Veteran defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins did something to draw the ire of Eagles head coach Andy Reid, and cameras caught the heated exchange on television during the second quarter of tonight’s preseason game against the Patriots.
“It’s an emotional game,” Reid said afterwards. “He was fired up. I was fired up. Those things happen. Cullen is my primary leader on that defensive line so I count on him for a lot of things. He was upset, and I was upset. We talked about it afterwards, and we’re ok.”
Jenkins addressed the scene as well.
“He comes at you,” said Jenkins of Reid. “He wants to get the best out of you. He wants to make sure you’re focused and the right stuff is going on, that’s all. You have to respect that and you can’t fault that as players. Obviously, that’s not the way I should have handled it, but you just get emotional.”
The back-and-forth occurred after the Eagles had given up a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Jenkins was on the bench with the other defensive linemen and Jim Washburn. Reid came over and said something, Jenkins stood up, and the two had to be separated by Washburn and defensive tackle Derek Landri.
“I’ve told you this before,” Reid said. “I put a lot of responsibility on our defensive line. I put a lot of responsibility on our offensive line. And I didn’t think necessarily this was either one of their best performances. But they picked it up after that point, and I thought that they took charge the way that they’re very capable of doing.”
On the drive mentioned above, the Eagles had two third-down penalties. Fletcher Cox was called for roughing the passer, negating a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie interception. And Nnamdi Asomugha was called for holding, negating a Trent Cole sack.
“It’s an emotional game,” Reid said. “I was born with red hair. I know I don’t have much of it now, but I was born with red hair, and it flares up every once in awhile. It’s always for the good of the football team.”
Asked if he can recall an incident like that on the sidelines with a player, Reid said, “I’ve been fired up a few times. I’ve been fired up a few times. There have been some that I’m sure equaled that or bettered that.”
The Eagles signed Jenkins last summer from the Packers. Video of the incident is below.