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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On what he's looking for from S Quintin Demps and what he's seen from him so far: "You're looking for Quintin to take the next step in the overall development process and that means building on what he started with and from in the spring and each day and each play, trying to find a way to get better. He's gaining an education in the school of football each and every play and each and every day."

On whether he is locked into having S Quintin Mikell at strong safety, or whether the guys are interchangeable:"Yeah, interchangeable. I think, in this day in age of football, you want to have two safeties that can play any position. It's such a game built on the passing game and speed that you want guys that can cover in space and also support the run."

On how far away CB Ellis Hobbs is from being comfortable in the scheme: "Ellis is a heck of a competitor. You saw him make a couple of great plays out there today for us. First and foremost, he has a tremendous approach, great attitude, [he's] highly competitive, and that's what it takes to play on this defense and that's what it takes to play outside at the corner position."

On whether it has been an adjustment for him to keep track of everything that a coordinator needs to keep track of: "Not necessarily. I think when you get your feet underneath you as an assistant coach, and as I mentioned before you look to take the next step, your focus starts to expand a little bit. Having worked with multiple positions, already the scope of my focus has broadened. When you're a position coach it's your job to focus on your group and you master that group and you're an expert at the group, but definitely your scope starts to broaden at some point."

On the success DE Darren Howard had last year and what he attributes Howard's success to: "It all starts from his attitude. Darren has been a great player for a long time. Any time you come to a team in a first year on the defense, it takes time to absorb the defense and the intricacies of the defense so you can just cut loose. We saw that from him last year, and we're hoping to see that again this year."

On whether there is a big difference between New Orleans' system and the Eagles' system: "I can't comment on what the system was back then because quite honestly I can't remember who the defensive coordinator in the system was back then. Darren is in a good place right now. He brings a lot of value to this team and a lot of value to this defense."

On how this has been an emotional week for him and how he's feeling: "It's not an easy thing to deal with on one hand whenever you lose someone. We all know the impact, as I mentioned before quite a number of times, that Jim [Johnson] has had on everyone in this organization and around this organization and in the city of Philadelphia. At the same time, it's important from a leadership position that you have a plan and that the players know what that plan is and how we're going to execute that plan."

On whether he wants to make his tweaks and ideas known early: "I think that timing is important with anything. Any time you are talking about change there are two things that I think are critical, and that's overall communication, that means the staff getting on the same page, the players being on the same page; and then timing, in terms of when we want to introduce some of those wrinkles. Right now, it's important that fundamental football is played, both at the position and inside the scheme."

On whether he has a particular wrinkle that he has always wanted to implement: "I don't necessarily think there's one particular one that I would say, 'This is what I'm going to do.' I think over the years you come up with several. Then, quite honestly, there are things you say, 'If I ever had my chance this is what I'll do,' and when you get your chance you kind of stray away from it for certain reasons that are in the best interest of the team. Until you are in that spot, you never really know what it means to be in that spot. It's like until you do a job you've never done the job. But there are things that we'll add at the right time, as I mentioned before."

On whether the defensive system needs to adjust to the players or the players need to adjust to the system: "The system is the system, yet you always want to fit that system around your personnel. That personnel changes every year in this league and that's part of the challenge as coaches. As a coaching staff, you do have to fit your system to the players that are at your disposal."

On how S Quintin Demps is progressing: "He's doing well. And I'll go back, again, the attitude and the approach. And he's going to be out here and there's going to a learning curve. That will continue throughout his career. That's just natural and he's got to continue to stay aggressive and to stay mentally tough."

On whether the starting position is Demps' to lose: "I don't necessarily think it's anybody's job to lose. As I mentioned before, we have 11 spots on this defense at one time and everybody has to gain a spot on this defense. The best 11 will play and everybody's got to earn it. [S] Quintin Mikell has got to earn it. And they know that. And that's how we're approaching this thing."

On the pressure facing Demps because he is replacing former Eagles FS Brian Dawkins: "He's got to be himself. That's a question for Quintin Demps in terms of the pressure that's on him. You will have to ask him that question. But, I want him to be Quintin Demps and if there's pressure with him being himself that's up to him. But, he's got to be himself. That's why we drafted him and that's what we're looking for. I'm not looking for anybody else; I'm looking for Quintin Demps."

On the significance of CB Asante Samuel missing practices at training camp because of a strained hamstring: "It's significant from the standpoint that Asante is at a point in this defense and his development process that he's got to continue to develop mentally in this scheme. Anytime you miss time that's hindered a little bit. So it's important from that standpoint that he's out here and that he continues to evolve in this scheme. And then, when he evolves in this scheme, he continues to play fast and plays will continue come."

On whether Samuel seemed to understand the defensive scheme by the end of last season: "That's what you find in this defense as I've studied it over the years. Because of the intricacies of the defense and the details of the defense, anytime there's a new player it takes some time for him to get it down where he can get back to playing fast. And the challenge is on the players and the coaches to master, as well as they can, in terms of enhancing that learning curve. That's where you can see the light start to flicker and come on last year."

On how defensive fellowship coaches Carnell Lake and Greg Lloyd have helped out at training camp: "They've been tremendous and [fellowship coach] Brandon Whiting, all the fellowship coaches we've had this year have just been absolutely tremendous. They've become a part of our staff and there's a tremendous amount of wisdom in those three players right there. And so, we've mentioned it to our players to spend time with those three. There's teaching in the meeting room and then there's wisdom on the field that comes from being in the trenches and that's what those three bring to the table."

On whether he constantly adjusts his defensive plan based on what he is seeing from the players during training camp: "Sure, that's part of the evaluation process that takes place. And that continues every day, every play, every practice all year long. It's important you evaluate the scheme, yet it's important you evaluate the personnel. So, you watch the film more than once."

On whether there is a way to make DE Trent Cole's sacks come more consistently as opposed to in bunches:"That's what happens at times when you're a heck of a pass rusher. I think if you go back and you study the great pass rushers you'll see that they happen in bunches, same as turnovers happen in bunches sometimes, that's the nature of the game once in a while. Now within that, if you had the time to spend and see why, Trent gets tripped quite a bit and what not, but if he's getting doubled then somebody else has got to be freed up."

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