Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Steelers: Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson

On what the difference was between today's game and last week's game: "I don't think there's any secret. We blitzed much more. They gave us some stuff that we had worked on a little bit. The guys just executed on defense, I thought a lot better than we did last week. Last week we just didn't do some things that we wanted to do, and this week we did, so sometimes it comes down to execution. But I did probably blitz more this week."

On why he blitzed more this week: "It's a funny thing sometimes. It comes down to protection, and if I know certain protection I might not do it against a certain type of protection. Today, we felt there were some things that we felt we could take advantage of, although they are a good offensive team, but it was just there, and our guys were aggressive and as long as you're aggressive, and the coverage was good. Last week the coverage wasn't good. So you have confidence when you blitz, the coverage was good (this week). Last week it wasn't. This week our coverage was excellent, and they executed the blitz."

On whether he was surprised that the Steelers came out throwing the ball: "No. I felt they would. We thought all week that they were going to try to. That's part of what they like to do. Big plays, get the ball downfield. I know they like to run (RB Willie) Parker, but we anticipated that a little bit, and we probably worked more on (defending) the passing game than the running game."

On why he lined up LB Stewart Bradley and LB Omar Gaither inside all game: "It was just part of that blitz package. Sometimes we're blitzing them, sometimes we're coming out of it, sometimes one guy is coming and one guy is backing out of it. It's just a combination of that particular package that's all."

On whether he felt the Eagles shutdown Steelers RB Willie Parker today: "Yeah, we did. We did a nice job. We felt going into this game that we had to set Parker, shut him down on the edges. As far as getting outside, we did a good job with that. And if we could do that, we knew that given the passing situation, we could put some pressure on him."

On how he blitzed Bradley more in today's game than usual: "He's a good blitzer. Like I said, last week it was a little bit different type thing, but against the Rams and that, we blitzed him quite a bit. It just happened to be one of those days where we just kept coming. It was one of those tight games. Like I said, our coverage was good. I had great confidence in our corners and ends and our safeties, so it lets you do things. We were able to cover well and still get good pressure."

On whether he felt DE Juqua Paker and the defense had a good game: "A lot of guys had a good game. He came off the edge well and did some good things as far as stunts and that, but a lot of our defensive line, they did a great job. Besides the blitzing they got some good pressure, too."

On whether he wished he would have used the blitz a bit more in the Dallas game: "Yeah, I do. I wish I would have done a little bit more. The game, the situation, and all of a sudden our coverage wasn't as good. So, I kind of laid off a little bit. But I said 'no', I'm going to challenge those guys to cover and we did a better job this week, so it's a combination."

On whether he thinks that pressure on the quarterback can be a momentum thing: "Sure. I think any quarterback feels that pressure. You lose a little bit of that confidence, timing of the routes, stuff like that. (Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger) is a strong quarterback. He's an excellent quarterback. He got out of a lot of trouble, but we felt that if we could get up in his face a little bit, especially the middle pressure, it really helped."

On what he thought of FS Brian Dawkins' leaping play: "I think it was a great play. That's the Dawkins we all know. Dawkins had a week like I did. He had as a good week as I had. He had a great week this week, and it was good to see him come back. He's a good football player."

On how much of an impact the frontline of the defense had in today's game: "They had a big part. Like I said, that kind of goes hand in hand with the pressure up front and the coverage. This week was a lot better in coverage, and the pressure was a lot better, too."

On whether he feels as if he's ahead of schedule with the defense: "I think the biggest thing I see is, I see the linebackers playing the run really well. Stewart Bradley, (LB) Chris (Gocong) and (LB) Omar (Gaither), all three of them are playing the run really well, and our frontline is holding up pretty good."

On how much confidence he had in the fourth quarter: "After we got that field goal, a lot of confidence. I felt good. Like I said, I don't want to be redundant but I just felt we were covering guys well. We were challenging receivers, our pressure was good, and so I felt good."

On whether he and head coach Andy Reid made a joint decision to be a little bit more conservative: "No. Andy's not a conservative guy. He's going to be aggressive. I do my job and I know he's going to be aggressive when he can. And today, we just had a good situation, so he probably got a little more conservative. He's usually very aggressive."

On whether Bradley's play stood out to him today: "I think so, yeah. I'm going to watch the tape. His pressure up the middle was good. His run defense was good. I think he did a good job."

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