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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On how smooth S Nate Allen is: "If you watch Nate move, he really is quite smooth for a safety that is 210 pounds. He just seems to handle things like that off the field, as well. Like I mentioned earlier in camp, he's very mature for a guy that's in his rookie season, and playing that position, the quarterback of the defense, or one of the quarterbacks of the defense, he's really handled himself quite well to this point."

On how Allen has looked since putting the pads on: "I think he's held his own to this point. I don't see any reason to believe he wouldn't be a very good tackler for us. Anything above that is yet to be seen in terms of his intensity once we get into game situations here."

On whether he is surprised by CB Ellis Hobbs' performance so far in camp: "I'm not surprised at all. I watched him over the years at New England and he, in my mind, has always been a guy that's played football the way it was meant to be played. He plays hard, he's quick. He has an aggressive mentality, and that's what I wanted at the corner position, a guy that's going to challenge any receiver. It's a little bit like a John Riggins-type of running player. Four yards and a cloud of dust, and that's what happens when Ellis is involved. He's in, he's out, he's here, and he's gone. He's all over the place. And he'll hit you at the same time."

On whether DT Trevor Laws has looked better during training camp: "He looks good. He really does. And it's a credit to Trevor and (Head Strength & Conditioning) Coach (Barry) Rubin, for what they've done this offseason together. I would say he's added a couple of pounds, and more importantly, some muscle. He seems focused and hungry."

On what Laws still needs to work on: "Playing every down. And playing against the elite competition that you see in the NFC East at the guard and tackle spots. I just want to see consistency. I've been impressed with what he's done so far in camp, but I want to see it over a period of time at this point."

On whether there is a chance CB Trevard Lindley may move up the depth chart or see more playing time with the first-team defense: "We'll see. He's still got a lot to learn. But he's done well at the same time. He did get his hand on the football last night. He brings a dimension to this defense at the corner position, from a press standpoint that I like. He's got the long arms and the ability to mirror routes, so he continues to work and continue to get a little bit better each and every practice."

On whether it is a benefit for a young defensive coordinator to have a roster filled with young players: "I love the energy. On the practice field and in the meetings, I really love the energy they bring to the table, and from my standpoint, they're eager to learn. So I think any time as a teacher, you enter into a situation where you've got students who are eager to learn, it makes it that much easier. I think they're anxious for each and every meeting, for each and every practice, as am I."

On whether it is typical for the team's defense to be ahead of the team's offense at this point in the season: "It goes back and forth, really. That's the nature of camp. You're going to have some good days and bad days, and you're going to have hopefully both sides of the ones play well, and that means that the twos on both sides, sometimes would come out on the short end of the stick. In our mind, looking at it from a defensive standpoint, I want our twos to play well, and we want to give our number one offense a run for their money as much as we can, but we have a lot of work to do on the defensive side. There's no doubt about it."

On whether DE Darryl Tapp can rush the passer from the inside: "He can. He can really play multiple positions along the defensive line. We saw in Seattle, he comes off the ball well and that's the start for a defensive lineman, to come off the ball well. He's smart and handles the scheme extremely well, and it's important that we continue to get him adapted to how we do things in our defensive scheme."

On the rotation of defensive ends at the defensive tackle positions during pass-rushing situations: "We're trying to find our best four out there, obviously, and you guys know that. But the push up the middle, with our speed on the edge is important, where we can cut (DE) Trent (Cole) loose, or (DE) Brandon (Graham), or (DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim), whoever it is on the outside, Tapp, whoever it might be, but have a push inside, so when the quarterback does feel like he wants to step up, he's got somebody in his face all the while."

On whether he expects Laws to make significant improvements in his third year in the NFL: "Well, you know, really this year, from what I've seen he's put himself in that type of position at this point. Being it two weeks into camp he seems prime to have a good year for us and like I said, he seems hungry and he worked his tail off during the offseason. So, I like what I've seen from Trevor, liked what I saw from (DT Antonio) Dixon, and I'll throw (DT) Jeff Owens in there at the same time. We've got some competition at that position which is how this thing is meant to be built at this point."

On how Te'o-Nesheim is progressing during training camp: "I love the guy. He's one of the first ones here in the morning and last to leave and that's what this is all about, guys that want to play for all the right reasons and they've got it in their heart. What I' ve known of Daniel up to this point, it seems like he's our type of guy."

On what Te'o-Nesheim needs to improve on the most: "Well just adapting his style of pass rushing to the NFL and you do some things in college – and this is true of any position – you do some things in college and you can get away with some things and then when you get to the NFL you've got to test that skill set you bring and see what you can carry forward and what you need to change and adapt to the tackles and offensive lineman you see at this level."

On the status of DT Antonio Dixon: "I don't know. I saw him last night, talked to him and that would be a question for coach (Andy) Reid tomorrow, or (head athletic trainer) Rick Burkholder."

On how Dixon was playing before his concussion: "He's doing a nice job. He, again, like with Trevor as I mentioned earlier had a nice, had a really good spring. As you guys remember, Dixon came to us just at the start of last season. So, we didn't get the spring and obviously training camp to work with him. And (defensive line) coach (Rory) Segrest has done a real nice job of incorporating how we do things, the techniques that we use along the defensive line and to Dixon's credit, he's done a good job adopting those techniques."

On whether Dixon gives the defense a push up-the-middle during pass rush: "He's a big guy to handle inside, 320-some pounds and that's tough to stop. So, he does give us a tremendous push inside, yes."

On whether the defense is progressing faster than at this time last year: "Well, last year is so different; the complexion, the situation, the circumstances are so much different this year than it was last year. But I feel like we're ahead of where we were last year at this time, certainly, which is a good sign. But, as I mentioned earlier, we still have a ton of work to do and this is kind of the midpoint in between the start of camp and the first preseason game. It's important that we continue to grow over these next six or seven days here."

On LB Stewart Bradley's role in the defense: "He's going to be one of the leaders, as I mentioned earlier, he and (S) Quintin Mikell both make sure that we're doing things right on the field, doing things right off the field, and really just trying to lead by example. I think there's a great amount of accountability on this defense right now and guys wanting to do things, love playing together, love being in meetings together, spending time together, and that's all good, that goes into the overall mix here."

On what makes Cole stand out: "He's got, like you mentioned, he's got a relentless motor and loves to play the game, absolutely loves to play the game. When you look at it from a bottom-line standpoint that's what it's all about. He loves practice, and even more so, enjoys to tee-it-up on Sundays and really lets it fly. So, that passion that you see in all of the great players, defensively over the years, he's got that."

On the benefit of having more depth this year at the other defensive end spot: "It will be to his benefit, absolutely, and to our benefit defensively. So, I'm sure he's anxious and likes what he sees at the other side from (DE) Brandon (Graham), (DE Juqua Parker), and from Te'o-Nesheim as well."

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