Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson

On what prompted him to start LB Akeem Jordan at linebacker: "I'm happy with that. I think Akeem's doing a good job. I just wanted a little bit more production out of there. Not that Omar was doing that bad, I just thought we needed a little bit more speed at that position. For the coverage part of it, I thought he was a better cover guy in certain games and I'm very happy with the way he's performing right now."

On whether the move was tough for LB Omar Gaither: "Sure, it's always difficult. I'm sure it's harder on him, but at the time, we felt it was right. I'm not looking back. It's tough on him; he's a great leader and still a good person. He might get his chance again, there's no question about it, but right now, we're going with Akeem."

On whether the move was made because Jordan played well vs. New York on 11/9: "Yeah, that was one of the reasons. He played well against the Giants. He came in and did a good job against the Giants. Like I said, we went in the next week, it was a matchup and we decided to start him and he did a good job."

On playing S Quintin Demps some at cornerback vs. Arizona: "Last week, because of (CB) Asante (Samuel) being down, we had to use him as that emergency corner against four wide receivers. I still consider him a safety, I really do, but he did a good job last week. The nice thing about him is he can be an emergency corner."

On playing New York without WR Plaxico Burress in the lineup: "Plaxico was a guy that you could stop, you could stop, you could stop and, like the last time we played him, he caught one pass and that was a touchdown. That's always been his forte, getting down in the red zone. It probably makes a difference in the red zone, more than anything else, as far as Plaxico. It will change somewhat, but I think you still have to realize that this team is such a well-balanced team. Just like last week without him, they had a great performance against a good Washington Redskins defense; these receivers. But, he's still a factor. The biggest factor was Plaxico down in the red zone. That's where he gave us some problems."

On whether he's changed the approach to stop the New York running game: "I think we'll make some changes. They are the best rushing team in the NFL, there's not question about it. I give them credit, you know, a good offensive line. We have to do some different things and there will be some things done differently."

On New York WR Domenik Hixon: "A good route runner, goes up for the ball, he's got good size, he's 6-2, he's got good speed and, right now, he's catching everything that (New York QB) Eli's (Manning) throwing at him. Actually, he's been very productive the last two or three weeks in place of Plaxico. I see him as a legitimate starter right now."

On whether Akeem Jordan plays well in coverage: "His coverage is good. He's a little bit quicker, his coverage is good. He's been very productive with what I've seen in there. That's what I see."

On whether Jordan's able to cover both running backs and tight ends: "Backs and tight ends, yeah."

On whether there is a way to slow down the New York running game: "We're going to find out. We better. It's as simple as that, we better. I think our guys have a lot more respect for the Giants running game than before we went against them; we really do. I think they're tight end is as good a blocker as any in the NFL. (Kevin) Boss, I think we were a little surprised by how he blocked our ends. I think they're more up to the matchup, as far as going up against Boss. I think we were a little surprised by how they run the ball and I think our team will respond to that."

On whether the New York offensive line is as good as any in the NFL: "Yeah, I think it's the best offensive line, outside of ours. I think it's the best offensive line, as far as running the football, in pro football right now. They're coming off the blocks, they're doing great, they're picking up things, their stunts and that, but also what makes them a good offensive team, as far as their run blocking, is their tight end. I think he's one of the better tight ends in the league, as far as run blocking."

On whether the Eagles tackled poorly in the first game vs. New York: "No, it wasn't tackling. It was just that we weren't real good at the point of attack and we didn't have enough people around the football."

On Plaxico Burress not playing and whether it gives him more freedom to play a safety in the box: "It does. There will be times that it does, but you still have to be smart. That's what the Redskins did last week, they put eight in the box every play and he threw for 300 yards almost in the first half. There's a happy medium, you know? We've got to mix it up a little bit. There are going to be times where we're going to have to keep an extra guy in the box to stop the run, but also we have to play coverage on these receivers too. There's a happy medium."

On whether Eli Manning is underestimated in the league right now: "Yeah, he's playing well. The thing about Eli, right now, is he's as accurate as I've ever seen him. The players are making the catches, but he's a very accurate quarterback. Just like the last couple weeks, he's been throwing the ball and it's been right on the money. He's playing at a good level. The whole team, let's face it, they're playing with great confidence. They're balanced, they've got a good running game, they've got a good passing game, they've got good skill people, good offensive linemen, and a good quarterback, so they've got a lot of confidence."

On whether Manning manages a good game: "Yeah. Their offense, they know exactly what they want to do. It's not one of those wide open offenses. They get in a running formation and they throw the ball or they get in a passing formation and they run the ball. They know exactly what they want to do and part of that's Eli. He handles most things and he's become a very experienced quarterback. He's been in this league for a while and he's seeing things very well."

On where CB Lito Sheppard fits in with Asante Samuel coming back from injury: "We'll see. It depends on what kind of personnel they put out there."

On whether he's been able to rotate the defensive line more this season than in the past: "We've rotated quite a bit. When you have some good depth, especially at our defensive ends, we're getting (DE) Chris Clemons involved a lot more and (DE) Victor Abiamiri involved a lot more and, of course, (DT) Trevor Laws. It just depends on the situation how much Trevor Laws plays. I think he'll play a lot more this week because this is more of a running team."

On the Eagles defense being ranked in the top ten in the league and how he feels the defense is playing right now: "We're up against the Giants right now. All I care about, I don't even look at stats, I really don't. I didn't even know that we were in the top ten. I don't even look at stats. I look at turnovers, points allowed in the last game, we didn't do a very good job against the Giants, and that's all I'm concentrated on right now and then I'll tell you where our defense is."

On how Chris Clemons fits into the defense: "He just picked some things up right now. He's got good speed; he's doing a good job. It still comes down to performance on the field, how you perform on the field. You get that chance, he got that chance, he did a good job and he's keeping it up."

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