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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo

On whether the team will activate six defensive ends on Sunday: "We haven't gotten to how many of them but you know we rotate those guys and like we said we have eight starters. If nine guys suit up (then) we'll have nine guys who will play."

On whether it is more realistic that five defensive ends will be active against Cleveland: "Yeah, just depending on what we feel in a couple of days. The thing is with those guys the way they run the ball you have to keep rotating them in."

On how the rotation on the defensive line works in practice compared to game situations: "What it is, is we have about 10 plays and what we're trying to do like yesterday's practice, we're trying to get them (to view it like) it's a rehearsal for the game. We're trying to get them to go full speed. For example, our D-linemen may go four straight plays just like our DBs and then they'll switch. We'll do the same thing with our DBs. We'll let our second group get a couple of plays and then they come back for the next four plays or depending on whether it is a 10 script or eight play script. We're trying to go as fast as we can so it's a rehearsal for the game. Really we end up rotating not just the D-line but the linebackers and the DBs during practice."

On his confidence level in the defensive rookies that will get playing time this season: "Just through camp and preseason I think (with) (CB) Brandon Boykin you see he is a playmaker. (He is) an athletic and tough kid and smart kid. Likewise with (LB) Mychal (Kendricks). Mychal is a smart, athletic and relentless linebacker. I think we've all seen them make the plays during preseason and practices and so now they are getting all of the reps so they'll be ready."

On how the team is preparing for Browns RB Trent Richardson: "With the scheme that they run it is basically the same scheme he ran at Alabama. So really what we try to do (and) what we're working on is just taking care of our gaps and being gap sound. When he gets through that gap we have to make the tackles. We know what he looked like in college (and) we know he's a great football player and they're not really going to run different schemes than what we've seen which are the schemes that fit the type of runner that he is."

On what he has viewed on tape from the Browns receivers and tight ends: "They have good size first of all. They do a good job with their offense. (Browns head coach) Pat Shurmur was here before and he learned from Coach Reid so schematically they do a good job and (have) big receivers and catch the football well."

On whether S David Sims has learned enough of the defensive scheme to play on Sunday: "Like David said, I think David had mentioned that to you all that basically we have the same type of coverages that just have different names. That's what he is just trying to get accustomed (to). We gave him a couple of reps during practice and we'll see here how he comes along."

On whether being familiar with Browns head coach Pat Shurmur helps his defensive schemes this week: "Well you know the thing is that they are really smart guys. They do a good job. The basically try to run the scheme similar to ours but maybe not exactly like ours. We've gone up against each other in practice so we'll see."

On whether the team is worried that LB DeMeco Ryans did not have a breakout preseason: "I think that DeMeco did make plays. He made plays in practice. He did things. He got everybody lined up. He's been a leader for our group. He's done some good things that we see and sometimes I think it's not always judged on tackles. We get to see the tape (and) he is feeling comfortable with our system and he's doing a good job for our young kids. I think the thing that's really special is that you see him in installs and the notes that he takes and how he prepares for games. That's invaluable. You see the other kids sitting right next to him and they see the way he takes notes and the way he prepares and that's where he is really valuable to those guys."

On what the defensive line rotation will look like against Cleveland: "I think there is going to be a rotation. There's really a couple different groups that (defensive line coach Jim) Wash(burn) has. He has the regular first and second down guys and he's got the third down rush guys. I think what you'll see is (defensive tackle) Cullen (Jenkins) lined up at various positions."

On the perception of a lackluster performance by Ryans in the preseason: "I guess you guys are not at practice. I see it in practice. I've seen it in training camp. I've seen the difference he's made in the middle."

On why there have been very few standout plays from Ryans: "Again, think about how much we really played (during the preseason). (The regular season) begins on Sunday. We really haven't played that much through the preseason but it begins on Sunday."

On whether the coaches will limit DE Jason Babin's snaps on Sunday: "I think the thing that is important there is that they are going to rotate anyway so there's a rotation there so then he is really rotating anyway. There's different groups. Like I said there is a first and second down group rotation and then there's a third down rotation."

On what he expects from the red zone defense against Cleveland: "The thing that is important is first of all not let them get down there but if they do get down there we don't want to give up touchdowns. The thing is if they do get down in the red zone you like to cause a turnover or at worst just give up three points."

On his expectations of CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie this season: "Dominique, what he wants is to be labeled as a shutdown corner and that's what he wants to do. Go out there and shut down the offense's best receiver."

On how much more comfortable Rodgers-Cromartie looks this season compared to last season: "I think the important thing for him as well as the other guys is that we had OTAs so they (got) comfortable with the system, they understand not just the coverage but the concept of the coverage. What this coverage is for, what this coverage takes away, (and) the weakness of this coverage, I think has been very important for Dominique."

On how well DT Fletcher Cox has progressed going into the regular season: "Well, I mean, Fletcher has just gotten better and better and getting more comfortable with our system. Again, Fletcher will end up being in that rotation. We'll have eight guys rotating and possibly more depending on who suits up. Like I said, we really have three groups. You have a first and second down group that rotates and then you have a third down rush group."

On the role that DT Cedric Thornton will have this season:"You know the thing that I think that I learned a long time ago was that when you take an athlete like Cedric and you put him with a good coach, that kid ends up being a player. I think that's what you have there. You have a good athlete that came here even though he wasn't drafted he was a good athlete that's big, athletic (and) wants to. You put him with Wash and you can see where Cedric is coming along."

On the improvement of Thornton since last season: "I think he got better and better but I think the key where he's really improved has been the offseason. The offseason (in) the weight room, the offseason with Wash, and just being around. The kid has a big heart now. He's fighting to try to take care of his family so he's got a big heart, been working hard, and is a good athlete with a good coach."

On whether Thornton can be a starter this season: "Well it's hard because he is a starter. I mean we have eight starters. That's true because they end up playing the same amount of time. I think the key there is who are the third down rushers. If  you want to talk about that then it's a little different but as far as our first and second down package, you're talking about eight starters. They're going to rotate in and out and that's the way it is going to work."

On whether Thornton is a part of the rotation: "You know we'll see on game day."

On how tough it was to see DT Antonio Dixon get cut: "I think just like for all of us Antonio is a great kid. It's just hard. Business is hard. (CB Joselio Hanson) was hard. It's a tough thing."

On whether the defensive ends will move inside on some downs: "I think what we're going to do is we'll go in and try to on third down get the best rushers on the field. The best concepts and whatever we have to do to get to the quarterback."

On whether the tackling will be fundamentally sound going into the first game: "The hard thing is every day we are trying to get a little better and better. Today we'll go out there and even though we don't have pads we'll work the tackle circuit and work on our fundamentals and I think it's a progression throughout the season. I think the Giants proved that. That it's every week trying to get better and better and  be consistent throughout the season and then get in the playoffs and be hot at that time."

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