Q: Before you resigned with New England, what did you know about the Eagles interest in you?
DM: That there was a possibility of some interest, but it didn’t really get too far into it really.
Q: There was a report that they offered more money. Did it get that far?
DM: That was a long time ago. It’s like Week 12. I don’t remember.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on who should or could be the next head coach at Rutgers?
DM: I’m not sure. I had a really good relationship with [Kyle] Flood, so I hate to see him go. But I’d be lying to you if I said I knew anything about who could or should be the next head coach. I mean obviously the only guy, I’ve seen names like Coach [Greg] Schiano. I know him. I know he could do a great job, but other than that, I really wouldn’t know who could be another good possibility.
Q: What have you seen from Duron Harmon? It seems like he’s grown. Do you see him taking a bigger role this year?
DM: Yeah, definitely, and I think the biggest thing, like you said, is his growth. He’s continued to grow as a player. He hasn’t really been complacent with any success he’s had or any time he’s done well. You look back last year at the Baltimore game where he had a big play, made some plays throughout that game, and his focus this offseason was to get better and be on the field more. I’m just happy for him because his hard work is paying off, and you see him out there making a ton of plays for us – big reason why we’ve been able to be successful in the secondary.
Q: Do you think that the fact that you had guys like Harmon and Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan helped temper the impact of losing other players in the secondary to free agency?
DM: Definitely. Obviously you lose some really good players, and you’ve got some young guys who have made some plays, have been out there a little bit, but not full throttle, I think a lot of people were wondering what’s next, what’s going to happen. I think just for us, we need a type of guy that we had here – hard workers. And we knew they had talent, they just needed to get out there I think. It’s a real calming feeling here. We are fully confident in the guys we have in this locker room, and I think it’s showed throughout the season.
Q: When you look at the Eagles offense, who are some of the bigger threats that you’ve identified?
DM: I think that’s what’s tough about them. You really can’t go out there and say, “I’m only going to stop one or two guys,” because either [Sam] Bradford or [Matt] Sanchez, whoever is out there, they do a good job of running the offense and finding open guys. So, obviously all three backs are really good. [Zach] Ertz and [Brent] Celek have made a ton of plays. When you combine the amount of catches and yards they have, you know it’s a top tight end combination. Then with the receivers, I think they all go deep. Obviously, [Jordan] Matthews has a lot of targets, so you know he sticks out for them, but there’s Riley Cooper, [Josh] Huff, Ago [Nelson Agholor]. They’re all out there making plays, so it’s hard to really focus on one or two guys. I think this is a week where we’ve all got to kind of do our job and play together to stop whoever the go to guy is on whatever specific play that it is.
Q: Both of the Eagles safeties, Malcolm Jenkins and Walter Thurmond, are converted cornerbacks. What does it take to make that conversion from corner to safety?
DM: I think if you probably talk to those guys, they probably have a high knowledge of the game, especially in the secondary and knowing how everything works. I think that’s the biggest thing, if you have a good understanding of it. You’ve got to obviously be good, physical, strong tacklers to move because at safety you’re in different situations than you are at corner. And I think both those guys, it really helps with their coverage ability. If you put them in a tough spot that you really normally wouldn’t ask safeties to do, both of those guys go out there and do those things at a high level. I’ve been able to see them a lot through common opponents, so I definitely turn on the Philly defense when we’re playing a team just to see how those two guys play because I think they’re definitely similar to myself and [Patrick] Chung on how we’re asked to play in our defense.