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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
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
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
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.
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.
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SPORTS
August 16, 2016 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
OVER THE last three seasons, the Eagles' defense was on the field for a total of 3,411 snaps. That's 71 snaps per game, which - surprise, surprise - was far and away the most in the NFL over that period. Connor Barwin was on the field for most of them. As an outside linebacker in Billy Davis' two-gap, 3-4 scheme, he played 3,189 of those 3,411 snaps, or 93.5 percent. And lived to tell about it. Not only lived to tell about it, but played pretty damn well. Had 21 1/2 sacks the last two years and was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2014.
SPORTS
August 10, 2016 | By Jeff McLane, STAFF WRITER
C hris Wilson has scraped and primed the walls, but the new defensive line coach for the Eagles has just begun to paint. Wilson is teaching not only a new scheme, one that is the opposite of predecessor Jerry Azzinaro's 3-4 base front, he's changing the defensive line's mentality from reactive to aggressive. He's had to strip the players down and build them back up. And that takes time. That takes repetition. "When you're going to change mentality, you change foundations," Wilson said on Monday.
NEWS
August 6, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
More About the Nittany LionsHere are five questions (and answers) at the start of Penn State training camp: 1 How will the Nittany Lions do in their new hurry-up offense?    Penn State spent the first two years of the Franklin regime near the bottom of the Big Ten in offense, and that cost John Donovan his job. Joe Moorhead, the former head coach at Fordham, was hired away from the Bronx last December to install his hurry-up attack that produced some great numbers for the Rams, albeit at the FCS level.
SPORTS
July 28, 2016 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
WE DON'T know much about Doug Pederson as a head coach yet, but we do know this: He doesn't have to be the smartest guy in the room. Actually, it might be in his best interests if he isn't. The best avenue for Doug Pederson to succeed in his first foray as a head coach - his best chance to buy a little time to get a feel for the job - is if Jim Schwartz comes in and proves right away that the Eagles' defensive personnel are much better than last season's effort and record would suggest.
SPORTS
July 28, 2016 | By Jeff McLane, STAFF WRITER
Typically, when a sentence starts, "When I was playing high school football . . .," it draws a blank stare or an eye roll. When Jim Schwartz uttered the phrase on Tuesday, however, he wasn't about to recount the glory days of his youth. The Eagles defensive coordinator was anecdotally illustrating a point about his scheme. "When I was playing high school football, the coach would always say, 'Hey, everybody stay in your lane. Everybody stay in your lane,' " Schwartz said. "Nobody covers a kick that way in the NFL anymore or college football because [if]
SPORTS
June 8, 2016 | By Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER
The Eagles' defensive line was incomplete for the last two months while Fletcher Cox took advantage of the "voluntary" part of voluntary workouts. But Cox is back in Philadelphia this week for the team's mandatory minicamp that begins Tuesday, and his presence changes the outlook at the position. Cox will join Bennie Logan in the middle of the Eagles defense. Logan, a third-round pick in 2013, has started at nose tackle for the last three seasons. The Eagles' scheme change will have a major effect on Logan, who must transition from occupying blockers while lining up over the center to turning into a penetrating tackle.
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.
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