Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coord. Juan Castillo

On DT Derek Landri's performance early in training camp: "He continued where he left off last year. He makes plays, he's quick off of the ball and he is a professional."

On whether he is able to evaluate players without live hitting during walkthroughs: "The thing we are getting are assignments. That's why you see us doing the walkthroughs. They're excellent for (checking assignments). Part of playing the game is knowing where you have to line up. That is critical and then they can just go play. The thing is to know your assignments so you can play fast. That's what we are trying to get."

On whether DE Brandon Graham is a natural fit for the Eagles defensive scheme: "I think just the technique and the concept is not really just the defensive ends running up the field. They have a landing point and a landmark. There is a certain way that they have to rush so that they can play the run game. That is the thing that Brandon is learning. Brandon has a chip on his shoulder. He came back in great shape and I'm excited to see him this afternoon."

On whether Brandon Graham is behind the learning curve because of missing time last year: "He's probably a little bit behind the other guys but he'll catch up quickly. (Defensive line coach Jim Washburn) has been working him pretty good and he is a smart kid so he will be good."

On whether learning the defensive scheme is aided by film study or repetitions on the field: "Football is muscle memory. You do it over and over until they become a natural deal and then you can play. If it's not natural then it's not going to happen on the field."

On the comfort level of LB Casey Matthews in the defense compared to last season: "He will tell you himself that the OTAs made a big difference. Really he feels pretty comfortable with the defense. Part of being a linebacker is that you can't think. You have to be able to react and know exactly where you are going. He is becoming pretty comfortable with that now. It is going to be exciting with all of those linebackers."

On whether this year's rookie class has an advantage over last year's class: "We had 10 to 12 weeks with (this year's rookie class), and with (last year's) young guys they only had a month or five weeks. That's five more weeks of two or three hours of work than our rookies from last year had."

On his expectations of DE Darryl Tapp during training camp: "I think the whole group is in competition and all eight guys will play. Right now they're all competing to be those top eight guys. We have an excellent group. It's going to be exciting this afternoon."

On whether S Oshiomogho Atogwe will get reps with the first team defense: "I think we have a lot of packages. Right now there is a lot of competition going on and we have a lot of plays. We are in training camp for about three weeks so everyone will have the chance to prove themselves and compete for a job."

On what he would like to see from S Jaiquawn Jarrett during training camp: "Just for J.J. to feel comfortable so he can turn loose. I think he is another one that the OTAs really helped him. He will feel comfortable out there and be able to turn it loose and just be natural. Remember that everything is muscle memory and you have to do it over and over so it becomes natural and you can play to your speed."

On what DT Derek Landri has proved to be getting reps with the first team defense: "Just remember that the D-Line has two groups of starters. There are eight guys that play and sometimes nine depending on the situation so really there are eight starters. All of those defensive linemen are competing for those eight spots. What I like about him is that he is a tough guy. He is a guy that people think he can't do that but he does do that. He is a professional, a leader and a no-nonsense type of guy and always trying to get better. That is a good example for all of the guys."

On where the defense is now as opposed to the first day of hitting last year: "Just add 10-12 weeks, so two or two-and-a-half months. We understand the system, and what's nice during the OTAs is that we were able to teach. It's a big difference, you know?"

On the difference between LB Casey Matthews' situation last year and LB Mychal Kendricks situation this year: "The biggest difference is all the time he had in the offseason. In the offseason, you're able to break down one concept and one coverage. You can do that the whole day. You guys were there for rookie mini-camp, and we did one coverage the whole five practices, which is our main coverage. They were able to understand not only the concepts but also the weaknesses of the coverage. Everything has a weakness and everything has a strength. That has helped Mychal a lot and Casey didn't have that."

On how he feels differently this time compared to last year: "Again, it's nice…we're all teachers and Coach (Andy) Reid hired us all because we are good teachers. I think what was hard last year is that we weren't able to teach our concepts. When we were installing coverages in training camp, we were installing two or three coverages at a time. This year, we can go one at a time, and the guys understand it. We really are a lot farther along."

On the difference he sees in DE Brandon Graham: "He's a competitor, man. He's being challenged and he worked his butt off this offseason. When you look into his eyes, you can see that there's a fire there. I guess maybe he wants to prove (everyone) wrong. I'm excited to watch him play."

On whether he wants to use CB Nnamdi Asomugha and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie primarily on the outside: "It's a match defense, so every week is different. They'll get work all over the place."

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