Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On whether it is tough to get a handle on the tendencies of Colts QB Peyton Manning: "It is (tough). He's unlike any quarterback I've ever seen. And we've seen him just a few times since I've been here and the results haven't been very favorable. But he leaves a very small margin for error in the run game, in the pass game, from an execution standpoint, (and) from a gameplan standpoint he's as good as they come."

On how the players have responded to the fourth quarter against the Titans: "Well, you know, number one I think our defense played extremely well for three quarters and change, there. And we've dominated at times and we recognize that. That said, we have some room to improve and the fourth quarter defense is one of them with the fourth quarter the way it unfolded against the Titans. But I think our players respond well to that challenge and they know where we need to improve and having the right guys in the room is the first step in that process."

On whether he wishes CB Ellis Hobbs had disclosed his injury to him during the game: "Well, I like tough guys, number one, and he's a tough guy and I'll take that any day of the week. I think it's well documented what (Eagles head coach) Andy (Reid) shared with you guys yesterday and what Ellis has shared that he was trying to play through it and I appreciate that. I think we appreciate that as a staff and his teammates appreciate that. And I'll just leave it at that."

On whether he noticed anything during the game that suggested Hobbs was hurt: "No."

On whether it is Hobbs' responsibility to let the team know he was hurt if his play was hurting the team: "Certainly, there's a fine line there between taking away from the team and trying to push through an injury, and there is a fine line there."

On whether the Colts will attack CB Dimitri Patterson in his first start: "Probably. The thing about Peyton Manning is the guy doesn't discriminate. And you saw it on Monday night (against Houston). He puts (TE Jacob) Tamme out there, 84, and he's throwing him the ball. He puts (TE Brody Eldridge) 81 out there and the first throw is to 81. So, that's why he gives defensive coordinators fits and headaches and keeps them up at night. So we have our work cut out for us."

On whether the fake audibles Manning calls at the line of scrimmage is one of the problems when trying to defend him: "That's all part of the game management and all part of just what he brings to the table. It's smart, very smart on his part. They do a great job with their system and their scheme. And he's seen about everything. He's had the kitchen sink thrown at him. (But) it just comes down to making plays; it comes down to what happens after that ball is snapped and making plays."

On how he can prevent his young players from being star struck going against Manning on Sunday:"Well, we have a lot of respect for Peyton Manning and what he has done and I'm sure what he will do throughout the rest of his career. But we're not going to back down and I don't expect our players, young or old, to back down. I think, again, it goes back to the types of players, the character and the integrity of the players that we have in that room. And we have a lot of respect for our opponents and Peyton Manning just earning the utmost respect from our team and our staff, but we're not backing down."

On whether he agrees that the hit LB Ernie Sims was fined for was egregious and whether he has addressed Sims and the rest of the team: "Stay aggressive."

On whether players on defense need to change their approach because of the attention being paid to helmet-to-helmet hits: "No. I mean, like we've said when it came up the other week it's a big area of concern right now and we understand that, from a safety standpoint. But we teach tackling the way it's meant to be taught, and that's how we're going to proceed each week here."

On whether he will talk to Sims or the team about hitting defenseless receivers: "We respect everything that comes down from the league obviously. That said, I want our players aggressive. Is there a fine line there between aggressive and not being a smart player? Yes. And we have to make sure we find that line so we don't hurt the team."

On which side of the line Sims was on during the play he was fined:"Well, if we're talking about the same play, in my mind it was a bang-bang play."

On whether Sims' hit was dirty: "Bang-bang play."

On whether he feels the need to pull Sims aside and tell him to be smart:"I think, again, as an overall defense from a philosophical standpoint we want to be a aggressive, but you have to be smart. You have to be smart and you have to know how they're calling things. And that's a general way to answer your question but that's how we've addressed it with the players, is be aggressive, remain aggressive. But also play within the rules and be smart."

On whether he is still experimenting with personnel combinations: "That's an ongoing process. You know, we're a new defense and a young defense and that's working through things, trying to come of age, and develop and continue to bond and move forward. And we have some young players that I'd like to get on the field still in terms of where we're trying to go with the defense in the future here. So that's going to continue to grow and you're always looking - whether you're young or old, you're always looking at personnel combinations."

On whether DE Brandon Graham looks physically more capable of making an impact: "He looks good. He handled the bye week well. He got with the trainers and really worked on his body and that's a credit to Brandon and our training staff. And so, I think he's ready to make a push here."

On whether Graham will play more at DE than DT: "Yeah, each week it may be different (depending) how we match up; it's all about how we match up, as we all know. So if he's inside, he's inside (and) if he's outside, he's outside. Either way we look for him to make a push here."

On whether it's a hard transition for Graham to move from DE to DT: "Well, he has a knack for it whether he rushes inside or outside. Some players don't have those instincts, at least to start with. So he has a knack for moving inside or outside. And then you have to know what it does to an opponent too. They have to prepare matchup wise for (number) 54 (Brandon Graham) being inside or outside."

On whether his aggressive philosophy on defense will change because he is facing Manning:"Man, you know, there's a fine line. Each gameplan is different, but each gameplan is the same (laughing). It was election week wasn't it (jokingly)? You know, there's a fine line with everything. You try to do what you do and you want to play aggressive. And some teams change a lot when they go in there and see Manning at quarterback, and I understand that. I mean, like I said, he keeps you up at night. If we had eleven coaches we could put on the field on defense (then) we would put eleven coaches. But then, I know they couldn't count on me making any plays, so it would be up to the other ten guys, I guess (jokingly). So there's a fine line."

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