McDermott Likes What He See So Far
By Lance Epstein
The day after the Eagles’ second annual Flight Night event, head coach Andy Reid decided to take it easy on his team. Reid gave his players the morning off, but they were back on the practice field for the afternoon session. Once the practice was over defensive coordinator talked about what he saw from his defense last night, Trevor Laws and more.
Here are quotes from his press conference:
On Nate Allen and his ability to be smooth as a rookie:
"If you watch Nate move, he really is quite smooth for a safety that is 210 pounds. He just seems to handle things like that off the field, as well. Like I mentioned earlier in camp, he's very mature for a guy that's in his rookie season, and playing that position, the quarterback of the defense, or one of the quarterbacks of the defense, he's really handled himself quite well to this point."
On Allen’s performance at camp so far:
"I think he's held his own to this point. I don't see any reason to believe he wouldn't be a very good tackler for us. Anything above that is yet to be seen in terms of his intensity once we get into game situations here."
On Ellis Hobbs strong camp and if he has been a surprise:
"I'm not surprised at all. I watched him over the years at New England and he, in my mind, has always been a guy that's played football the way it is meant to be played. He plays hard. He's quick. He has an aggressive mentality, and that's what I wanted at the corner position, a guy that's going to challenge any receiver. It's a little bit like a John Riggins-type of running player. Four yards and a cloud of dust, and that's what happens when Ellis is involved. He's in, he's out, he's here, and he's gone. He's all over the place. And he'll hit you at the same time."
On DT Trevor laws being much improved this training camp:
"He looks good. He really does. And it's a credit to Trevor and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach [Barry] Rubin, for what they've done this offseason together. I would say he's added a couple of pounds, and more importantly, some muscle. He seems focused and hungry."
On what aspects of Laws’ game that he still needs to improve on:
"Playing every down. Playing against the elite competition, which you see in the NFC East at the guard and tackle spots. I just want to see consistency. I've been impressed with what he's done so far in camp, but I want to see it over a period of time at this point."
On Laws making significant strides in his third season in the NFL:
"Well, you know, really this year, from what I've seen he's put himself in that type of position at this point. Being it two weeks into camp he seems prime to have a good year for us and like I said, he seems hungry and he worked his tail off during the offseason. So, I like what I've seen from Trevor, liked what I saw from [DT] Antonio Dixon, and I'll throw [DT] Jeff Owens in there at the same time. We've got some competition at that position which is how this thing is meant to be built at this point."
On CB Trevard Lindley possibly seeing more reps with the starters and moving up the depth chart:
"We'll see. He's still got a lot to learn. But he's done well at the same time. He did get his hand on the football last night. He brings a dimension to this defense at the corner position, from a press standpoint that I like. He's got the long arms and the ability to mirror routes, so he continues to work and continue to get a little bit better each and every practice."
On having young players on the roster helps him since he is young:
"I love the energy. On the practice field and in the meetings, I really love the energy they bring to the table, and from my standpoint, they're eager to learn. So I think any time as a teacher, you enter into a situation where you've got students who are eager to learn, it makes it that much easier. I think they're anxious for each and every meeting, for each and every practice, as am I."
On the defense usually being ahead of the offense to begin the season:
"It goes back and forth, really. That's the nature of camp. You're going to have some good days and bad days, and you're going to have hopefully both sides of the ones play well, and that means that the twos on both sides, sometimes would come out on the short end of the stick. In our mind, looking at it from a defensive standpoint, I want our twos to play well, and we want to give our number one offense a run for their money as much as we can, but we have a lot of work to do on the defensive side. There's no doubt about it."
On the defense being further along than last year at this time:
"Well, last year is so different; the complexion, the situation, the circumstances are so much different this year than it was last year. But I feel like we're ahead of where we were last year at this time, certainly, which is a good sign. But, as I mentioned earlier, we still have a ton of work to do and this is kind of the midpoint in between the start of camp and the first preseason game. It's important that we continue to grow over these next six or seven days here."
On new Eagles DE Darryl Tapp rotating inside and rushing from the DT position:
"He can. He can really play multiple positions along the defensive line. We saw in Seattle, he comes off the ball well and that's the start for a defensive lineman, to come off the ball well. He's smart and handles the scheme extremely well, and it's important that we continue to get him adapted to how we do things in our defensive scheme."
On passing situations having a rotation of DEs:
"We're trying to find our best four out there, obviously, and you guys know that. But the push up the middle, with our speed on the edge is important, where we can cut [DE] Trent Cole loose, or [DE] Brandon Graham, or [DE] Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, whoever it is on the outside, Tapp, whoever it might be, but have a push inside, so when the quarterback does feel like he wants to step up, he's got somebody in his face all the while."
On DE/DT Daniel Te'o-Nesheim’s camp:
"I love the guy. He's one of the first ones here in the morning and last to leave and that's what this is all about, guys that want to play for all the right reasons and they've got it in their heart. What I've known of Daniel up to this point, it seems like he's our type of guy."
On the area that Te'o-Nesheim needs to expand on:
"Well just adapting his style of pass rushing to the NFL and you do some things in college – and this is true of any position – you do some things in college and you can get away with some things and then when you get to the NFL you've got to test that skill set you bring and see what you can carry forward and what you need to change and adapt to the tackles and offensive lineman you see at this level."
On DT Antonio Dixon injury and when he is returning:
"I don't know. I saw him last night, talked to him and that would be a question for coach Andy Reid tomorrow, or [head athletic trainer] Rick Burkholder."
On Dixon’s performance pre-concussion:
"He's doing a nice job. He, again, like with Trevor as I mentioned earlier had a nice, had a really good spring. As you guys remember, Dixon came to us just at the start of last season. So, we didn't get the spring and obviously training camp to work with him. [defensive line] Coach Rory Segrest has done a real nice job of incorporating how we do things, the techniques that we use along the defensive line and to Dixon's credit, he's done a good job adopting those techniques."
On does Dixon give the Eagles a pass rushing ability up the middle:
"He's a big guy to handle inside, 320-some pounds and that's tough to stop. So, he does give us a tremendous push inside, yes."
On MLB Stewart Bradley and his role on the defense:
"He's going to be one of the leaders, as I mentioned earlier, he and [S] Quintin Mikell both make sure that we're doing things right on the field, doing things right off the field, and really just trying to lead by example. I think there's a great amount of accountability on this defense right now and guys wanting to do things, love playing together, love being in meetings together, spending time together, and that's all good, that goes into the overall mix here."
On DE Trent Cole and what makes him so good:
"He's got, like you mentioned, he's got a relentless motor and loves to play the game, absolutely loves to play the game. When you look at it from a bottom-line standpoint that's what it's all about. He loves practice, and even more so, enjoys to tee-it-up on Sundays and really lets it fly. So, that passion that you see in all of the great players, defensively over the years, he's got that."
On the advantage of having depth at LDE this year:
"It will be to his benefit, absolutely, and to our benefit defensively. So, I'm sure he's anxious and likes what he sees at the other side from [DE] Brandon Graham, [DE] Juqua Parker, and from Te'o-Nesheim as well."