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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On whether he will consider moving to a 3-4 defense:"You bring up a good point, Les. What's important for us now is that we stay true to our base defense and we lay a solid, a very solid foundation that we can depend upon and fall back on during the year and we'll go from there."

On whether he feels he has an extra workload because of all the new players: "I'm really excited about the defensive staff, bringing (senior assistant/defensive backs) coach (Dick) Jauron in and adding value to the staff that was already in place. The neat thing about it is we're approaching a year being together now, so there's some familiarity from that standpoint. The players that have been here are familiar with the coaches and the coaches getting more and more comfortable with the scheme. I will add coach Jauron right into that mix there. So he's been of great value to us. The challenge is, to your question, over half of the players I believe, or close to half of the players, have never played a snap in the NFL and a couple more to that have never played a snap for the Eagles defense. It's important that we teach the right way."

On having LB Stewart Bradley back: "I give Stewart all the credit in the world. He has worked his tail off. He stayed around last year when he got injured. He wanted to be a part of it and remain a part of it and, again, to his credit, he's back on the field and we welcome him back with open arms. Not only from the physical standpoint, but the leadership and emotional standpoint, as well."

On DE Victor Abiamiri's knee surgery and how he plans on changing things with the defensive ends:"Let's not forget, Victor is a good football player. He's working extremely hard right now to get back to a point where he can contribute to this football team. I don't want to forget about that, it's important we don't forget about that. We do have some young players that we brought in from a competition standpoint and we'll see in the end the way it works itself out."

On Abiamiri not being on the field and how that compares to other defensive ends on the team that have upside potential: "We're in an evaluation period of time right now and that began yesterday in terms of players that we brought in and seeing how they add to the overall mix of the defense. Obviously any player that's not on the field, it's tough to evaluate. We also know what Victor brings to the table at the same time."

On what LB Ernie Sims brings to the defense:"Ernie's been a welcome addition. He loves to play the game, first of all. He's our type of guy, intangibly, and you guys see it out there he can fly. The speed factor – there's a shark in the water out there right now and that's Ernie Sims."

On whether he plans on running the team based on matchups because of how many talented linebackers he has: "You like to be able to play your base defense and play 11 defenders during a game and let it go and let the base defense take care of itself. In this league, as you see multiple personnel groupings and the way that offenses and offensive coordinators attack a defense, it's important that you can stay multiple on the defensive side as well so that you can throw a counterpunch when necessary."

On whether playing multiple positions, like S Macho Harris and S Nate Allen, make a player more valuable:"You bring up a good point. I think it does. To add to that, the (defensive) ends we brought in where they can stand up or put their hand down. Probably some of the things that you guys used to do where players can play multiple positions. Nate and Macho would be two of those players and (FS) Marlin (Jackson) the same way, among others. It does give us some flexibility, at the same time, as we build, and we talked about this as a defensive staff, that we build this thing the right way. Because we have some new players and young players to the NFL, that we bring them along building a solid foundation at the same time."

On LB Moise Fokou at SAM:"When he came on the scene last year towards the latter half of the year, I loved the fact that he brought a nasty attitude to the defense. He's extremely physical and strong from the waist up. He's got some learning to do and we have a long way to go as an overall defense. I like what I've seen from him this offseason from a work ethic standpoint and the way he's handled himself in these three practices."

On whether Fokou is the answer to solving the tight end coverage problem: "I hope for your sake that someone can solve that problem because I'm sure you guys are tired of asking that question. In all reality, he does give us that potential because he does have the arm length that you like from a strongside linebacker's standpoint and he can jam the tight end."

On whether the physical nature of what goes on at scrimmage is more important than whether he can run stride-for-stride: "Well, there's two sides to that. If you can jam the man at the line, your hope is that you don't have to be able to run with him down the field. If you can run with them, then potentially you don't have to jam them at the line. If you can do both, all the better for it."

On his solutions to the third-down defense: "We'll evaluate that. This camp, on the defensive side of the ball, has just been about our base defense right now. As I've mentioned with the influx of new players to the system, our focus right now is bringing these players along the right way at the right time in order to build that foundation that we want to build. I've got to be patient and the players have to be urgent in their approach. We want to make sure that this foundation is rock solid as we go forward here."

On whether he feels that this is "his group now" compared to last year because of all the young players:"I love the players that we have here. They've battled their butts off at the end of last year and moving forward into the offseason. The work ethic of the players, as a collective group in the offseason program, has been tremendous. The credit goes to (head strength and conditioning) coach (Barry) Rubin and the strength coaches for that and the program that they're running there. Then, the way that they've worked off the field in meetings and then on the field these last three days, you guys are out there, you see the energy. It's a different feel to the defense out there. You mentioned some of the characteristics of those players, the speed number one. You have to be able to run in this league. Backing up from that, I give the credit to coach (Andy) Reid and (general manager) Howie Roseman and the upper management for recognizing the need to invest in the defense."

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