Coordinators Talk About Minicamp and More
By Lance Epstein
After the morning practice today, defensive cooridnator Sean McDermott and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg discussed what they have seen from the players at the minicamp and what they expect this upcoming season.
Additionally, McDermott talked about some of the off-the-field issues that were brought to the forefront this offseason. Also he was very happy to have the team's leader in middle linebacker Stewart Bradley back on the field this season. He is mainly concerned in getting the foundation of the defense set for the next couple of years.
As for Mornhinweg, he came away very impressed by his new starting quarterback Kevin Kolb and sees McCoy teaching the younger running backs. More importantly he sees a lot of opportunities for young players along the line and in the offense.
Here are there press conference quotes:
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott
On if the the team will play a 3-4 defense this year:
"You bring up a good point. What is important for us now is that we stay true to our base defense and we layout a very solid foundation that we can depend upon and fall back on during the year. And we will go from there."
On having a extra workload with all these young players coming in:
"I am really excited about the defensive staff. Bringing coach [Dick] Juaron in and adding value to the staff that was already in place. The neat thing about it is, we are approaching a year being together now so there is some familiarity from that standpoint. The players that have been here are familiar with the coaches and the coaches are getting more and more comfortable with the scheme. And I would add coach Juaron right into that mix. So he has been to great value to us. But the challenge to us, which answers your question is half the players or close to half the players I believe have never played a snap in the NFL. And a couple more to that have never played for the Eagles defense. It is important that we teach the right way."
On having Stewart Bradley back:
"I give Stewart all the credit in the world. He has worked his tail off. He stayed around last year when he got injured. He wanted to be a part of it and remain a part of it. To his credit he is back on the field and we welcome him back with open arms. Not only from a physical standpoint but from a leadership standpoint and emotional standpoint as well."
On Victor Abiamiri's injury and young guys altering the defense:
"Let's not forget Victor is a very good football player. He is working extremely hard to get back to a point where he can contribute to this football team. So I don't want to forget about that and we don't forget about that. We do have some young players that we brought in from a competition standpoint. We'll see in the end how it works out."
On relying on Abiamiri's past track record to make the team:
"We're at a evaluation period of time right now and that began yesterday in terms of the players we brought in and seeing how they add to the overall mix. Obviously any player that is not on the field is tough to evaluate. But we also know what Victor brings to the table at the same time."
On Ernie Sims:
"Ernie has been a welcome addition. He loves to play the game first of all. He is our type of guy, intangibly. You guys see it out there the guy can fly. There is the speed factor. There is a shark in the water out there right now and that is Ernie Sims."
On if he will continue to shuffle linebackers in and out:
"You would like to be able to play your base defense and play 11 defenders during the game and let it go. Let the base defense take care of itself. In this league, you see multiple personnel groupings and the way that offenses and offensive coordinators attack defenses, it is important that you can stay multiple defenses on the other side as well so you can throw a counter punt when necessary."
On players with flexibility of players being valuable:
"You make a good point. I think it does, if you look at the ends we brought in. They can put their hand up or put their hand down. Probably some of the stuff you guys used to do where players can play multiple positions. Nate and Macho would be two of those players. And Marlin the same way, amongst other. It does give us some flexibility, but at the same time as we build, and we have talked about this as a defensive staff, we build this thing the right way. And because we have some new players and some young players to the NFL that we bring them along building a solid foundation at the same time."
On Moise Fokou being the starting SAM linebacker:
"When he came on the scene last year towards the latter part half of the year, I love the fact he brought a nasty attitude to the defense. He is extremely physical and strong from the waist up. He's got some learning to do and we've got some as a overall defense. But I like what I have seen from him this offseason from a work ethic standpoint and the way he has handled himself in these three practices so far."
"I hope for your sake someone can solve that tight end problem because I am sure you guys are tired of asking that question. In reality he does give us that potential cause he does have the arm length that you like from a strong-side linebacker standpoint. He can jam a tight end."
"Well there are two parts to that with jamming. If you can jam the man at the line you hope that you won't have to run with him down the field. If you can run with him then potentially you do not have to jam him at the line. If you can do both all the better for it."
On third down solutions to inside pass rush with Darren Howard gone and Abiamiri hurt:
"We will evaluate that. This camp on the defensive side of the ball has been about learning our base defense right now. As I mentioned with influx of new players to the system our focus is bringing these players along the right way at the right time in order to build that foundation. I got to be patient and the players have to be urgent in their approach. But we want to make sure this foundation is rock solid as we go forward."
On getting rid of players that didn't listen to him and our these players more of his guys:
"I love the players that we have here. They battled their butts off at the end of last year and moving forward into the offseason. The work ethic of the players the collective group and the offseason program has been tremendous and the credit goes to coach Reuben and the strength coaches for that and the program they are running there. The way they have worked off the field, in meetings and on the field these last three days, you guys have seen the energy. It is a different feel to the defense out there. You mentioned some of the characteristics of those players and the speed number one. You have to be able to run in this league. Backing up from that, I give the credit to coach Reid, Howie Roseman and the upper management for recognizing the need to invest in the defense."
Marty Mornhinweg's Press Conference:
On veterans that have done well at minicamp:
"On some of the veterans that I thought have done well through yesterday, Leonard Weaver has been in tip-top shape. He came in looks great, has a couple of things to clean up. Jeremy Maclin looks just great. He has a year under his belt and has done a fine job. Kevin Kolb had a excellent day yesterday and he got to clean some stuff up from yesterday today.
On New players:
"As of today, some of the new players and the rookies especially, I thought yesterday-- going back to yesterday-- made very few mistakes. They did a heck of a job yesterday. They got another installation today, it started to spin on them just a little bit and we made just an awful lot of mistakes today. Some of the new players, Riley Cooper is very big, has excellent hands and very strong. There are several other free agent receivers that look big and have a chance to develop into players."
On Riley Cooper participating on the second team and being a force like past rookie WRs:
"Of course, we'll see. There is a long way to go, only three practices so far. Typically, he was running with the third group and we got him a couple of snaps with the second group. However, I really think he has a opportunity. He has a high level of skill and ability."
On Cooper being a red zone threat:
"He showed that at Florida. A big body with really good hands. Should be pretty good down in there."
On him transitioning to a new starting quarterback:
"Well I have done it before. It is business as usual. You emphasize different things with different quarterbacks. All quarterbacks are different, on and off the field. As a coach you are a teacher, so you teach. You correct. You reteach it. You correct and reteach it and so on and on and on. It is really business as usual from that standpoint."
On being more of a teacher with Kolb than McNabb:
"No, I really I haven't even thought about that really because you are constantly teaching. Game week you are teaching and preparing. You do it the same way everyday."
On Kolb's progression and offense being different with him:
"I think he has progressed very well... We'll he will be different. Donovan was such a great player. He had many many strengths. However they are different from Kevin's. I think kevin has many strengths. But they are quite different. And that goes for every position. You lean toward a players strengths. And really every team looks different because we are going in and out of really any NFL team. So every year you are building that team and you may look a little bit different because of the strengths that you have on a particular year. I thought without a question Donovan had one of the stronger arms maybe of all-time. He could make the brilliant play. Kolb is very very consistent. He handles two or three different play selections very well. Typically very accurate. Is athletic, but not nearly the athlete and doesn't have the athleticism as Donovan has. So very different that way."
On center position as it currently stands:
"Well we have three men working there. Really four. So there is great competition there. That is a important position on any football team and we got to solidify that. I am including Nick [Cole] in there, taking a snap or two. Great competition and that will be a ongoing situation with that competition. I do believe we have three maybe even four players that have a opportunity there."
On A.Q. Shipley playing center:
"He is not as tall as some, but he has size. You see his biceps, he has been doing some curls. His arms are big. I am excited and I will be really excited to see him in fall camp. I think he has a opportunity to make this football team and help us. We'll see into that, into training camp, he is in a learning process."
On Mike McGlynn playing the center position to help out Nick Cole:
"I think Nick Cole is a heck of a football player and he is very versatile. However, there is great competition there. And this is early so we will let them all battle it out. See what happens and we'll see when Jamaal [Jackson] will play-- at some later date. That is the one position, right here, right now that we would like to solidify at some point. I think McGlynn has a great opportunity here."
On LeSean McCoy coming into his second year:
"That is a man I should have mentioned earlier. He came into camp at just 180 degrees different. He is very very good right now. He is in shape, he has got the offense down and got a year under his belt. He is teaching the younger guys. Last year, Brian was teaching him-- really on a minute by minute basis. Now he is teaching the younger guys so I think he feels pretty comfortable and confident right now within this offense and all the things he has learned throughout the past year."
On McCoy teaching and what to expect from him as the No. 1:
"Westrbook was a fine fine player. He was one of the dynamic players for many many years. They're in the same mold, but quite different. Brian was a little bit shorter, but a little bit bigger than people thought. Brian was a little bit stronger than people thought. And as we know, he was quite elusive. LeSean is a little bit bigger than people think. This guy is really elusive, really natural athleticism. Again we will try to play to his strengths there."
On young players helping out McNabb last year and on continuing that with Kolb:
"As you all know in this league that there is immense pressure on the quarterback. This is a league now that has changed a little bit over the past 10 or 12 years. It is a get to the quarterback league now and the quarterback score points through the passing game. Many teams are like that. This system has always done that. Quarterback comes in and plays very well then you will win games. If he plays medium to poor then typically your defense has to play so great to win that game. There is great responsibility on this quarterback and he will handle that beautifully. He has a great opportunity to do that. To get onto your point, I think I know what you are asking. The rest of the football team is so important to a quarterback performing at a high-level. There is just no question about that. In fact, I think the defense is the most important thing. Then the special teams might be the second most important thing. Then the players on offense around him would be the next important thing. All of those are so important to help a quarterback play at a high-level. We understand that and the rest of the players understand that.
On Max Jean-Gilles Gastric band surgery and what he expects from him at 330 pounds:
"You know I do not know much about that the gastric band deal. I do think he is trying to be diligent and give himself every chances possible to be the best player that he can be. He chose to do this so it is a good thing. There is no question about that. I think he has the opportunity and chance to be a heck of a football player. That is one of several important things for him to accomplish. Getting that weight down a little bit to become a great player that he wants to be."
On Kolb's leadership qualities:
"He is an excellent leader. I think he has all of those qualities -leadership qualities. He handles things pretty natural. I think the fellas rally around him a little bit because of his personality. I think that is a real positive that Kevin has."