Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On whether he will continue to mix up the personnel groupings on defense until he gets it right: "Well, 'until you get it right' is a certain way to say it. We are going to keep pushing the envelope, in terms of taking advantage of our personnel. If that means tweaking things week to week to make sure that we are squeezing the most out of our personnel, then that is what we'll do. That's my philosophy and we'll continue to do that."

On the play of the secondary and the players' ability to create turnovers: "They have attacked the football in the air, which is nice to see early in the season, especially when you are looking to establish a set of fundamentals. When you talk specifically to the secondary and the linebacker crew, attacking the football is one of those essential fundamentals that they need to develop early in the season."

On whether he pays a little more attention to the defensive backs because he previously coached that position group: "I don't think necessarily. Obviously, having the history that I've had at the secondary and linebacker level, my eyes tend to go in that direction, but our coaches do a great job. [Special Assistant/Defense] Coach [Brian] Stewart, [defensive coaching intern Mike] Zordich and [linebackers coach Bill] Shuey, all three of those guys do a great job at the linebacker and secondary level."

On whether he feels that the Raiders offensive struggles stem from the play of their offensive line: "When you are a young quarterback, number one, there's going to be a learning curve. What they are trying to do, from an outsiders prospective looking in, is work through some injuries and find, as we alluded to earlier in here, the best match in terms of their personnel. I can't necessarily say that it starts up front in terms of there problems. That would be a question for them, but the way I see it is they are a young team that's trying to find the best fit, personnel-wise at every position."

On why the Eagles have had trouble defending tight ends:"When you look at the league right now you are looking at athletic tight ends that are moving both in and our of the box in the passing game. That has always created problems for teams. Look at the year [TE] Brent Celek is having on the other side of the football here. As a defense, we need to continue to improve in that area in terms of defending the tight end."

On how much easier it makes his week knowing that RB Darren McFadden will not play: "I've got a lot of respect for him from what I've seen on film. Having never faced him before, the way he plays the game is hard nosed, which I appreciate. I don't know that it makes my job any easier. We still have a tremendous running back and running attack to prepare for."

On what he attributes the team's success against teams running up the middle to: "Our tackles up front, our tackles do a great job. Not only [DT Brodrick] Bunkley and [DT Mike] Patterson, but also [DT Antonio] Dixon and [DT] Trevor Laws inside. We've got a nice rotation going in and each of them provides a different skill set and brings different tools to the table. It all starts and ends with those to big pillars up front."

On how Dixon has been able to earn a spot in the rotation at DT: "As I mentioned before, he's a big body and he gives us a push, especially last week with an inside running team. We wanted a big body inside and a guy that we felt could create penetration. If you watch that short yardage play where we caused the fumble, he was a main reason for that."

On the rotation the team used at middle linebacker and whether he plans to continue to use a similar rotation in the future: "Each week will be different, in terms of what we decide is best for the team and how to attack the opponent. I do think that it worked well last week. The reps are important in terms of keeping [LB] Jeremiah [Trotter] – we need to manage expectations, still understanding that he's only in his second week of full work here."

On whether he will try to throw different looks at Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell because he is inexperienced: "As I mentioned earlier, every week is going to be different. Each offense presents different problems. I have a lot of respect for the skill set that he brings to the table. He has a lot of potential and you'll see him, if you watch the San Diego game specifically or the two-minute drive in the Kansas City game, drive that football team right down the field in a methodical fashion. We know what he can do."

On whether teams are being more careful this season when throwing towards CBs Sheldon Brown and Asante Samuel: "This year they are both having standout years. There are different challenges every week for those guys and I look forward to those two rising to the challenge moving forward like they have in the last couple of weeks. Specifically to answer your question, right now no."

On whether he feels the defense got enough pressure and enough sacks against the Buccaneers: "Never enough sacks. Pressure comes in a lot of different ways. When you blitz, we came up with three sacks last week yet there were quite a few times if you asked [QB] Josh Johnson if he was feeling that pressure in some way, shape or form and that caused turnovers at the same time. All three of those throws came off of pressure, all three of those interceptions. You're not always going to sack the quarterback, but affecting the quarterback in some way, shape or form is what we tend to do."

On S Quintin Mikell wearing the defensive communication system in his helmet: "We didn't experience any problems last week with it."

On whether Mikell will continue to wear the headset in his helmet moving forward: "We do right now. That is our plan moving forward right now."

On using a rotation on the defensive line and how he balances the playing time: "It is a work in progress. To your point, I think there is – anytime you use multiple personnel there are substitution issues that you need to be aware of, making sure you have 11 and not 10 or 12 or 15 on the field at one time. I think it gives ownership and makes each player accountable. They come in that meeting room and they are not sitting there staring at the film thinking, 'well I have no shot a playing.' If you are active we are going to look to use you."

On S Macho Harris' play so far this season: "I see him on schedule. Macho had some plays where they attacked him and he'd be the first to tell you that he looks forward to rising to that challenge this week. That's what he brings to the table. He is a mentally tough individual and I love that about him. That's what we want on this defense. He's working hard right now to continue to improve each and every week."

On the unnecessary roughness penalty that was called against Harris:"Any time we have a penalty on defense, that's a concern of mine, number one. Any time you have penalties the first thing that comes to mind is discipline. That's something that we have to make sure of, that we are moving forward as a disciplined football team. On the other side of that we don't want to take away from our aggressiveness. I will never question a player's instincts or his aggressiveness. "

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