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Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles

On whether he has been able to put his stamp on the defense the past few weeks: "You can't change a lot of things overnight. A lot of guys are used to doing a lot of things at midseason (and) you kind of have to go with some of the things and gradually grow as you go, and that's been the case the past two weeks."

On whether it has felt good to see the defense executing more effectively: "It's good to see them execute and getting better. We still have a ways to go but they are getting better and showing positive reinforcement."

On why S Kurt Coleman will be starting ahead of S Nate Allen: "Kurt, right now, is more vocal. And we talked to Nate. Nate needs to be a little bit more vocal, a little bit more decisive and at the time we think Kurt is the best way to go. Kurt and (S) Colt (Anderson). Colt has been playing well and really didn't want to sit Kurt down. It was a tough choice. Nate is going to play but Kurt going into the game, probably from an experience factor (and) knowledge factor, is just a little bit ahead of him."

On what has impressed him about Anderson's play in the defense: "He has savvy, he has instinct and he knows how to play the game. His biggest strength is knowing his weaknesses and playing off of that. He's just been a pleasant surprise the past two weeks."

On whether it is difficult to bench a previous high-round draft pick for someone who went undrafted: "As a coach you just try to play the best player."

On the play of DE Brandon Graham and DT Fletcher Cox the past two games: "They've picked it up lately. Their work habits and their practice habits have gotten a lot better. They've taken accountability and they're really trying to learn from the older guys. (DT) Cullen (Jenkins) is teaching them a lot, (DE) Trent (Cole) is teaching them a lot, and (defensive line coach Tommy) Brasher is teaching them a lot and they learned a lot from (Jim) Washburn, so it is really just starting to come together for them."

On whether he is frustrated with the interception drought still plaguing the defense: "I wish we could just get about 20 of them but that doesn't happen like that. You try and you fight for the ball every time and you just keep going for the ball and hopefully it bounces your way. You work at it, you do drills at it, the guys are aware of it, I'm aware of it, everybody else is aware of it, (and) you just have to make it happen and keep plugging (away)."

On whether the defense is cursed because they are not coming up with interceptions even when it seems they are tailor made: "No, it's not a curse. You just shake your head sometimes but you've got to keep plugging at it. (CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) went for the ball, he made a good play and he missed it. He'll come back and hopefully he'll get it this week."

On whether guys are in the correct position to intercept passes: "Yes."

On how the changes on the defensive line have helped the secondary: "I think we're mixing some things up a little more. There are times when we're helping up front and times we're helping in the back. Just having a good mix overall kind of helps the coverage and then (it's) freeing those guys up a little bit up front too."

On whether he had a good feeling against the Bengals because of the positive plays made in the first half of the game: "If it was still the first half right now, I'd have a good feeling (joking)."

On whether the team is preparing for QB Robert Griffin III to start on Sunday: "Yeah, he's practicing hard and we've got to prepare for both (Griffin and QB Kirk Cousins). Both guys are playing well. They're playing well as a team so we just have to make sure we're on top of our assignments."

On whether the team has a blueprint of how to attack Griffin now that they have played him once: "We'll only be able to answer that after the game. I don't feel like it's a blueprint or non-blueprint, I think we're prepared. We're going into play and we just have to play well."

On how much different the defense is playing since seeing Griffin a few weeks ago: "We were in position then, we just have to make some plays. We gave up some plays then that they made. Give them credit, they made some good plays. Hopefully over trial and error the past few weeks we've gotten a little bit older, a little bit smarter, play a little bit wiser, and play a little bit harder. Hopefully this time around we put up a better fight (against) him."

On why rookie quarterbacks have been so successful the past few seasons: "I can't say it's solely the quarterbacks. Some of them have good defenses, some of them have good teams built around them and a lot of them have good coaches built around them, and try not to beat themselves and try to make them do what they can do. It's a combination of all those things. Some of them are lucky. Some of them are not as lucky. (QB Russell) Wilson and RGIII and (QB Andrew) Luck, those guys are doing well. There are some guys who aren't doing so well. (QB Ryan) Tannehill is having a good year too down in Miami. You can say (QB Nick) Foles is doing some good things but the wins aren't going to come for everybody. You're kind of juggling with that one so I really can't answer that one."

On whether there is a difference between rookie quarterbacks now and when he played in the NFL: "That was so long ago. It would be unfair to judge because their stats after that I can remember everything they've done. So I can't really see them as a rookie (as opposed to looking at their entire careers) but (Dan) Marino and all those guys of the world, you can't mess with those guys until it's down the line. I'd be lying if I tried to compare them right now."

On whether he wishes he was able to take over the defense and make changes earlier in the season: "No, as a football coach you go every week and every week is a different week. As a player you can't look back at the season until after the season. Things happen during the year that you have to adjust and adapt to and you just move forward."

On whether the defense would have improved sooner if he had taken over earlier: "If I knew the answer to that I'd be sitting here with a turban and a crystal ball (joking). I really couldn't tell you."

On the play of Jenkins this season: "Cullen has been solid. He's been nicked up a little bit early on and he's come on of late. He's been a great mentor to the younger guys. It doesn't show in the statistics every week but Cullen has been playing some good football. The best I've seen him play since I've been here. I haven't been here long but the past couple of weeks he's really been, from a technique standpoint and a quickness standpoint, he's been playing well."

On how he handles coaching when there is a lot of uncertainty about the future for the coaching staff and the players: "It's just being professional. We all have a job to do and we love doing (it). So make sure you come in and do the right thing and make sure you're always on top of your game and keep working."

On how he feels DE Vinny Curry is progressing: "Vinny is coming along. It is difficult when you change D-line coaches midseason so he has to learn another thing. That's a minor setback and I think he'll conquer that. I think he's going to be fine."

On whether Curry is only playing on rushing downs and not on passing downs: "He's out there by series. It goes by feel. If Trent and Brandon are tired then he gets to go in the game, or if they need a spell. It's not necessarily run downs. It's kind of a feel for the game. If they're getting double teamed a lot then you spell the guy and (the opposition) just happens to run the ball when he's in there. It's not necessarily run (or) pass downs."

On why LB Mychal Kendricks was moved to the WILL position after playing the SAM position the majority of the season: "As you would look at the film all year, (Mychal) was a little short over there on that side. His natural position is WILL where he can run. So we tried to take less thinking out of it and put him on the other side where he can play like he played in college."

On whether the coaches thought about moving Kendricks to the WILL sooner: "I don't know if everybody has been thinking about it over stages during the year but as you sit back (during) the bye week you look at some things and come out of it, you look at it more and more and you try to find ways to help him make plays. That WILL linebacker helped him a lot more."

On whether it was during the bye week that the coaches began to think about moving Kendricks: "No, we were looking at film during the bye week and then as the weeks went on after the bye week you could see more and more where things would benefit him on the other side."

On what LB Jamar Chaney has done to be reinserted back into the starting lineup: "He's a tough player. Initially when Mychal came in at the SAM linebacker spot, Mychal is quicker (and) moves around. Jamar was nicked up early in the year and he got hurt and sat out. (LB) Akeem (Jordan) took advantage of his chances to play WILL linebacker and he's a pretty stout run player himself. We had a couple good outside linebackers going (and) when Chaney got hurt it was easy to see how Mychal took over the spot. It just took Chaney a while to get back to see where he was practicing well and try to make room for him to play, and then to put Mychal at his natural spot just seemed like the right thing to do and smooth transition."

On whether moving Kendricks had to do with moving away from the wide-nine scheme: "No, the move had nothing to do with the wide nine. It was just that (Mychal) was a better WILL. At SAM you take much more of a pounding and a bigger guy needs to be at SAM as opposed to the WILL linebacker where you can run laterally a little more."

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