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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
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.
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SPORTS
September 20, 2016 | By Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER
Carson Wentz's second game will be more difficult than his first. The Bears have more talent than the Browns, and Wentz must introduce a silent snap count to combat the difficult road environment he'll experience at Soldier Field. Also, he's playing without reliable tight end Zach Ertz. That makes Monday's game a good test for Wentz, who is trying to become the fifth rookie quarterback to start 2-0 since 1970. Wentz will need to rely on his wide receivers in their matchup against the Bears secondary.
SPORTS
September 18, 2016 | By Joe Juliano STAFF WRITER
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - In James Franklin's first two seasons as Penn State head coach, the Nittany Lions mostly rode their defense to the success that they achieved in back-to-back 7-6 seasons while the offense struggled in the bottom 20 to 25 percent of FBS statistics. Two games into Franklin's third season, however, the Lions are trending toward a change, with their offense realizing some production with a faster style of play, and their defense encountering some problems behind a mostly young and inexperienced defensive line.
SPORTS
September 10, 2016 | By Marc Narducci, STAFF WRITER
Not many units graded well during Temple's season-opening 28-13 loss to Army, and that includes the offensive line. It's an area that will need to be vastly improved when the Owls host Stony Brook (1-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. "It wasn't all five of them, but we kind of struggled at guard and center and we were OK outside at tackle," Temple coach Matt Rhule said. Quarterback Phillip Walker was sacked four times, after being sacked just 18 times in 14 games last year.
SPORTS
September 9, 2016 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
Media sessions, missed tackles, and blown assignments all get under the skin of new Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, a throwback coach with an NC-17 vocabulary. For the media that means no explanations of what happened - good or bad - immediately after games, a courtesy provided by the team's defensive coordinators at least since the Jim Johnson era. That's too bad because when Schwartz does speak he is almost always enlightening and entertaining, which is why he has probably developed a following among former players.
SPORTS
September 6, 2016 | By Rick O'Brien, STAFF WRITER
Dom Carey has already enjoyed more football success this season with Father Judge than he did playing for St. Matthew in eighth grade. "We lost every single game," the senior two-way tackle said. "It was rough. But I was proud of the way that team battled and never gave up. " With Carey serving as a two-way force, the Crusaders are off to a 2-0 start. They overcame a rash of offside penalties while handing Germantown Academy a 35-14 defeat in Saturday night's nonleague tilt at Northeast.
SPORTS
September 4, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
Kent State at Penn State Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Beaver Stadium TV: Big Ten Network. Radio: WNTP-AM (990), WNPV-AM (1440). History: Penn State leads, 4-0. It's the first meeting since 2013. About Penn State: The Nittany Lions begin their third season under James Franklin and, for the first time since 2011, they are right at or near the NCAA maximum of 85 scholarships. . . . A new up-tempo offense installed by offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, the former head coach at Fordham, figures to favor the Lions' big-play skill players such as running back Saquon Barkley and wide receiver Chris Godwin.
SPORTS
September 1, 2016 | By Joe Juliano, STAFF WRITER
The first depth chart of the new football season usually produces a few surprises. But with Penn State in 2016, James Franklin's choices prompted no shockers and little discussion. The Nittany Lions coach released the depth chart Tuesday for Saturday's season opener against Kent State at Beaver Stadium. Of the 22 positions on offense and defense, 17 were manned by either holdovers or players who have started before. Five spots where players either graduated or left for the NFL were filled with first-time starters, including a pair of redshirt freshmen.
SPORTS
August 20, 2016 | By Zach Berman, STAFF WRITER
PITTSBURGH - In Philadelphia, where defense is worshipped and defensive coordinators can be lionized, performances like the one Jim Schwartz's unit displayed Thursday in a 17-0 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers could generate excitement. The Eagles defense has outpaced the offense throughout the summer, and Thursday was no different. The Eagles' hopes for a competitive team will likely depend on a defense that forced four first-half turnovers and kept Pittsburgh out of the end zone.
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.
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