Sean McDermott has become a punching bag of sorts for local Eagles critics, but his boss did not join the chorus that has increasingly criticized the Eagles defensive coordinator.
“I thought Sean had a heck of a game plan, doggone it,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said Monday, a day after the Eagles were humiliated by Tennessee, 37-19. “That’s’ a good football team right there. For three quarters, we had it right there. It’s not all about the offense, it’s not all about the defense. Everybody has an opportunity. We have to make sure we secure that up and finish things off.”
McDermott's defense surrendered 20 fourth-quarter points to the Titans -- Tennessee's last seven points came courtesy of a pick six off a Kevin Kolb last-second heave -- as quarterback Kerry Collins and receiver Kenny Britt torched the secondary. The unit has had trouble late in games, but previously it did not catch up to the Eagles. This time it did.
"Now it came back to bite us in a big way," Eagles safety Quintin Mikell said, "and basically, our asses were kicked. I think this will be a wake-up call. This is the NFL. All 11 guys on the field have to play together for four quarters."
Mikell was reminded that Peyton Manning and the Colts were next on the slate, along with a number of other playoff-worthy teams with above-average quaterbacks.
"I don't want to even hear that word," Mikell said, referring to "Peyton," who he said was "the best to ever play the game, in my opinion."
Despite the defensive problems, the Eagles are 4-3 heading into a bye week.
“It’s a crazy league,” Reid said. “We’re sitting there 4-3 and we’re right there in the hunt in a good way. I know I’ve got a good football team."
That football team will likely be led by Michael Vick again. Reid said that he expects his quarterback to be healthy enough to start the Nov. 7 Colts game.Vick said after the game that his injured rib cartilage was not 100 percent, but that he wouldn't know for sure until he actually played and took a hit.
Reid said that wide receiver DeSean Jackson has not yet passed the necessary concussion tests and been cleared to return to practice. He did, however, say that Jackson, along with tackle Jason Peters (knee) and defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (elbow), "had a pretty good chance" of being ready for the Colts.
Still, Reid said he wasn't sure if Bunkley would be 100 percent even when he comes back. That means Antonio Dixon, who has been one of the defense's recent bright spots, would still see the majority of snaps at defensive tackle.
In other injury news, Reid said that tackle King Dunlap hyperextended his knee and has a bone bruise. The injury, the coach said, could take all of the two weeks off to heal. Dunlap has been filling in for Peters. Reid said that if neither left tackles could go, Todd Herremans would slide over from left guard.