Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On how tough of a matchup Packers TE Jermichael Finley is: "A tremendous challenge. For a tight end to be as mobile as he is and as big of a body, it's a matchup problem, for sure."

On how much better the linebackers have gotten at covering the middle of the field: "We're doing a good job. Having (LB) Stewart (Bradley) back on the field and the speed that (LB) Ernie (Sims) possesses certainly helps, but it also comes down to technique, and they've worked hard before and after practice on that skill."

On the importance of getting to QB Aaron Rodgers on Sunday: "Against any opponent you want to get to the quarterback and Aaron Rodgers is no different. He's a great quarterback and he's experienced a heck of a career to this point. So they're a great offense, and he's their leader on offense and getting to the quarterback is a necessity."

On whether it would be nice to play an opponent on opening day that is not picked to make the Super Bowl: "As you know, there's tremendous parity in the NFL, as we all know it. Is this a challenge? Yes, it's a huge challenge, but our players are ready for it, and I think they welcome that challenge. It'll be a great environment in Philadelphia. It doesn't get any better than playing at home on opening weekend, and wearing those uniforms. I think it will be a great day for football, the barbecues will be flying around, and the tailgates, and we're going to need those fans come this weekend."

On what kind of springboard it would be if the defense rises to the challenge against the Packers:"It would be tremendous. It would be tremendous. This is a great offense, as Les eluded to, but it is a one-game season each and every week. So I want to take it one at a time and keep things in perspective, and continue to go and try to improve each and every week."

On whether his comfort level is any different entering this season as compared to last season:"The experience factor for myself, number one, having been through the job now going on a year or so is big, but also having the timing that I mentioned at the start of training camp with the staff and with the players certainly helps out for sure."

On how CB Jorrick Calvin made the team after playing just one game: "That's a question for (Eagles head) coach (Andy) Reid, but he's a talented and athletic individual that also in addition to playing corner does some things on special teams. And I think coach Reid always talks about not only offense and defense, but special teams, with each one being a third of the overall team here, so what he's done on special teams certainly helped."

On whether coaches look at rookies differently today compared to five years ago:"Yeah, the league changes all of the time, and I think professional sports changes in general, so you see more and more young faces being given playing time. And in this case, you're seeing a young Eagles team overall, but that is good. We're energetic, we're fast. Is there going to be learning curves? Yes, there's going to be learning curves, but we welcome that. We welcome the energy that that brings."

On what aspect of Rodgers' game impresses him the most:"He's a tremendously talented quarterback and just watching the evolution of his game over the years, and how he's handled himself, he seems to be a very classy individual off the field. And then on the field, he's intelligent, tremendously talented from the skill-set standpoint, and he does a tremendous job."

On whether the Packers use a lot of five-step drops and what allows Rodgers to have such a quick trigger: "I think it's the way (Packers head) coach (Mike) McCarthy has shaped that offense, and you see things that he does that continues to put their receivers in a position to make plays, and then the run after the catch. So, is it three-step, is it five-step? It's both. Is there a seven-step? Yes, there is. So that's what makes it the toughest thing to handle, is the timing is so inconsistent in terms of what they're trying to do and when they're trying to do it. It will be a great challenge for us."

On what makes CB Dimitri Patterson best suited for the role as fourth safety: "He's a very physical corner, and also plays inside the nickel. And when you combine the physicality of his play, and his change of direction, and the size that he brings to the table, he's the best-suited corner right now for us to be the fourth safety. He's going to need to learn a little bit for us here over the next couple of weeks and get up to speed, but we think he's up to it."

On what S Nate Allen did at OTAs to earn the starting position:"He's come in and handled himself well, off the field and on the field. You just don't evaluate what the player does on the field. He pays attention in meetings; he does everything you would ask and more. He pays attention in meetings, he works when he's not in the building and he's just a very sharp young man, and I think he's going to have a very bright future."

On whether he ever tells the young guys to back off and forget football for a few hours:"You need to get away from it, especially from the player's standpoint going through a season, in particular the young players. They've never been through, really when you look at it from a young player's standpoint, they're coming off an 11 or 12-game season in college for four or five years, and now they have already really played four games, yet it's the start of the season. So, it could be in essence a 20-game season having not even made the playoffs in certain instances. So, there is a pace-yourself type of approach, and as coaches and teachers we need to recognize that and continue to scheme and to teach around those obstacles."

On the process of getting DE Antwan Barnes acclimated to the defense: "He's done a great job in a short amount of time and (Defensive Line) coach (Rory) Segrest has done a great job with him and they've worked together over the last couple of days to get up to speed and to get acclimated to what we're doing scheme-wise here. He's a great athlete."

On whether he anticipates playing a lot of different guys in a lot of different situations in the pass rush: "It will be a game-time decision, as most things are. But, we'll have different packages."

On whether he is preaching anything else besides getting to the quarterback: "Well, they are a great offense. But, regardless of what offense you face, we want to be fundamentally sound. And I know it's not a fancy term, but we want to make sure that we're tackling well, and getting off blocks, and making plays when the opportunity presents itself. Regardless of the scheme, you can do everything you want scheme-wise, but if you don't hammer out the fundamentals the result won't be what you want it to be at the end of the day. So, we just want to be a fundamentally strong team and continue to hammer those fundamentals."

On whether there is one facet on defense that he wants to see and is more anxious than the others: "Well, we have some new faces and we have some young players. So, when you're a little bit green around the collar, you want to see how players react, and how they play together, and how they handle adverse situations. And I think we've been through some adverse situations already in camp and handled them extremely well and some in the preseason games. But, that experience is important. So, each and every play we'll continue to build upon that experience and the players will get more and more comfortable with one another."

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