Defensive end Jason Babin becoming the Eagles' newest sack-meister

Eagles defensive end Jason Babin sacks Jets QB Mark Sanchez in the first quarter. Babin notched three sacks and four tackles.
Eagles defensive end Jason Babin sacks Jets QB Mark Sanchez in the first quarter. Babin notched three sacks and four tackles. (RON CORTES / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 19, 2011

As if he hadn't done enough damage, as the season has gone on the Eagles have employed new ways to utilize Jason Babin's pass-rushing skills.

The new wrinkles have worked even better than the old ones, as Babin demonstrated with a three-sack performance during Sunday's 45-19 win over the visiting New York Jets.

That matched the three-sack effort he had in last week's 26-10 win at Miami.

In the win over the Dolphins, Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo at times used defensive ends Trent Cole and Babin as de facto stand-up linebackers, rushing from the middle.

The Eagles employed the alignment more frequently against the Jets.

With the NFL's version of a triple-double, Babin placed himself in select company. He became the 10th player in NFL history with three or more sacks in back-to-back games and the first Eagle to accomplish that feat.

"I guess with Trent and I standing up, we are much bigger linebackers," Babin said. "We like it, and it's a change-up and keeps things fresh."

Castillo suggested that the tweaks will continue.

"The packages are growing because everybody is starting to understand the base package," he said. "And now we can have fun with the guys a little bit and I think they enjoy those packages."

That's the case with Babin.

"We keep throwing fastballs and curveballs at teams and see what happens," Babin said.

Whatever pitches have been called have worked, not only for Babin but the entire defense. Babin has six of the Eagles' 13 sacks in the last two games.

"He has been coming up with some huge plays," Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said of Babin. "He is so explosive off the ball and getting around the quarterback on what seems like every play, and to have somebody like that is huge."

With 18 sacks on the season and two games remaining, Babin is approaching Reggie White's Eagles record of 21 sacks in the strike-shortened 1987 season.

Babin is now tied for third for most sacks in a season by an Eagle. Clyde Simmons is second with 19 in 1992.

White had 18 in both 1988 and 1986, and now Babin does as well.

Yet Babin says not to put him in the same sentence with White and Simmons.

"First of all, it doesn't even compare," he said. "It wouldn't matter if I got closer or not, those guys are on a totally different level than me."

When asked why they were on a different level, all Babin could do was produce a hearty laugh.

"Have you watched the tape?" he asked. "They were like men amongst boys. It is awesome to watch them. It's a classic, and there won't be any other guys like that again."

That said, Babin is also within reach of the all-time NFL sack record of 221/2 set by the New York Giants' Michael Strahan in 2001.

Babin said that thinking about records only gets in the way of the task at hand - sacking the quarterback.

"My thing is, I'm just going to keep doing what I do every week, practicing hard, doing what I'm told," he said.

"And on Sunday, give it my all."


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com, or @sjnard on Twitter.

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