Philadelphia Eagles News

Eagles Locker Room: Defense/Special Teams


On whether the team was committed to a base defense early and whether he felt as though they needed to get away from that to be successful: "No, I mixed it up early on. A few of our big plays were a bit exotic, so we had to trust our training and our practices and know that they would settle down. That is what they did. I love the way we responded and I think that was the key to the game."

On whether he was happy with the defense's 3rd down performance: "It got much better. We put an emphasis on it and usually, what we focus on, we get better at. The guys did a great job of pressuring the quarterback, covering, playing together and adjusting to the different things they were giving us. It's early in the season, so teams give you new looks. I thought our guys did a great job of applying our rules and our tools."

On whether he saw that his players were fresher in the second half, due to rotating them throughout the game: "We had a lot of series. I think we had 15 we had to defend. Usually, you have about 11 or 12. I think they were fresh because they are in great shape and they train so hard."

On whether their two early passing touchdowns surprised him at all: "No, we just got beat. Hats off to them, they are NFL players and they made some nice plays. We weren't going in overconfident, we knew that they are a good team and it was going to take our best to beat them. Early on, we were in a hole and I love the way we dug ourselves out of that hole."

On whether he was happy with the pass rush: "I was. Our third downs were good, so were our red zones. But we knew that we had put an emphasis on it. Our guys responded, we put pressure on them and we got off the field on third down."

On whether the defense blitzed more than they typically do: "No, we blitzed more than we did in the preseason."


On what he thinks possibly made the team sharper on third downs today than in the preseason: "I think there was no difference in calls.  I think it was just the mentality.  You know its third down, we have to get off of the field.  You know we knew we had to make a play in that situation and it showed.  Guys stepped up and made the play.  That's just the difference."

On whether he and the defense feel they need to keep opponents to a certain point total when offense struggles: "Not a certain number, but we're trying to go out and get turnovers on our own and make a big play to spark our team.  That's kind of the mindset as a defense.  You don't want to give up too many and let it get out of hand.  So not a certain number, but just hold them."

On this possibly being a first to come back from a large deficit with this team: "We faced a lot of adversity the first half of this game.  But, one thing about it, we came in this locker room at half time and nobody booed.  Everybody knew what we had to do.  We knew we just had to go out and clean up our mistakes, relax and play confident football and we knew we'd come out on top."

On how significant the stops on third and short were: "It was big time.  Whenever you can get a stop and for them to miss a field goal, it's like a turnover for us.  It was great for our defense to step up and make plays and get our offense the ball back."

On whether he thinks about what this comeback could do for the team: "It's a game, it's the first one, and we're 1-0.  There's going to be some adversity that sets in at some point at every game that we play this season.  This doesn't give us a vote of confidence, because we know how our team plays and we just have to go out there and play our style of ball."


On his touchdown play: "To be honest, I should have fallen to the ground. But it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for a lineman to get a football and have open field. The right thing to do was to get down and let the offense take it."

On what he is going to do with the ball: "I am probably going to frame it."

On when was the last time he scored a touchdown: "High school, it was the same situation. I ran for about 50-yards though."


On what he felt worked on third downs that prevented Jacksonville from converting first downs: "We got them in a lot of 3rd and longs, we got them the one time on 3rd and 1 where they tried to run it up the middle and we stuffed it, early on which was good.  Their offensive line isn't the strong point of their team.  We didn't get a bunch of sacks but we had [QB Chad Henne] moving around.  They didn't actually go to a drop back pass game until the fourth quarter.  Because the whole first half was all bootlegs and all sprint outs because of their offensive line.  They knew they couldn't drop back and protect against us."

On whether they felt they needed to pitch a shutout in the second half to give the offense a chance: "I think we settled down in the second quarter.  We knew what they were doing, they weren't doing anything complicated we just had to lock in.  We knew if we all did our job we would be fine.  The shutout was nice in the second half and the sack fumble that the big fella [DE Fletcher Cox] took into the end zone was real nice."

On his thoughts about the acquisition of RB Darren Sproles: "I had to cover him a couple of times during the playoff game.  So I was just happy that I wouldn't have to do that again this year."

On where and when he felt the energy changed for the team this game: "I think it was the first score by Sproles and then even S Chris Maragos came down and made a great play on the kick off.  I think that really started it.  Maragos made a huge play, and then the touchdown were the two things that kind of sprung us.  So we never looked back after that."


On what's going through his head before his first NFL career kick: "Yeah, it was a big kick but like I said, I don't try to kick it any harder just because it's a little longer. I have hit that kick a million times in warm ups, so I know I had plenty of leg. I just aimed right through the uprights and put it through.

On whether he felt more pressure auditioning for a job in preseason or his first NFL attempt: "Honestly, just the same, same kicks every time. This game counts and the other game counted for me too, in making the team. I just want to keep getting better every week and keep winning."

On whether the pressure of hitting the two 50 yard field goals last week helped him this week: "I guess it can't hurt, I hit a 53 and a 54 yarder in that game so it gave me confidence for this game."


On why the first half went the way it did: "I think the first half we were a little too hyped and everybody was over playing stuff. We won't really know until we see the film, but I know we came together the in second half. DeMeco Ryans basically said we aren't having fun out there, let's come together as a team and we came together like a family. That was the greatest second half I have ever been a part of."

On whether he was prepared to balance both linebacker positions tonight: "Yeah, we have been working that all week and a little bit towards the end of camp. I'm excited; we had a lot of fun out there. I feel like I can get both jobs done. If Trent Cole goes down or we need a blow I can come in and fill that position well."

On what his favorite play of the game was: "When I got that big hit in the back field, it was one of those things where I had to make a big play in the game, but Trent Cole made the biggest play. My hat goes off to the Jacksonville Jaguars because they came in and they played well which made us play harder."

On the impact coming back from 17-0 has in the locker room: "It's good because when you're tested like that it's all about trust. Nobody in this locker room is going to give up on the team and we found that out today. It was a great test for us in the beginning of the year because we are definitely going to have adversity down the line."


On the character of the team to come back from behind and win the game: "Yeah, it was a great win for us to have and it actually opened our eyes. Mine in particular, I didn't play my best football, in the first quarter I let my teammates down, let the fans down, it was out of character. It came down to the golden rule of me not doing what I am supposed to do. I didn't handle my responsibility, I was trying to do too much and it came back and bit the team. I know what I have to do next time and be better for my teammates. It was a great win, it was a great job of us stopping those guys in the second quarter and not giving them too much."

On what changed in the secondary from first half to second half: "It just shows in particular the leadership, I think all the leaders understood that we were giving them everything they got. If we didn't have those mental errors then none of that would have happened. We knew that 17 points was a reasonable point for us to come back and win the game on. We understood that our offense is explosive so we knew if we gave them the ball as much as we could then we could be right back in the game. I don't think anybody had a question or doubt in their heart."

On Darren Sproles' role in sparking the team: "He uplifted everyone. It was great to see an investment come back with a great return. I talked to him after the game and he is a great guy to have on our side. He is a great weapon and a great asset to us and we are going to have a great year."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.