Marty: Red Zone Will Get Better

"In the preseason, we don't show much at all," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said today that while he'd like his first team offense to be doing better in the red zone, nothing that's happened through two preseason games gives him huge concern. As Rich Hofmann pointed out today, the starters have failed to score touchdowns in just three red zone opportunities so far. Once Brent Celek dropped a TD pass, once Leonard Weaver was penalized, taking the Eagles out of the red zone, and once Kevin Kolb stepped up and did a tremendous job of finding Jason Avant for the TD, only to have the score negated by a penalty on Jason Peters for lining up off the line of scrimmage.

Mornhinweg also hinted that fans haven't really seen much of how he really plans to attack such situations in the regular season.

"In the preseason, we don't show much at all," Mornhinweg said. "So it'll be a little different because we've got a quarterback with different strengths than Donovan (McNabb) and some other players with different strengths and we always like to use our player's strengths."

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott reiterated Andy Reid's support Sunday for new weakside linebacker Ernie Sims, who didn't make the stat sheet off Friday's preseason game at Cincinnati, but played well, Reid and McDermott said.

McDermott said that in relation to other free agents the Eagles have brought in over the years, Sims "is well ahead of schedule, as far as the learning side of things."

"He brings the toughness and attitude I want on theis defense," McDermott said.

The one negative in the first-team defense's strong half of work in Cincinnati was the inability to generate pass-rush pressure without blitzing, a huge problem last season. McDermott said that was partly because the Bengals have "a timing-oriented offense" that gets the ball out quickly.

McDermott again lauded the energy of third-round rookie defensive end Dainiel Te'o-Nesheim, who has been getting a lot of work inside as a pass-rushing tackle. "He's going to be a heckuva player for a long time," McDermott said.

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