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Eagles Young Defensive Line Is Playing Better And Smarter

After the game on Sunday, Robert Griffin III made an eliminating statement about the Eagles defense.  Regarding the Birds defense, he said, “They kind of knew what was coming”.   This type of statement could be taken as a shot at the Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan or a compliment to the Birds defense.

I think it’s both, but we’ll focus on the compliment to the Eagles defense.

FletcherCox3The Eagles young defensive players have been growing before, during and after each game.  This is especially true amongst their young defensive line.  Before each play, the Birds young line doesn’t just jump down immediately in their stances.

I just talked to Fletcher Cox, who is emerging as a dominant player in this league.  He put the pass rush pressure on RGIII with the game on the line to force an errant throw.  Because of him the ball was thrown up for grabs and Brandon Boykin wound up picking it off.

The second-year defensive lineman picked off a pass, which was caused by Connor Barwin and it helped stop the Skins in the red zone.


Cox told me that he, Cedric Thornton and Benny Logan start communicating in practice as they prepare for the next opponent.  They communicate before each play and anticipate what the opposing offense is going to do based on their tape study and scouting report.

They think about the down and distance of each play.  Is it 3rd and five or 1st and ten?  Is it a running down or a passing down?  How does the guy they’re facing like to pass block?  Does he cut block when the play is going away to the other side or will he stay up?

They look at the formations they’re facing.  Is a run formation or pass formation?  They find out where the running backs are lined up at.   Is there a fullback or H-back in the formation and where is he lined up at?   Which side is the strong side or where’s the tight end?

If you notice before every play, the Eagles defensive line doesn’t get down quickly into their stances.  They were calling out the plays to RGIII because they had studied the scouting report of the Redskins.

I see big things in the future of this defense and a lot of it will sink or swim based on this young defensive line. on Facebook

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Posted by on Nov 19 2013. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Defensive Line, Eagles, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

30 Comments for “Eagles Young Defensive Line Is Playing Better And Smarter”

  1. howie selected a couple of good players in Cox and Logan.( back to back excellent drafts)
    Fletcher Cox is always talking during the game, like Warren Sapp used to with Brett Farve but yet he never makes the press video clips. He looks like he is a funny dude on the field. I mean SOB funny dude, LOL.

  2. Love what I am seeing from this unit. imagine what they will look like when they’ve got more pass rushing coming from the OLB. In the secondary, i love the physical play of the CB’s. I have to admit… they are better than I expected. That said…. I look for the eagles to land a starting CB this offseason in either FA or draft. The safeties are still the weak link out there. Wolfe gives them some talent… but I see him as a rotational guy or a 3rd safety. I think SS and FS will be top priorities in the offseason.

    For now…. these guys are getting better and better. Boykin just makes plays. Cox is giving his all…. Ryans is looking comfortable much of the time. Good stuff.

  3. **Bonus Eagles News**

    According to a source, Nick Foles was picked off today in practice by non other than….. Brandon Boykin, prompting Nick Foles to say “He’s going to be a great corner.”

  4. **League News**

    This just in, Saints cornerback Jabari Greer has been placed on IR (injured reserve).

    My Thoughts: This has huge playoff implications that can directly effect the Eagles in a positive way. With this injury, expect teams (like the eagles) to spread that defense out and pick them apart. Sad news for the Saints, good news for opposing teams in the NFC playoff picture..

    • CB Greer of Saints out for the Season
      CB Tillman for the Bears out for the Season
      OLB Briggs out for the Bears for a few weeks
      MLB Sean Lee out for the Cowboys for a few weeks

      Lots of Teams having lots of INjuries so Depth, Good Coaching and Opportunities for Younger, lessor known Players to step up which seems to happen every Season, It becomes a Season of Attrition and many times, the most healthy Team that make the Playoffs are the Teams that move on.. The Eagles have been very fortunate with their Injuries for the most Part (outside of Maclin.Benn,VIck, Flethcer,Chung,Wolff,Kendricks) one of the biggest keys and you can check most Super Bowl Winners of late seem to have Healthy O/Lines where the 5 OL have played together all or most of the Season and can really jell together as a unit..
      Right Now the Eagles OL has been realtively healthy minus Peters minor injuries.. This will be key as they move foward during the last 5 Games..

  5. Finally, an article about the defense…but, still leaves much to be desired…Not only is the young D Line playing pretty well, the LB’s are doing their thing too! I’m almost ready to apologize to Davis about being so hard on him early on…He wanted the fans to trust that things were getting better, he said that things were getting better even when they looked terrible…so far so good…didn’t get off to the best start…but what’s the saying, its not how you start its how you finish…Proud of the D!

  6. Roseman takes a lot of grief because he’s a nerdy looking dude, but look at the results of the last two drafts. Foles, Ertz, Logan, Cox, Kendricks, Boykins, Brown & Wolff. Even the free agents/trades he’s brought in have been ok. Barwin is a good football player & Ryans (2nd year off Achillies surgery) has been the heart & soul of this defense. In reality, if they can attain a premier pass rushing OLB to put in Cole’s spot, a corner and a safety (i think Wolff is a starter) via draft or FA, this defense should be nasty going forward.

  7. Im really liking what I am see out of this defense..Im still not a fan of Cary Williams tho. He just gives up way to many plays/catches. And even though Nate Allen is playing better this season, I want no part of him longterm.

    Right now my choice in the 1st round based upon where we will likely be picking would be CJ Mosley (really like Barr but Im sure he will go too high for us). Mosley is a beast and reminds me of Navorrow Bowman. Add him to the mix with Barwin/Kendricks and maybe Ryans.

    If Foles plays terrible through these last 5 games (I dont think he will but just as a hypothetical) I could easily see Chip drafting Johnny Football if he is there. In fact even if Foles continues to play well, I could still see Chip drafting Johnny Football if he is there. Right now, I would rather have Foles in a heart beat but when I look at these college Qbs, Manziel could easily end up being the best despite his size/attitude. The guy just makes things happen all the time against the best talent week after week, kind of like the Honey Badger did.

  8. We can see the improvements that this Eagles defense and team are making. Their not just making small improvements, were seeing them get better and better each week. I think this has a lot to do with the youth movement. In years past (including last year) we had a lot of high paid high priced veteran players who weren’t young and hungry anymore. Most of them were playing for a check. They didn’t play with any passion or desire or love for the game. They just cared about themselves. They didn’t respect Sean McDermott, who many on this site disrespected but have you been watching the job he’s doing over in Carolina as the DCoord? Lights Out defense.. Also with Juan, the Vets just didn’t buy into him or what he was trying to do. Now you get rid of the disruptive players and you replace them with young hungry guys. Some may not be household names right now, but these guys are playing with an intensity that I haven’t seen from an eagles defense in a long time.. Most of the credit goes to Bill Davis, but also the DLine coach who is more than a just a DLine coach. I suggest you go and research that man Jerry Azzinaro. Hes also the Assistant Head Coach. You cant overlook his contributions to this defense thru intense film study and teaching. Were actually witnessing coaches patience with young player allowing them to grow. Were actually seeing growth right before our eyes! When was the last time we can say “Wow that guy really is showing growth each week” When? Seems like Andy surrounded himself with poor teachers as the years went on.. But I digress.. I’m proud of the offense who I knew would shine but I’m really proud of this defense who the majority of fans didn’t have high hopes for. They are really starting to become the anchor and bright spot of this team..

  9. I have been out of touch for the past couple days…..but needed to say what a great time it is to be an Eagles fan!!!

    This young Dline is starting to show what they are made of. Things really look bright for all aspects of this team. The bye week is coming at a good time….FIRST PLACE!! Get these guys rested and healthy, and then make a run at the division ….Kelly is learning from most mistakes (wish he would have scrapped the “prevent offense” in the 4 th qtr again, but otherwise it is very clear that this guys knows how to scheme an offense to attack the weaknesses in a defense. GO BIRDS!!!

  10. The defense is truly getting the job done…we were able to hold on to the win because the defense made plays in the clutch…forcing an RG3 turnover….the previous week against Green Bay we were able to get the job done with the offensive line bullying the GB defense and running the ball for an incredible 9 min drive! Play like this will pull the wins in for us!

  11. I loved the pressure the dline got on that last drive against RG3. Wow, the push that Trent Cole and Fletcher Cox had was amazing. It felt like the last play of a SuperBowl. All or nothing, last play of the game, do or die.. And that Defense rose to the challenge and ended the long 10 game home losing streak.. The fans were the loudest they’ve been in years.. Were playing for something now guys, a playoff spot.. Exciting times..

  12. I was hard on GM Roseman/Eagles for Selecting dT Benny Logan who may end up as on of the Steals in the entire 2013 Draft..
    His size, cat quickness and use of his hands to shed blockers kind of remind me, dare should I say, a young Jerome Brown.. What I really like about the young 3 (Cox, Thornton & Logan) is that they are smart, level headed, and Coachable and will all get a little stronger, bigger and better as the collectively gaine more experience playtime g together and in a scheme that is well Coached.. A very bright Future for all 3 of these DL then you add in a Vinny Curry and Trent Cole as pass rushers when they switch to 4-3 in passing downs and it’s a formidable group that will get better & better..

    • I didn’t know much about Logan until they drafted him, but a lot of people were high on him as the guy that did all of the dirty work on the line for a strong defense. Taking up blocks and allowing others to make plays. Looks good so far.

      There was an article about Cox in that had a stat about QB pressures and how high he was on the list. Curry was on that list too even though he doesn’t get many snaps.

  13. Readng the story on about ShawnAndrews during his time in Philly is realy sad, and it answers a few questions, specifically, why after dominating the NFC as we did early in Andy’s tenure, how did NY jump ahead of us, and win 2 SB’s. One answer sticks out during that interview. Team Unity, and a Positive atmosphere.

    I dont get how you can so allienate a guy on YOUR OWN TEAM, to the point where you cut your nose to spite your face. This is what it sounds like Donovan Mcnabb did. A lineman that supposed to protect you? no thanks, but you ridicule your Pro-Bowl Lineman to the point he does not want to play for you? thats F’d Up. If this is true. McNabb just lost a lot of respect from me. not for being a bully, but for being STUPID! Andrews lost some respect from me as well because this is locker room business, and in this very same article he seemed to be talking about Dawk…… a mistake.

    These athletes are flawed. Every adult knows that. Put them on a pedastool on Sunday….and that its.

    • One thing to consider Theone1 is that Shawn Andrews is not the most “Stable” person in the Barn, he has a history of Emotional episodes so some of his Story’s may be a bit exagerrated.. If anyone recalls or cares, I would the first to announce that Andrews would be released back in whatever year that was and everyone said I was crazy, how could Eagles Release an All-Pro, most of it had to do with his emotional state of mind and immaturity along with his injuries issues… anyways, he seems like a nice fella and hope things work out well for him…

      • Seeing what is going on with the whole Incognito case, you really think that the emotional distress you are talking about was not brought on by the locker room things he discusses? I know for a fact that If I was in a shower with a 400 lb lineman PISSING ON ME I would personally freak the fuck out, shoot his ass, then seek some counseling as well.

        • LOL, during the New Orleans Saint bounty investigation the NFL played naive and dumb towards the other 31 teams I suspect that the investigation will ignore all additional complainants who feel bullying in other locker rooms too. Incognito will get his suspension pay reduced like Roethlisberger and Vilma before him too.

        • Do remember that Andrews was with a Veteran OL that had in Thomas,Runyan with McNabb, Westbrook, etc
          who were all company men and from more of an old school background.. Andrews was a free-spirit which probably rubbed some players the wrong way and also had a big salary at a young age..

          • I can see that being the case, But as a fan hearing this, and knowing how badly we wanted a superbowl during those years i’m seriously dissapointed. If this crap is what cost us a title, then shit needs to CHANGE! not waiting another 10 years behind this crap.

            I saw something in MV7’s interview that kind of got my goat as well. He said “This is not my team” . He said that in reference to a question that was asked about him staying next year or starting again this year. That statement was ominous. Like if the players have the audacity to play for Nick foles, and actually go out and win, then he basically allienated them all. GET RID OF HIS ASS! If he cant play his part as a declining, once electrifying talent, and help groom our young QB’s get his behind out of the locke room. Sick of this crap.



              • I never liked him and thought he was a wasted talent and a fool
                and called him out during his 2nd Year with the Eagles for his shenanigans, when everyone was ga-ga for him too.. He was immature,selfish and disturbed young man.. Hope he has his head together now ..

            • Good posts above Theone1, many good points about McNabb. I had heard Andrews interview with Misscenelli and he really made McNabb sound like a dick. I don’t get that either, why treat a teammate that way?

  14. “These athletes are flawed. Every adult knows that. Put them on a pedastool on Sunday….and that its.”

    No truer words have been said man.

  15. 1.) Isn’t funny how Drew Brees is being protected by the NFL against Ahmad Brooks chest slap personal foul penalty considering its the Saints with Sean Payton and his pay to injure system.
    2.)Tom Brady cursing out the ref on National TV is getting no outrage from NFL offices. What if as Terrell Owens says if Dez Bryant cursed out the ref.
    3.)How many times a game do we see a a stone hand 5th option blocking TE being held while an incompletion was thrown to a Calvin Johnson on 3rd and 14 and the QB didn’t even look at the stone hand blocking TE and they move the chains with an automatic first down yellow flag but Luke Kuechly holding Gronkowski was legal because the ball was uncatchable.

    • ummmm…the NFL has been cowtowing to superstar pocket Qbs for 20 years now. About time the Eagles (maybe) have one.

      One of the reasons I’ve been clamoring for one for years. Will be nice to see the calls rolling our way over the next decade.

      • Co signed!

        Why would you want a player that is not benefited by the rules (running QB) vs one who has all the rules in his favor (pocket Passer). Once Kelly has a full grasp on how the NFL is different then college and the advantages a pocket passer brings…. guess what… I bet next years offense has FAR less read option and we install more WC concepts but with Kelly’s terminology.


        • MAN your stupid. Hang it up!

          • sorry youre Hero IS DONE but get a clue fool, running qbs stink

            Too alarming now to talk about
            Take your pictures down and shake it out
            Truth or consequence, say it aloud
            Use that evidence, race it around

            There goes my hero
            Watch him as he goes
            There goes my hero
            He’s ordinary

            Don’t the best of them bleed it out
            While the rest of them peter out
            Truth or consequence, say it aloud
            Use that evidence, race it around

            There goes my hero
            Watch him as he goes
            There goes my hero
            He’s ordinary

            Kudos, my hero
            Leaving all the best
            You know my hero
            The one that’s on

            There goes my hero
            Watch him as he goes
            There goes my hero
            He’s ordinary
            There goes my hero
            Watch him as he goes
            There goes my hero
            He’s ordinary

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