Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On the improvement of the run defense since the last meeting against the Redskins: "Well, I think the physical play of our defensive line, number one, and then just our defense continuing to come together as an overall defense. When you talk about run defense, it's not just the front four, it's not just the front seven, but the secondary comes into play as well."

On whether adding LB Moise Fokou and DE Juqua Parker to the starting lineup has improved the run defense: "I believe so. You're talking about two physical players and also (DT) Antonio (Dixon) and Moise. So that certainly helped. Tackling has helped, improved fundamentals has helped, which always does when you're talking about the run game."

On whether Dixon is still the starter: "Yes."

On whether he encourages players pointing things out on the field, regarding CB Asante Samuel's interception of Colts QB Peyton Manning last Sunday: "You want to be flexible. It's not a dictatorship here. Those guys are out there in the moment and you want to be flexible, yet, stay within the scheme at the same time. I have a lot of trust in Asante and (S Quintin Mikell)."

On how happy he was with the overall execution against the Colts: "When you win the game, the execution, to some extent, I was pleased with. We left some things out there, we have some room for improvement as well as we played and that's what we're working hard on this week."

On his package with LB Keenan Clayton last week and whether that will continue: "We're going to do some different things with Keenan, move him around. He could be at safety, at linebacker. He offers that flexibility because of his talent."

On whether Clayton's performance has improved in practice: "He has and he's worked hard on the field and off the field to do that. He's a young player and you see players through their first year improve. That's the goal here and Keenan has improved. For him to get the action that he had the other night and to handle himself the way he handled himself, was another step in the right direction."

On LB Ernie Sims having his best game last week and whether that's what he expected from him when he was acquired: "Well, he's a good football player and a physical player. I know he had the sack in a crucial situation for us. If you go back and look at the track record of free agents when they come in, it takes time to learn the system and that's no different with Ernie. He's probably been a little bit quicker than most and that's why you've seen the production that we are right now."

On CB Dimitri Patterson's performance: "He played a heck of a game going against (Colts WR Reggie Wayne) like he did for probably 90 percent of the game; Pro Bowl receiver. Them moving Reggie Wayne was probably more in terms of their scheme than just moving him away from Dimitri in specific to your question."

On having a large amount of rookies on defense and how he approaches that: "Well, you adapt to the hand you're dealt every year in every situation and I love it. I mean these guys are young guys and I love the energy and I think as a staff we love the energy. You love it as a teacher because their eyes are wide open each and every week, each and every day. Within that, there's going to be some mistakes due to experience. We have to understand that, but continue to move them along in the right direction."

On whether he feels like he has a unique group of guys on defense, in particular some of the starters: "That's the nature of that room. Those guys are awesome. I wouldn't want to be around any other defense. Those guys love to play, they love to be around one another and they're building great relationships. (I'm) talking about Asante and (Mikell) switching positions last week. When does that happen? When have you seen that happen? They're building a great rapport and chemistry."

On whether he has any idea on what running back they're going to face on Monday night: "It really doesn't matter to us. The system is the system. It's a zone running scheme with some misdirection routes built in. Whether it's (Ryan) Torain or (Clinton) Portis or whoever falls in behind those two or three, we'll take the challenge."

On the possible matchup problems Redskins TE Chris Cooley presents: "He's a Pro Bowl tight end. He's a guy that we have to be aware of at all times and know where he is in all situations. Much like the running back situation or the quarterback situation, they have weapons on that offense with speed down the field at the receiver position as well. We have to be aware of where (Cooley) is at all times and how he matches up with our linebackers, safeties and corners."

On how LB Stewart Bradley has done so far this season: "He's done a good job. He had a couple pass breakups the other night – I think two. Look, it's not easy covering tight ends in this league. If you go around and take polls of linebackers wanting to cover tight ends, there are not a lot of linebackers that are going to raise their hand. Stewart has done a nice job and I will say the same thing about Ernie."

On what the Lions did to frustrate Redskins QB Donovan McNabb: "Well, they kept him off balance. They got pressure with their front four and front three at times. Anytime you can do that you've got a chance to have a pretty good day on defense when you can get pressure with three or four, and their front got after him."

On the Redskins' offensive line injuries: "They've had some guys in and out. I think the first go around, we faced a different tackle than we're going to face on Monday night. It will be a new challenge for us. I think they've got them all healthy now, for the most part. They're developing continuity and the consistency which they want, I'm sure. It will be a good challenge for our defensive line and linebackers."

On S Kurt Coleman's development and the biggest challenge he faces on Monday night: "He's done a good job. Another young player, as I've mentioned earlier, that has stepped in and done a nice job last week in a reserve role when (S) Nate (Allen) went down and then this week in the role that he's going to have going into Monday night. Just like the other players on this defense, young or old, nothing fazes them. I love that about this group. No matter what the challenge is at hand, those guys, they go at it head on. In terms of Kurt's biggest challenge this week, I would just say Monday Night Football. It's his first start and then on Monday Night Football, I think he's up for it and I know his teammates trust him."

On Coleman getting beat on a long pass in the last matchup against the Redskins and what has changed since: "I vaguely remember that. Like I mentioned before, there's a learning curve with young players and there are going to be mistakes. I have to make sure I keep those young players in the right positions to make plays and be successful and then they have to learn from prior experience and mistakes. That was the case that you're referring to there with Kurt. Him being on or off the field after that play was not an indicator of my trust and our trust in Kurt, but rather just the different packages we have for the different situations."

On whether the crackdown of helmet-to-helmet penalties will change the game: "I want us to be physical and I know you guys get tired of hearing me say that. Just play the game the way it's meant to be played and then they're going to officiate it the way they want to officiate it. You just have to deal with it. We've got to adapt. If this is how they're going to officiate it, we've got to adapt within the parameters of the rules. I know, as long as I've been brought up and as long as I've lived, there's only one way to play the game of football."

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