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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On whether he has ever had to have so many different players step up on defense: "Well, the guys that have filled in or come in and stayed in have done a tremendous job. And that's a credit to them and to the coaches and having those players prepared and ready to step in like they have. (S) Kurt (Coleman) this past Monday night having the performance that he had. And then (CB) Dimitri (Patterson) the way he's played the last two weeks, (DT Antonio) Dixon, (LB) Moise (Fokou), the list goes on. So it's been a nice surprise for us as the year's moved forward here."

On whether all of the injuries on defense have created a positive competition at various positions: "Well, when a player's hurt it's never a positive from that standpoint, but it is a positive from a standpoint of a competition and the players that have come in have done a nice job. So the expectation level continues to rise and when you have players, and the quality of depth that we have, that's a good thing for our team and our organization. And that also is a credit to our personnel department."

On whether the play of Patterson has been a nice surprise and whether there is a certain intangible he has at cornerback: "Well, you know, Dimitri has always had the skill set that he has. It's just been a matter of getting him on the field on a consistent basis to display his talents. And he just continues to get better and better with each rep, and that's going back to when we got him a couple of years ago, now. He has just continued to improve and now he's at a point as we've all seen, starting really back in the preseason, where he's made plays and used his talents to be productive on the field. So it's just been kind of a process he's gone through, an evolution, to where he's gotten himself to a point now where those skills that he has and that he's always possessed are now translating into plays on the field for us."

On whether he would characterize Patterson as a risk taker:"You know, I really wouldn't; I wouldn't consider him a gambler. Certain players are labeled that way and I don't see him that way at all. He's a player that studies a tremendous amount of film and takes calculated guesses, if you will, which is good as a corner. That's what you want to do."

On whether teams are reluctant to throw the ball towards CB Asante Samuel: "I would say that's been true this year more than I've seen in the couple years since Asante's been here. Teams are throwing more to our defensive right than to our left, and I can see why."

On whether he has ever seen a player like Patterson who steps up the way he has after bouncing around the league:"Well, you know, in cases like Dimitri usually there's a reason why a player has been to a couple places. What's unique about Dimitri's situation is that he was at a couple places very early in a short amount of time in his career. And what's then to our benefit as an organization is we still got him when he was young in National Football League years and now that experience of staying in one system like he has been over the last two years, added with his work ethic and skill set, talents, what have you, we've benefitted because of that."

On his thoughts about Giants WRs Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham after watching them on tape: "(I see) two very good receivers. We've been around Nicks now for two years since he's come into the league. If you split last year in half, not used as much last year prior to game one, and then in game two was a consistent starter for them. And now, fast forward to this year, probably one of the top five or ten receivers in the National Football League the way I see it; very strong, great hands, everything that he displayed in college is the way he's playing right now, playing with a lot of confidence, and then Manningham the same way. They're a good one-two punch. And with (Giants WR Steve) Smith, really probably three very quality receivers. But I think they're both playing at a very high level right now."

On whether he can ever remember after nine games his team being a plus-twelve turnover ratio and leading the rest of the league by three turnovers: "When you can get the turnovers that we've gotten on defense, and I think we've set up our offense four or five times over the last two games in opponents territory and scored once, so that's a little unique right in and of itself. And then from a differential standpoint the credit goes to the offense. I mean, they really seem to be taking care of the ball, not putting us in bad positions defensively the same way."

On his thoughts about the challenge Giants RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs present and whether the Giants really commit to the run game:"That's kind of their philosophy and it's a philosophy that's worked for them over the time period since (Giants head coach Tom) Coughlin has been there. They've always had, as long as I've been around the Giants, they've always had a one-two punch it seems, minus when (former Giants running back) Tiki (Barber) was there early on. But they're dangerous. They're dangerous with what each back brings to the table. And Bradshaw is playing at a high level right now. And he's not a very big guy, but he runs with power, and he runs tough, and he runs nasty, but then he brings his speed and cutback to the table. So we're going to have our hands full."

On whether there is a natural competition between the offensive and defensive units on the team over wanting to be the best:"I don't think there's a rivalry, but there's, from a competitive standpoint you want to be the top dog. Number one you want to win and that's where we've been fortunate enough to do the last couple of weeks. What the offense did this past Monday night is, my hat goes off to the coaches and the players and what they accomplished, it's just an unbelievable accomplishment. That said, from a competitive standpoint you always want to be the top dog. And I think we coaches and players alike, we feed off each other and we keep trying to outdo the other side, which has made our overall unit, special teams included, better for it."

On whether the Giants ability to protect the quarterback has been a product of their depth on the offensive line or their offensive scheme: "Well they do a good job, their staff does a good job scheme-wise and that offensive line is the strength of that offense believe it or not, even with the injuries. They have a great teacher in their offensive line coach and the combination blocks and timing in the run game doesn't get mentioned all that much, but that's a key to their effectiveness in the run game. And then protecting (Giants QB Eli) Manning is a big priority for them in the pass game."

On whether the depth on the defense has been a pleasant surprise with young players filling in: "You know, like we've always mentioned you think you know what you have when you draft a player but you're not really sure. I think this year we feel good about a number of players simply because they've come in and have had to have played already during their rookie years; Kurt, (S) Nate (Allen), (DE) Brandon (Graham), and the list goes on, (LB) Keenan Clayton as well, (LB) Jamar Chaney, and the list goes on and on. So I think it's unique from a standpoint of at this point in the season to say players X, Y, and Z still have a chance so to speak and will continue we hope to develop. They're not there, even though they've played well this year there's still room to grow."

On whether LB Ernie Sims is having the kind of consistent year he was expecting from him: "He looks like he's finally gotten comfortable in our system and he's played well all year long really, but has come on, as I mentioned, the last few weeks. Just in the last few weeks, as I think the comfort level increases his production has increased the same way."

On whether he has considered moving Samuel around to always cover the opposing team's top receiver: "Well, we've done that on certain occasions this year and in years past with Asante. You always want to play to your player's strengths, too, and when you study film and a player looks at film from a certain angle of the field so to speak, he knows that angle and he knows the routes that come off of that side or that side. So he matches and will continue to match every once in awhile left and right, and he'll move. But at the same time we don't want to take him out of his strength area either because, again, he's been productive for a reason on one side."

On whether he has to prepare the players to be on the field longer against the Giants because they lead the league in time of possession and the Eagles have a quick strike offense: "You know, just be conscious of it. You mention the time of possession with the run game and the pass game that they're able to bring to the table, there are drives that happen and that's the main reason I think they're the second ranked offense in the National Football League. So they're just very efficient. They do what they do, and they execute extremely well and they put you in positions defensively to be fundamentally sound number one, but also execute defensively. They're a well-oiled machine in terms of what they do and how they can incrementally move the ball, yet still hit you with the big shots down the field."

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