Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson

On how he feels the defensive ends are playing: "I don't think you make a full judgment after two games. The first game, I thought we had good pressure; thought we did a good job. No question about it, the second game, not as good. We had some hurries, a little bit (Dallas QB Tony Romo) scrambled around and made some plays. We made some plays on the ball, but we all want more pressure, no question about it. You have to do a better job, but we'll see, we'll evaluate after two or three games coming up and we'll see. We're getting effort and we just didn't have great pressure Monday night, simple as that."

On whether there's anything he can do to prevent DE Trent Cole from being chipped on the line so much: "You're going to get that; you're going to get that chip. We try to hug up with our (linebackers) backers in man coverage so the linebackers have to be blocked by the backs and stuff like that. That's part of it; that's part of the scheme. We're not going to move him around a lot, but he's going to get chipped and it's going to free up some other people. There are certain things we can do as far as our linebackers to take off the chip, as far as man-coverage."

On whether the linebackers struggled at Dallas: "They were good against the run. I don't know if we were that great against some of the passes. I don't think our coverage was as good as it was in the first game. I thought they were good against the run, we were flying around. We did a good job in the run, except for maybe one play. No, I wasn't unhappy with that. A couple of the blitzes, I thought, maybe we could have gotten there a little quicker, but he got rid of the ball too. I wasn't unhappy."

On whether he's considered starting LB Akeem Jordan: "No."

On whether the breakdowns in coverage were a result of the scheme: "No, I'm fine. I have a lot of confidence in our coverage people back there. I think it's a combination of getting good pressure and a combination of coverage. That's the combination that you want. Like I said, I'm not going to panic after one ballgame against a very good offensive team. We can improve on that, and I know we will because I have a lot of confidence; our linebackers can cover and our secondary guys can cover."

On whether he plans to get DE Chris Clemons on the field more: "Yeah. We should have probably had him on the field more, but we never got in the nickel situations as much in the second half. They were more first and second down play-action passes that got us."

On the thought process of having FS Brian Dawkins cover Dallas WR Terrell Owens on the goal line play in the 2nd quarter: "We've done it for years, it's part of our coverage. That's part of one of our goal line packages. You know, one time he's out there and sometimes it might be a (CBs) Sheldon Brown or Asante (Samuel) out there. It's just part of one our goal line packages. The one thing about it, T.O. made a great move and there was a great throw; timing throw. That's a tough route. I'm not sure if we had anybody out there (they could have made a play), the way that ball was thrown in there. Dawk's covered that guy many times over the years and he did the same thing last year and knocked the ball down. It's just part of one of our packages, when you get down in that goal line, when you need to have enough people in that box to stop the run."

On how tough it is to face Pittsburgh on a short week: "You know, we've faced it before. I think you have to get the focus back on Pittsburgh. I think you have to have a short memory; forget about the Dallas game. These guys know what has to be done. We're going to go against Pittsburgh, a good offensive team that's got good skill people, like Dallas. They have to accept the challenge. It's a big game for us and I think we'll be ready. Right now, I think they've forgotten about Dallas and they're ready to get onto Pittsburgh, and that's the way we want to be."

On how encouraging it was to see the defense get two turnovers at Dallas: "I'd like to have more. That was a big game, big play by both teams on offense and on defense and special teams; just a lot of big plays. When you go against a good team like that, I've said it before, you've got to get some big plays out of your defense, you've got to get some turnovers. I thought we had a chance for another one right then (in the 2nd quarter). The ball bounced right back up to that receiver (WR Patrick Crayton), but those are the kinds of things. I was glad to see them trying to strip the ball out and things like that."

On whether he's seen enough so far this year that he thinks turnovers won't be a problem for this defense: "I have confidence in this defense. I think you've got guys that are flying around, they're working on the turnovers, working on stripping the ball. Like I say, one game doesn't make a season. We didn't play as well, I didn't coach as well, but I think we'll play better."

On when he thinks DE Victor Abiamiri will be able to practice: "I'm going to say another three or four weeks."

On whether Dallas TE Jason Witten's performance was good execution by Dallas or poor execution by Philadelphia: "We knew going in that game that Witten was a problem. He's a matchup problem, whether for a linebacker or a corner or, sometimes, a safety. He's a big guy. I know at times we did a good job of controlling him at the line of scrimmage and at times we didn't. It probably got emphasized more, but the thing that surprised me is how well he got downfield in this game. He's always been a short to intermediate route guy. This is the first game I've ever seen him get down the field that much. It's something we're going to have to address the next time we play them. (Tony) Romo threw the ball well; he made some great throws in there. The coverage wasn't completely bad, it was close, but there were some great throws in there. I'm not sure who you can have on him, unless you double-cover that guy sometimes. He's not going to make that catch (every time)."

On whether he focuses on how to cover the TE position week to week: "We do every week. At times, if you're taking away the outside receivers just like last week with T.O., doubling sometimes is tough on the tight end. You have to worry about that. We were conscious of Witten last week, no question, just like with (Pittsburgh TE Heath) Miller. We have to be physical with them and make sure we have the right matchups. At times we had the right matchups last Monday night, sometimes we didn't."

On whether SS Quintin Mikell did a good job on Witten: "Yeah, Q's done a good job."

On whether Mikell on the TE is a more favorable matchup: "Yeah, I think so."

On whether there are more good tight ends today than in the past: "It seems like there are, especially in our division. Of course (former New York TE Jeremy) Shockey is gone now, but we always felt like with (Philadelphia TE) L.J. (Smith), and (Washington TE Chris) Cooley, and Witten, we had four of the best tight ends in the NFC. You see a lot of good tight ends. More and more people play double-coverage on the outside receivers so people are trying to get the ball to the tight end."

On whether there's a chance DE Bryan Smith could be activated for an upcoming game: "No, I doubt it right now."

On whether the problems in coverage are a result of problems with pass rushing: "Look at both sides of the ball. They've got good skill people, we've got good skill people. You saw two great quarterbacks out there and some good skill people. You watch both sides of the ball and it comes down to pressure sometimes. We can have the best coverage for a while, but it comes out. Was I happy with the pressure? I don't think our defensive line was happy with the pressure. I don't think I was as happy with the blitzes; I think I could have blitzed more. You always make certain calls that you wish you could take back, I wish I could have done some things maybe more. We started out, we got an interception, I was happy with the pressure right there. We had four man pressure and had Tony Romo scrambling around and we got an interception; and we got a turnover. T.O. hurt us in the first half, I don't think he had a catch in the second half. There are a lot of things you'd like to do different, but it still comes down to getting good pressure. It's up to our defensive line. They know it, that we have to get better pressure and I think they will."

On Trent Cole drawing two penalties at Dallas, and whether he considers that as good as a sack: "Yeah. He gets a lot of holding calls, he really does, because he plays so hard. He'll get his. He'll get his."

On Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau and how influential he is: "He's been in the NFL for a long time and he's always been a good coach. I think, with Pittsburgh, he's really shown his stuff. They've got the 3-4, which he likes. He's been there for five years now as a coordinator, and he does a lot of good things with the 3-4. He's one of the good guys and one of the guys that has a great mind, as far as the football part of it."

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