Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On whether it is tough to prepare rookies to be game ready late in the season: "Well, probably the toughest job is on the position coaches and the players, themselves. It's a first-time experience for the players you're mentioning, in this case (LB) Jamar (Chaney). But all season long our coaches work with the backups and these young players to continue to develop them as they go through the process. And so, we've had success and the credit goes to the coaches and players, themselves, for putting in that work because at some point you know you're going to need it. You know you're going have to depend on those players."

On whether the Eagles 2010 draft class is special:"Well, I think coming in, the defense, the situation of this defense and the complexion of this defense coming into this year was different than what we've seen over the 10 or 11 years we've been here. And so, we knew we were going to get contributions from some of these young players, it was just a matter of when. And, you know, I think we have four or five, maybe five or six players just on the defense on IR. So just through attrition alone players have had to step up and they've done a nice job."

On Chaney's greatest strengths and the challenges ahead of him that he faces:"Well, you know I'd list his greatest strengths in terms of what he does off the field, first and foremost. He's come in since April and just been a true professional and taken a very mature approach to his job, and then since that time has put in a lot of work. And we saw that come to fruition this past Sunday night and he did a nice job there. And now, it's a different deal because now they know he's going to be the starter and so they see what he brings to the table on tape – 'they' meaning the opponent here, the Giants. So he has a huge challenge in front of himself here and he was in here Monday morning bright and early after we got back and he's put in a lot of time this week to give himself a chance."

On whether an offense can go after a middle linebacker the way they attack a cornerback: "I'm sure they can go after any player they want to go after, especially when they're in the back seven. I would say that, yes."

On whether the impact of injuries is an underpublicized part of a coach's and coordinator's job:"That's certainly a piece of that puzzle, yes. When you wake up Monday morning and you talk to, in my case (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) or (head) coach (Andy) Reid, you want to know who's available, and then you start to shape the gameplan from there."

On what is going through his mind as a coordinator after losing starting middle linebacker Stewart Bradley to injury:"Well, the first one is the leadership, and Stewart's one of our leaders on defense. But that leaves room for an opportunity for other people to step up, so (DE Juqua Parker) and (S Quintin Mikell). And then, I just thought again that the job that Jamar did on Sunday was phenomenal and he has those intangibles, those leadership type qualities. Now is he young? Yes. He's young. But any time you play middle linebacker, whether you're young or old, you're going to be counted on to be a leader."

On whether Chaney is a three-down linebacker: "Yes."

On whether the Giants have a better running game since the last time the two teams played: "Well, they're a tough team to shut down. And I don't know that we shut them down, but we challenged them and I think that's all you can ask because they have great ability in the front seven there and the two running backs just are Pro Bowl-caliber running backs. And they're hot right now, both of them are hot. So, whereas last time we came in and you know, (number) 44 (RB Ahmad Bradshaw) was the starter, now (number) 27 (RB Brandon Jacobs) is the starter and 44 plays just as much. But both of those guys are hot and they're running the ball extremely well."

On whether there is a reason why his defense always seems to be one step and one play ahead of the Giants offense in recent years:"You know, I don't have the specific answer for that and I'm hoping that stays the same, I hope it's the same way this Sunday afternoon. But we've had our battles and just being realistic about it they had our number for a number of years in there, and then we've been fortunate enough to get them the last couple of games. But Sunday afternoon will be no different. It will be a great game and they'll be well-prepared. They're well-coached, they have great players, and I hope we're well-prepared and I know we have great players the same way."

On whether there is a reason why the sack numbers in the pass rush has dropped off: "Well, if you spend the time and look at the tape you'll know why the sacks have dropped off. And looking at it from just a numbers standpoint, you're right, the sacks have dropped off. But when a team is keeping seven men in to protect or getting the ball out fast like the Cowboys were doing, it's physically, sometimes, impossible to get there by the time the ball gets out. So we're going to keep working, we're going to keep working because pressure with a four-man front is highly important, as you guys know."

On whether newly acquired DE Derrick Burgess looks ready to play: "He does. He's in great shape; I know coach (Reid) mentioned it yesterday and commented on his situation. You know, Derrick Burgess is my type of guy, tough, tough, tough, and I love that. So I think it looks like he's in good shape, although being in shape is different than football shape, as we all know. So we're just going to keep moving forward in hopes of getting a contribution from him this weekend. So we'll see."

On whether the lack of sacks in recent weeks from DE Trent Cole is because of teams double-teaming him: "Yeah, he's getting double-teamed and they're keeping seven men in, and when they keep seven men in then they're double-teaming. If you're rushing four they're going to double-team all but one of those guys sometimes. So that's tough. And then when the ball comes out, look our third-down defense the last three or four games has been pretty good, so you have to pick your spots, and then you have to come back and say, 'Okay, what are we getting on first and second down?' And that's where we have to get the pressure, on first and second down. So, you know, it can always be better, but it's been pretty good. And when I looked at it Monday morning here after the game, it was pretty good."

On whether there is a reason why other teams seem to not be drawing as many penalty flags:"Yeah, I would like to see more flags thrown (laughing)."

On whether DE Brandon Graham is expected to be ready for training camp: "I haven't gotten involved on that front and to give any answer wouldn't be the right answer at this point. So I just haven't gotten involved, so I don't know any time tables, really."

On his comfort level of possibly having CB Asante Samuel back in the lineup: "Having Asante back, or in the hopes of having Asante back is a big thing for us. You know, he's a playmaker, gets his hands on the football, and his last game was really the Giants game, game one against the Giants. So that will help us and we just need to make sure he's healthy and can cut it loose."

On whether he expects Samuel to play:"You know, we're on a day-to-day approach, here. So we'll just see. Right now he looks good and I think he's gaining confidence right now."

On whether there is something the Giants are doing to protect QB Eli Manning and prevent sacks:"Yeah, I think they set a record for the last – going what – five, six, seven games without giving up a sack. So they've done a good job. And I'll tell you that offensive line has been together for a long time and their coach, (Giants offensive line coach) coach (Pat) Flaherty does a good job. And then, just I think the continuity of being together with the quarterback behind them, and knowing what they can and can't pick up from a blitz standpoint, and getting the ball out, that all comes into play with what they've been able to do in protecting the quarterback."

On whether they are using max-protection: "Some max-protection. Some max-protection, yes."

On whether having Giants T David Diehl back helps with the protection: "Certainly helps. Certainly helps. You know, and if they get the center back this weekend, then they have the whole front back together again. So we have a lot of respect for what they do up front, that's for sure."

On whether the players did a good job filling in when Samuel was injured: "Those young guys did a great job. They really did a great job. And you know, they put in a lot of work, and that's where you appreciate things when, and they're learning, you put in hard work that's when good things happen. And so, for young players to come in and do what they did against the receiving corps like we went against in a couple of those games, it has to make you happy."

On whether Burgess is big enough to play defensive end:"As long as he can get to that quarterback, you know, he can be 185 pounds as far as I'm concerned. As long as he has some quickness coming off that edge I think we'll be okay there."

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