Johnson strong on safety Considine

Posted: September 07, 2007

SEAN CONSIDINE is the Eagles' starting strong safety, Jim Johnson said yesterday, and a darned good one at that.

Maybe Johnson has been wanting to address some of the grumbling from fans and commentators about Considine, who inherited the job last season when Mike Lewis was benched. Despite adding muscle and finally resolving a shoulder problem in the offseason, Considine (6-foot, 212) seems undersized when he's bouncing off running backs, as happened a few times in the preseason.

It also might be worth noting that as Considine walked into the locker room yesterday afternoon alongside backup safety Quintin Mikell - the guy some observers think should be a starter - Considine and Mikell seemed to be exactly the same height. Mikell is listed at 5-10, 206.

But Johnson said he remains solidly in the corner of Considine, a fourth-round 2005 pick from Iowa.

"I've got a lot of confidence in him," Johnson said. "I think he's an excellent safety. I think he's a guy who can play in the box, and who can play deep half. He's very smart, he's one of our leaders, and I expect a good year out of him. I've always said he has a knack for finding the football, and I think it's going to come to light."

Considine dealt with a couple of waves of reporters yesterday wanting to ask him about his size and overall effectiveness, and he bristled a bit.

"That's your opinion," he said, when asked to respond to people who say he lacks size and savvy. "I don't think the coaches here would put me out there if they thought that. Teammates have confidence in me, coaches have confidence in me. I guess I can't worry about the media and the fans."

Maybe for those reporters and fans, the lasting image of Considine is from the first quarter of that playoff loss in New Orleans. The safety came up to tackle 232-pound Deuce McAllister and was trampled, McAllister romping for 28 of the 208 yards the Saints ran for in dooming the Eagles.

"I had one bad play in that game, missed one tackle. I think nine or 10 other tackles went just fine," Considine said. He was credited with five tackles and four assisted tackles. "People, that's all they want to talk about when they talk to me. I've moved past that. If other people haven't, then I guess that's their problem."

Considine agreed with Johnson that he needs to show the playmaking capability he was known for at Iowa.

"I have the ability to go out there and do a few things. I feel like I need to go out there and do that in a game, have a few nice plays, to do the same types of things I've been doing in practice, to earn this spot. I think that'll change your perceptions pretty quick," Considine said.

Mikell, meanwhile, will again assume a leadership role on special teams, and probably will play a lot in certain packages, particularly short-yardage, as he did last season.

Mikell is embarking on his fifth season now, and he wants to be known as more than just a special-teams guy.

"I'm at the time of my life where I'm kind of trying to change over," he said. "One thing I look at is a guy like [Steelers wideout] Hines Ward, who came in, made the team on special teams, then he moved into a starting spot. My motivation is to keep working and keep showing how much I've grown, so I can eventually get a starting spot. I think the coaches believe in me enough to, if something happened, they'd easily put me in there. So I'm just waitin' my turn."

Kimo's in the schem-o

Kimo von Oelhoffen is still in his first week as an Eagle, after being claimed off waivers last weekend from the Jets, but Jim Johnson said you'll see von Oelhoffen out there in the defensive-tackle rotation Sunday at Green Bay.

Kimo von Oelhoffen is still in his first week as an Eagle, after being claimed off waivers last weekend from the Jets, but Jim Johnson said you'll see von Oelhoffen out there in the defensive-tackle rotation Sunday at Green Bay.

"Kimo's experienced, playing in the league for 14 years," Johnson said. "He's a tough guy. He's going to be a good run-stopper for us. We'll use him, you'll see him against Green Bay on first and second down. He's got a great attitude, he's a great leader and a real pro out there."

Von Oelhoffen, 36, said it isn't that big a deal, preparing to play Sunday in a scheme he'd never seen before a few days ago.

"Football's football," he said. "The techniques are the same everywhere you go. There may be a few little things different here and there, but it's all about the techniques. The difference with defenses is when you play what."

Birdseed

Marty Mornhinweg said he assumes A.J. Feeley (broken left hand) will be functional enough to back up Donovan McNabb on Sunday, though Mornhinweg said the final decision would be Andy Reid's . . . Mornhinweg, like Reid, seems pretty certain tight end L.J. Smith (groin) will play. Smith said he could not comment on that yesterday. Smith said the Wednesday and Thursday practices, the most intense prep days, went "pretty well." *

Marty Mornhinweg said he assumes A.J. Feeley (broken left hand) will be functional enough to back up Donovan McNabb on Sunday, though Mornhinweg said the final decision would be Andy Reid's . . . Mornhinweg, like Reid, seems pretty certain tight end L.J. Smith (groin) will play. Smith said he could not comment on that yesterday. Smith said the Wednesday and Thursday practices, the most intense prep days, went "pretty well." *

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