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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson

On how important it is for CB Asante Samuel to play this week vs. Carolina: "First of all, you just want to get them out there working. He needs to play a little, he hasn't played yet. Hopefully, he's going to be ready to go Thursday night. We're going to play him quite a bit. He's just got to get used to that playing speed with us and getting used to the defense. That's the main thing."

On whether Samuel is in fact going to play vs. Carolina: "Yeah. I think he's going to play, as of right now."

On whether he was disappointed in the defense's first series vs. Pittsburgh: "Anytime you have a preseason game, you take the good and the bad. There are some things, I don't think we did a good job on the blitz as they scored a touchdown. And, there were a couple things where we just didn't have really good outside run support. There are some good things too. I take the good with the bad with that. I just hate to see anybody take the ball down the field and score, but it was a team that we hadn't worked on that much and it surprised us a little bit how they would run the ball that much. I'm disappointed the way we played? Sure, that series."

On whether Asante Samuel is 100 percent: "Probably not. I think he's getting close. I'd probably put him at 90-95 percent. We'll have to see how tired he gets because that's what you worry about with the hamstring is if he gets tired. That's when you have to worry about a pull."

On whether the opening drive vs. Pittsburgh is a big concern: "No, I don't think so. I think every game is different. I think we had some problems last year and we kind of got away from that a little bit. If it happens again, yeah, I'll be worried, but I'm not (now). Just like we had a good opening drive offensively and almost took it down, except for a penalty. Those things happen in the first game. Disappointed, yeah, but I'm not too concerned right now. If it continues like that, I'll be disappointed."

On how LB Stewart Bradley played at Pittsburgh: "He did a good job. He did a good job. I'm happy with him. I think we had, maybe, just one mistake as far as when he was playing in there, but he did a pretty good job overall."

On who were some non-first-team players that caught his eye in the game: "I think (DE Jerome) McDougle did some good things. I think (LB) Akeem Jordan had another good game. Those two probably stand out more than anybody else."

On how DT Trevor Laws played at Pittsburgh: "Good. For a guy that really played with a lot of pain and injury, he did a good job. Because, really, he was hurt, but he did a good job and I'm happy with him; happy with his progress. He just needs to play more."

On whether Laws is still bothered by his foot: "Yeah."

On how much he plans to use Asante Samuel in the upcoming game: "It could be a whole half. We'll see. Again, we're going to be smart about it knowing we're going to have to monitor a little bit how many big plays (he gets) as far as long passes, and stuff like that, where he gets tired. Because, he's not in great condition yet."

On whether the new defensive headsets are something he's going to have to get used to: "No, so far, I was happy with it the other night. I really was. I didn't see any problems. More and more game-type situations might pop up, but I was happy with it. It seemed to work well."

On whether he relays a lot of coaching through the headset as well as play calling: "Yeah. It's a good communication. They still cut it off with fifteen seconds to go, but the thing about it is you don't have to yell out onto the field. You can say down and distance and stuff like that, which makes it beneficial."

On whether the headset will be beneficial for Bradley as he is a younger player: "I think he likes it. I think, again, I can change things last second, I can tell him personnel are coming onto the field, I can tell him down and distance. I think he likes it. You'd have to talk to him, but I think he likes it."

On how DE Jerome McDougle is playing: "I've said it before, I think this is a big year for Mac. I think he's taken advantage of it right now. We lost Victor. He's trying to make this football team, which he showed the other night. He'll play a lot this week again. We'll just see how he continues to progress. At the least, I saw a guy who was getting up field and getting after the passer."

On whether he's concerned that Asante Samuel's first assignment will be Panthers WR Steve Smith: "He's gone against those guys before. He's gone against good players and I think he likes to go against good players. He's going to go against a couple of good receivers this week. He'll be up to the task. He just needs to make sure he's comfortable with the defense."

On whether he's excited to see Samuel in live action: "I just want to see him play. I just want to see how he plays, how he adapts to our defense, and if he has problems with certain things. I'm just curious to see how he plays, really."

On whether CB Sheldon Brown will play right cornerback: "Sheldon will be on the right side. It depends on the personnel group. All three of them could be on the field to start the game."

On the status of CB Lito Sheppard's groin injury: "All guys in camp, this time of year, have bumps and bruises. Groins and hamstrings and stuff like that. I don't think anywhere guys are 100 percent right now. Hopefully, by game time. We're going to rest some of them a little bit tomorrow and the next day and, by Thursday, you should be ready to go."

On the defensive tackle position: "It's a great opportunity for Klecko. (DT) Montae Reagor is still hurt. But, it's a great opportunity for Klecko. He's done a good job. He's done a good job. He's going to play a lot more Thursday night, but he's done a good job."

On what happened on the touchdown given up at Pittsburgh: "It was just a misjudgment by Dawk (S Brian Dawkins). We had a blitz on and I think he just underestimated the guy's (WR Santonio Holmes) speed and wasn't quite in a good position to make the tackle."

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