Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On whether the Eagles can win games with the amount of pressure they have been getting on the quarterback:"You can win a football game a lot of different ways, but we've got to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis whether it's from blitzing or from a four-man front."

On what the difference has been from earlier in the season when they were able to pressure the quarterback more: "Well, I think, when you look it from a pressure standpoint, the teams are getting the ball out. Any time you face a team that gets the ball out, you've got to make a decision whether you want to pressure or not. If you do pressure, you've got to have good coverage behind it. So, those two go hand-in-hand, really."

On whether CB Dimitri Patterson is still the starter at right cornerback: "We're still evaluating that. I know (head) coach (Andy) Reid spoke on that behalf yesterday. That's an ongoing process right now. Dimitri's a good football player. He's made a lot of plays for us, and so has (CB Joselio) Hanson. Whoever's in there is going to be ready to play and do a good job for us."

On where CB Trevard Lindley is in his development: "He's done a good job. He's a typical rookie late in his first year. I think we've seen progress, and that's what you want to see from rookies. You want to see rookies get in and handle themselves well week to week and improve. And I think that's been the case with Trevard. What the future holds is yet to be seen, but, I think with hard work, he's got a skill set—the long arms and the ability to press—that you like."

On whether the defense changes based when the team's personnel changes:"You try not to. You really try not to. You try and stay aggressive no matter who's out there. And whenever the situation calls for it, you try and dial that up, whether it's pressure or straight coverage. Somewhere along the line we've had a considerable amount of injuries. You've got to keep in mind what you have out there. So, to say that they haven't changed, I don't know if that's exactly the truth. There's probably been some deviation. That's all a part of the game plan. Knowing who you have out there and how you want to attack the offense."

On whether CB Asante Samuel's knee is still bothering him: "Well, in the Giants game he really stuck it out. He's just been back two games. In the Giants game, he really stuck it out and was a warrior for us. Battled through that game all four quarters. I think last week, we saw his health improve. He was working hard with (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) and what not. Teams just aren't throwing his direction. That's the bottom line. They throw his direction, they pay the price. You guys, we've all seen that. I think I count one pass from the other night that was thrown in his direction, his side of the field, and that was incomplete to the far sideline, so they're just not testing him."

On his assessment of the defense's performance: "Not up to par. (Not) by any means was that up to par. It starts with me and we've got to get that fixed. Number one, we've got to play with more intensity and fire. And then number two, we've got to come out and play smart football and stop shooting ourselves in the foot. And then third, techniques need to be polished up. So, we've got a lot of work to do, to get ourselves ready not only for this weekend, but the playoffs here, too."

On the thinking behind lineup changes at this point late in the season: "It has always been and always will be to put our players in the position to succeed and have the best players out there in those situations. If I feel like one defender's a better run defender, then I'll have that run defender on the field when I think they're going to run the football, and the same goes for the passing game. So, we're always going to work in the direction of having the best players on the field."

On whether LB Ernie Sims is still the starting weakside linebacker:"Starting weakside linebacker, yes."

On the defensive tackle rotation for Sunday's game and whether newly-signed DT Jeremy Clark will contribute:"We'll see. Jeremy, we're trying to get him up to speed as quickly as we can here, and get him acclimated to what we do. Although he was with us once before, he's been gone for maybe a year and change or so. So, we're going to try to get him acclimated to what we do and get him in the rotation and see how he fares."

On how can intensity be an issue at this point in the season: "It shouldn't be an issue. Should not be an issue. That's what we're getting to the bottom of. We're dealing with human nature here. So sometimes what happens in a game, is there are peaks and valleys in a game. From a defensive standpoint, we've got to maintain that high all game long, and get that crowd into the game. There's no way a team should come in here with our crowd, and be able to use a normal cadence in our stadium. And that means getting the fans into the game and playing at a level that gets the fans into the game, and that's what we intend to do."

On what happened on the 12 men on the field penalty:"That's my responsibility. Substitution from a goal line standpoint, and that's my responsibility."

On what his nickel linebacker situation is: "Right now, our nickel linebacker situation is either (Sims) or (LB) Akeem (Jordan), and (LB) Jamar (Chaney).

On how much continuity weighs in when making personnel changes in a game: "Well, by this point in the season, you have a feel for who does what best. And then what the opponent brings to the table. Football's just like basketball, it's all about matchups. So, from an offensive standpoint, if they're going to attack a matchup that we don't like, then I'm going to try and change that matchup the best we can."

On why Dimitri Patterson can look so good sometimes and not look so good other times:"I think that's a little bit of the nature of the position. Corner—you're out there, you're on an island. You're going to get exposed. There's going to be good plays and bad plays, and they're there for everybody to see. And when you play on the interior line, when you have good plays and bad plays, not everybody recognizes those. The thing about Dimitri is, he is a tremendously mentally tough individual, and I'll know he'll get right back on it. He and I spoke this morning, and he's ready to go."

On whether other teams are now using the film on Patterson against him: "That's part of it, I'm sure. And that's true of any player. (Chaney)'s been out there now for two games. Now there's tape out there on him. You've got to do a little bit of a self-scout of yourself and know what you bring to the table, and know your strengths and weaknesses, and know what the opponent sees. If you're a linebacker, you've got to do the same thing."

On whether he'll have to find a way to keep both Chaney and LB Stewart Bradley on the field together when Bradley returns from his injury: "Well, it's certainly a consideration to see, if and when Stewart's healthy, what we want to do there. Right now, I'm just working on a one-game-at-a-time basis. To your earlier point, Jamar's been tremendously productive for us. There's more to the game than just production from a middle linebacker and signal caller standpoint. So, we've got some things to polish up there, and that's one of the things we're working on this week."

On whether it's difficult to be creative and aggressive with blitzes when there are so many different players in the lineup and so many players who are new to the system: "Well, I come from Jim Johnson's system. With so many new players, you can't just say 'Hey, we've always run this blitz—run this blitz,' because those players don't know those blitzes. There's a period of acclimation that comes into play, so you want to get the players as comfortable as possible. And the execution. It's great to come up with all of these different schemes and everything, but what can these players execute? A lot of these players are in their first games in the NFL. If you had veteran players, you can bank on them being comfortable in an NFL game and then they can execute whatever you draw up. So, that's part of the overall equation you take into the game plan and say, 'Okay, realistically, what can I expect these guys to handle?'"

On whether he's still looking to find out if any of the defensive backs or linebackers are innately good blitzers: "Certain players are better blitzers than others. And you mentioned (Broncos safety) Brian (Dawkins). Brian was a great blitzer. (Browns safety) Sheldon (Brown) was a good blitzer. And we have good blitzers on this team, and we're going to continue to be aggressive."

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