Jim Schwartz spoke for the first time during training camp a short while ago.
Some notes and quotes:
- On Jordan Hicks – “He looks the same. We had geared him back quite a bit in the offseason and he was probably ready for a little bit more than we allowed him to do.” Says Hicks’ weight is down a little bit.
- On Nigel Bradham’s one game suspension: just have to be prepared for those contingencies, guys could go down with injuries, it’s easier to handle that stuff now vs. things that happen only a day or two before a game
- doesn’t seem like Sidney Jones is a rookie player, says the second-year cornerback made really good use of his rehab time last year and is in a good spot this summer
- they’ve been cross training some new guys in different spots – “…we feel strongly that all of those guys can make contributions. We’re optimistic”
- pointed that Michael Bennett looks smaller than he actually is because he wears smaller pads, thinks he’ll be a big asset on and off the field, solid mentor to younger players
- on Rasul Douglas – “he contributed well for last year, there was a lot of concern when we lost Darby in that first game,” had ups and downs like any rookie, but his understanding of our defense is so much better now, that goes for any second year player
One of the more lengthy and interesting quotes was in response to Zach Berman asking about Fletcher Cox, who said in the spring that he wanted to be defensive player of the year. Cox only had 5.5 sacks last year as he saw a lot of double teams from opposing offensive lines, but his ability to occupy blockers and hold his ground was key in making his teammates successful:
Schwartz: If you’re rushing well, the sacks are gonna come. But there are plenty of times that you can do everything well and not get a sack. I’ll give you an example; you can get a great rush, get to the quarterback, and the quarterback will be going to ground and he throws the ball away. Flag comes out and it’s intentional grounding and the ball is at that spot with a loss of down, but guess who didn’t get the sack registered? The defensive lineman who earned it. So I think we just try to keep our eye on being efficient and playing well and being productive. And being productive doesn’t always mean you’re getting the sack. I think with the metrics that are out now, with a lot of the analytics that have come out, I think people are starting to see that a little bit more. You guys (the media) are starting to see that a little bit more. Sometimes you can’t judge a defensive lineman or a corner – you know there are some corners without many interceptions because they just don’t have the ball thrown at them very much…
Berman: So in Fletcher’s case, what would be the next point in his development?
Schwartz: He’s a veteran player, he’s been around a lot. We’re all just trying to find ways to develop new tools, to keep in mind our strengths, and to work on being consistent. With Fletcher we’re talking about shades of gray there. So with some players you’re talking about significant steps they need to take. He’s not far. You could probably pick out eight games where he played at that level anyway.
Watch for yourself, just to make sure I transcribed everything correctly and didn’t fabricate:
Tune in as defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz meets with the media. https://t.co/LoRTyNY42x
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 27, 2018