Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On whether he was happy with the amount of pressure the Eagles put on Cowboys QB Tony Romo in the first game against Dallas: "I think we had three or four sacks, if I'm not mistaken, and we did a good job of harassing him. He gets the ball out fast, which is part of his M.O. I was fairly pleased with the amount of pressure we had last time, but as I've said before, you always want more pressure on the quarterback."

On whether Romo's play under pressure shows how much he has improved over the past few seasons: "Yeah, he's had a great year. He really has and he's one of the reasons they are one of the top five offenses in the league right now."

On whether they will change their approach on defense in terms of pressuring Romo:"When you play a team twice, or multiple times in any year you look at what worked the first time and you try and go back to it. Then change some things that didn't work, isolate those situations and try and improve on them."

On the Cowboys' success on first down on offense:"I think (offensive coordinator Jason) Garrett does a great job of keeping people off balance, run-pass wise, on first and ten. The quarterback, when flushed, everyone in this room has seen Tony Romo make things happen and extend the play or find the check downs. The receivers work back to the quarterback and you have to really defense 11 players on their offense."

On whether S Sean Jones or S Macho Harris will start moving forward: "It will be the same moving forward. It will be the same, matchup-wise, personnel-wise, we'll look to match."

On the play of CB Sheldon Brown and CB Asante Samuel: "They are two veteran cornerbacks that have had Pro Bowl years. It does allow me some flexibility. They have been very productive. I think Asante has tied or set a record for interceptions this year and Sheldon has been up their as well. They have made several impact type plays on the perimeter, which has been important for our defense"

On LB Akeem Jordan's play at the middle linebacker position: "I thought he played well. He's shown improvement over the course of when he started there. I thought last week was his best week."

On whether he thinks LB Moise Fokou has shown improvement: "I do, I really do. The biggest thing with a young player is, anytime you're talking about a first year player is that he is not making the same mistakes twice and that he is continuing to play fast and play aggressive. I saw that from Moise last week."

On the pluses and minuses of rotating players on defense: "Obviously the minuses are why it's happening, due to injury, be it performance, or whatever it may be. You like to have consistency and the continuity that we've talked about, since the season began, unfortunately we haven't had that available to us due to some injuries and whatnot. Focusing on the positives is what we've tried to do. We've turned it into a positive and players have turned it into a positive. The credit goes to them and the staff, because we are in a situation now where everyone is involved, everyone's accountable and with that comes the leadership and the accountability. The players, being involved, come in on Mondays or Wednesdays and they feel like they can be a part of the game plan in any situation during the game, which has been an asset to us."

On whether the team they are playing determines whether Jones or Harris will start at safety:"The situation and the personnel in the game, similar to the linebacker situation is what I was really addressing. Whatever the situation dictates, that's where Sean will go in or Macho will go in."

On what the defense can do better in this game: "I think our focus is primarily on the first-down and the third-down situations. I thought they did a good job on first down and third down both, and we need to do a better job in those two categories."

On whether he thinks LB Chris Gocong will start to contribute on defense again: "As I mentioned last week, Chris is a big part of what we are doing. Now, he didn't happen to see the field last week. I think Moise played maybe 20 plays. Based off of whatever matchups are in the game, every player is available for us to play and if they are dressed, there's a chance that they'll play. It's important that we don't forget that Chris is a good football player and he has been for a number of years."

On whether he would consider using Gocong as a situational pass rusher: "It is (a possibility). We are trying to find the right skill set and where each player and every player can help us. Chris certainly rushed the passer well in college. He's done it here, obviously not as much as he's played linebacker, but it is a skill that he brings to the table."

On whether penalties like the unnecessary roughness penalty on Harris makes it tougher to keep his players playing aggressive because of the rule changes and rule interpretations:"I didn't see the play as it unfolded, but then I saw the replay and I'll stick by what I shared with Macho right after the play and after I saw the replay, which was, be aggressive and stay aggressive. I thought from there we could grow as a defense. I think from there we can grow as a defense and that's what we want to be. That's who we are and I think when you play defense in this league it's hard to be anything other than that."

On whether the NFL has given any parameters for what constitutes a defenseless receiver: "No comment. Your guess is as good as mine at this point. I'm sure they have, I just want our players to be aggressive."

On whether they will use nickel packages on defense to defend against TE Jason Witten they way they did to defend 49ers TE Vernon Davis: "We want to be aggressive on the tight ends and Witten is one of the best tight ends in the league. There is a reason why he's been in the Pro Bowl for a number of years and why he consistently has success each and every week. No matter who you put on him he is going to catch his number of balls and Tony is going to look for him. We have a lot of respect for him and the game that he plays."

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