Philadelphia Eagles News

SS Quintin Mikell

On the defense's ability to create more turnovers this season: "I think the big thing has been that we have been taking advantage of the opportunities. For the most part when the ball is in the air and we have guys that are able to make the play, they're making the play. Last year we were dropping them or couldn't get to fumbles, I mean every year is like that, sometimes it comes right to you, sometimes you make the plays, sometimes you don't. In practice we've been working on it a lot more too."

On whether the identity of this defense is creating turnovers: "That's always been our identity to try and create big plays, try and create turnovers and it just so happens this year we've been able to do that a lot more than in the past and hopefully that can continue."

On whether he sees this offense as their biggest challenge this season: "That's a fair assessment. I feel we've played some underrated offenses, but this one is a lot different. They pose a lot of threats. They can run the ball well; they have three running backs that can go. They have a quarterback that is playing at a high level. He can throw it everywhere on the field; everyone is in play. They have receivers that are all big-time playmakers. I do agree that this is probably the biggest challenge we've had."

On whether the defense is looking for redemption after the amount of points they gave up to the Saints: "Obviously, the Saints game was a whole different beast. We got through that and we're over that now. There were a lot of factors that happened that game that we couldn't control. Right now we obviously don't want to go out there and play a game like we played against the Saints. Nobody is thinking about that. We're thinking about the Cowboys and what they're bringing to the table and that's it."

On what they key in on in the Cowboys offense: "I think it's always been that you always have to stop the run. No matter what, you always have to stop the run. Whatever that takes, our front seven, if we have to put eight in the box, seven in the box, whoever is down there we have to play well against the run. After that you just have to get after the quarterback. I say the same thing every week, but it's true, that's how you win games is that you stop the run and then you get after the quarterback."

On Cowboys QB Tony Romo's performance within their offense: "I think he's taken a lot more on himself. He's making a lot of plays on his own. I'm not saying that the guys aren't helping him out, but he in that past has created turnovers or gotten sacks and he's able to shake off guys or create longer plays by using his feet, getting outside the pocket and throwing deep or throwing underneath and letting guys do their thing. I think he's probably just taken a step back and let the game come to him. Sometimes you have to do that and that seems like what he's doing now."

On how important it is to stay focused on the play when things break down and Romo scrambles: "That's the big key. One play comes in to mind last year when we thought we had a sack and he threw the ball to (TE Jason) Witten and Witten threw the ball deep. It's just stuff like that where you're just kind of like 'wow'. I think the thing that we have to do is let our front seven, our front eight whoever is handling that handle that and on the backend we have to cover. We have to keep our eyes on the receivers and we can't let any blown coverages go and I think if we do that we'll be okay."

On whether the defense is where it wants to be right now: "No, absolutely not. I don't think we've had that game where we can say okay there's our signature game. Even games where we have played well there's a lot of mistakes. I think if we have that attitude each week then we will be fine. We still have to stay physical, stop the run, stop the big plays and I just feel like we've been progressing and we're getting there."

On whether he's talked to Broncos S Brian Dawkins about the Cowboys' offense: "No, usually when I talk to Dawk we don't really talk about football. We just kind of see how everybody is doing in the families and stuff. I'm sure he wouldn't want to help me out a whole lot with that. He is going to try to let me find my own way now."

On whether the defense is looking to diversify the looks they show offenses: "You can't become predictable. I think over the years teams have started to figure out things that we do. (Defensive coordinator Sean) McDermott has done a good job of changing up our looks, changing up our calls so you can't always get a good key on what we're doing. There is always going to be something, but we always have a counter to it. It doesn't matter what happens, doesn't matter what you see, it's always for a purpose."

On the challenge of facing the Cowboys three RBs who all have different skill sets: "It creates a big challenge. Sometimes they have two in the game at the same time. You have to know what to expect from each guy. The main thing is that you just have to get a lot of guys around the ball. We have to get guys there tackling, hitting, ripping, clawing, whatever you have to do to get the guy on the ground. That's what we pride ourselves on here."

On what special assistant to the defense Brian Stewart has told them about the Cowboys offense: "He was there for a few years, he wasn't there forever. I'm sure there are certain things that he can help with, but I'm not going to throw those things out there. We obviously know that they know that he's here and the more that we keep up our sleeves we'll be fine."

On whether the departure of WR Terrell Owens changes the Cowboys offense dramatically: "It's always like as soon as (Owens) leaves (WR) Miles Austin steps up and he's kind of the big playmaker guy now. I feel like it makes them better as a team because you don't have a guy that wants the ball every play, one guy that you can key on. Now he's spreading the ball around to different guys and they're running the ball more and everyone is happy. Now it's a team that just wants to win and that's more dangerous than anything."

On whether he's had to console S Macho Harris now that S Sean Jones is starting: "No, Macho is a grownup guy. He's a young guy and he has to realize that these things happen. Everyone in that locker room, everyone in that secondary has had that kind of thing happen in their career. I told him that and he understands that and everybody knows that you have to keep plugging along and eventually you'll get what you want if you keep working. He's fine."

On the differences between Harris and Jones at safety: "I think each guy brings a different skill set to the table. I think Sean has done a great job. It kind of took him a little bit longer to get used to it because it is a lot harder to unlearn a previous defense and learn a new one. I think right now he's learned it, he's playing at a high level, and he's playing physical. He can make plays on the ball. I think Macho did a great job of that too it's just sometimes you have to make a change just to change up things and I think it's been working so far."

On whether working with Jones is easier for him because Jones is a veteran: "I don't think so. I think it's been the same as before. Macho and Sean both do a great job. Me, I'm always the kind of coach on the field and trying to get everybody in the right position and that's still the same thing that I've done always. I don't think it's changed much."

On whether it is difficult to prepare for Cowboys WR Miles Austin because there is little game footage of him: "I don't think it's a big challenge. All you have to do is watch that Kansas City game and you can see what he brings. I know our secondary, we know what the challenge is in front of us. I think we're all ready for that challenge and we're excited for it, so I think we'll be okay with that."

On what makes Austin so good at gaining yards after the catch: "He's strong, he can break tackles, and he has tremendous speed. If you don't get a lot of guys on there, around him, tackling and getting to the ball he can take anything the distance, so I think that's the big thing. He's strong enough to break tackles and he has enough speed to outrun everybody."

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