All-22: Bennie Logan And ‘No-Run Day’

all22_logan_400Defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro has a philosophy when it comes to getting his guys prepared: coach during the week, and let them play on Sundays.

For the Eagles, the practice week starts on Tuesday. But that session is primarily spent correcting mistakes from the previous game. Wednesday is when the team puts the pads on and looks ahead to the upcoming opponent.

On most weeks, for the defense, that means an emphasis on stopping the run. While much of the league is focused on figuring out ways to get to the quarterback, Billy Davis has employed a two-gap 3-4 scheme that focuses on controlling the ground game. So when defensive linemen arrive at NovaCare on Wednesdays, the game-planning usually starts with the same idea.


"It's the beginning of the workload week for us," said rookie Bennie Logan. "So that's the main thing going into any game is stop the run, try to get teams as one-dimensional as possible. You figure we stop the run against most teams, that pretty much changes their whole offensive plan. And that's our main thing Wednesday, we call it our no-run day. So we make sure we focus on our technique, getting our hands on the opponent and make sure they don't get no big runs on us during practice. Because if they get it in practice, pretty sure they'll get it in games.

"You get your hands on people, anybody, you can pretty much stop the running game. That's our main thing when we go into games is make sure we get our hands on our opponent and just control the line of scrimmage so the linebackers can flow."

The Green Bay Packers have been a much more balanced offense this season with the addition of Eddie Lacy. But with Aaron Rodgers out and Seneca Wallace projected to start, Lacy and James Starks can expect to carry an even heavier load.

For the Eagles, that means once again gearing up to stop the run.

As for Logan, he got his first start Sunday at nose tackle in place of the departed Isaac Sopoaga and held up well, finishing the game with four tackles to lead all Eagles defensive linemen.

It didn't take him long to make an impact either. On the Raiders' second offensive play, Logan was lined up across from the center.

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Initially, it looked like Darren McFadden had a hole, but Thornton leaned that way, and linebacker Mychal Kendricks was unblocked.

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McFadden decided to try to find a hole to the other side of Logan, but that didn't work. The rookie shed his block, got his hands on the running back and stopped him after a 1-yard gain.

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"I did a lot of studying on the offense and watching the offensive linemen so I knew if I would bait the running back in one gap, he was gonna go the other way because he's a shifty back," Logan said.

"If you get off [your block] too fast, he's gonna cut it back. Just like a [cat 'n' mouse] game with him. Bait him one way, and make him come the other way."

Later in the quarter, Logan had a similar play. He was lined up over the center and responsible for two gaps.

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Logan initially got double-teamed, but stood his ground and started to show towards McFadden's initial hole.

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McFadden cut it back, but Logan and Fletcher Cox were there to stop him after a 2-yard run.

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"Get your hands on 'em. Just get your hands on 'em, extending and just looking in the backfield," Logan said. "You always want to play games with the running back. Put your head in one gap, bait him one way and then just release and get off the block. A lot of people talk about 'You're undersized' and this and that. It's really not about being undersized. It's about being the guy with the best hands. Guys with the best hands, quick hands… if you get your hand on your opponent, you pretty much can control them, pretty much can destroy any run inside. So that's the main thing."

Logan is 6-2, 309. But what the Eagles really liked about him during draft time were his 34-inch arms.

"Long levers are strong levers, and you want to create ‑ offensive football is body on body, defense football is body off body," said Chip Kelly. "You want to get off of blocks, and it's very difficult if you've got alligator arms and you're in here because you're going to get locked up. You need to get extension. You need to destroy blocks, and one of the ways to do that is to have long arms.  Whether you're lined up on a tackle or whether you're lined up on a center, the mechanics of doing that doesn't change and the ability to have length at that position helps."

Logan wasn't perfect. He got caught in a stunt on the Raiders' 8-yard touchdown run in the second. But overall, it was a strong first start for the third-round pick.

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  • Ebrano

    Logan… its great to see Lane, Ertz and him contributing this season… really bodes well for future drafts from Kelly.

    • James Hathaway

      Don’t forget Earl Wolff having very, very steady improvement.

      • GEAGLE

        4 rookie starters who continue to get better, is a friggin Homerun for our new front office. new scouts,new gamble, and new Chip clearly all worked well with Howie combining for a much needed, good draft!!!

        Im really impressed with the offseason job our new front office did. They had such a daunting task of trying to turnover so many different positions, change the culture of the locker room, and this was the first time Howie ever had to draft a two gap Dlinemen, or sign 3-4 OLBs…if they can have another offseason like the one we had last season, with FOles continuing to improve, a bright future will just be around the corner

        • Andy124

          We also have 4 guys (Foles, Kendricks, Cox and Thorton) starting at an average to high level who were rookies last year. And that doesn’t even count Boykin.

          • nicksaenz1

            Maybe we should count Boykin, then?

          • Broadcasting Wisdom

            Throw in Bryce Brown and Vinny Curry – not starters but solid contributors.

          • cliff henny

            thornton was ’11 draft. made that mistake myself.

          • Vick Must Go

            I don’t think he was drafted, was he? I thought he was an UDFA

          • Gary

            Yup, true.

          • Andy124

            Yeah, I actually looked him up… but not thoroughly enough honestly. I thought he was a 3rd year guy, but wasn’t sure. Looked up his stats and he was only listed for this year and last, so I figured hey, must be a second year guy. Thus my mistake.

          • cliff henny

            in those always fun ‘howie bashing posts’, did pretty much same. if the cutoff is ’11/’12, which i’ll buy into, (because howie’s here for another 3 years at least, might as put a mental spin that makes me more at ease with GM position) CT doesnt count.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah man, you figure in the past two years we got:
            Cox
            Logan
            curry
            Kruger
            Demeco
            Mykal k
            Barwin
            Cary
            Wolff
            Bradley
            Boykin
            FOles
            Bryce
            Lane
            Ertz
            ..
            That’s 15 sound to potentially awesome additions in two offseasons averaging to 7 new players per year…you get us 7 more players of that type of quality and boy are we on our way!! I want to see FOles with 7 new quality players around him…Rome wasn’t built in a day..that’s some impressive work by the front office these past two years….what free agents did we sign last year that are still here? we traded for Demeco, but I can’t think of anyone we signed…btw, Jason Phillips was going to look really good on our ST with Colt, Kurt and Knott

          • Vick Must Go

            Kruger sticks out like a sore thumb in that list. I’m comfortable with the others, but I this is Demeco’s 3rd season.

          • Vick Must Go

            Hmm… Kendricks. I don’t know. I hear he is grading out poorly so far this year. I hope that is wrong, I want him to be successful. So long since we had a home-grown LB that stayed here. Trotter left during his prime. So seriously… who was our last home grown LB?

          • Andy124

            Kendricks is the guy who made me throw in the word, “average”. He has potential to be much more than that. The last home grown LB that was really good that I can think of is William Thomas.

          • GEAGLE

            Don’t worry about Mykals grades…I can assure you that you will be pleased with him in due time

        • Brian

          How is this positive, and accurate, statement getting down votes? You might go a bit overboard sometimes, but many of your predictions from May and June were dead on. You’re the anti-dutch.

          • GEAGLE

            Thank you sir

          • Vick Must Go

            Ha! Anti-Dutch. Nice.

          • theedevilsadvocate

            the downvotes are for the hope that foles continues to improve form vick loyalist…

    • G_WallyHunter

      bring on the weird quirky measurables!

  • evanphilly

    Billy Davis came into the season under some scrutiny, but I have been very impressed with the way he has handled this D. It is a very refreshing change of pace from last year.

    • morgan c

      He’s gotten better. I’ll say that.

      • Soybot

        i think its less about him getting better and more that the players are finally adjusting to the drastic change in scheme.

    • G_WallyHunter

      His confidence too, he’s doing much better than any of us expected.

      • GEAGLE

        Better than ANY of us expected? Lol you sure about that?:)

  • mtn_green

    Love Logan, every PC is great. He has the potential to be an awesome NT/DT able to stay on field when one gaping passing downs.

    Still worried that two gapping doesn’t bring enough pressure in the passing league.

    Anyone seen a play where Logan is one gapping and chasing QB?

    • anon

      Give logan the offseason to fatten up. Being gap sound probably means he’s not going to chase the QB a bunch (which is why we move to 43 on passing downs). I see what davis is trying to do, as we play our NFC North games we’ll see whether it stacks up against teams w/ legit offenses.

      • RIP illa

        Exactly. Wanna see him get more beef on him so he has the arm length and weight to anchor like an all-pro. Glad he did well in his 1st start.

        Was getting upset in the beginning of the season when Davis was using a 3 man nickel, majority of the time. It was keeping Curry off the field. Glad he has incorporated more 4 man fronts in the last month. In those situations I see Logan more as a rotational guy, simply for the fact that a Cox and Curry tandem (Curry over the guard at DT and not DE) equals some of the most explosive 1st step and penetration up the middle in the league! We just need a little more attack/explosiveness from Barwin at the end spot, but I’ll definitely take his hustle/effort sacks. And better than good to elite pass rusher on the other side, whether we’re in base or nickel.

      • Vick Must Go

        A $30,000 dinner should fatten him up nicely

    • Soybot

      His job is to eat up blocks so the other guys can get after the qb.

    • doc

      gotta get some mountain green / Bennie still needs to learn-strengthen to push upfield, then unlimited…….

    • Gary

      I hear you about two-gapping not getting enough pressure on the QB, but I think that’s where having OLBs who can rush the passer proves to be necessary. Cole and Barwin just don’t generate much pass rush right now.

      • James Hathaway

        I like Barwin as a solid piece to the defense. He’s not excellent as a pass rusher, but he’s solid. He’s solid in coverage (7 pass break ups), and a sound tackler (usually, minus the whiff on Dez a few weeks back). The problem is Cole is a combination of over the hill and in the wrong scheme. Getting a stud opposite of Barwin needs to be a focal point in the draft. We need a pass rushing DEMON that must be accounted for on every play. I’m confident the F.O. realizes this and that they’ll address it in due time.

        • southy

          speaking of… looks like D Jordan isn’t getting much playing time down there in Miami.

          • James Hathaway

            I was nervous about him. Seems to be another Vernon Gholston type. But we’ll see. Just because you have the physical tools doesn’t mean you have the mental makeup to put it all together. Time will tell about Jordan. Could also be poor scheme fit, but who knows at this point. I don’t watch enough Dolphins football to be able to give an accurate critique of his performance.

          • southy

            PFF is grading him highly when he’s on the field – more of a Curry scenario: i.e. coach’s don’t trust him to set the edge in the run game so he doesn’t get on the field in run situations and 1st downs.

            I still think he could be scary with a few pounds on. Would think hard about floating a 2nd out to the Phins in the offseason for him. That team is managed so poorly they just might bite.

  • Soybot

    i hope greggggg easterbrook reads this. not that he’d understand it.

    • Vick Must Go

      His Tuesday Morning QB Articles are terrible. A weekly “no-read.”

    • reb

      10-15 years ago his stuff was the best football writing out there. But it started going downhill and I haven’t read him for years.

  • GEAGLE

    Bennie played like a beast in his first start…he was so Money on the opening series that when the drive ended and they went to the sideline Cox told him to stay humble and keep doing what he is doing…It’s scary to think what Thornton,Cox,Benny and the Jet(curry off the bench) can grow to become two years from now..

    • knighn

      Don’t forget Kruger. The kid is on IR right now but has the genes to be decent! You figure that the Eagles will eventually hit on one of these less famous brothers!

      • GEAGLE

        Loved Krugz at Utah

  • GEAGLE

    I’m blown away by how Thornton and Cox are playing at such a high level so soon transitioning into a drastically different scheme..and to think at how young Cox is, last years dysfunctional mess, all this years change, the first season and a half of his career is soooo darn encouraging. Its amazing how well he has played considering his age…What the hell is that kid gonna look like when he is 25yr old with all the experience and tricks of a crafty veteran? He probably doesn’t even have his grown man strength yet…I Remember mine didn’t really kick in til I turned 24

  • Brian

    The winds of change are blowin’. The attitude of the majority of the commenters this week has been upbeat, to say the least. There’s hope for this team, and the future. Regardless of the opponents, our offense, defense, and special teams has shown us steady progress throughout the first nine games. Even in the Cowboys and Giants games. Considering the play of the D, If we had gotten, even marginal, successful play from the quarterback in those games, we would be 6 – 3 right now. If our first offensive drive against Green Bay is successful, the Eagles may win the game by a score of 44 – 6. The stats back this up. Take the time to visit profootballreference.com, and look at our quarterback’s statistics. It’s time to believe in the Legend of the Foles. Trust me, this isn’t Kolb, Feeley, or even Goebel. Nick Foles is the real deal. Anyway, I’m all in.

    • anon

      What a difference a game makes. This team is so crazy. QB controversy all summer – we get Vick who clearly wins the comp. (though foles looked good as well). Vick starts out great — hits a rough patch. Foles comes in, looks great and right when were about to be all in — when the season looks in our grasp — he crushes us with one of the worst QB performances ever. We sit through 2 weeks of terrible offense — everyone’s concentrated on the draft and what QB we want. Then Foles puts up one of the best QB performances in history (and it wasn’t against JAX). One think i’d love to see from this team is consistency just to know what we’re going to get from week to week.

      • Brian

        Exactly. I’m leaning, heavily, towards the perfect storm. We’ve been dieing for this scenario, but it hasn’t materialized. If this game goes the way I think it will, the Linc is going to explode in two weeks, and we’re going into the bye with a winning record and a potential franchise quarterback.

  • Weapon Y

    I’ll admit I really misjudged Billy Davis. I thought for sure he was a square peg round hole guy who would be a disaster. He’s really found a good balance between sticking with his scheme and tailoring the defense to his personnel. He’s willing to make changes like using a 4 man front on passing downs instead of a 3 man front. He’s getting Curry into games more. He’s giving Graham a decent number of snaps. He’s recognizes how valuable those guys are as pass rushers and gets them reps. He even has Nate freakin Allen looking like a respectable starter. Wolff actually looks decent. The secondary hasn’t been a total disaster since the Denver game. We have a very solid group of young defensive linemen for the long haul. I really like Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Boykin now. I do still consider Sconce a liability, but we’ve seen far worse CB play from Nnamdi and DRC. DeMeco has improved and Kendricks has had some good moments. I want more consistency from them. OLBs are really the spot we need an upgrade. Barwin isn’t a world beater. He’s just a decent starter. Cole and Graham have been admirable for actually doing a decent job in pass coverage, but they’re just not good fits as pass rushers in this scheme. All in all, I think the defense is on the right track for the first time since JJ died and Dawkins was lowballed by Banner.

  • GEAGLE

    Love that Logan is so familiar with Lacy

  • daggolden

    Lets calm down with the good draft. Just because your draft picks start on a 4-5 team doesn’t make them good. It just means they are better than what you already have. Most of our picks would be backups on winning teams.