Philadelphia Eagles News

Jim Schwartz Wants Results; Doesn't Care About Participation Trophies

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During last season's matchups, the Redskins' offense accounted for 27 points in each of the two contests. Although the Eagles ranked top 10 in turnovers – tied for ninth in both fumbles and interceptions – those statistics have little relevance for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

"I don't want to split hairs or whatever but the stat that we care about the most is points allowed. I think we were (ranked) 12 in there. That's still not as good as we can be," Schwartz said. "On paper, we're better. We have not only added depth but we've added some key components to the defense. It's our jobs as coaches, our jobs as players to be productive.

"When it's all said and done after 17 weeks plus, hopefully more, I think if we can say that we minimized points allowed and we also gave our offense a chance we'll have been successful. Any other ranking really doesn't matter to us."

On a day the Eagles' players had off, here's what else Schwartz spoke about Tuesday morning:

• On matching up with the Redskins:

"It always comes down to the same things: stop the run, no big plays," Schwartz said. "A couple of guys gave us some trouble last year particularly Pierre Garçon made some key catches in both games so I'm not sorry to see him gone. DeSean (Jackson) the same way. They've replaced those guys and moved up draft picks, things like that but I'm not going to be disappointed not to see those guys on the field."

• On the playmaking ability of Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins:

"It's about winning and he threw for almost 5,000 yards last year. Threw twice as many touchdowns as interceptions. Quarterbacks, like coaches, are ultimately judged on wins and I think just in this small microcosm he was 2-0 against us. So that certainly has our respect," Schwartz said.

"He also made a couple big plays with his feet in both of those games. He's sort of sneaky that way and I think if you ask around the league they wouldn't put him up there with some of the classic scrambling quarterbacks, but that's also something that we're going to have to be on guard for because he did make a couple of key first downs with his feet in those games."

• On depth at the defensive end:

"You mentioned four defensive ends, I'll take that further with five. I think Steven Means is a quality player. Active or not on a weekly basis I know this much, he'll be ready when his opportunity comes. Maybe it'll be because of an injury. Maybe it'll be because somebody's not producing as much as they should, but I think Steven Means is also a quality guy. I like a five-man group up there," the defensive coordinator said.

"I think Vinny Curry also had an outstanding Training Camp. He was very good against the run and pass. He was as productive as I've seen him. He was not on the ground as much as he's been. I think he's a much improved player."

• On the development of first-round pick defensive end Derek Barnett:

"I don't worry about his confidence. I mean he's a first-round draft pick. When you've got to stand up on that stage and hold a No. 1 jersey, if you're lacking for confidence, you're probably the wrong guy. (He) went against JP (Jason Peters) all the time in Training Camp. That's some baptism by fire, too. We threw him out there a bunch and you guys widely reported him against Lane Johnson at times," Schwartz said.

"I don't worry about his psyche, but over the course of the season we do want to try and keep him fresh and keep him on the field and I think that's an important goal of ours as well. Being productive."

• On the play of the secondary:

"I like where we are. I think, and I've told you before, I think that Jalen Mills is one of the most improved players on our team. He's really settled into the outside corner spot. Played the deep ball really well. You know he's that quintessential take-a-big-jump-the-second-year guy. At least he has been so far," he said.

"We're judging Training Camp and preseason games. Obviously, the proof is in the pudding over the course of the season. Add veteran guys in like Patrick Robinson and Corey Graham, both of those guys have some multidimensional skills, can play inside and play outside. Corey gives us a lot of confidence to be able to move Malcolm (Jenkins) down to nickel at times. There's a lot of different ways we can play.

"We'll probably have six different personnel packages that we can play in this game, which is a little bit more than we carried last year. And I think a lot of it has to do with some of the flexibility the guys have in the secondary."

• On feeling more weight on his shoulders in Year 2:

"There's always pressure. That goes along with this job. If you don't accept pressure, you're in the wrong business. Please don't put on my résumé that I elevated this to a top 15 (defense). That's a participation trophy in my mind," Schwartz said.

"We have to give our team consistently the best chance to win the game and the best way we can do that is points allowed. There are two things - first is don't allow very many points, and number two is set the offense up to score. That's one thing that we were very good at last year."

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