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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
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
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 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
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
November 27, 2013 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
There was a practice earlier this season when Fletcher Cox, just finished with the sled, looked to his left and saw Cedric Thornton still churning his legs, the sweat dripping from his chin. It was only a fleeting moment longer than Cox had driven his body into the blocking dummy. But after a few months of watching his fellow defensive end, Cox had a question for Thornton: "Man, why do you work so hard?" Eagles coaches have praised the work ethic of all their defensive linemen, so it's not as if Cox was slacking.
SPORTS
October 25, 2013 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
CEDRIC THORNTON doesn't look like a guy you'd peg as a run-stopper of a defensive lineman. At 6-3, 309, he's kind of rangy. If you didn't know his listed weight and someone told you he was a linebacker, you wouldn't look askance. But Thornton, an undrafted second-year man from Southern Arkansas, has a 14.9 "run-stop percentage," according to the Pro Football Focus website, and that happens to be the highest in the NFL, by PFF's reckoning. No. 2 is that J.J. Watt dude, down in Houston.
SPORTS
November 3, 2013 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
It happens with increasing regularity in the NFL. A team cuts ties with a veteran and hands his job to a rookie, even if said rookie isn't quite ready to assume the responsibilities of starting. The Eagles trading Isaac Sopoaga to make way for Bennie Logan doesn't quite fit that narrative, but the rookie is expected to take most of the snaps at nose tackle after the 10-year veteran was dealt to the Patriots on Tuesday. "I learned a lot from Isaac. I take nothing away from him. I wish him the best.
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SPORTS
April 7, 2014 | By Tim Gilbert, For The Inquirer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - James Franklin expressed confidence in his first Penn State team's development after its 11th spring practice on Saturday. With the Blue-White Game scheduled for Saturday, there are several positions up for grabs. "The guys have done a great job investing, coming in and watching film," Franklin said to a small gathering of reporters in the Lasch Football Building's weight room. "I don't look at the big picture - it's just wake up every single morning and maximize that day. And I think our guys have been doing that.
SPORTS
March 19, 2014 | By Dan Norton, For The Inquirer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - James Franklin immersed himself in Penn State's football program from the moment he first greeted a young Nittany Lions fan at University Park Airport in January. He has moved past Vanderbilt, rarely referring to the university by name in public anymore. On Monday, he called it "our last institution. " The coach is all about Penn State now, and he moved his commitment to the turf on Monday. The Lions practiced in Holuba Hall for the first time this spring.
SPORTS
March 19, 2014 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, For the Daily News
UNIVERSITY PARK - James Franklin wants his new team to hit the ground running this spring, even if it means running in circles. "There is no walking on the field ever," Franklin said yesterday at a news conference before Penn State held its first of 15 spring practices. "I told them the first day if you don't know where you're supposed to go or what you're doing when the horn blows, then sprint in a circle until you figure it out. " Franklin spent most of his first 9 weeks as the Nittany Lions' head coach in shirts and ties either greeting people at appearances in State College or nabbing eight early verbal commitments for the 2015 class.
SPORTS
March 5, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles signed defensive lineman Cedric Thornton to a one-year contract on Monday. The deal was mostly a formality because Thornton was an exclusive-rights free agent, so he was not free to sign anywhere else. Thornton, who will turn 26 in June, can become a restricted free agent next offseason and is still two seasons away from unrestricted free agency. He started all 16 games for the Eagles in 2013. Thornton finished with 78 tackles and one sack and was a key member of the defensive line.
SPORTS
January 15, 2014 | By Rich Hofmann, Daily News Staff Writer
AS THE Eagles watched the NFL playoff games over the weekend, there was not much to learn - other than that the better team advanced in all four cases, which means the goal is to get better, which is obvious enough. Stylistically, though, you have young quarterbacks and old quarterbacks, running quarterbacks and pocket passers, good defenses and OK defenses. There is no obvious pattern here, or formula. So, get better. Some of that has to come internally - specifically with the development of quarterback Nick Foles.
NEWS
January 7, 2014
I HAVE THIS mental image of a dejected Eugene Clarke sitting on the curb outside Lincoln Financial Field while his brother and a friend were inside watching the Eagles thrash the Bears 54-11 on Dec. 22. Clarke's fanny was on the curb instead of in the seat for which he had paid $75. Why? As the 32-year-old tells it, he was the victim of authoritarian security guys with short fuses. Arriving before kickoff, Clarke got in line, as the other guys did, but Clarke chose a bad line.
NEWS
December 30, 2013 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Eagles are one win from the playoffs. To get there, all they need to do is beat a Cowboys squad that is missing its starting quarterback and top defensive player. The Eagles know what's at stake and insist they will not look past the Cowboys or suffer a letdown because of Dallas' injuries. The last time the Eagles played a team this decimated by injuries, the Vikings upset the Eagles. Even if coach Chip Kelly said the injuries did not affect the team's mind-set that afternoon, he must ensure it will not happen on Sunday.
SPORTS
December 23, 2013 | BY JOHN MURROW, Daily News Staff Writer murrow@phillynews.com
SOMETIMES in football, taking a chance on a rookie instead of the veteran can pay off. For Bennie Logan, making the most out of every opportunity has been his key to success in his first season with Philadelphia. When the Eagles sent Isaac Sopoaga to New England at the end of October, they made way for Logan - a 2013 third-round pick out of LSU - to replace the 10-year veteran. Although the moved saved the Eagles $1.5 million, they have yet to see whether Logan can handle the full-time load on Philadelphia's defensive line.
SPORTS
December 16, 2013 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
There's no real way to stop Shareef Miller when he gets a quick jump off the defensive line. "Unless you just grab him," Frankford football coach Will Doggett said. And Miller said that on almost every play this season, he was clutched, grabbed, or pulled. But it proved to be just a nuisance for the 6-foot-5, 218-pound junior defensive end. He used his speed, strength, and size to barrel over linemen en route to leading Frankford with 70 tackles and 17 sacks. His size (he plans to add 12 pounds by next season)
SPORTS
December 6, 2013 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Only two men in the NFL have thrown more touchdown passes than Detroit's Matthew Stafford this season and their names are Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. That's a pretty good quarterback story even if few people in these parts are talking about it as the Eagles prepare for Sunday's big game with the Lions at Lincoln Financial Field. Eleven minutes passed Wednesday during a conference call with Philadelphia reporters before Detroit coach Jim Schwartz finally received his first question about Stafford.
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