Philadelphia Eagles News

SS Quintin Mikell

On the challenge facing the defense given all the injuries they have suffered: "It's a big challenge for us as a whole, because whenever you don't have your normal starters or normal guys that are in that position it can hurt you. We've been fortunate over the years to have guys that are smart, that can play ball and just come in and be hungry and want to make plays. I think we have that this year. The guys that are backups, they have to be on point just as much as the starters, if not more than the starters, just for this kind of situation. I think if [CB] Dimitri [Patterson] and the new guy [CB] Ramzee Robinson, the new guys that we bring in, if they're ready to go they have to show that right now."

On whether defending the Chargers TE Antonio Gates is as important as it's been this week: "Antonio Gates, he's the best tight end in the game. We have to definitely be on point. Last week was a different situation; there were a lot of pop passes and leak offs where they were getting underneath and this is totally different tight end. He plays like a receiver. He'll go out and catch the deep balls. He will run routes like a receiver. We have to be on point with that. We are excited for the challenge as a whole. We know the kind of stuff that they do, but you want to play the best and this is the best right now, so we're excited."

On whether he anticipates Gates being a problem: "I can't say that we're not worried about that, obviously he's their guy. We have to go out there and play ball. We can't go out there and be scared. We can't be going out there saying, 'Oh this is going to be a problem or we might as well not even show up.' We're going to go out there, we're going to get after this team and that's our mindset."

On how he is affected by these injuries from a leadership standpoint: "It's a big challenge, but we still have [CB] Sheldon [Brown]; we still have [CB] Asante [Samuel]; Dimitri has been here a long time, we have Jack Ikegwuonu and the new guy Ramzee. I think for the most part, everybody is still intact and I think that as long as we communicate we can be alright. It's just a matter of keeping our hunger and everybody really wanting to play together to win. As long as we do that we can do okay."

On whether he has spoken with CB Joselio Hanson and how Hanson is dealing with his suspension: "I have talked to him. It's a really frustrating deal because he's a guy who always does everything right. He doesn't talk. He's not a negative person; he's always positive. He does everything right and just got caught in this situation and it's unfortunate to see him go through that. I think the hardest thing that a lot of people might not know out there is that he can't even be on the premises. He can't be around us and in my opinion that sucks. My heart goes out to him and when he comes back I'm sure he's going to be ready to go, but we have to move on for now."

On whether the Chargers wide receivers height sticks out on tape: "That's one of the main things you notice. Every one of their receivers is at least 6-2 and taller and they play taller because the ball goes up and they out jump people and try to get that rock. It definitely does stick out. It's definitely something that we're focusing on this week and we don't get to see it a whole lot, when you see teams with three or four tall receivers that can run. I think our secondary is one of the top in the league and I think if we want to prove that then we have to be ready to play and I think we will be."

On whether they need to adjust their technique when they play against tall receivers: "No. I think we just have to go out and play our normal [defense], play how we always do: aggressive, in your face type of defense, but just know if the ball is in the air it's not going to be a wait for him to come down kind of thing, you have to go up there and get it. Maybe everybody is pulling out their jump shoes this week and practicing on their verticals so we can get up there with some of those balls."

On whether the difficulty they had defending Giants WR Plaxico Burress in the past reveals a trend in their secondary having trouble defending tall wide receivers: "I think Plaxico, that whole situation, what he brings is a lot different than what we see here. Plaxico being 6-6 and long and stuff like that, these receivers are explosive. They're a lot different than Plaxico, but obviously that's been something that we've had trouble with in the past so we'll see."

On whether he will have to play less aggressively at safety this week because of the newer players on the field: "No. Dimitri has been here for awhile. We still have Sheldon. We still have Asante. We have that experience and I think if we go out there and try to change up too much that's when we play badly, when we're thinking too much. If go out there and just play our game and fly around and just play Eagle football, which means not a lot of thinking just go out there and just do it we'll be okay. When you start changing a whole lot of stuff to accommodate differences here and there that's when you get into trouble."

On giving up first downs on third and longs this season, specifically giving up a touchdown to Dallas on third and long last week: "It's all right here. A lot of those plays are mental lapses, it's stuff we can control. For example that play, it was a double move, it's third and 14, we could have gotten some help for Sheldon so he didn't feel like he had to drive it. There are all kinds of things that come into play when we do that stuff. We practice on it hard. If you get into a situation and that happens, they get a first down, you have to keep playing. You can't just let it pester you the rest of the drive. I think we just have to be more focused mentally as a team on third down and we should be alright there."

On whether it is strange to talk about the Chargers and answer more questions about receivers than RB LaDanian Tomlinson: "It is strange because they still run the ball. Everyone is saying whatever about him not being as productive, but he's not as productive because everyone is still putting eight in the box because they know he's still got it. He looks great to me. And then to have [RB Darren] Sproles, the two guys, they're a big threat. It is weird that no one is paying attention, but we are, we're definitely paying attention to that."

On whether they are worried about the Chargers two running backs catching balls out of the backfield: "That's big, especially Sproles. He can catch the ball on a flare route and take it 80 [yards] for a touchdown. We've seen him do it against the Ravens, which is a pretty good defense. We have to be ready for that and our linebackers I think they've been practicing on it hard this week and we'll see how we do in the game."

On whether he is going to be involved in field goal coverage Sunday: "No, I'm not. Maybe, you might see me out there, we'll see."

On whether the leaders on the defense have had to do more this week given all the new players: "Me, as far as the secondary, I've always been the type of guy to talk through things in meetings and make sure we're all on the same page in meetings. I try not to do it on the field because it's too late to do it on the field. We've done a good job with that so far, but like I said I believe, we all believe in Dimitri. He's a very, very smart guy, studies film, does all the dirty work that he needs to do and I know he's going to be fine."

On avoiding mental letdowns after playing two big division games: "We have to have the mentality, right now our backs against the wall. Everyone in the world thinks that we're a terrible team because we lost to Dallas last week and we didn't play very well. We know we have to bounce back and not only travel all the way to the West Coast, but we're playing a very good team on the West Coast. All this stuff is going to fuel us. We have to be ready to go. There's no mistake about it, we have to do it right now. I think this is going to be a big challenge, but we have to be ready for it."

On whether their last trip to the West gives them an extra incentive for this game: "Absolutely. Our last trip didn't go so well. That was a long trip back from Oakland after a loss, so I think everybody is a lot more focused this time and we know what's at stake."

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