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Defensive Line

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October 23, 2015 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
First there were Quintin Mikell and Sean Jones in Sean McDermott's Jim Johnson-cloned defense. Then there were Mikell and Nate Allen. Then Allen and Kurt Coleman for two years behind the "wide nine. " Then Allen and Patrick Chung in Bill Davis' completely new scheme. And then Allen and Malcolm Jenkins last year. Interspersed as starters in that six-year span have been Macho Harris, Colt Anderson, Jarrad Page, Jaiquawn Jarrett, David Sims and Earl Wolff. It's been seven years since the Eagles and Brian Dawkins parted ways, and for the first time since his departure, the team has two more than competent safeties and a scheme that matches their skill sets.
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October 22, 2015 | BY GORDIE JONES, For the Daily News
PENN STATE senior defensive end Carl Nassib has gone from non-starter - in college, and also at Malvern Prep - to star. From medical school candidate to likely NFL draftee. From self-described nerd to a player his teammates call "Crazy Carl. " His numbers through seven games this season, his first as a regular, are no less insane. He has recorded 11 1/2 sacks, 15 1/2 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles, all No. 1 in the nation. Even as the Nittany Lions (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten)
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October 22, 2015 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist
The season has been saved and the Eagles have their defense to thank for it. That used to be said and written all the time when Buddy Ryan's bullies beat up Eagles opponents in the late '80s and early '90s. It was still true after Ryan was fired by Norman Braman, a.k.a. "the guy in France," and Bud Carson became the team's defensive coordinator. The early success of the Andy Reid era was much more about Brian Dawkins, Jim Johnson and the defense than Donovan McNabb and the offense, too. Given Chip Kelly's devotion to the offensive side of the football and the way things went in his first two seasons as the head coach, it seemed unlikely that the defense would ever be the primary reason for the Eagles' success.
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October 21, 2015 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
THERE WERE moments when it seemed like the proper course of action would have been to disqualify everybody involved from postseason consideration. The Eagles, the Giants, the referees - everybody except the 60,000-plus who paid to watch. They should get a medal, or a free fast- food sandwich. There were moments when it seemed like maybe this is one of those years where there isn't a team in the NFC East that is capable of doing anything except losing to whatever wild-card team finishes with the best record.
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October 21, 2015 | By Rich Hofmann, Daily News Executive Sports Editor
- Remember ABC's Wide World of Sports on Saturday afternoons? Remember when it used to show the demolition derby from Islip Speedway on Long Island? That is what this game resembled, minus the charm. And that is what the first-place teams in the NFC East look like these days - a '72 Hornet with a fender partially torn off and a bumper dragging behind. Welcome to the summit, Eagles. - The more you see DeMeco Ryans, the more you think of him as one of the great, tragic figures of this Eagles era. Because he is so well thought of by his coaches and teammates - respected, revered, all of that.
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October 20, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Through 32 games as Penn State's quarterback, Christian Hackenberg has shown unequivocally that he wants to win and that he will do whatever it takes to achieve that result, whether it's handing off repeatedly or taking hits from an angry bunch of pass rushers. Very few times is Hackenberg the invisible man in the Nittany Lions' struggling offense, but he might have reached that point Saturday night when the visitors saw mistakes and poor execution blow up in their faces in a 38-10 loss to top-ranked Ohio State.
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October 17, 2015 | By Phil Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
R.J. Wolf isn't a regular visitor to the end zone. But he's been there before. "Last year, against Seneca, blocked punt," said Wolf, a Cherokee senior nose tackle. This was different. This was Cherokee against Lenape in a battle of top-six teams before a huge crowd that filled both bleachers and occupied most of the hill that surrounds the Chiefs' iconic field. This was the fourth quarter of a one-score game with the momentum on the visiting Indians' side. This was the decisive play of a taut, tight game.
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October 16, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The question faces every Penn State opponent sooner or later. Of the four men who guard the trenches for the Nittany Lions on the defensive side of the ball every Saturday, whom do you double-team? It's got to be a puzzle. The Lions possess probably the best pair of defensive tackles in the Big Ten in Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson. Their best pass rusher, sack-happy fifth-year senior Carl Nassib, who walked on as a freshman out of Malvern Prep, merits a lot of attention. "It's kind of balanced up front with us," said defensive end Garrett Sickels, the fourth member of Penn State's D-line.
SPORTS
October 14, 2015 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
CHIP KELLY said there would be no kicker tryouts this week, after Caleb Sturgis went 4-for-4 on field goals but again missed an extra point in a 39-17 victory over visiting New Orleans. "Caleb did a nice job," said Kelly, who blamed a high snap for the missed extra point. "He started to get a little more comfortable . . . had a short week, the week we brought him in here (before the Washington game) . . . Now he's starting to get into a rhythm, so we'll see how that goes. " Kelly said he liked Sturgis' kickoffs against the Saints, especially in the second half.
SPORTS
October 6, 2015 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
LANDOVER, Md. - Eagles left tackle Jason Peters was one of four starters who left Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Washington Redskins with an injury and did not return. The other players were cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, and defensive lineman Brandon Bair. Peters reaggravated a quadriceps injury, which first happened late in last week's win over the New York Jets. He was limited at practice leading up to the game and was questionable to play. "I didn't want to be out there limping around, so I just took myself out just to not hurt the team," Peters said.
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