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Defensive Line

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NEWS
April 22, 2012
DT FLETCHER COX, MISSISSIPPI STATE - Tall, athletic and disruptive, some think he could be one of the best defensive players in the draft. His game would fit well with the Eagles. DT DONTARI POE, MEMPHIS - The 346-pound defensive tackle impressed with a stunning 4.98-second 40-yard dash at the combine, but his ability didn't translate into big plays on the field. DT MICHAEL BROCKERS, LSU - Brockers is 6-foot-5 and a powerful force up front but is raw and needs to improve as a pass rusher.
NEWS
May 23, 2013 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Part Six of an online-only series. Here is a look at the defensive linemen on the Eagles roster: Projected starters DE: Fletcher Cox (6-4, 300), 22, 2nd season; Cedric Thornton (6-4, 309), 24, 2nd season The Eagles are counting on Cox, the 2012 first-round pick, to become a blue-chip player in the Eagles new defense. He showed flashes of stardom last year, including 4 1/2 of his 5 1/2 sacks after joining the starting lineup seven games into the season.
SPORTS
June 8, 2013 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Of all the changes implemented - or yet to be implemented - under Eagles coach Chip Kelly, the most significant may prove to be the transformation of the defensive line. Not only have the Eagles moved to what will likely be a front of three down-lineman, they have altered the responsibilities of linemen who were previously told to think pass-rush first. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis' scheme is a work in progress, but defensive end Cedric Thornton said that he envisions an Eagles line that will focus on stopping the run first and eating up blockers to free up other pass- rushers.
SPORTS
August 28, 2013 | By John N. Mitchell, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Temple coach Matt Rhule started watching the game film of Notre Dame last week, the play of the Fighting Irish's defensive line was the first thing he noticed. On Monday morning, he was still noticing. The Owls have some depth and considerable size along their offensive line, with Kyle Friend returning at center and the addition of 6-foot-4, 330-pound Maryland transfer Pete White at right guard. But the Fighting Irish went undefeated last season until an Alabama team loaded with future first-round picks across its offensive line destroyed them in the national championship game.
SPORTS
August 12, 2011
JIM WASHBURN, the Eagles' new defensive line coach, had his leg broken in a sideline collision early last season when he worked for the Tennessee Titans. The experience has not appeared to back him off an inch. Late in the fourth quarter of the Eagles' 13-6 exhibition win over the Baltimore Ravens - a time and a place that pretty much defined meaninglessness - there Washburn was, still right in the middle of things, getting himself run over again on the sideline. This time, it was by Ravens receiver Justin Harper, as he was being ridden out of bounds.
SPORTS
May 7, 2014
The Eagles signed Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva on Monday, giving the 6-foot-9, 277-pound defensive lineman his first chance to play football since he was commissioned on May 22, 2010. Villanueva spent the past four years in the Army and served three tours in Afghanistan. He last played football for Army in 2009 and tried out for the Bengals in 2010. The Eagles scouted Villanueva, 25, at the super regional combine in Detroit in April. He will be with the team for the rookie minicamp from May 16-18.
SPORTS
December 2, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The most impressive play in the Eagles' Thanksgiving win over the Dallas Cowboys might not make any highlight reels. It was a second-down run stuff by defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, and promotional campaigns are not usually built around second-down run stuffs. But DeMarco Murray's 1-yard loss 4 yards away from the end zone helped limit the Dallas Cowboys to a field goal instead of a touchdown in the third quarter of a 33-10 Eagles win, and it exemplified Cox's level of play all afternoon.
SPORTS
September 5, 2014 | BY JOHN McGONIGAL, Daily News Staff Writer mcgonij@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Ohio State's defensive line, now coached by former Penn State coach Larry Johnson, is stocked with future NFL talent. Michigan State's stifling unit is headlined by preseason All-America defensive end Shilique Calhoun. But after taking in the opening week of college football, the preseason talk of premier front fours might have unjustly left a Big Ten unit out of the conversation. "I would say that people overlook us," Penn State defensive tackle Austin Johnson said.
SPORTS
August 8, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Taylor Hart and Beau Allen were selected on the third day of the NFL draft, when the odds of hitting on prospects are about as low as betting on the hard eight. But the Eagles loaded the dice and took defensive linemen they knew, and defensive linemen who knew their scheme. Training camp is only 10 practices old, and Friday's preseason opener at Chicago will be the first true test, but Hart and Allen already have drawn praise from teammates and coaches. That's not often the case for rookies taken in the fifth and seventh rounds.
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SPORTS
August 28, 2015 | By John N. Mitchell, Inquirer Staff Writer
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Headed into his fourth season, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood wants to get his best athletes on the field as much as possible. This is particularly true of former Timber Creek standout Quanzell Lambert. A redshirt junior from Sicklerville, Lambert appeared in all 13 of Rutgers' games last season, making appearances along the defensive line and on special teams. Recruited as a linebacker, the 6-foot-1, 260-pound Lambert has played most of the time at defensive end. Flood, however, decided to give Lambert a try at nose guard in the spring, when starter Sebastian Joseph suffered an arm injury.
SPORTS
August 20, 2015 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
EVERY DAY, every single day at practice, the Eagles' defensive linemen hit the sled. Most NFL teams have their defensive linemen do a certain amount of sled work. But none are as zealous about it as the Eagles and their defensive line coach, Jerry Azzinaro. "The thing you figure out about defensive linemen is they really don't like to hit each other," Azzinaro said. "But they don't mind being violent against sleds. That's why our use of those kinds of apparatuses is so important for us. It allows those guys to be as violent as they would be in a game situation, but not against each other.
SPORTS
August 19, 2015 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
Sunday was a good overall day for the Eagles as they opened the exhibition season with a fairly solid and injury-free win over the Indianapolis Colts, but it was also a very good day, specifically, for the 2014 draft class. The last draft controlled by Howie Roseman had some undeniable high points. Receivers Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff were contributors as rookies, as was nose tackle Beau Allen and, to a lesser degree, defensive back Jaylen Watkins. There were gaps among the draftees, however, and none bigger than first-round pick Marcus Smith, who became the poster boy of what was portrayed as a failure of the previous player-personnel department.
SPORTS
April 29, 2015
THE EAGLES protected their 2016 rights to Fletcher Cox yesterday when they picked up the defensive end's fifth-year option under his rookie contract. The option doesn't mean the team can't come to agreement with Cox on a longer-term extension. It does mean Cox can't become a free agent before 2017. Cox, 24, whom the Eagles drafted 12th overall in 2012, led the defensive line with 70 tackles last season. He was the team's most disruptive defensive player in 2014. - Les Bowen  
SPORTS
April 29, 2015 | BY ANDREW ALBERT, Philly.com AAlbert@phillynews.com
EVERY April, there is a buzz in the football world that usually revolves around the NFL draft. This week, Chip Kelly, Marcus Mariota and other prominent names will be hard to avoid until Eagles fans find out just what Kelly has in store for his team. Next year, the focus of the city, aside from Kelly's antics, could be squarely on North Broad Street. The Temple Owls have a cluster of players who could hear their names called from the lectern at the 2016 NFL draft. "I think we'll have a bunch of guys next year that get invited to the combine, a bunch of guys get drafted," coach Matt Rhule said.
SPORTS
April 24, 2015 | BY ANDREW ALBERT, Philly.com AAlbert@phillynews.com
DURING Tyler Matakevich's sophomore year in the Temple football program, newly installed head coach Matt Rhule posed a question to his entire football team. Rhule asked how each player wanted to be remembered at Temple. For Matakevich, the answer back then was simple and has remained the same, as he heads for his last year in cherry and white. "A hardworking, nose-for-the-ball type of football player," the senior linebacker said, describing how he wants to be remembered. "A kid that never stops.
SPORTS
December 26, 2014 | By LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer
ONE REASON the 2013 Eagles improved from 3-5 in the first half of the season to 7-1 in the second half was the progress made by Bill Davis' defense. It still had issues, some of which were exploited in the 26-24 playoff loss to New Orleans, but the trend was positive; most of us thought Davis did an excellent job scheming to hide weaknesses. This season, as the defensive line grew into a dominant group, and the pass rush from the line and the outside linebackers gained consistency, for quite a while it seemed that the unit's overall progress would continue.
SPORTS
December 2, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The most impressive play in the Eagles' Thanksgiving win over the Dallas Cowboys might not make any highlight reels. It was a second-down run stuff by defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, and promotional campaigns are not usually built around second-down run stuffs. But DeMarco Murray's 1-yard loss 4 yards away from the end zone helped limit the Dallas Cowboys to a field goal instead of a touchdown in the third quarter of a 33-10 Eagles win, and it exemplified Cox's level of play all afternoon.
SPORTS
December 1, 2014
I SHOULD have listened. The Eagles' defensive line was trying to tell us something during the week, when it refused to get all gushy over the Cowboys' much-lauded offensive line, the engine driving the NFL's No. 2 rushing attack. "The running back's having a good year running, but I don't see anything spectacular about them," nose tackle Bennie Logan said as the Dallas game approached. "Same offensive line we faced last year, and they have one new guy . . . They're OK linemen.
SPORTS
November 29, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas - Chip Kelly said the Eagles aren't "into statements. " The coach is always wary of labels, and despite the Eagles' dominating, 33-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys in front of a national audience, he found no reason to support the notion that his team made a statement on Thanksgiving. But some of the Eagles players, particularly on defense, had no trouble taking the bait. The defensive line chirped all week about earning respect. Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, and Cedric Thornton said they didn't think the Cowboys' offensive line was as invincible as some have suggested.
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