Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott

On the fact that LB Jeremiah Trotter played more than usual last game and whether that will continue: "He's worked extremely hard to get himself back into shape where he can play and play well. I think it's important that we manage our expectations with Jeremiah. With the point that he's at in his career, that we have a good blend between [LB] Joe [Mays] and Trotter at the same time."

On how DT Antonio Dixon is progressing and how comfortable he is with him in the lineup: "Very comfortable. He's come in and done a nice job for us. In our three and four-man rotation at the tackle position, he gives us a nice changeup with that big body that he has. You guys saw him block the kick the other night, which was a huge play for us. So, he works extremely hard, is great to have around and does a good job for us."

On how LB Will Witherspoon has been playing at WILL linebacker and how hard it is to learn two new positions after being here for such a short time: "It's been very challenging, it would be challenging for anyone. Will's worked hard as well to get himself to learn two positions in a short amount of time. I think he's been with us four or five weeks, give or take, and he's done a good job. He's been very productive and playing that outside position, he gives us some speed off the edge as a blitzer and can play in space and cover tight ends fairly well."

On whether he is expecting LB Akeem Jordan and CB Asante Samuel to practice today: "I don't know that, I think we're on a wait-and-see approach today and then on a day-to-day basis as the week goes."

On what he sees out of Redskins RB Rock Cartwright considering he hasn't started a game in several years: "When you talk about the Washington Redskins, I think over the course of the last maybe five, six, seven years, they always have a good running back. You go back to [former RB John] Riggins and so on and so forth. But, they always have one, if not two or three good running backs and I would put Cartwright in that same mold of quality running backs.

"I think we've faced them over the years with or without [RB Clinton] Portis and then [RB] Ladell Betts has stepped in and hurt us. So, this is a team that has a very formidable running game and the second and third running backs that come in are just as capable in my mind, and bring the same things to the table. He's a guy that runs hard and to me, has worked for everything that he's got in this league so far. I have a lot of respect for the way he plays the game."

On whether he thinks he will have the same groupings at linebacker as last week or whether he expects Jordan to play: "As I said before, we would love to have Akeem back and I would love to have him back today, if not this weekend. But really, he's working hard to get back and we're still on a day-to-day approach with Akeem."

On whether Jordan could play the whole game if he does come back this week:"We'd have to manage that of course, being that it would be his first game back. So, whatever we would be able to get out of Akeem we would take at this point."

On how much of a loss it is for the Redskins to be without TE Chris Cooley: "He's a Pro Bowl football player and he brings a lot to the table at the tight end position. But really, I think what they've done a good job with, their coaching staff, [head] Coach [Jim] Zorn and [offensive consultant] Coach [Sherm] Lewis, is they've become more of a balanced offense without Chris Cooley at that position. How they're using [FB Mike] Sellers, they give you regular personnel with two running backs in the game, Sellers being the fullback, and line up in a one-back set, which creates mismatches at times."

On how S Macho Harris played at nickel cornerback against the Bears and whether he will stay there until CB Joselio Hanson comes back:"He will, he did a nice job, he's a very instinctive football player. It's important that the matchups in the slot are the way we want them to be and Macho gives us some things off the edge from a blitzing standpoint. And then he's physical too, dropping down from that safety position. So, he made some nice plays on the rocket screens, as we call them, the wide receiver screens early in the game, which was important for us."

On whether he can envision Harris playing cornerback one day:"Possibly, he's a guy that offers you that versatility to play any of the three positions really. So, he's got good feet to play inside and quickness, yet he's physical enough to play up top or in the slot. So, he's a guy we can move around and he offers us some flexibility on the defensive side."

On whether DE Trent Cole is playing at an even higher level than he normally does this season: "He's always going to give you 110 percent and it's tough to block the guy with one [guy]. Very rarely do you see an offensive lineman or a tight end block one-on-one and keep Trent from getting to the football. And so, he's seeing a lot of double-teams now, to your point, and he just gives such great effort and plays with such tenacity that he's a hard guy to keep down."

On whether they are closer to finding an identity on defense now considering all the mixing and matching that has been going on due to injuries: "I think our identity is always – who we want to be is an aggressive, nasty football team on defense. That's who we are regardless of who takes those positions.

"In terms of the roles that different people play in the personnel that we have, that's a mix-and-match deal every week and it's been that way for most of the season. We'll just use the personnel that we have at our disposal, as I've said before. This is not a very fancy answer to your question, but with all due respect we are just going to use the resources we have and go out and win a football game."

On whether he thinks they got enough pressure on Bears QB Jay Cutler last week despite only having one sack:"Pressure comes in a lot of different ways, as you know. The ball was coming out. Jay Cutler was a quarterback that wanted to get the ball out before he got hit and even though we blitzed him the ball was coming out. And so, sometimes not hitting him gets the ball out and then we get off the field. I think on third down they were 3-16, whatever they were, our success ratio on third down was where we needed it to be.

"Blitzes and the effectiveness of blitzes doesn't mean you're always hitting the quarterback, but if the ball is coming out and the tackling is before the first down, that to us is a success."

On how Mays looked against the Bears after watching the tape: "He did pretty much as we expected him to do. First-time starter, he rallied, made some plays. The number one thing Joe did is he got us lined up and as a middle linebacker and the quarterback of the defense, when you're in that position you have to get us lined up and he did a good job of that.

"In addition to that, he made some plays where he was flying to the football, which was good to see as a natural linebacker. I think any player in their first start very rarely comes out of a game and doesn't experience some plays that they'd like to have back, and that's why I say Joe was coming off that first start."

On why the Redskins are having such difficulty putting points on the board: "I think what it takes to execute on a consistent basis in this league, to drive the ball from the minus-20 to the other side of the field, is all about execution and consistent execution and that's hard to come by right now, it seems like, for the Redskins.

"So, that to me is where – if I was to find something – just the consistent execution, down-in and down-out. But, at the same time I think from my standpoint they're possibly more dangerous now offensively because of the different personnel groups they're using. They've gotten four wide receivers on the field. Because of Cooley being out, they're not as possibly reliant just on one guy, if you will."

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