Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On promoting LB Moise Fokou to the starter at SAM linebacker and whether he feels the team is a better nickel team: "Just matchup; that was specific to last week and trying to take away (San Francisco's) tight end and passing game and (TE) Vernon Davis and also (TE) Delanie Walker on the other side as well."

On Fokou starting over LB Chris Gocong: "Well, Chris is a good football player, number one. I think it's important we don't forget that. He's a good football player and he's done well for us over a number of years now. Moise is also an up-and-coming football player and a guy who has good instincts and is physical at the same time."

On having continuity on defense: "It's two-fold. You do want to have continuity and consistency, however the best 11 are going to play. I'm not into allowing guys to just sit here and rest on their laurels so to speak. I want the best 11 playing in every situation and on every down. Competition is a good thing."

On whether 36 turnovers at this point in the season exceeded his expectations: "We want to be number one in the league, first and foremost. The turnovers are way up this year which is great, we love it. Any time we can get the ball back to our offense, and we've done that this year, is a good thing. The credit goes to the players. They've done a great job of tracking the football. I think the biggest thing I've seen this year is opportunities on the football. We're making them count. We're catching the football, we're scooping the fumbles up. We haven't made everyone count, but those are the important fundamentals of the game."

On the concentration level and intensity of the defense after so many substitutions throughout the course of a game:"It's an important part because substitutions are such a part of the game. It's worked well for us in terms of keeping everyone alive in the meetings knowing that they have a contribution to the overall defense every week. The hard part, the challenge for us is on the sidelines, that we have all players available. They're not standing back by the heaters when it gets cold out. They're up there because they could feasibly be put in any situation in a game."

On whether it is tough to scheme for Broncos WR Brandon Marshall: "He is, although we've faced very good receivers and tight ends in the past. He brings a combination of size and speed and then he can track a football with the best of them. He's got great hands. I think we've all seen several highlights of him this year, throughout the season, making one-handed catches; over top and underneath defensive backs. They move him around within the formation which makes it difficult from a matchup standpoint."

On whether the mentality has changed in terms of forcing turnovers: "It's a mentality and an attitude, first and foremost. That's what you have to have. You have to develop an attitude that you want turnovers and sometimes, with turnovers, you have to encourage guys to take calculated risks. I think our players do that without sacrificing the integrity of the overall defense. What we've done, a couple years back, is institute running after the fumbles and the incomplete passes. That just breeds a mindset or a muscle memory, if you will, that hopefully carries over into the games."

On knowing Broncos RB Correll Buckhalter and if that will play to his advantage: "Knowing the opponent is a big part of scheming an offense, in our case. Correll is a heck of a football player; blue-collar, tough and he runs hard. Our players know that and most of our players know Correll and what he brings to the table right out the gates here. That will help us. I think (Denver) has a pretty good feel with what we do. Having faced coach (Josh) McDaniels in New England and then I'm sure they've had Brian (Dawkins) heavily involved in what they're doing from an offensive standpoint this week."

On whether he has seen some extra motivation from players on the opposition who are going against their former team:"You hope you see a little bit more competitive spirit and I think from our players you will see that. Brian is going to come in here and he's going to try to knock our head off and I wouldn't expect him to do anything different. That's what he spent most of his time doing here. At the same time, our players here are going to be competitive and we're going to try to get after them the same way they're going to try to get after us."

On CB Sheldon Brown possibly making his first Pro Bowl: "I think he certainly deserves consideration; I do. With the production he's had on defense this year, the big plays he's contributed to the overall defense, I don't see how you can ignore that."

On whether the continuity on defense has an effect on the tackling: "I don't know if it has that type of impact. If you're on defense and you're a good defensive football player and a good defensive football team, tackling is an overall part of being a good defensive football team. I don't know if the lack of continuity has had a direct impact as much on that as maybe some other factors."

On whether he has tried pretty much every defensive scheme on defense this season: "We have so many interchangeable parts and moveable parts, if you will, that I'm not just going to sit back and say, 'I wish I would have.' Or I didn't want to move a guy because I'm comfortable. It's about having the best 11 on the field and giving our team a chance to win a football game. Whatever we feel as a staff that is required, that's what we'll do. I think the players, to their credit, have embraced that. We're getting direct contributions now from the (LB) Tracy Whites, the (CB) Dimitri Pattersons and the (DE) Jason Babins. There are things that those guys have that can add value to this defense and we're trying to exhaust that."

On whether he would like to eventually see three established linebackers in the future: "Of course, I think any coach would. I would be right at the top of that list. I would love to walk in and say we've got our 11 each and every week; let's go to work and let's understand the opponent. That hasn't been the case this year. It would be my hope and desire that would be the case somewhere along the line. You're always going to have some minor tweaking involved. At this point in time, it hasn't been the case this year. It's my job to make sure that we do have the best 11 on the field. If it means mixing and matching based off of the situation, the personnel, the game, the opponent, whatever it may be."

On why there has been so much movement at the linebacker position in previous years: "I really don't know, I really don't know. Specific to the Philadelphia Eagles at the linebacker position, I think it's just a matter of consequence and circumstance that it has occurred at the linebacker position specifically."

On Broncos QB Kyle Orton and his recent success: "We faced Kyle last year in Chicago and I'll take it back to the 2008 year. I think he's an effective quarterback. He manages the offensive system that he's in extremely well. Last year it was Chicago's system and this year being Denver's system and coach McDaniels' system. He appears to be a very intelligent player that doesn't put his defense in a bad position. In other words, forcing the ball that causes turnovers and then putting their defense on the field with a short field behind them. He manages the game extremely well which is probably his biggest asset due to his intelligence and quick decision-making getting the ball."

On Dawkins leaving for Denver and the impact that it had on the secondary: "I think when you're talking about the departure of a player like Brian, there's two things that you have to address. You have to address the physical standpoint, in terms of the performance on the field, and then you have to address the leadership standpoint and the impact that he's had on our defense over the number of years here. I don't think one person can fill either of those roles by themselves. As such, Quintin Mikell has taken on a large part of that with the physical part and the leadership part in addition to (LB) Stewart (Bradley) and Stewart went down and we brought in (LB Jeremiah) Trotter from a leadership standpoint. There's not one person on any team on any organization that could fill both of those roles by themselves or either one of them by themselves."

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