September 16, 2011
DOWN THE row of lockers, Jason Babin was talking about his greatest hope for the Eagles' defense - "what I want for Christmas," he said - is to create such a nasty persona for this group that opponents actually fear them. To which, Cullen Jenkins smiled. "I'm more of a nicer guy," he said. As it turns out, it takes a village to dismember a quarterback. And if Trent Cole is a bundle of lethal emotion, and Babin is a funny, sarcastic assassin, Jenkins is more of the even, stable, relentless center.
October 8, 2012 |
PITTSBURGH - One play. The Eagles defense needed to make one play here Sunday. An interception, a sack, a fumble recovery, a third-down pass swatted away - anything to disrupt Ben Roethlisberger's methodical game-winning drive. That one play never came. "We should have won that game," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. "We didn't take advantage of the opportunity. " You can't fairly blame a defense for a 16-14 loss to the Steelers. The Eagles are 3-2 despite an offense that has broken the 20-point barrier just once and a quarterback who just can't stop giving the ball away.
August 24, 2012 |
CULLEN JENKINS woke up Tuesday morning and turned on the TV, still tuned to ESPN, from his family having watched the Eagles-Patriots game the night before. "I was like, 'Uh, oh . . . Here we go,' " Jenkins said to a few dozen reporters crowded around his locker stall Wednesday. Jenkins, 31, has been around the NFL since 2004. He knew he was in for a long week when he woke up to images of himself nose-to-nose with Eagles coach Andy Reid, Jenkins and Reid locked in a discussion so heated they had to be separated by defensive-line coach Jim Washburn and a few players.
October 25, 2012
IT TOOK 22 games. It took a .500 season from last year's Dream Team. It took five close games and a blowout upset in the desert. And, last week, it cost them the head of their most devoted soldier. It appears as if the Eagles finally have grown up. The tenor among the Birds of Promise finally has shifted from entitled to entrenched. The tone was set at the beginning of the shortened 2011 season, enbodied by Asante Samuel, of all people. "Pick-Six," as he calls himself, constantly crowed during practices without admonition.
September 21, 2012 |
WE DON'T move off first impressions easily in this town. Some who thought Charlie Manuel was a dimwitted hire when the Phillies' core was just a bunch of unproven kids are, seven seasons and five postseason appearances later, holding fast to the ridiculous argument that he has done too little with the "talent" of this season's aging and injury-ravaged team. Some who thought putting a C on the sweater of Mike Richards at age 23 would only increase his capabilities would still argue that trading him, and soulmate Jeff Carter, was akin to swapping Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus.
October 5, 2012 |
RANDALL Cunningham never got it, but Rodney Peete learned. Donovan McNabb sometimes understood. Ty Detmer and Jeff Garcia, bless their hearts, knew it from birth. Quarterbacks rarely win games. Often, and much more easily, they lose them. Michael Vick, finally, is learning this. Never before has there been a weapon like Vick. Even now, at 32, no one combines arm strength and foot speed and elusiveness. Sorry, Donovan, and Randall, and Fran Tarkenton and Steve Young.
October 2, 2012 |
THEY NEED a name. Fans of the New York Giants brag about their defensive-end-laden "NASCAR" package. And many NFL anchors, analysts and media members have appropriately defined the personality of the Super Bowl champs through their defensive front. But in a head-to-head comparison Sunday, with a national-television audience watching, it was the Eagles' defensive front that proved more disruptive, the Eagles' defensive front that is quickly defining the personality of this 3-1 team.
November 12, 2012
To be an Eagles fan is to be an expert in disappointment, a connoisseur of dashed hopes. The team has suffered almost every flavor of defeat in Andy Reid's final season. There was the shocking blowout in Arizona, the near-miss in Pittsburgh, the collapse against Detroit, the whipping administered by Atlanta, the failed gut-check in New Orleans. But this one? This cruel beatdown at the hands of the hated Dallas Cowboys was a rare blend, indeed. In an absolute must-win situation, the Eagles reached out for the faint sweet glimmer of hope, only to have it cruelly snatched away and replaced by the most bitter of defeats.
August 3, 2012 |
BETHLEHEM — In a week, the Eagles will host a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Chances you'll see any of the Birds' projected front four starting defensive linemen that night? Not good. Of course, starters don't play much in preseason openers anyway, but the Eagles finished practice Wednesday with all four of those guys injured — defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins pulled a hamstring and was to get an MRI Wednesday night, a few snaps into filling in at defensive end for Trent Cole, who has developed an AC joint problem and did not take the field.
October 29, 2012 |
Here are some observations and ruminations about the Eagles-Falcons game: Despite being ejected the last time the Eagles played, an overtime loss to Detroit on Oct. 14, Fletcher Cox was given his first career start at defensive tackle on Sunday. The rookie certainly has earned more playing time, and he already had been playing as much as any defensive tackle on the team. But the start was a nod from the coaches for his improving play, and he ended with five tackles. A cynic may say Cox got the start by default.