Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

Opening Remarks:"Just a couple of thoughts about the game the other night. On an individual basis and play-by-play basis, there were some outstanding efforts and performances. Obviously as an overall defense, generally speaking, it wasn't where we needed to be from an execution and fundamental standpoint. That being said, we have a long list of items where our focus is right now on areas we can get better on."

On where DT Dan Klecko is in the defensive tackle rotation: "He's in the rotation right now and that's all that you can ask. He continually shows up, does a nice job, comes to work every day, brings his lunch pail, and that's what you want from a defensive tackle."

On what he needs to see in the next preseason game in order to feel comfortable going into the first regular season game: "You want to see the ones come out and start fast, number one. You want to see them come and establish an attitude and mentality of this defense and execute the defense from pre-snap until the whistle blows."

On having faced two Hall of Fame quarterbacks so far this preseason, and whether he likes that they are being challenged by players of such caliber: "If you want to be the best, you have to go against the best and beat the best, and that's what we want. We want to be the best, so we have to handle ourselves in those types of atmospheres."

On whether he is concerned about some of the big plays that have been made on the secondary: "You never want big plays on defense. Coming from the secondary, like I have, that breaks a defense's back and we can't have that. We've gone back to the drawing board to make sure that we understand what's going on there. (We need to) identify the problems and get them corrected."

On whether he feels like they've identified those problems: "We hope so. We'll see. That's what you do as a coach. You come back and it provides a learning opportunity and a teaching opportunity, and so we'll treat it as such."

On what happened on Colts WR Reggie Wayne's touchdown: "As I mentioned before, it was a breakdown in execution. I'm not going to stand up here and point the finger at any one player. If anybody, I'll point the finger right back at me. It comes down to getting lined up and executing the defense."

On what a safety is supposed to do when two guys are coming at him: "If you have two guys coming at you as a safety, then we've got problems."

On getting pressure on the quarterback: "Pressure on the quarterback is highly important. It's important that we get pressure on the quarterback, not only from blitz opportunities, but from the front four. That's something we're working to establish and (we'll) continue to throw fastballs at that quarterback and we affect his vision or his footwork or his arm. We're going to continue to work in that direction."

On whether he feels like the defense is close to where it needs to be, or whether it has a long way to go: "We have a long way to go. Week three of the preseason that we're in right now, I think most coaches out there would tell you the same thing. We have a long way to go. Until we are where we need to be, and even when we are where we need to be, we have a long way to go."

On whether two more preseason games is enough time to get the defense to where it needs to be: "It better be, because in two weeks from now we'll be kicking off against Carolina. That's a formidable opponent down there. There won't be any time for it not to be enough time."

On why the defense isn't where it needs to be: "It's about guys executing the defense and knowing what we want and the scheme that we want and executing the defense. That's where problems occur and when you make mistakes you lose football games and there are breakdowns. That's what an offense sets out to do and on defense we set out to put pressure on the offense to make them break down. We didn't do that very well the other night."

On how he sees the middle linebacker spot playing out, and whether LB Joe Mays will be on the field more now that LB Omar Gaither is injured: "First and foremost, with Joe, I thought he handled himself very well. He continues to step up and do a nice job. It's important that he makes progress. Again, as I mentioned, we are not where we need to be as a defense. Individuals are not where they need to be right now and need to continue to grow, gain experience, and take the reigns of this defense. You mentioned Omar. Any time you miss time, it's hard to challenge for an opportunity there, but Omar is a good linebacker and will continue to add value. It's important that he gets healthy here for us."

On DE Jason Babin's recent level of play, and whether he's kicked into gear: "You'd have to ask Jason that, but he had a nice evening the other night. You guys saw him; he was in the backfield, he was disruptive, and he came off the football. From a defensive end standpoint, that's what we're looking for right there."

On whether the defensive end position still needs to sort itself out: "That's one position amongst the other ten or eleven positions out there that need to sort themselves out. There's competition for every job and that's the way we want it and that's the way it is right now. In defensive end, specifically to answer your question, there are different guys working in there and different guys continue to show up."

On whether LB Matt Wilhelm will be able to contribute this season: "He continues to grow in this defense and as a middle linebacker it's important that you can run the defense. He's working towards that effort right now and it starts with the huddle and getting the defense lined up and then playing downhill physical football."

On whether he feels like he is where he needs to be as a defensive coordinator in order to lead this defense: "I do. I feel like I'm on schedule in terms of my development. It's important that, just like the players, we need to make progress, and that includes me, that I develop continually with each week and with each game. As I mentioned before, my second call is better than my first, and my third game is better than my second."

On how close to regular season mode he wants to be by Thursday night: "As I mentioned before, we are looking to have the ones come out and start fast and make a statement on defense of who we are and what we want to be. As you guys alluded to earlier, this is potentially one of, if not the last, opportunity for us to play together before we kick it off against Carolina."

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