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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
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.
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SPORTS
June 23, 2014 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
The head coach was asked to assess the team's spring workouts, including the just-completed mandatory minicamp. Going into the long break until the start of training camp, it seemed that everything had been accomplished as planned, and the foundation had been put down for a successful NFL season to come. "It was good to get everybody in the building and everybody working together. Overall, I feel like the team is coming along great, and the unity is where it needs to be at this point, and then when we come back to training camp with the knowledge of the system and people knowing one another, hopefully we can take off from there.
SPORTS
June 9, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The 10 pounds Bennie Logan added this offseason beefed the Eagles' starting nose tackle to around 317-319 pounds, depending on the day. Even though that is a little shy of the prototypical nose tackle's weight, the team is confident in Logan, a second-year lineman, and has pledged its support for him. "Most people, when they picture a nose tackle, they picture a 330-plus guy, just clogging up the middle," Logan said. "But the way we play our defense, you've got to be able to run. And I don't feel I'd be able to run or do the things our coaches, in our scheme, require us to do. That's why I'm not 330, or put on that much weight.
SPORTS
May 21, 2014 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Beau Allen has legs like tree trunks. You look at the 6-foot-3, 329-pound nose tackle and you can understand why the Eagles drafted him in the seventh round. There's more to playing the position in the NFL, but coach Chip Kelly and his staff have certain size parameters for each position. With his ranginess and solid base, Allen checks off a bunch of the Eagles' size qualifications. And then there's his athleticism. Allen wasn't invited to the scouting combine in February, but his vertical leap (31 inches)
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
May 7, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
IF ANYBODY at last month's Super Regional Combine in Detroit deserved to be signed, it was Alejandro Villaneuva. Villaneuva, 6-9, 277, hasn't earned any football honors the past four seasons, since playing wide receiver for Army in 2009, but he has accumulated the Bronze Star for valor (pulling wounded soldiers to safety while under fire), the Ranger tab, the Parachutist badge, the National Defense Service medal, the Afghanistan campaign medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism service ribbon, the Army service ribbon, an overseas service ribbon, NATO medal, Combat Infantryman's badge and Expert Infantryman's badge.
SPORTS
April 26, 2014 | By John N. Mitchell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before he conducted his first spring football camp, Temple coach Matt Rhule's primary goal was installing a vertical passing game. Last season, Rhule inherited a Temple offense that was at its best running the ball, but Rhule wanted - and still wants - a more dynamic offense. Going into the Owls' annual Cherry and White spring game Saturday (1 p.m. at Cardinal O'Hara High School), Rhule is shifting the emphasis to playing with more physicality and continuity as the young Owls prepare for season No. 2 in the American Athletic Conference.
SPORTS
April 24, 2014 | BY MIKE MAYOCK, For the Daily News
NFL NETWORK draft analyst Mike Mayock once again will break down the top draft prospects for the Daily News . He will assess the best player at each position, as well as a player who is rising up the draft board and a late-round sleeper to keep an eye on later in the draft. Mayock, 55, resides in Newtown Square and is a graduate of the Haverford School. The former safety was a 10th-round pick of the Steelers in 1981 and played two seasons with the Giants (1982-83). 4-3 defensive ends THE BEST Name: Jadeveon Clowney School: South Carolina Height, weight: 6-5, 266 40 time: 4.53 225 bench: 21 reps Vertical jump: 37 1/2 inches Arms: 34 1/2 inches Round projection: 1 Mayock: "He's the most talented player in the draft.
SPORTS
April 21, 2014
The Soul used a strong defensive stand to win their Arena Football League home opener Saturday, defeating the Jacksonville Sharks, 54-41, at the Wells Fargo Center. The Soul (2-3) had allowed an average of 62.8 points per game through the first four games. On Saturday, the defensive line, anchored by Bryan Robinson and Teddy Jennings, pressured Sharks quarterback Aaron Garcia and combined for four of the team's five sacks. Fullback Derrick Ross scored three touchdowns while picking up 57 yards on 10 carries.
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.
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