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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On what he's looking for in Thursday night's preseason game: "We're looking to take the next step in the development process of this defense and come out with an established and aggressive tone. I want to see the players execute fundamentals."

On why CB Ellis Hobbs hasn't taken a lot of reps recently, and whether something is wrong:"Not that I know of. Obviously I didn't follow Ellis around all practice but not that I know of. He seemed healthy. He's absorbing the defense right now."

On whether he has any more clarity on the defensive end position since the beginning of camp, or whether that is something he is looking for in the preseason games: "Yes, it certainly is. We have a number of guys depth-wise that we're going to give a shot and take a look at. We'll take it from there. Thursday night will be one of those opportunities for some players to step up."

On what he looks for in a preseason game from S Quintin Demps: "Like I mentioned before, you look for an aggressive mentality and an aggressive approach. At the same time, for young players, you want to see the look in the eye. That's a part of it. When the lights come on you want to see how they handle themselves in pregame warm-up and the locker room – the whole package right there."

On whether he will test Demps with certain calls or put him in certain situations to see how he reacts: "I don't know if I would specifically look to test Quintin. He'll get tested enough in preseason. You're going against one of the best quarterbacks (Patriots QB Tom Brady), if not the best quarterback, in the NFL, followed by the Indianapolis Colts. That will be enough of a test for him right there."

On what he's seen from DE Chris Clemons this year, and whether he has more of a role this year: "I think he does and that's a natural progression for a player in his second year with this. As he absorbs the defense we get comfortable with him and really get a feel for his skill set. He's very talented in a lot of different ways. We're still trying to absorb what he can do for this defense and where he can add value."

On how he plans on rotating the corners during preseason, and whether CB Sheldon Brown and Hobbs will both run with the ones: "Just like we've done it out here. Sheldon and (CB) Asante (Samuel) will start and they will also work themselves in. Then we'll go from there."

On how far along LB Matt Wilhelm is in terms of what he knows about the defense:"He's absorbing the defense. (He's a) very intelligent player. (He's a) very experienced player. He comes from a framework where there is some carryover. At the same time, you have to move fast, so he's done a nice job up to this point."

On how much weight he puts on what he sees at camp compared to what he'll see in the preseason game in terms of evaluating the battles at certain positions, specifically cornerback: "Every practice is an opportunity to evaluate. Thursday night is just another opportunity to evaluate what we have at corner and at every position."

On whether preseason games offer a different perspective than practices up here: "Obviously it offers a different perspective. What's different about it is the lights are on and it's in a stadium and it's against a different opponent. As I mentioned before, we want to see our players come out with an aggressive mentality and execute the fundamental football."

On whether Thursday night is more about what he's looking to see schematically or how certain players react to another team: "There is a fine line and that's the important part of this. There's a progression – we want our players to come out and execute. The start of that is being aggressive and that's what we want to come out and do, come out and be aggressive and then execute fundamentals and the scheme will fit into that. At some point you have to be able to execute, not only just play fast but think on the run. That's a big part of it also."

On what he thinks DE Jason Babin brings to the team: "He certainly can rush the passer. He's an experienced player with intelligence and has a background for the game. (He's a) highly aware football player. It's still early yet and we're still getting comfortable with him as he is with us. Again, Thursday night, as I mentioned before, is going to be another opportunity to evaluate Jason."

On how there are numbers at the defensive end position, and how DE Bryan Smith fits into that: "Sometimes there are more numbers at other positions, defensive end being one of those. There are quite a few people there. But we'll get a good look at Bryan and what he can do Thursday night. We've watched Bryan up to this point."

On what Thursday night will be like for him in his new role of defensive coordinator: "I've been there before, I really have. I've been there before, and I don't anticipate it being any different. I really don't."

On whether Samuel is more comfortable, and whether he has made progress in certain areas: "If he's talking out there, that's a good thing. When he stops talking out there and we lose that energy, then I start to worry a little bit."

On what he's seen from Smith in this camp so far: "He's coming into his second year and he's getting better every practice, he really is. He comes off the ball. He's learning how to play defensive end in this league. What he brings to the table is a tremendous amount of skill to rush the passer, and we've talked about it before, you want to be able to come off the edge and put stress on that offensive tackle. That's what Bryan brings to the table."

On whether Smith is a good run stopper, or whether they are more concerned with the pass rush: "It's important that you are a multidimensional or two-dimensional player at that position. That's what Bryan's evolving into at this point."

On whether Clemons is evolving the same way: "Sure. He is. Chris has had a nice camp for us. He brings a lot of things to the table from a defensive coordinator standpoint. You can stand him up, you can put him down. On first and second down, he has certainly improved this camp in terms of being an every down defensive end."

On whether the staff is anxious for Thursday night's game:"We are. We spent some time, quite a bit of time actually, in the staff room over-communicating with one another to make sure that we're organized, efficient and effective in what we're doing as a staff."

On how he thinks LB Joe Mays has done this week: "I think he's taken a workman-like approach and that's what we expected. He's improved every practice. He's not making the same mistake twice, and he has great command of the defense."

On whether he has any sense of when DE Victor Abiamiri will be back: "You'd have to ask (head) Coach (Andy) Reid or (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) about that. I really don't know at this point."

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