Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On putting LB Akeem Jordan in as the first team SAM and mixing up the linebackers: "We're just trying to find the best combination of the first three. (LB) Akeem (Jordan) is a good football player, he's been productive for us over the years, so that's why he's in there."

On whether he considers doing this type of rotation throughout camp: "Well, I think you do that at every position. You're really looking for your best – in this case – three at the linebacker position. That's really the reason for the move."

On whether this is a statement on LB Moise Fokou: "Absolutely not, absolutely not. Moise still has a lot of good football in front of him. We're talking about a very young football player in the NFL right now. He's done some good things, he's very physical and his best football is ahead of him."

On whether players know that there may be this kind of rotation: "It really goes with the territory. If you've been around sports long enough, this happens all the time. At the same time, it's a challenge for Moise or the player in question to rise up and respond to the challenge."

On being able to do more things coverage-wise with the involvement of LB Stewart Bradley: "He's a force, obviously, inside. He's 250-something pounds, and he's 6-3, 6-4. Just a little bit taller than I am, so he's got that working for him."

On Bradley's lateral movement: "Look, he's a guy that I would think offenses have to gameplan against. If not now, then they will in the future. He's tough to throw the ball over, he's got sideline-to-sideline range and he's tough to block because he is 250, 255 pounds."

On whether he's concerned that Bradley has some type of hamstring issue: "No, not at all. I go off of what (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) is telling me and Rick feels good about it, Stew feels good about it and so does (head) coach (Andy Reid). We look to have him back very soon here."

On LB Omar Gaither's versatility and experience: "I've put a lot on Omar's shoulders. He's played, like you mentioned, all three linebacker positions. He's done a great job. A few years ago he was our most productive player on defense. He's a good leader for us and a good quarterback of the defense when he's in there."

On what he has seen from players like CB Trevard Lindley and S Macho Harris: "Well, they're out there battling and that's what we expect. You saw Macho get his hands on a couple balls today. We've just got to continue to improve each and every day. Two young players we're talking about, both Macho and Trevard. So we'll just see how we progress day-to-day."

On whether it's time for DT Trevor Laws to start getting significant minutes of playing time: "I think Trevor has had a great offseason. I've seen an improved player out there right now and he is working his tail off to get better each and every day and it started really back in February. I like what I see so far out of Trevor."

On whether he wanted Laws to get bigger during the offseason: "I think Trevor has come out and attacked the offseason the right way. He got into the weight and strength and conditioning program. He's come out with an aggressive attitude and that's what I wanted to see."

On his first team defense stopping the run on 4th down during live sessions: "We really haven't put short yardage defense in, so coach had asked if we wanted to be out there in that situation. That's gut check time. If you're a defensive coach or a defensive player, you want to be out there in that situation. I was proud of how the players responded."

On whether he saw how the play unfolded: "Yeah, I'd have to look at the film."

On Jordan and Fokou and the differences they present: "Akeem's a good football player and he's been very productive for us and he's got some experience under his belt. He's played multiple positions for us and played at a high level. Then Moise, a little bit younger from an age standpoint and experience standpoint, but a good player nonetheless and a very physical and a very aggressive player."

On how much experience Jordan has at playing SAM: "He's played there some in the spring, he's played there some in the spring and early on in his career he may have touched the spot once or twice when I was his linebacker coach. Really, he's been a MIKE or a WILL, mostly a WILL up to this point. He's got a good feel for the game and instincts to go along with it, and that's what we're banking on that he can make the transition. Really, he's been taking the mental reps at that position even before physically we made the move at this time."

On his first impression having him at WILL and why he thinks he can translate over to SAM: "Really, he started off at MIKE when he came in a couple years ago when I was his coach. He started off at MIKE, we moved him to WILL because he played MIKE linebacker in college. Now, he's showing us that he can play really any position is how I feel about it. He's physical, he's got a good feel for the game in both the run and the pass game. He just loves to play, the guy's a warrior."

On using Gaither if he's a backup at all three linebacker positions: "We'll see. He is around the ball. If you're going to be productive we would like to have you on the field in some way, shape or form. We'll just have to see how things unfold. It's really early right now as you know, Reuben (Frank). He is a good football player that has been productive for us. He's a guy that I have a lot of confidence and trust in."

On whether new types of offenses have changed his perception on what can be a WILL linebacker versus a SAM linebacker: "To some extent you have to stay current in terms of the trends that are going on the offensive side of the ball so you know how to defend it. If we were playing in a smash mouth league and, in some cases we are with the NFC East, then we've got to be able to stop the run. I feel confident that Akeem, at the SAM linebacker, can succeed at the point of attack. He's physical, he loves the aggressive part of the game."

On whether sorting out the linebackers is going to be a big task in camp: "We evaluate every rep; practices and games included. The bottom line is the bottom line and how you play when the lights are on is the bottom line. It all factors into the overall equation of us making the decision and coach Reid making the final decision here. I want to see guys come out each and every day and take each and every rep and play our brand of football."

On helping Bradley with the fact that obstacles will come along the way with an injury: "We've got to be from a medical standpoint, I don't want to speak for Rick, but from a coach's standpoint included here really, got to be patient with Rick and the medical side of things. Stew's mental toughness and where he is mentally is the most important thing to me right now that he gains confidence in his leg and he looks like he has confidence in his leg to be honest. I think we're moving in the right direction and we're just going to take it day-by-day, rep-by-rep here and keep moving him in the direction of the end goal being that September game against Green Bay."

On whether Bradley understands that things like this are going to happen and that it can't weigh on him too much: "Yeah, I mean, if you're a football player, aside from his injury last year, you know you're going to get nicks. A hamstring spasm is a nick that a lot of players have had. You can get it jogging down tonight at five o'clock in the afternoon downtown Allentown."

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