By Lance Epstein
One of the trendy topics that defensive coordinator was asked to elaborate about on Monday was his secondary. He talked about his star corner, the depth at the corner position and if Macho Harris would be moved back to free safety with the injuries was at the position. McDermott also discussed what he expects to see this Friday, the defensive standouts against the Jaguars and his new toy LB Ernie Sims.
Here are his quotes.
On defense’s performance on Friday's game :
"Well, there were a number of positives from the game. The first thing is that the ones came out and played, or really started fast. You look at that. You look at our third down defense, our red zone defense, our field position. We were backed up a couple times with our backs in bad field position, but we came out and won the point differential there, giving up just field goals. So, that's all positives. Now, there are a lot of things we have to work on, the deep balls over the top of the defense, being more disciplined overall. So, that happens in the first game quite a bit on defense, primarily where you go back to the security blanket of the quarterback and your eyes tend to fade to the quarterback instead of on your keys and going through your progression. So, we're working hard on that right now."
On the standouts on defense from the Jacksonville game :
"I thought it was a good effort overall, really. We swarmed to the ball with the ones and we tackled extremely well, which we as a staff were pleased with."
On LB Moise Fokou playing defensive end :
"He showed some flashes of some ability there. He played with great effort and I believe it was the second quarter, he initially came into the game and then all the way through to the fourth quarter really accumulating quite a bit of reps. And he played with emotion and intensity. You saw him make a great tackle on the second or third down play and that's what we want."
On LB Keenan Clayton and how he fits into the defense :
"Well, he's playing WILL linebacker right now on the weak side for us and the lights came on and Keenan showed up a little bit. Now, like a lot of us, he has a lot of work to do at the same time and it has to be an everyday thing. You have to come out and play consistent, aggressive, dependable football. So, it can't just be in the games. He has to do it every day here."
On LB Ernie Sims' hit on TE Brent Celek during non-contact drills :
"We want to take care of our teammates, number one, and we have to keep that in mind. Good teams know how to practice and we obviously want to be a good team, so we have to know how to practice together and take care of each other. That said, I want an attitude and Ernie is part of that attitude and aggressiveness, and from a defensive standpoint, when you're not playing against your teammates, you don't let them cross the goal line. But, we have to keep in mind that these are our teammates and we have to learn how to take care of one another at the same time. But, I love Ernie's aggressiveness."
On Sims playing the game at one speed :
"Well, I think I made a comment in the spring that there's a shark in the water and you guys have seen him run. He's extremely fast and he's got one speed and one mindset. I think he wakes up, probably mad at his alarm clock, I don't know (laughing). He's been a joy to have here and a joy to be around, and I love his attitude."
On depth at cornerback :
"We do have some numbers there, but I want to see who can play. Numbers are one thing, but I want to see who can play and defend the best. That's what I'm looking for. There is great competition there, which is all you can ask for. Right now in camp guys are pushing one another and I think that's all good for the overall defense."
On CB Asante Samuel offseason and the time he put in :
"Asante is a pro and he's driven, in my mind, by being the best and the best that he can be. I think he realized that he needed to get in the weight room, which he has, and add muscle to his body, which he has. To me, he looks like he's added five to six pounds of muscle. I can't confirm that right now because I don't know where he is, but I believe his weight was up about five or six pounds. When he came back in the spring, when I saw him for the first time since February or January there, (I knew) that he had been working hard. That's to his credit."
On CB Asante Samuel's comments and antics on the sideline:
"I absolutely love it. I think it brings great energy. Football is a game of emotion, and this is not a library out here, so I love the noise."
On CB Dimitri Patterson play at camp:
"He's done well, he's really done well. There's a couple plays that he, I'm sure, would like to have back the same way, but at the same time, I've been pleased with his performance on an everyday basis. The consistency, really, for Dimitri has been the biggest thing where he's put good practices back-to-back and then played well for the most part in the game the other night. He's extremely gifted from a physical standpoint and now he's learning our system and adapting his skill set to our system."
On the improvement of Patterson and CB Ellis Hobbs from last year :
"Absolutely. You know, Ellis went through a season last year where he was hurt after the sixth or seventh game. So there was still some learning and adapting to the overall scheme that he had to do and he's spent time doing that, a significant amount of time doing that all the way back in the spring until now. When you see that, when you get the system down, it allows for the players' talents to take over where they can play fast and react instead of thinking. You see a lot of the rookies out here that are still trying to master the scheme and, as such, can't move as fast right now."
On CB Ellis Hobbs and his performance during camp:
"He's looked good. He really has and then that continued, albeit six plays in the game, he showed his quickness, he showed his aggressiveness, and tackled well. So, I think, what can you learn from six plays? Well, you evaluate it and you try to learn as much as you can. But, at this point in time I was just happy to see the ones come out, along with Ellis, and play good hard nosed, emotional football."
On Hobbs being focused and having a chip on his shoulder :
"I really do. I would imagine when you're in a situation like Ellis went through last year, not being able to be on the field, going through a significant injury that he went through, you see both sides of the game and how quickly things can be taken away in this league, both as a player and as a coach, for all of us. Whether it was that, or just how he is, and I think it's a little bit of how he is, as well, an extremely driven individual, extremely aggressive, and then you look at the physical attribute. He's quick, can burst, and loves to play the game. Those are all great qualities to have, especially in a corner."
On Macho Harris staying at cornerback even with injuries at safety :
"Well, he gives us that flexibility to move him back and forth. But, right now the plan is to keep him, in fact, at corner. He, himself, is trying to get healthy, so that's number one right now."
On coach Dick Jauron influence on him and assistance with the defense :
"Dick's got a number of years of experience in football and coaching in the NFL, so he's got head coaching experience, defensive coordinator experience and then position coach experience. He's a stabilizing force in the back end. You know as a secondary coach, everybody sees the mistakes from the seats, so it's not an easy thing to do. I have a lot of confidence in coach Jauron and he's adapted well to our system and how we do things here in Philadelphia."
On blitz packages being thrown at Eagles starting QB Kevin Kolb and what he hopes it accomplishes :
"Going back and looking at the game the other night, he managed the game, he played extremely well. The offense puts up four or five hundred yards of total offense. From that standpoint, he performed, I would imagine, extremely well, although I'm not in the meetings. You'd have to ask Marty (Mornhinweg) and Coach Reid about that. From a defensive standpoint, what I see out here every day is the same thing you guys saw in the game the other night-very composed, very poised, and seems to manage the offense. He knows what's coming at him. He's going to have a great career."
On if he sends blitzes against Kolb on purpose :
"Well, we've always done that specific blitz period that you are probably referencing. We've always done that since I've been here. It's good experience for us, as well, I would imagine, the offense."
On if he will coach from the booth like last Friday or the sideline like last year:
"Preseason is a time to experiment. I hadn't been upstairs since my days as a quality control coach, so I wanted to see the game from upstairs one time, but that experiment's over."
On working from the booth :
"Well they're putting glass in front of me. I can't handle that. I about ripped the glass off the hinges a couple of times up there, so I'll be down on the field for Friday night."
On what he expects Friday night against the high-powered Bengals offense :
"It's really a playoff team on both sides of the ball. It'll be a great test for us to see where we are again. You look at the first game, and we did some good things on defense but it's really not where you start, it's where you end, and the progress you make in between the preseason games. To come out here and grow each and every day in these three or four practices that we have in between last game and the Cincinnati game is important. That's really what I'm looking for. To make sure that we're progressing, that we're taking the steps as they need to be taken."
On playing time of the starters on Friday night:
"You'd have to ask Coach Reid that."
On making the defense simpler for the young guys on the team :
"I've been around this defense for a long time and as one prepares for a job, you find your own way or your own plan, so to speak. And this year we've had time to implement more of that plan, so from a playbook standpoint, as a staff, we went back, and really tried to simplify things, knowing we would have quite an influx of young and new faces. I want these guys to get up to speed as quickly as possible, so they can play, and play fast and contribute. Now with that said, I'm taking some of it on myself, some adjustments I've taken out, coverage checks, some of the details of the defense, so that our players can just go out there and just play, and execute, and run, and hit and play emotional football. So there's some give and take there, but trying to understand the big picture, I want them to get up to speed as quickly as possible."