Philadelphia Eagles: Notes on DC Jim Schwartz press conference

May 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz speaks with the media during OTS
May 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz speaks with the media during OTS /

Notes from Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz’s press conference.

The Philadelphia Eagles are in the midst of OTAs and excitement is building around the NovaCare Complex as players begin to hit the field.

Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz met with the media Tuesday afternoon to discuss the state of the defense. Here are some notable highlights from the presser:

The Eagles selected Jalen Mills in the seventh round of this year’s draft. ESPN’s Mel Kiper believed Mills was a second-round talent, but character concerns caused him to plummet in the draft. Mills will be competing for a spot in the Eagles’ secondary. Where, exactly, isn’t clear. He has the versatility to play both cornerback and safety, so there are multiple possibilities for Mills when it’s all said and done.

All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (as well as veteran running back Darren Sprolesremains a no-show for voluntary workouts. Cox wants a new contract and hopes to be in Philadelphia for the long haulThe Eagles want to get him signed before training camp, but there are still some hurtles to jump over before Cox gets the contract he’s looking for. Schwartz was quick to shoot down any further questions on the matter.

This is a far cry from what we saw during the Chip Kelly era. We all know about Kelly’s ego, but his practices were so uptempo that he and the players were rarely able to connect on the practice field. Pederson is the polar opposite of that. He’s a player’s coach and that’s a complete turnaround from what the players were used to over the last three years.

This isn’t much of a surprise. When asked about Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins, Schwartz called it “money well spent” and went on to predict the duo could potentially end up being the best safety tandem in the league. If Jenkins and McLeod play the way they have over the last couple years, that prediction could very well become a reality.

Like Jalen Mills, the Eagles selected Alex McCalister in the seventh round of this year’s draft. McCalister is a long, tall pass rusher with a tremendous motor and quickness. Schwartz said he has “Inspector Gadget arms”. He also talked a lot about the work McCalister has put in to bulk up his frame and stressed that he still has a long way to go, but, nonetheless, his initial impressions on McCalister seem to be strong, as he compared him to Willie Young of the Chicago Bears.

Overall, Schwartz stressed that the defense still has a lot of work to do this summer after a sloppy day of practice. Should be a fun summer for the Eagles defense.