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Philadelphia Eagles News

SS Quintin Mikell

On how it feels to be at the podium: "It's definitely new territory for me. I might seem a little nervous up here, but it's fun. I like it."

On what he's seen from the other safeties so far: "I've seen a lot of good plays and they're picking the defense up as they go along. The thing that I am liking the most is that they are playing aggressive and they are not scared to make mistakes. That's what you have to do in this defense, is go out there and not be afraid of anything. I'm appreciating that."

On the strengths of the other safeties: "First of all, Sean [Jones] is playing strong safety and Q [Quintin Demps] is playing free [safety], and then [Rashad] Baker is playing the other free. Right now I think the difference is kind of based on the scheme. You see Q making a lot more plays in the open field and you see Sean making a lot more plays close to the tight ends and on receivers, making tackles. In their own right they are both making a lot of plays and doing what they need to do."

On the defensive leadership:"I think the main thing that we have to realize is that we have a lot of starters coming back. I think the whole leadership thing will work itself out. Obviously we have a lot of guys that can step up. I can step up if something needs to be said. Or we have guys like [LB] Omar [Gaither], vocal guys, but I think the main thing that we need to all realize is that we have a lot of guys coming back that have been there before and know what it takes to get there. With that, you are always in a good position. I don't see there being a problem with that."

On whether he has taken on more of a leadership role this year: "I've always kind of been like that. I guess now it's probably being paid more attention to because Dawk's [S Brian Dawkins] not around. I've always looked at myself like a teacher. I've been through a lot and I've learned a lot over these years. I have a lot of knowledge and I can help some of the young guys out, so if I see something I'm not afraid to just step up and say what needs to be said to help out."

On whether he could have done the same thing two years ago when he was becoming a starter: "It depends. If it was special teams practice and I said something to the special teams then yes, but two years ago coming in I was still learning the defense. I was teaching some of the guys behind me but it wasn't to the level where it is now where I can talk to the guys that are starters and they will listen to me as well. I do feel like that growth has been because I've started and I've done things in the league."

On rookie RB LeSean McCoy's blocking ability: "He's pretty good. I don't know who had the knock on him about that but he's looked pretty good so far. Once he gets his hands on you he's pretty tough. He's gotten me a couple of times and I've seen him, he's doing some good things. It's different in practice than it is in a game but if he keeps working at it he's going to be pretty good."

On finding a balance between being consistent and still learning things:"The main thing with consistency is not blowing coverages, always knowing where I am supposed to be. The things that I am learning now are when I can play with my eyes on the quarterback, when can I cheat coverages and stuff like that. Those are the type of things that I am learning because coming up I always had to make sure I was in the right spot, right spot, right spot. Well, now I know, 'Ok I'm in the right spot. Can I cheat this, cheat that.' Those are the things I'm learning."

On LB Joe Mays:"I'm liking what I've been seeing. He's a young guy but he's hungry. He's a thumper. He gets in there and he's not afraid to throw his hat in there. That's something I like in our middle linebackers. Losing Stew [LB Stewart Bradley] is going to be tough but I think we have guys that are ready to step up and that's a good thing."

On having different MIKE linebackers for different defenses and whether that is difficult to adjust to: "Last year was really the only year that we had Stew where he [played every down]. Before that we had Trot [LB Jeremiah Trotter] and he would be in on the first few plays and then OG [Gaither] would come in, in the nickel. We've been in that territory too, so I don't think that's going to be a big problem. The thing that we do well is that we have a lot of guys that can move around and play different spots and we don't really lose a beat there. I think we'll be fine."

On whether he will wear the coach-to-defensive-player communication headset: "I haven't heard anything about that yet. I practiced with it last year. Actually, I loved it, so I would like to do that but in our defense the MIKE makes all the calls. We'll have to figure that out as we go."

On whether it has been a bad camp for the team:"We'll see when the season starts. There's no doubt about it, we've had some things going on and we've had distractions but if you see what happens on the field, we pretty much block it out. We go out there and we just go out there and have fun. We've got some guys down [with injuries]. We've had stuff with Jim [Johnson] and legal issues but I think we have guys that know what it takes to win. We've been there before and as long as we remember what we're here for we should be fine once the season starts."

On what will go through his mind during Jim Johnson's memorial on Friday: "Tomorrow is going to be a tough day. I guess it's going to be kind of like the final – because we didn't get a chance to really grieve when he passed and then we had to get ready for camp. That was pretty tough and I think tomorrow is going to be tough. A lot of it is going to come out that we have been holding inside and it's going to be tough, but it's necessary."

On whether he embraces his increased responsibility or sees it as a burden: "No it's not a burden. I enjoy it. This is where I've always wanted to be. I never necessarily thought that it would happen. I've always strived to be the best I could be and being in the seat that Dawk sat in, in my opinion that's the best position you can be in. I'm proud to follow him and try to fill his foot steps. I've got big shoes to fill but I'm excited for the challenge and I think I'm ready."

On the amount he learned from Dawkins about the media aspect of this job: "I learned a lot especially over the last couple years. Dawk was always even keeled. Sometimes people would get down about certain things and he never showed that kind of stuff. He always had good answers; he was just perfect at it. So, I learned a lot about that from him: how to control yourself, how to represent yourself and your family, and I appreciate that."

On whether the path he has taken with the team helps him be a leader:"I think I've earned the respect of the guys on the team because they know I'm blue collar. I came up the long way, nothing was given to me, and I'm working my butt off to get where I am. I think that's something that really matters to the guys on this team. They know that they're going to be in the trenches with me, I'm going to be in the trenches with them, and we're going to do whatever we've got to do together. They know I have their back. So, I think that's definitely a big part of it."

On whether it will be nice to return back to Philadelphia: "Absolutely. We've spent so much time at meetings and those small rooms almost look like being in prison. Once you get home and into your own space and your family and all that stuff you feel like you're okay now. Here it's like, once you get out, it's like getting out for summer break in school. I think once we get back home it will be a lot easier to focus."

On whether the team spoke last night about fighting through camp fatigue and refocusing in practice: "Yeah. No doubt about it that was a tough one yesterday. I was feeling it yesterday. We had a long practice in the morning and that's what you've got to do, you've got to bounce back and you've got to fight through those things. Those are the situations where we've got to dig deep. I think having that sloppy practice taught us that nobody is going to feel sorry for us where we're tired and we've just got to go out there and do it. That's one of the learning lessons that we had yesterday."

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