Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Jets: Eagles Defensive Players

DE Jerome McDougle

On playing with great energy this preseason: "Through my relationship with Jesus Christ, I really stopped worrying about a lot of things. A lot of times, a lot of the young players in the league are real tentative. They worry about messing up. They put a lot of pressure on their shoulders, and it's hard for them not to do that. People expect so much out of you, but it's good if you can just turn it over to God and just go out there and play. Take everything else out of it. It's football. You grow up playing it your whole life and it's supposed to be fun. It's not supposed to be like eating dirt. Sometimes when you put a lot of pressure on yourself, you take the fun out of it. I pretty much just went back to basics, going out there to play and not worry about everything."

On what he would say to the fans who wonder where the energy he showed this preseason was in the past: "I love the fans here. They supported me through everything. Philadelphia is just one of those cities that if they are for you, they are for you. For me, it was personal, just going out there and trying to get better, just laying it all out. I just wanted to put it all out on the line."

DE Bryan Smith

On whether he thinks his play tonight was good enough to make the team: "Yes, I think I did what I had to do to make the team. I feel like I did what they expected me to do tonight. I just tried to go out and play."

On whether he played with reckless abandon: "I just went out there and played. The coaches wanted us to read the run and blitz, so we just played. We just went out there, took a man, and turned him. That's the way we have to play."

On whether the number of defensive ends and rookies affects him: "Not really. I just go out there and play. The coaches know what to do and I know it's my responsibility to go out and play."

On his run and pass stopping abilities improving: "I think the transition of my pass rushing from college needs to get a little better in order to pass rush in the NFL. The tackles are a lot better in the NFL than they are in college so I need to continue to improve and get better."

LB Joe Mays

On whether he thinks he did what he can to make the team: "I think I've done what I can to make the team. I think I came out and did what they wanted. I showed them I can play football; that I can do whatever it takes. So I'm just waiting to see if I make the team."

On using college ball to help him in the NFL and on the Eagles: "Yea, well, in college we ran a scheme similar to what [defensive coordinator] Jim Johnson has here. I just carried it over, some of the verbiage that we used to try to connect it to the things that we're trying to do here. I'm just glad that I was able to use what I learned in college to help me out here."

On his being surprised at his solid play: "No, I wasn't surprised. You know, you get so many reps in practice to the point where you remember naturally, so I wasn't surprised at all. The more reps I got, the more comfortable I got, so I just went out there and tried to make plays once I was out there."

LB Omar Gaither

On LB Joe Mays' play tonight: "Joe was out there making plays tonight. You know, once he gets his hands on you, you know you're going down. He had a great game tonight. I think he had 50 tackles or something tonight. You know, he had a good game. He did what he was supposed to do when he was given an opportunity."

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