July 26, 2013 |
BENNIE LOGAN might have been the most surprising Eagles' draft pick in April. (It was surprising that they got quarterback Matt Barkley in the fourth round, not all that surprising that they drafted him.) Logan is a defensive lineman from LSU. After the Eagles went offensive line (Lane Johnson) in the first round, and tight end (Zach Ertz) in the second, most observers would have laid odds on a safety or a corner in the third. You saw the Birds' secondary last year; maybe there didn't seem to be a defensive back in the draft worthy of being taken fourth overall, where the Eagles took Johnson, but nobody would have been shocked if they'd gone for secondary help in the second, third and fourth rounds.
October 4, 2013 |
A YEAR AGO, as Cedric Thornton struggled to get snaps on a 4-12 Eagles team, veteran defensive-line starters Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins told Thornton his time would come. "Last season, they were telling me that next year was going to be my test," Thornton said yesterday, as the Eagles prepared for Sunday's visit to the New York Giants. "They prepared me for it . . . Most likely, you're not going to get too many opportunities, but when you do, you just want to step up to the plate.
June 7, 2013 |
THIS YEAR'S Eagles defensive line rotation is going to look very different from what fans are used to seeing. The Andy Reid-era Eagles prized speed over size up front, whether the defensive coordinator was Jim Johnson, Sean McDermott or Juan Castillo. The phrase "high motor" came up a lot, usually with players who might otherwise be described as "low measuring tape. " Which brings us, indirectly, to Clifton Geathers, a 6-8, 340-pound defensive end and nose tackle who has gotten some first-team reps at both spots this week, in the Birds' mandatory minicamp that ends today.
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.