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Defensive Line

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SPORTS
April 23, 2012
DT FLETCHER COX, MISSISSIPPI STATE He's tall, athletic and disruptive, and 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, LOUISIANA STATE Brockers is 6-foot-5 and a powerful force up front, but he 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
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
April 23, 2012 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Staff Writer
Love them or hate them, the Eagles' draft picks on the defensive line usually have been memorable. They are rarely boring. They have been stars who set standards of Eagles excellence. They have been colorful. They have been busts of historic proportions. They have been hated and loved and have died tragically early. Start at the top, with Reggie White, who was taken in the 1984 supplemental draft and became one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history. He made seven Pro Bowls with the Eagles and six with the Green Bay Packers after leaving as perhaps the most sought-after free agent in NFL history.
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.
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SPORTS
April 17, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
Blue-White Game Saturday at 2 p.m., Beaver Stadium, State College Players to Watch: Redshirt sophomore Trace McSorley and redshirt freshman Tommy Stevens are competing for the quarterback job left vacant by Christian Hackenberg's move to the NFL. Head coach James Franklin has not named a starter and said the competition will resume in August at training camp. . . . New offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead has revamped the offense to more of a hurry-up, no-huddle attack. . . . The Nittany Lions are looking at improvements along the offensive line, and fresh bodies on the defensive line to replace three starters - Carl Nassib, Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson.
SPORTS
March 23, 2016
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Doug Pederson talked Monday about needing to do more to fix the Eagles' offensive line. Howie Roseman, perhaps more experienced in the keep-them-guessing ethos of the NFL draft, managed to turn a question about the running-back position into a hint that the Birds wouldn't necessarily spurn a chance to draft a runner - presumably, Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott - with their first pick, eighth overall. We're still five weeks away from the start of the draft, but as Roseman noted when he took a break from the NFL meetings at the Boca Raton Resort to speak to reporters, the selection process is about to take center stage.
SPORTS
March 23, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, Columnist
Temple offensive lineman Shahbaz Ahmed hopes to sign a professional football contract. A graduate of Paul VI High School, Ahmed can only hope to have as much success signing a football contract as he did with the one he inked with his mother, Tonya. Before entering Temple, Ahmed, who was a two-year starter playing both guard and tackle, signed a pact with his mom that he would earn his degree. There was no timetable for when it would be earned, but Ahmed didn't waste any time. He graduated in December, in 31/2 years, with a degree in political science and a minor in English.
SPORTS
March 11, 2016 | By Les Bowen, STAFF WRITER
RODNEY McLEOD was asked what makes him a good fit for Eagles coordinator Jim Schwartz's defense. "Just my physicality," McLeod said in his introductory news conference Thursday, after he signed on for five years and $37 million. "I'm able to just be fearless out there, honestly, even though, my size, you know a lot of people wouldn't say I'm that big (at 5-10, 195). " McLeod, who has played in every game since he arrived in St. Louis as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2012, and has started 48 games in a row at safety, said one of the reasons he took the Eagles' offer was that he wants to play alongside and learn from Malcolm Jenkins.
SPORTS
March 7, 2016 | By Zach Berman, Staff Writer
Howie Roseman is cautious about getting too excited over the Eagles' salary-cap space going into free agency, because he knows what's in some other teams' accounts. Roseman, the Eagles' executive vice president of football operations, has about $17 million in cap space at his disposal. The Eagles can start negotiating with any free agent on Monday, and players can sign elsewhere on Wednesday. A portion of the money must be allocated to signing draft picks. The Eagles could always open more space by adjusting contracts or releasing or trading players in the next few days.
SPORTS
February 29, 2016 | By Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER
INDIANAPOLIS - Just three years after leaving Eastern Regional High School for Ohio State, Eli Apple is now a potential first-round NFL draft pick. The Voorhees native is one of the top cornerback prospects in the draft. He played only two seasons of college football, but he started both years for the Buckeyes, and his 6-foot-1, 199-pound frame fits the prototype for a press-coverage cornerback in the NFL. "That's something in the NFL that's really important, to be a physical guy at the line of scrimmage and be able to take receivers off their path," Apple said.
SPORTS
February 28, 2016 | By Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER
INDIANAPOLIS - Matt Ioannidis is seeing familiar faces at the NFL scouting combine. One sign of Temple's emergence into a respected football program is its NFL draft prospects, with three players invited to the annual event. Ioannidis, a defensive lineman, is joined by linebacker Tyler Matakevich and cornerback Tavon Young. "It's been great having them here," Ioannidis said. "In the past, we haven't sent a lot of players here. " Ioannidis, who met with reporters on Friday, will go through on-field drills on Sunday along with Matakevich.
SPORTS
February 5, 2016 | By Aaron Carter, Staff Writer
Simon Gratz senior Charly Timite certainly made the most of his brief yet successful high school football career. His junior year was the 6-foot-4, 270-pound lineman's initial foray into the sport. As a senior last season, Timite helped the Bulldogs win the Class 4A Public League championship. During a signing-day ceremony Wednesday at Gratz, the good times continued as Timite penned his national letter of intent, committing to UMass. "I just feel like I'm blessed, but I have way more ahead of me," said Timite, who was recruited to play on the defensive line.
SPORTS
February 5, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, Staff Writer
The recruiting process for Penn State's class of 2016 was filled with challenges that made it "a little bit more interesting than normal," in the words of head coach James Franklin. But when all the signed national letters of intent arrived Wednesday at Franklin's "war room" in the Lasch Football Building, the Nittany Lions could boast a solid 20-player class that actually finished ahead of Michigan State in the rankings of two recruiting websites. Sixteen players, including two junior-college transfers, submitted their letters on national signing day. The program already had four freshmen who enrolled in January.
SPORTS
February 5, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, Staff Writer
Temple football coach Matt Rhule was enthusiastic Wednesday afternoon when introducing his 24-player recruiting class. Imagine how Rhule's mood elevated that evening when the class grew to 25 with the Owls' most high-profile recruit. Prep Charter defensive end Karamo Dioubate, the 6-foot-4, 275-pound four-star recruit and Inquirer first-team All-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection, announced to a crowd at a local restaurant that he would be attending Temple. "He is one of the best players in the nation who had a chance to go anywhere and he wanted to come here," Rhule said Wednesday evening in a phone interview after receiving Dioubate's letter of intent.
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