Philadelphia Eagles News

SS Quintin Mikell

On the defense's inability to get off of the field on third downs recently late in games: "It's been a big concern, but you can't really dwell on the past. I think the thing that we always have to keep coming back to is that we're hurting ourselves a lot in certain situations. We just have to be more disciplined. It's something we can fix so we have to keep everything in perspective there."

On whether the defense's problems the past two games have been a matter of discipline or execution: "When you look at it it's been happening off and on all year, it's just against better teams it comes into play because they take advantage. It's fine because we've been getting better and better each and every week with that, but the teams have gotten better and better that we've played. We're getting better but we have to get better quicker."

On the changes in the secondary leading to changes in his responsibilities: "It does change a little bit because, being an older guy, I have to line people up and different things like that. I think we got that one game out of the way where I think now everyone is more comfortable with their position. Everyone has had a week to practice everywhere they need to be and I think going forward it shouldn't be a problem."

On whether there is a particular urgency for this game: "This is our Super Bowl right now. It's a must-win for us. We can't go into this game thinking maybe/maybe not we still have a chance because you never know. Our mindset right now is that this is the biggest game of the year for us and we need this win. I think everyone is treating it that way. I'm sure Chicago is treating it that way. It's going to be a big game."

On whether he is hesitant to put a must-win label on this game given what happened at the end of last year's season: "Last year was last year. I think what happened last year by us even getting into the playoffs was a miracle. We don't really want to count on miracles too much, at least that's the way I feel, and I'm sure a lot of the guys in the locker room feel the same way. We have to win this game."

On why there has been a decline in takeaways by the defense in the last couple of games: "They always come in bunches and I think teams started to say, 'Look, these guys are starting to get a lot of turnovers.' So they started to pay attention to what teams were doing against us. Game plans changed on us. Teams came out and did some different things and now we have to adjust and change the things that we do. I think we had a little bit of a hangover there, but from here on out we'll be able to fix those problems and get some more turnovers."

On whether the offensive coaches will ever ask him or any of the other defensive leaders to go into the film room with the offense and look at short-yardage and red zone plays and ask from a defensive perspective what they might be doing wrong: "No, I've never been asked that. Maybe that's a good idea, but our coaches, I'm sure that they know more about what's going on the offensive side than I do. I don't really know much about the offense."

On whether he thinks it is the responsibility of the original starters to step up and make plays now that there are many new faces on defense: "Guys that have been here, we have to step our game up. That's everyone, our front four, (CB) Asante (Samuel), me, guys that have been here, we all have to step our game up even more because whenever your guys aren't there that are supposed to be there we have to make up for it. (I'm) not saying that the guys stepping in aren't any good or as good as the guys we had, but our mindset has to change like, 'look, it's got to be me' and that's how it has to be every play, it has to be me to make that big play. I think that if we go into it like that we should be fine."

On whether he felt like the team was moving in the right direction when they were 5-2 after beating the Giants: "Yeah, but it's like that every season. You have ups and downs and right there we were riding high, everybody was feeling good about themselves, everybody was getting pats on the back and teams were looking at us and they (saw) us on top so they fought even harder to beat us. Now we're in a position that's the complete opposite of where we were before, so we have to become the hunter again and hopefully keep that mentality when we're up there. I think as a team we're learning through this little rough spot that we're going through that you have to keep doing what you do when you're losing."

On the effectiveness of the blitz:"I don't think it's so much who is in there when we blitz; I think it's more situations. If we have a team in the right situation on third-down or first-down or second-down we're going to come after them. It's not necessarily who's in there, our schemes are pretty good, they're a little more difficult than most teams, but our guys are all smart and they can pick it up so I don't think it's a problem here."

On the defensive line needing to step up: "I always say that our d-line, that's our best friend. As fresh as they can be, whatever they can do to get some pressure on the quarterback, that's big for us. I'm glad that everybody is healthy down there, knock on wood, we need to make sure everybody stays healthy and keeps getting after the quarterback."

On the defensive line's effectiveness being the key to the defense's success: "Absolutely. Everything starts with them. If they're not playing well we're not playing well. It starts up front and they know that. We need those guys. They come ready to play every week."

On whether a team can ever use injuries as an excuse: "Not in my opinion you can't. The way that I came up, if there's an injury in front of you that's the only chance you're going to get to play. You need to show what you've got. Those guys stepping in, they need to say, 'Look this is my time to show what I've got. This is my time to make a name for myself.' It shouldn't be an excuse. It should be exactly the way it should be, whether the starters are there or not. You have to have that mentality and there shouldn't be a drop off. No it's not an excuse."

On whether he sees a difference between this year's team and last year's team even though last year's team was also 5-4: "Yeah I think so. I think this team has not reached its potential nearly. The game that we played closest to everyone playing four quarters was the Giants game, but really that's only been one game this year. I think once we stop getting in our own way we should do some good things around here, but we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. That happens with a young team and we just have to work through those things."

On whether it is dangerous for individual players to try to do too much: "Absolutely. I think I went through that earlier in the season, trying to do too much or trying to talk too much or looking to make sure everybody is on the right page. My coaches said look just worry about yourself and control what you can and that's what I went back to and I think it's helped. I think if everybody has the mentality of making the play but not trying to do someone else's job (then) we should be fine there."

On whether he felt like he had to do too much at the beginning of the season because of S Brian Dawkins' departure: "Yeah, everybody with Dawk being gone (asked), 'Are you going to step in and do this or do that?" Me, being the kind of person that I am, I want to win no matter what so I'm going to try and help in any way I can, but it was actually counterproductive."

On trying to do too much being counterproductive because it wasn't him:"No it's not that, it's just if you're on the field and you're supposed to be doing one thing, but you're trying to make sure everyone is doing something else then you can kind of get sidetracked on your own responsibilities."

On why the Eagles seem to have ups and downs throughout the season but find their way out of it: "I have no idea. Seriously, it feels like it's the same thing every year. I don't know. I don't have a good answer for you, but hopefully we'll get out of this little tailspin."

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