Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Browns: Eagles Defense

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Eagles DT Fletcher Cox On opening the season with a victory:

 "It felt good just going out and getting that first win, especially in the home opener. We wanted to go all out and get this win for [head coach] Doug [Pederson], for the team, basically for the whole organization."

 On the play of the defense:

 "I think we played pretty well. There's always room for improvement, but we created turnovers and we got after the quarterback late in the game when we needed it. I think we played pretty well."

On the defense responding after surrendering some big plays early in the game:

* *"We knew that they hit a couple of big plays on us. We just had to calm down and play the next play because if you dwell on the previous play, the play before comes back to hurt you again. Everyone did a great job of sticking together, not pointing fingers, and staying together as a whole defense."

 On whether the defense can build on some of the positives from today's win:

 "We always can build off of stuff. They did a lot of seven-man protection, but we knew at some point that somebody was going to get home. It just started rolling when [Cleveland] got behind in the game and they had to get guys out in routes. That's when our pass rush got there."

  On the play of rookie QB Carson Wentz:

 "I think he played with a lot of energy. I said earlier in the week that there is just something about that kid. I think he's going to be real special in terms of how he handles things and plays with poise. He just lived in the moment this week."

On whether the defense felt more confident after Wentz led the offense to a touchdown on the game's opening drive:

 "It's always good when your offense gets the ball on the first drive and scores. It gets them going and it gets everyone on defense fired up to get a stop, get the ball back to the offense, and let them go again."

 On the team's first victory under new head coach Doug Pederson:

 "We talked about it all week – believing in each other and believing in the team. I don't think anybody outside believed in us in terms of starting a rookie quarterback and whatever. We all know what we're capable of as a team. We just have to go out and play week in and week out and take it one day at a time in practice."

  Eagles DE Connor Barwin

 On holding the Browns to a field goal after their big play to open the second half:

 "Yeah, I thought that was huge. They could have gained a lot of momentum on that play if they would have scored. We held them to a field goal, and that kind of shuts it down there. Their offense went out and played great the second half."

  On QB Carson Wentz:

 "He was impressive. It is hard for any rookie at any position to come in in this league and play right away. The quarterback position is, without a doubt, the hardest position to play in this league, and he came out in his first game in the NFL and played great from start to finish. He showed a lot of poise and leadership and made a lot of great decisions." 

  On the defensive effort as a whole:

 "Whenever you only let up ten points that is pretty good. I think [the Browns] had less than 250 yards before that last drive when they ran for 50 yards just running the clock out. We have things we need to work on. Obviously, our offense helped us a lot. When the lead opened up a little bit in the second half, that helped us get pressure in the second half, so we are all working together. For the most part, it was a good start, but we will look at the film and I am sure there are a lot of things to correct."    

 On blitzing:

 "I would ask our Defensive Coordinator [Jim Schwartz], but I am pretty sure he does not like to blitz that much. I think it is going to be on us four up front to create pressure. And again, in the first half on the play actions where they kind of blocked it up and chucked it down field, we have to be better there. In the second we made adjustments and got a little better pressure."

 On preparation with pre-snap formation changes and trickery:

 "Yeah, that just speaks to Jim Schwartz and all of our coaches. We know [Browns Head Coach] Hue Jackson is trying to do that. He did that in Cincinnati, and he has the personnel to do that in Cleveland, especially with [Robert Griffin III]. We were locked in. [LB] Jordan Hicks did a great job running it and they went away from all of that after they tried it once or twice."

  Eagles DE Brandon Graham

 On how it feels to get a win:

 "It's always hard to get that first one. I'm just happy we went out there and took care of business today."

 On what he thinks about how the defense played overall today and getting the pressure on Browns QB Robert Griffin III:

 "They just game-planned us real good in the beginning. We gave them a couple big plays, especially a couple passes and stuff like that. We should have been there. Overall, I think we hung in there, we stayed strong, and we never wavered. I think we can only get better from there. "

  On how big it was for the defense to stop momentum during the game:

 "It was big because it didn't put a lot of pressure on [QB] Carson [Wentz] this game, too. He was able to chill because we were up most of the game. I think it was good that we put him in great situations. The biggest thing for us was getting off the field and I think we did that a whole lot, especially in the second half."

  On what he thought about Wentz this game:

 "I think he did good. I think he handled himself well. I think when the blitzes came he hung in there and took a couple hits that a lot of elite quarterbacks do. I just like what I see. I'm just happy that he's going to get better each week. That's that preparation. He's been here every day at 5 o'clock. I see him because I'm usually the first one. Him and [QB] Chase [Daniel], I don't know how early they've been here before me because I'm here at 6 o'clock."

 Eagles LB Jordan Hicks

 On his pass deflection which led to an interception by Eagles S Rodney McLeod:

 "I felt play action and I felt the ball getting thrown right over my head so I put my hands up and got a tip.  Malcolm [Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins] tipped it and then Rodney got it.  We were out there playing good football, going after the ball and trying to get it."

 On how it felt to contribute on defense:

 "It feels good to be a part of that.  That's one down, we got a lot more weeks to go.  Focus on the next one"

  On how the defense adjusted in response to recent injuries:

 "We've been running nickel.  That's nothing for us. Jalen [Eagles CB Jalen Mills] is well capable; we saw it in the preseason, he's been playing well this whole time for us and we've got a lot of confidence in him."

  On Mills' hit on Browns QB Robert Griffin III:

 "Jalen's tough, he's a hard-nosed kid"

On containing Robert Griffin III:

 "I think we did a great job as a whole on defense.  I think the d-line was getting after him a lot, and that's attributed to great coverage downfield.  He's sitting there and trying to make his progression but a lot of his reads were gone and taken away.  He's used to making plays on his feet and our d-line was in the backfield by the time he was ready to do that."

  Eagles CB Jalen Mills

 On his tackle to stop Browns QB Robert Griffin III short of a first down:

 "As soon as I saw him get out of the pocket, the tight end got up on me and I shed the block on him.  Next thing I know he was right behind the blocker. "

 On whether he was aware of where the first down marker was:

 "Yeah we work on that every day in practice so that's kind of like secondhand to me."

  On his emotions playing in his first NFL game:

 "It was exciting, but for sure these guys I go against in practice prepared me.  [WR]Jordan [Matthews], [WR]Nelson [Agholor], [WR Josh]Huff  and our tight ends [Zach] Ertz and [Brent] Celek prepared me for that.  Once I got in I calmed myself down a little bit and played football."

 On whether he thought the Browns would target him right away:

 "Of course, [S] Rodney told me after that first series that they threw it at me a little bit.  He told me 'they're about to go after you now' so I got locked in and just started playing football."

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