Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On having three healthy linebackers for a half of football: "Yeah, about a quarter and a half and they did a good job. Having (LB Stewart Bradley) back was a big asset to our defense."

On whether it is hard for LB Omar Gaither to come back from offseason surgery and be inserted into the middle linebacker position: "Well, that's the life of a guy that didn't start for a particular game and that was Omar's situation last week. He has to get ready to go and knowing he was backing up that middle linebacker position, so that's the life of a National Football League backup in terms of Omar's situation last week."

On his confidence in Gaither's ability to step up at the middle linebacker position: "I believe he's started close to 30 or 34, 32 games, somewhere around that number and he's done a good job and having worked with Omar over the years I have a lot of confidence in him and I think his teammates have a lot of confidence in him, as well. So, it is like having a fourth starter when he steps into that role."

On what Lions QB Shaun Hill does that makes him effective: "Well, he's a veteran quarterback, so he has seen the blitz looks, he has seen single high safety, split safety looks, and he has great football instincts. So, I'm sure he's well prepared to do a good job for them."

On whether playing DE Brandon Graham inside sometimes is a week-to-week decision or whether it is based on particular matchups: "Week-to-week. Week-to-week, honestly, and he's going to be moved all around. I wish we had eleven of him quite honestly, but he can't play more than one position at a time, unfortunately here. But he was productive. He was productive outside, he was productive inside, and then particularly on (S) Nate's (Allen) interception he got great push and the quarterback sailed the ball because he couldn't step up (in the pocket) and that was due to Brandon's presence inside."

On his thoughts about the defensive end rotation overall: "Yeah, they did a good job. There was good four-man pressure on the quarterback, as we all saw and it resulted in three sacks. And then the pressures overall were just a combination of blitz pressures, and four-man pressures, and the ball came out extremely fast."

On why he is utilizing Graham on the inside as opposed to using his speed on the outside pass rush: "Right, that's a good question. The presence inside, it's important to have a push, when you have speed on the outside. And Brandon gave us that push on the inside, as I already mentioned, in particular causing a turnover."

On whether his philosophy of attacking the quarterback has changed since there are guys who can get to the quarterback in a four-man pass rush: "Well, philosophy is one thing and game plan's another. So, if you can get four-man pressure, then why not stay with it. And we had four-man pressure last week. But, the ideal situation is a mix of both, pressure and four-man."

On whether Gaither will also play in the nickel package: "He will. Yes."

On how he plans on defending Lions WR Calvin Johnson: "Well, just like last week, some of the matchups, this guy is extremely talented. And you watch him on film and he can turn the tables in a hurry, not only just going up for the ball, like we saw last week against (the) Chicago (Bears), but also run after the catch, and he's tough to bring down and he can take it to the house. So, he brings a tremendous challenge to this defense."

On whether there is any chance that LB Stewart Bradley will play: "I don't know that. You would have to ask (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) at this time."

On whether QB Michael Vick is different now as a quarterback than when he played on the Atlanta Falcons: "Well, he's still very talented and mobile. He presents a challenge to any defensive coordinator that you have to defend eleven on the field instead of just defending ten because of the run/pass combination that he brings to the table. He can give you headaches."

On whether Vick throws better than he used to: "I think he's improved certainly since he's come here just working with the coaches and in our system and you see him out there and it's a result of his hard work. You see him out there most every day with (quarterbacks) coach (James) Urban or (offensive quality control) coach (Doug) Pederson and working after practice on his throwing."

On his thoughts about how Allen played: "He did well. Again, how he handled himself we were impressed with. Now, are there things he can work on? There are, and he's going to work on them this week so that when he takes the field come this Sunday he's an improved player and Nate will be the first to tell you that. But, overall did a nice job."

On whether there was something specific that caused the inconsistency of the defense against the Green Bay Packers: "Well, we left a couple plays on the field just from an execution standpoint. They're a great offense and I'm giving them credit number one, they force your hand on some things, but it was more of unforced errors on our part. But, overall I was somewhat pleased, like you had mentioned, a couple of the quarters in particular. And then, we had a couple series where it was too easy for them."

On whether DT Brodrick Bunkley and DT Mike Patterson will fall out of the game plan against teams that pass the ball more: "I don't think fall out of the game plan is the right choice of words, necessarily, but they're always in every game plan and they do a tremendous job for us. So, having those two rocks inside is important for the overall core of the defense and I thought they did a good job last week."

On whether DE Darryl Tapp is becoming a bigger part of the rotation: "It is, it's a week-to-week situation with all of the players. In terms of his situation last week, as you mentioned, he's a good football player and we look forward to getting him on the field very soon."

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