Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson

On what stands out about Cleveland's offense: "They still have two great receivers in (WR Donté) Stallworth — I know Stallworth has been banged up a bit — and (WR Braylon) Edwards. Really good receivers. Of course, a good running back (Jamal Lewis). I think the most impressive thing about this team, really, is their offensive line. I think they have an excellent offensive line. I think they pass protect as well as anybody in the NFL. They have a good scheme. (LT) Joe Thomas is one of the top offensive tackles in the league. They still have some good skill people. I know (TE Kellen) Winslow is out, I know their quarterbacks have been injured. They have two quarterbacks down. (QB Ken) Dorsey is an experienced guy. They are still a formidable opponent. There is no question about it, I think."

On how he gets it across to the players that the Browns are a dangerous team: "I think it's important to the game. I think they have to look back at some other teams they went against. Against Baltimore, they scored a lot of points against a good defense. You go back to see how they did it. They had receivers who had great games. I just think you say how important this game is and what we have to do. (We know) they are banged up a little bit, but against a good Giants defense they scored a lot of points. Their receivers played well, they ran the ball well. All they have to do is look at certain tapes."

On whether he expects WR Joshua Cribbs to play quarterback this week at all: "We expect that 'wildcat.' That's part of what they're going to do—him being a running quarterback and throwing. He has only thrown one pass, but we know that coming out of Kent State, he was a good quarterback. We are anticipating things like that. He's an excellent athlete. They used him last week against Tennessee running the football. He did a nice job. We anticipate that."

On whether it's scary to play a team like the Browns who will try anything because they have nothing to lose:"I think the offensive coordinator (Rob Chudzinski) does a great job of mixing things up anyway. Every game, he has a different wrinkle—whether it's unbalanced, wildcat, whatever. I'm sure they're going to have some different things. We anticipate some things; some things we might not have seen before. One thing we do anticipate is the wildcat formation and him throwing the ball a little bit more, too."

On whether the coaches have had to bring guys down a little bit after the Giants game: "So far we've had good practices. I think they realize the importance of the game. All we can do is say, 'Hey, this is what they do, let's take a look at the tape, this is how good they are against certain teams. You have some great skill people, you have an offensive line we think is very good.' I think they realize the importance of this game."

On whether it helps that this is a Monday night game after playing such an emotional game last week: "I think one thing about it is that Cleveland is going to look at it as a Monday night game. They're going to play hard. They've been very good on Monday night games. They are 2-0. I think, really, our guys got a chance to get an extra day of rest. They came back and it seemed like they were refreshed yesterday. Today, same way. I think it's just the importance of the game, more than anything else, that they realize how they are going to play Monday night. I don't know if it (matters that it's) a Monday night game or Sunday, but they realize the importance of the game."

On FS Brian Dawkins performance and his ability to play well down the stretch: "I think the last five weeks he has played very well. I think he has played as well as anybody. That has been one of the differences, really. He has been very steady. I don't know if he was coming off of an injury earlier in the year or not, but he has been very steady the last five or six weeks."

On the play of the linebackers: "Steady. I'm happy with them. Akeem Jordan has done a good job. Chris Gocong has played very steady. Stewart Bradley has done a good job too. Again, (they have) no interceptions and we want to get that. But, they've been very steady."

On how much of the improvement in the run defense against the Giants is technique and how much is embarrassment: "A combination of embarrassment, and I think I needed help a little bit more, as far as some of the calls. Putting more people in the box—the safeties. That combination."

On the defense's strong play at the end of the 2006 season and whether they will have to play like that in the last couple of weeks: "I think so. I talked to them about that several weeks ago. I said if we're going to make a run, we are going to have to play good defense. It still holds true right now. We are going to have to play good defense down the road here."

On whether forcing turnovers is going to be important: "Sure, that's a big part of it. That has been a big part of it. Hopefully we get some this week. We had a chance for two good ones last week and didn't get them. The week before, we did. That's a big part of it."

On DE Trent Cole's performance this season: "I think he's still one of the better players, one of the hardest players in the NFL. I'd hate to block Trent Cole. He's a high-motor guy, people do things on him, but he's a great effort guy. I'd hate to block him. I still think he's one of the better defensive ends in the NFL."

On whether he has gotten more attention this year from opposing offenses: "Oh, yes. Yes."

On whether the extra attention he has gotten is a reason for his sacks being down this year:"Well, I think he's close. They come in bunches. I thought he almost had a couple the other day against the Giants. They'll come. As long as the effort is there and people are doing certain things. He is going against some good people, too. They'll come. I know there are only a few games left, but he's fine."

On whether hurries are just as good as sacks to him: "Yes, and he's still one of the top guys as far as negative yardage in the run game, too, so you know he is getting great penetration."

On whether he senses that one side of the ball has an effect on the other side: "Yes, I'm sure it does. We've said it before. Sometimes with injuries and that, the offense might struggle a little bit. No question about it, that was a big key last week, I think, in the Giants game and especially in that third quarter. What the offense did against the wind was outstanding. It got our guys rested and refreshed and they felt good about it. It's confidence."

On whether he talks to CB Asante Samuel about turning pass breakups into interceptions: "We talk about picks all the time. We expect him to do it and he expects to do it. He still does a great job of breaking up passes. It's just like sacks. He is close. Those will come."

On whether it is strange to have played as well as they have defensively without recording a sack: "The thing I measure so much is how we are doing on third down. I've said that before. We might not get there, but we're getting people off the field. That's all I really care about. I like to have the sacks for field position for the offense, but mainly it is getting people in third-and-long or second-and-long, and then getting off the field on third down. As long as we're doing that, the sacks will come. We can't worry about that."

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