Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson

On whether he thought he'd still be doing his press conference this week: "No. We all knew there was a chance, but we knew the odds were going to be tough. I'm glad we're here."

On the defense peaking at the end of the year and whether that makes him more excited to keep playing:"I'm excited, first of all, to get into the playoffs. There's nothing more exciting than getting into the playoffs. I'm glad we're playing well; we're making plays, we're getting turnovers and stuff like that. When you get down to the playoffs and those kinds of big games, that's what you're going to have to have, big momentum changers. Last week, of course, we got a couple."

On DE Victor Abiamiri's injury and who he plans to use while Abiamiri's out: "Just like we did last week without Victor, (DE Darren) Howard played a little bit more, as far as defensive end, on first and second down. We used (DE Juqua) Parker inside in nickel. Nothing will change, pretty much the same kind of rotation we had last week."

On whether Parker gives the team good speed in the middle of the line in nickel: "He hasn't done it for a while. He did it last year a little bit. He hasn't done it for a while and was a little bit rusty, but he's a good pass-rusher. He's not a really big guy inside, but he's a good pass-rusher. I think, the more he does it, he'll feel comfortable in there."

On whether RB Adrian Peterson is the best running back the Eagles will face this season: "Yeah. He's one of the best ones. He's one of the best I've ever seen. Special guy."

On how Peterson has improved since his rookie season in 2007: "I don't think he had to improve at all, he's just always been good. He's a natural runner. He's just a natural runner; a very gifted runner. He's got that (former Chicago Bears RB and hall of famer) Gale Sayers-type feel about the game and sliding and stuff like that. He's just a very gifted guy."

On whether he coaches the players to strip the ball when making a tackle: "Yeah. All you have to do is look at the stats. We always talk about stats and stuff like that, but they can watch the film; same thing. It's like any runner, we're trying to punish you and also get the ball away too. That will be the emphasis too."

On whether playing indoors affects a defense like it does an offense: "I don't think so. We've played in enough domes now, I don't think so. Crowd noise doesn't affect us as much as the offense. The crowd will be quiet when they're on offense whereas, the other way, the crowd noise really affects the offense more than the defense. I'm glad we're playing inside, it's going to be five-below out there. It shouldn't be a factor."

On Minnesota QB Tarvaris Jackson's improved play since he was benched and what changes he made: "The biggest thing is the guy is a very talented guy. He's got a good arm. He can throw the football. I think the biggest thing you see is not turning the ball over. He turned it over last week against the Giants one time in the red zone, but he's not turning the ball over. That's the biggest difference you see right now. You see his passer rating is very high because he's making some plays and he's not turning the ball over. I'm sure part of that is, all of the sudden, you sit down for a while, maybe (head coach) Brad Childress sat him down and said 'Hey, you have to be more consistent when you go back in there' and he has been more consistent."

On Minnesota's wide receivers: "That (WR Bernard) Berrrian kid, the guy from Chicago, is an excellent receiver. He's probably as fast as any receiver we've gone against this year. He's really got great speed. And Bobby Wade's a good possession-type receiver. The guy that's really come around is their tight end, (Visanthe) Shiancoe. He's an excellent tight end. I remember when he was with the Giants and, of course, he was with (Jeremey) Shockey back then, but he's really a legit, good NFL tight end; a receiving tight end. And, of course, (RB) Chester Taylor coming out of the backfield. They've got some good weapons. They're a very balanced team. Even though they've got Adrian and everybody thinks they're a running team, but they're very balanced and they've got good skill people."

On what makes Shiancoe so good: "I don't know if his weight is down, but he looks as fast as I've ever seen him. He's getting downfield. I don't know if he's lost some weight or what, but he's a legit tight end, as far as a pass-receiving tight end."

On DE Chris Clemons comment that he wasn't in shape entering training camp and whether that was evident: "He was banged up a little bit and got off to a bad start and I think the confidence of not knowing the defense. The more he got to work at that position, we worked him in the joker a little bit, he felt more comfortable. I think the last six or seven weeks, he's really come around pretty good. He just missed a lot of training camp and, like you said, being in shape also hurt him."

On Clemons playing in 14 plays vs. Dallas and how he chooses what plays to use him: "It depends if he's getting an IV or not. That's what happened, he was getting an IV. We play him a lot more than that, but out of those 14 plays, he was pretty productive. He'll play a lot more this week. Like I said, he just all of the sudden cramped up and we couldn't get him in the game."

On Juqua Parker slowing down after starting off the season so well: "Part of it is Chris is playing that nickel end. But, he's still a good technique player and he still can get to the quarterback, but we decided to go with Chris. Part of that is the rotation, too. Just getting Chris Clemons on the field. We can't play everybody."

On whether Parker tends to wear down over the course of a season: "I don't think so."

On whether he thinks the Eagles have a defense that can carry them through the playoffs: "Hopefully it can. Hopefully we're going to continue playing. Every game is a little bit different, like this is an excellent run offense, and, hopefully, we do a good job. You've got to play good defense when you get into the playoffs and, hopefully, we will. Right now they're playing good and they're pretty healthy, except for Victor, so there's no reason we shouldn't."

On whether LB Stewart Bradley impressed him in the game vs. Dallas, playing with a broken rib: "Yeah, he's a tough guy; tough guy. I think it hurt him a little bit. Like anybody, he missed a little practice, which he did all week. He's going to practice today, which is good. But, it showed you what kind of a tough guy he is. I think he would have played no matter what. He's a tough guy."

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