this Monday's game. They're utilizing him in space which makes it difficult from a matchup standpoint. They're running some double posts. He's a tough matchup because if you put a defensive back on him he's so physical from a body standpoint and he shields the ball and then, from a linebacker standpoint, it's hard to find a linebacker that can keep up with him from a speed standpoint."

On what brought about the decision to put Jordan at MIKE linebacker: "We want the best three on the field. You hate to keep moving players around from a continuity standpoint and consistency standpoint. (LB) Will Witherspoon being here now and having moved when Akeem went down to the WILL linebacker position, we just hate to keep moving guys around, (we're) trying to get them in a position where they're comfortable. The injuries haven't allowed for as much of that as we would've liked up to this point."

On whether Jordan is better suited for the MIKE linebacker position and Witherspoon is better as a WILL linebacker: "Right not that's what we're looking at and we're going to see how they execute this week in doing that."

On whether LB Jeremiah Trotter is still incorporated in the linebacker rotation: "Yeah, Jeremiah is very much incorporated. I thought he played a pretty good football game the other night. To think that Jeremiah would be able to come in here and play forty plays, I think most of the people in this room would have told you that that was a fantasy dream a year ago, but he's done a great job."

On whether CB Sheldon Brown is having his best season yet: "Sheldon and Asante both, the number of turnovers this year is way up over last year. I've charted it over the last however many years, and when you look at the amount of times we're getting the ball back to our offense that's been a big improvement from last year and the credit primarily goes to those two guys."

On whether the 49ers offense is tailored to Smith's skills: "They're being smart with how they utilize their personnel. When they go to a two tight end set they're flexing them like wide receivers and utilizing their speed. They're allowing Smith to find the open receiver just like he did in college from that shotgun position as we alluded to earlier, not only on third down, but on first and second down."

On what their offense does for Smith: "I would say that it allows him to see the defensive look and get his eyes where they need to be. For a young quarterback, or a quarterback that's gone through different coordinators over the course of his career, I think it's allowed him to find some consistency and also locate the defenders and where he wants to go with the football."

On whether a quarterback can run that type of offense long term or if he eventually has to take snaps under center: "It really has been effective for him and I don't see a reason why they would change other than with the talent at running back and that night Gore had I think (167) yards, so."

On DT Mike Patterson's and DT Brodrick Bunkley's play this season: "The consistency part, the part that we haven't necessarily had due to the injuries we've had at other positions, those two have remained the constant inside which is good. And then when you add a (DT Antonio) Dixon to the mix, they have a nice little three-man, and when (DT Trevor) Laws is active for us four-man rotation. They know and they sit right next to each other in the meetings, in the rooms, so they enjoy being around each other, they play well together, and it's been effective for us."

On how he feels about the scuffle DE Trent Cole was in at the end of the game and whether he likes seeing his players stand up for one another: "The right answer for me to say here is we need to keep our composure. But my answer is I appreciate when guys stick up for one another."

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