Wake-Up Call: Wolff Under Jenkins’ Wing

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Malcolm Jenkins and Earl Wolff meet in the NovaCare film room every morning at 7:30, before the building is filled and the day officially begins, to get some extra classwork in. There’s no question who is the teacher and who is the student when the film starts to roll.

“We’ll watch tape and even if it’s just practice [film] , go over some plays that he might have messed up and tell him what he should have seen, how to see the big picture of things, how to broaden his vision in his zones. Just little things that I had to learn early to kind of take that next step,” said Jenkins after Thursday’s practice.


"He's been sitting with me. He'll go over my notes. I'll tell him when I see things. He's a young guy that's trying to get better."

Wolff says that it doesn't end in the meeting rooms. He has Jenkins guiding him out on the field as well.

"Like today, we were in Cover 3 and I was the middle safety. He said, 'Earl. Every time the quarterback stares you down, he's throwing it at the 'X' [receiver]' every single time. And I noticed it as I went on. And it's just those little things. He tells me something like that every day, gives me a tip. It's a blessing to have him here. It's a blessing to have him on this team."

Wolff had an up-and-down rookie season. He showed improvement after battling through a steep learning curve early on and started six games for the Eagles, finishing with 37 tackles, five passes defensed and an interception. He suffered a  hyperextended knee against the Packers in November, however, and played very little down the stretch as he struggled to get the leg right.

Wolff  has been running with the second team early on in OTAs. Nate Allen is currently above him on the depth chart. Jenkins explained that the young safety played mostly as an in-the-box safety in college so when they asked him to play deep and man-to-man, a lot of it was unfamiliar. Jenkins is trying to help quicken the learning process.

"He's been outstanding," said Chip Kelly of Jenkins. "And Billy [Davis] has been excited about him, when you've watched him out there, it feels like he's been in the system for a while."

Added Wolff: "Great guy, man. Matter of fact, I was talking to one of the strength coaches yesterday and I was telling him, he's making me a better player...I think he can elevate my game as well as elevate the guys around him."

WHAT YOU MISSED

"He's going to be a huge part of this offense." Jeremy Maclin a full-go Thursday.

Sheil's world famous (or at least Philly famous) running diary of Eagles practice is back.

Notes from OTAs: Mark Sanchez gets the early nod over Matt Barkley.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Jimmy Kempski with an update on the All-ACL team.

Of the Eagles returning from ACL tears, Jason Phillips looks like he is the furthest away from a full recovery. On the other hand, Arrelious Benn had a really good day. On one play he leaped up high for a pass, snagged it, and then looked quick darting up the field. Later he made a tough sliding catch. His play today was encouraging. I didn't see Jeremy Maclin tested all that hard today, but will continue to keep an eye on him.

A heartfelt welcome back to Phil Sheridan, who wrote about Kelly's quarterback, Nick Foles.

There are four quarterbacks in the meeting room. There’s only one running the first-team offense. That’s Kelly’s quarterback. That’s Foles.

“Chip’s cool,” Foles said. “He’s a fun coach to play for. You just continue to grow. I’ve got to keep getting better. If I don’t play well, it’s the NFL. I’ll be gone. I know that. That’s why last year’s stats don’t mean anything. The most important thing is for the team to be successful. To do that, the quarterback has to be sharp.”

COMING UP

More from our time with the team on Thursday.

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  • NickS1

    As long as Jenkins isn’t teaching Wolff how to tackle, we’re good. Sorry, I had to. Jenkins seems to have been a great addition thus far, but we’ll see what happens on Sundays come September. 16 missed tackles next season and these feel good pieces about his leadership won’t mean squat. Here’s to hoping that number isn’t in the double digits next year and QBs aren’t putting up QB ratings of 95+ consistently.

    • cliff henny

      still little difficult to believe MJ was #1 safety target. who knows, maybe eagles arent terrible worried about tackling issues, plenty of guys had it in ’12 and they coached it out of them in ’13. guy sounds like 50% of his paycheck is for locker room personality, though have no idea how they’d know this since there’s no connection to him from this staff. it’s not like he’s getting crazy huge money and safe to say he’s better than chung or Allen. if he gets same bump in play from coaching that everyone else did, hopefully those numbers will look alot better. like his versatility, leadership and contract, see what he gives Eags on field.

      • Dude

        Malcolm Jenkins was worth the pick he got, he was asked to do more than any other safety last year for the Saints, which is why some of his numbers look bad.

  • Will

    Is the safety spots finally gonna take a step toward getting any better….

    • Joe Thomas

      Yes

  • cliff henny

    hope we get to hear more about first impression looks. so many of these guys went MIA right after NO game (Foles mainly), and some for longer than that (like all backup OL, Kruger, Long Benn Mac Knott). About all we can really learn today is physically how have these guys transitioned.

  • http://themoranimal.wordpress.com WilmingtonDan

    I was curious about Phil Sheridan but couldn’t find anything online about his absence from ESPN. All of a sudden, I just noticed that he hadn’t written an article in forever. Anyone know if he was ill?

  • Adam G

    Would love to find out more info as to why Marcus Smith is running with the 3rds behind Barwin, not Cole.

    • JosephR2225

      Dion Jordan is going to play Cole’s side, obviously.

      • paul from nc

        I agree. I think this is the plan all along. It would explain the Smith pick.
        On 6/1, the MIami cap hit gets cut in half. Can’t wait until midnight.
        Say your prayers tonight before bedtime..

    • cliff henny

      say Kelly works rookies in slowly. everyone in world knew Lane was starting RT, he didnt get opening nod if i remember correctly, and there was zero in front of him.

      • Adam G

        I don’t care about the fact he’s with the 3rds, I’m referring to the side. Everybody assumed he would be on Cole’s side. He’s learning the weak side right now.

        • cliff henny

          oh, ok…i was little curious about 3rd myself – mean, we all know he’s minimum 2nd team…read your favorite guy over on Igglesblitz about that. his theory, seemed well rec’d, is that Barwin only blitzed the 5 and 9 gaps, lot easier for Smith to pick up, and that Barwin could be one replacing Cole on passing downs, blitzing more inside. basically, sounds like Smith is more familiar with Barwin’s role, than Coles’.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            I’d rather have two Barwins anyway, better disguise. Why have an OLB spot for a guy just to rush consistently from? Keep the OTs guessing

          • cliff henny

            yup, 2 Barwins, the Jack of all trades we saw in ’13 and pass-rushing numbers he put up in HOU in ’11…what’s the hold up?!

          • Richard Colton

            I love it – provided we get some dependable, fearsome pass-rush from somewhere else up front.

          • NickS1

            That was my first thought when I saw him learning from Barwin. Adds to scheme versatility, which seems to be the buzz word around NovaCare.

          • paul from nc

            Versatility is the new high motor phrase.

        • anon

          who is the better all around 34 olb cole or barwin? this article was about mentorship i think that’s the same thing kelly is trying to do. additionally, barwin’s previous backup was casey.

          • Adam G

            Yeah, I hear you on the mentorship role. It would just work out so nicely if he slides right into Cole’s spot next year.

        • Maggie

          Doesn’t Chip believe that every player should know something about how the other positions play? He does on offense we know.

    • JAMIN67

      Seeing as how Barwin has played in a 3-4 much longer than Cole, I would assume he would know the nuances of the position better. Wouldn’t read too much into it.

    • Maggie

      For one day in May.

    • paul from nc

      Per Chip’s camp last year, they go so fast, they throw the starters in with any unit just for the reps.

  • Shawn Williams

    Does anyone know how josh huff did in ota’s yesterday.

  • JAMIN67

    I remember a time, not too long ago, when the Eagles locker room was struggling to find leaders. Love the culture that Kelly has brought to this team.

    • William Marchionni

      Great Point now there are many guy’s stepping up can’t wait for the season to begin

    • Amar

      That is true…and the leaders are good ones, playmakers. Not the ones who show you how to get away with a banned substance.
      Very excited for the coming season.

    • PaoliBulldog

      Actually the team had some high work ethic leader types (see Patterson, Michael) and treated them miserably. I’m delighted Kelly & Roseman are unlike Reid & Banner.

  • Token

    So the blind leading the blind.

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      your hyperbole is second to none

      • A Roy

        I would’ve at least given him a little respect if he had said; “Those that can’t do, teach.”

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          somehow without playing a down, Jenkins has been relegated to Chung status. oh, eagles fans….

          • Johnny Domino

            Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

          • Token

            Never played a down? Come on give him some credit. Hes been a underwhelming safety for years.

            Sorry, the thought of Jenkins and Allen/Wolff doesnt get me all hot and bothered like it does some of you. I see the S position as looking very much like it did last year.

          • peteike

            cmon Jenkins/Wolff has to be an upgrade no/ No way Allen wins out but he will get in the mix. If pressure is better up front and lb play, they will benefit. Another year in the system also.

  • myeaglescantwin

    When character is emphasized with personnel, the entire team gets better.

    any player that is or has been a champion knows, that there is no better sound than a 53 man team with one heartbeat.

    GO BIRDS.

  • Eagles1018

    I love the “All ACL Team” reference. I bet Howie would like it too……..

  • Explorer51

    With Byrd’s back surgery and Ward’s assault charges, maybe the Eagles FO saw potential medical and personality issues with the top 2 FA safeties? Could explain why Jenkins was their #1 target…

  • Adam

    26.3 Mil guaranteed… under the knife.. Byrd is the word

    • cliff henny

      yeah, even when Byrd signed with NO, couldnt be mad, that was A-hole money. Ward, maybe Davis knew little bit more about character than is public. didnt take him long to get away from comfort of Cleveland to get arrested.

      • anon

        both are pretty common ticky tack things. byrd is supposed to be back by TC, i’d be surprised if Ward misses meaningful time.

        • cliff henny

          with Byrd, would guess call from Howie to Byrd’s agent last about 10 seconds. we thought maybe low 30′s with high teens in guarantee.
          .
          arrested for assault stemming from stripclub. i have no issue with letting of some steam, but sure sounds like Howie and Kelly might.

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          what? ticky tack? granted, Ward didn’t kill anyone, but throwing a beer bottle at a female bartender’s head is not excusable. that’s some chump sh!t, and speaks to the actions of a male, not a man.

          • anon

            c’mon man i mean by professional sports standards.

            I’m not even sure why we’re talking about these guys other than being butt-hurt about them not signing with us. It does seem like we’re a team that’s generally w/out the off the field stuff – even before CK.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            for that (the 2nd part), I’m thankful. And yea, in the scheme of “things NFL players do in community”, he’s low on totem pole, but I can’t excuse that behavior. He’s a vet, and moreso an NFL player with eyes on him. The % of these guys getting in trouble, often for serious crimes, is well beyond normal for population group. And judging from the smart and good-character players we tend to draft or sign, it’s not an excuse to say NFL players are innately more violent or likely to commit a crime.
            I’m tired of these guys getting passes for things that would get the teens and young adults I work with on the day-to-day a serious stint in jail and the worst punishment of all- a criminal record.

          • Richard Colton

            we live in a world where nobody gets a 2nd chance anymore except the rich and famous. depressing sometimes.

          • paul from nc

            Have you read the papers lately. Congress has the lowest ratings ever and they keep getting reelected — both parties. IRs woman takes the 5th at a hearing and gets a Paid leave of absence, Sebelious ?? screws up healthcare implementation, never got fired. and on and on …

            There are way too many 2nd chances given today. And many more than that.
            There is no accountability.

          • southy

            I thought the NFL was very quick to come out and say that their players get in far less trouble than the general population on average. Not the case?

          • Maggie

            Unfortunately the last 30 years have seen a huge increase in children absorbing the messages that say do as you please, there are no consequences, use the female half of the human race any way you choose and the only place to “let off steam” or “have fun” is a bar, getting drunk or high and extra stupid. If there is no one in their lives to suggest alternatives, well…

          • UKEagle99

            Regardless of whether you play sports or otherwise, throwing beer bottle is a dumb thing to do, throwing it at a female bartenders head make him pond life. You just dont do it. If you feel you have the right to do that as you play sports then female bartenders should be allowed to throw beer bottles at his head before they send his ass to jail.

      • paul from nc

        Chip knew them both, and choose not to get them. He might have been on to something. And I’m sure Howie agreed since Jenkins was much cheaper.

  • HowieGambleChipsAllDay

    I don’t think there’s anything we as fans hate more than a stupid player. Maybe a lazy player, but dumb players are a close second. I want a fan of the Jenkins signing, but today reading this story, after hearing about JByrd having back surgery already…… I’m very encouraged.

  • 76mustang

    Such a perfect example of the type of player the Eagles look for in FA – football smarts, football passion, culture fit, character; intangibles that reporters and fans don’t have access to as it relates to the importance the Eagles emphasize in their evaluations.

    Not only will Malcolm’s play provide immediate improvement to the back end, but his coaching up of Wolff (and most likely Reynolds when he arrives) and QBing the back end will make year 2 of BD’s defense light years ahead of last season. Not sure if Byrd or Ward provided the same intangibles, but certainly not at the same price…

    • DAWK215

      Byrd just had a surgery (maybe the Eagles med team saw that coming) and he doesn’t look like someone that will elevate others around him. He’s good player but don’t know if he can mentor others. To me, Ward and Byrd would be like asking Jaccpot to mentor a rookie….ain’t gonna happen

    • Maggie

      Byrd, Ward, Revis. Don’t they all play on an “island”? Jenkins is a team player, like, let’s say the Seahawks Dbs. They work together, not on an island. The most noisy brash player on that team, for instance, sounded off all last season for his TEAMMATE (Earl Thomas!) to be voted MVP. Glad MJ is here.

      • Maggie

        Defensive Lineman with injured hand tries to carry knocked-out Wide Receiver off the field. Team! ;~D

  • idvwmw

    Where’s Nate Allen when Malcolm and Earl are working? Is he just sleeping in?

    • djack10

      was thinking the same thing!

    • Amar

      Hopefully NOT working out with Chung…

  • William Marchionni

    Jenkins was the best FA for this team, not the two rated higher and one has a back issue, anyway Wolf has mega potential to be a solid safety its great Malcom is showing him the ropes

  • Maggie

    I sincerely hope the QB who stares at Wolff then throws to the SAME receiver every time is not Nick Foles. or any other QB at NovaCare!

    • Remmy

      Good news: Wolff is running 2nd team defense, which (hopefully) goes against 2nd team offense. 2nd team offense =/= Nick Foles.

    • BlindChow

      And I really hope if the defensive players notice trends like this from the offense, they let the offensive players know, so they can correct the problem.

  • PaoliBulldog

    All this reflects favorably on Jenkins’ work ethic, but it didn’t stop the Saints from letting him walk. He’s an upgrade over Chung, but that’s not saying much.

  • paul from nc

    We haven’t had a real leader in the secondary since you know who.
    That’s a long time. Hopefully, this is he start of getting a defense that is feared again.