Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) passes the ball under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Mike DeVito (70) and linebacker Tamba Hali (91) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
After going down against the Titans, DeVito stated that he was hoping the experience was a bad dream. After about two weeks, the 30-year-old said he decided to take stock of his plight and begin working his way back, something he could not have done without Johnson.
"“I remember when I walked into the locker room and saw him sitting there, and we just looked at each other,” DeVito said. “At first, I think we both knew the road that was ahead of us. If I didn’t have Derrick I would have retired because I couldn’t have gone through it mentally without him. Not only did I compete with him and that helped me to get better because I’m training against one of the most athletic guys in the NFL, but just as a person and the charisma that he has, the type of person this he is, somebody I really look up to, he kept me motivated. He kept me encouraged, and I know that if I didn’t have that I would have called it quits.”"
Looking forward to 2015, DeVito is amped up about the defense. After finishing second in points allowed last year and seventh in total yards allowed, the former University of Maine star is pumped to get the pads on. More than anything else, DeVito sounded genuinely giddy about his position group.
"“I’m so excited about this defense,” DeVito said. “I’ve been around a lot of great defenses but I don’t know if I’ve been around one that is this complete and had this much talent before. Not only that but the types of players that are on it and in that locker room in general. You have great leaders, you have humble guys, guys who have every reason not to be humble that are humble, that are hard-working, that are putting in the effort. So the sky is the limit for this defense. I always say that every year but I’m really encouraged and excited about these guys. Up front, (Dontari) Poe and (Allen) Bailey have been playing at such a high level and then two guys who really I’m really excited about are Jaye Howard and Mike Catapano. You saw Jaye last year, and Mike has all the tools to be incredible.”"
Finally, Sweeney asked DeVito to sum up the defense’s attitude headed into training camp. His answer speaks for itself.
"“We are building a bully,” DeVito said. “We are going to be the team you don’t want to play on Sunday.”"