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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson

On when it was that he saw LB Stewart Bradley as a MIKE linebacker: "Not probably until we played him. He really was a strong-side linebacker. He played a little bit in the Senior Bowl, inside linebacker, but he didn't look very natural. It became a situation where we had some injuries and we were going to try him there and that's when I first thought that he had a chance to be one."

* On what he saw in Bradley:*
"The biggest thing he showed was he showed good range and good size inside. The thing I wasn't sure of was football instincts, as far as an inside linebacker, but I think every week he's developed that better and has gotten more comfortable. He wasn't that comfortable at first, but he's a good enough athlete, he can run, and is a good tackler. He has just improved tremendously, as far as the instincts of it."

On what he hopes to get from S Quintin Demps on defense: "Right now, he's still in a learning process. We use him in certain packages when they have three tight ends on the field. Again, a young rookie, still learning the defense, it might take him another year, but at least we're getting him in there in certain situations. He's still learning."

On whether there's anything he saw in practice that made him give Demps some time on defense: "More knowledge of the defense. He's got some athletic ability, can run, he's a good size, and he has good hands. We wanted to get him in when they had three tight ends on the field. We knew he could cover some tight ends, so that's how it started developing."

On whether Washington uses any three-tight end sets: "Yeah."

On how much Washington will miss T Chris Samuels who is on the Injured Reserve list:"A Pro Bowl player, you're going to miss, no question. He's probably one of the better tackles in the NFL. There's a little bit of a drop-off. They've got some backups that are going to compete and they're still capable of running the football, but Chris Samuels is one of the better tackles in the NFL."

On whether RB Clinton Portis looks healthy:"Yeah. Again, he's an excellent runner and he's going to get his chance as they're still going to feed him, I'm sure."

* On whether he thinks S Quintin Mikell would be in the Pro Bowl this year if he had more name recognition:*
"I think so. This is a great year for Quintin; last year and this year. He continues to get better. People take notice of him. He'll get his chance."

On whether the defense looks to shut down Washington's running game after giving up 203 rushing yards in the previous game: "I hope so. A challenge, the same as the Giants; a challenge. I thought two things in the Redskins game were running and third-down. We weren't very good in either one. When you look at what happened in the first half, we really were kind of hanging in there up 14-6. We gave up a cheap field goal just before the half and then it kind of turned around in the second half. We didn't play very well in the second half. We didn't do a very good job on third downs, so that hurt us."

On whether it sticks in players' minds when a team wears them down in a previous game: "I'm sure it does. It's just like the Giants; I'm sure it does. We'll watch enough tape that they'll see it. I'm sure they responded like they did against the Giants. I think they will against the 'Skins."

On growing his beard out: "I'm not superstitious, but I'm not going to shave this right now."

* On whether the defense is playing as well as it has all season on third-downs:*
"Yeah, it's been key. The coverage has been good and the pressure has been good, so a great combination. Hopefully, we can keep that up. I think it's about the last four or five weeks that we've been excellent on third down."

* On what has caused the better third-down play:*
"I just think our corners are really covering well. I think [S Brian] Dawkins playing at a very high level is part of it. I think even the addition of [DE] Chris Clemons in there, he doesn't have a lot of sacks, but he's getting us good pressure. I like our front four with [DEs] Victor Abiamiri and [Darren] Howard inside and Clemons and Trent [Cole] outside. That combination."

On how the defensive end rotation has evolved over the season: "They're playing well. I think Victor's done a good job. People don't realize, but he's really done a good job in the nickel situations at inside tackle. He's getting a push inside. He's done some good things and Clemons has shown some pass-rush ability. [LB] Akeem [Jordan], the thing about Akeem is he's got some good football instincts, but also he's got good coverage ability, which I like."

* On whether it's necessary for the scheme to evolve like that over a season:*
"Probably, yeah. Sometimes it just happens."

On Washington TE Chris Cooley: "He's a good tight end."

* On whether the defense has solved the problem it had covering tight ends at the beginning of the season:*
"I think we have. It's going to be a challenge. I think we face, the next two weeks, two of the better tight ends in the NFL [Cooley and Dallas TE Jason Witten]. It's hard to say which is better and which runs better routes because they're very special tight ends. It will be a challenge, again, for our linebackers. Cooley, we'll be paying attention to him, no question."

On opponents having a lot of third-and-long situations lately: "I think it comes down to that running game. We're getting people in that third-down situation more. It will be third-and-seven or –eight instead of third-and-three or third-and-four. It makes a lot of difference, a lot of times, in how you're playing the run on first down. We've had a lot of second-and-tens and we've had a lot of second-and-nines. That makes a difference."

On why the Redskins have had trouble scoring lately: "That's one of those things that's hard to figure. Every game's a little bit different. Sometimes they don't get a chance to get down there in the red zone to make plays and sometimes people will come up with the big plays against them, just like last week. The Redskins are a 7-7 team and, outside of maybe two or three plays, they could be a 9-5 team. They were marching the ball down in Cincinnati last week and the guy reaches over and fumbles the ball on the one-yard line. Otherwise, the score is 17-17 and it's a whole new ballgame. Things like that happen, turnovers."

On Chris Clemons' improvement:"It's like anything else. You learn the defense, you learn your role, and, sometimes, it just doesn't happen overnight. It took him a little while. He was hurt a little bit, but he came back learning the defense like a lot of guys."

* On whether Clemons has gotten more playing time recently because of the number of third-and-long situations:*
"Yeah, that's been the case."

On shutting down Washington WR Santana Moss in the first game: "The biggest reason is because we double him quite a bit. When you double receivers, sometimes it hurts your running game, just like when you go against [Giants WR] Plaxico [Burress]. There's got to be a combination where we're not doubling and still have enough people to stop the running game. We just did a good job as far as taking away with double-coverage, but it still didn't help win the football game."

On CB Asante Samuel's play:"I'm happy for him. When we got him, we knew exactly what we had; a guy who was going to make plays and he's lived up to it. Asante is still a guy that's kind of learning the defense a little bit, too. He'll probably tell you that, too. He does a great job, as far as breaking on routes and there's no reason that he can't have six or seven interceptions a year. He has those kinds of hands and he can break on routes. I'm happy with him."

On whether Washington was the more physical team in the first game:"Yeah, I think the Giants and the Redskins were more physical than us the first time we played them."

On whether he's moved S Brian Dawkins closer to the line of scrimmage this year:"We've always done that. We've always had Dawk up in the box; maybe recently, the last three games, maybe more than the first part of the year. He's always been good at that. It just seems like, maybe the last three weeks, we had him up closer than we've had before, but he's done that over the years. Just getting him more active has helped out."

On whether he thinks Asante Samuel can get into double-digits in interceptions in the future as he continues to learn the defense: "Double-digits is a lot. That's a lot, but as I've said before, I see him up there with six or seven interceptions. You get up to ten or eleven and that's a lot, that's really an outstanding year. I know guys have had that, but if he had six or seven, up in there, I'd be very happy with that."

On what goes into deciding whether or not to double-team a wide receiver:"A lot of things go into it. Sometimes it's the down and distance, sometimes it's the feel or what their tendencies are. It's a little bit of a guessing game too. There's no exact science. I wish there was, but there's not. It's just when you feel they're going to run the football and when they're going to pass the football. Sometimes, you have to be good enough against the run and I think we have lately. Even though we're doubling the receiver, we're doing a good job of stopping the run."

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