Weekend Reading: Eagles Working Harder, Says Jenkins

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Malcolm Jenkins seems to already have become a Chip Kelly favorite.

The Eagles’ head coach praised the veteran safety recently for his work ethic and understanding of the game. Jenkins, meanwhile, seems to have bought in 100 percent to Kelly’s philosophies.

“I think we’ve worked harder than any team in the NFL,” Jenkins told Jim Rome. “I think we’ve gotten more reps and more exposure than any team in the NFL, so right now at this point we’re winning. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to win anything. All we can win is today and each day, we go out as a team and try to do that. I feel like if we continue on that path and get better and better as we go, I definitely see this team having a chance.”


"We’re creatures of habit. It’s hard for us to accept change, it’s hard for us to say ‘We’re going to get 50 plays in an OTA practice’ as opposed to normally people are getting 20. There has to be a reason for it, and [Kelly] does a great job of explaining why and then taking care of us, as far as our recovery and our bodies,” said Jenkins. “Everything he does from a scheduling standpoint and a practice standpoint has a reason and that reason is explained to us. So it’s a lot easier for us to grasp it, understand it, take hold of it and buy in because he has a vision, he has a plan and then he articulates that plan to us. And I think last year was the first year, guys were kind of tip-toeing in and I think this year, everybody has bought in."

The Eagles are counting on Jenkins to be the DeMeco Ryans of the back end - the guy who gets everyone in the right place and helps the defense limit its mental mistakes.

For now, the coaches like what they're seeing out of their biggest free agent acquisition.

***

One thing most Eagles optimists are counting on is the Birds having one of the top offensive lines in the NFL.

It's reasonable to expect improvement out of Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce. Jason Peters and Evan Mathis are getting older, but both played at a high level last year. And the team is hoping Todd Herremans can still get the job done at right guard.

A couple analysts think the Eagles have the top offensive line in the league:

*** Just wondering where this falls under the whole "sports science" thing?

*** Oh, and there's this:

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  • Oli Richford

    If you look at the last 8 games last season the defence was actually pretty good. I’m very excited about where the team is going. Solid D, more weapons on offence and consistency in the coaching staff and scheme. I think we will surprise some next year. Definitely going to repeat win on the NFC East.

  • TNA

    We’re months from game 1, but I’m excited about this defense. I think Carroll is a huge addition. If Williams and Fletcher get burned consistently in any given game, Carroll can step in and provide the speed adjustment to cover a DJax…as he said, he got used to covering Wallace in practices last year and that guy may not be as shifty as DJax, but certainly is as much a burner as the ex-Eagle.

    Jenkins improving the communication in the secondary will be huge. Last year, Chung was making the calls and then picking off his own defenders. Nuff said.

    Now if Jenkins can’t tackle or struggles in any particular game, I don’t mind seeing Wolff and Allen back there in yr 2 of this defense. Wolff in particular sounds like he’s about to make a huge jump. He and Boykin are probably the two most athletic freaks the Eagles have on defense and I’m excited to see him leverage that ability.

    So depth, competition and skill diversity in the secondary should help the eagle take the next step defensively. That should lead to more coverage sacks and most importantly getting off the field on third downs and preserving the wear and tear on guys like Ryans. It’s just nice to see the whole plan come together. Hopefully the plan can be effectuated and executed with precision, but at this point, how can a fan not be excited?

    • UKEagle99

      I don’t want to pee on your fire but Carroll is an addition and may push. If it was Pete Carroll, then I agree it’s a huge addition (by subtraction).

  • Eagles1018

    I’m still concerned that the defense is designed to be “good enough”…….teams don’t win with good enough defense. We don’t have to look far for proof. Look at last years Broncos.

    • OldDocRoss

      Mediocre defences win a fair amount. Baltimore, NO, Giants (2011 version) and Colts all had pretty average Ds when they won.

      • Bert’s Bells

        Even go back to 80s-90s, Bill Walsh’s 49ers has good enough D behind top end offense. Johnson’s Cowboys were also “good enough” on D.

        They were fairly balanced teams in the pre-Free Agency era but they weren’t defensive juggernauts.

        Walsh marks the beginning of the NFL’s evolution into an offensive league. Teams with “good enough” defenses may have been outliers as SB champs 30 years ago, but now its become fairly common -the 4 teams you list as evidence to that.

        • JofreyRice

          Not to be disagreeable Bert, but I’ve gotta say, those 80′s SF defenses are criminally underrated. Walsh and the offense get all the credit, but Seifert and Carroll were developing that famous “4-3″ under that Carroll employed so recently to Super Bowl success. They consistently fielded a top 10. to top 5 D over that stretch. They really only have a few guys that stand out to me as marquee types–Lott, Stubbelfield, & Charles Haley–but as good as the offense was, I don’t think there would have been an 80′s-90′s 9er dynasty without those D’s.

          • Bert’s Bells

            Point taken.

        • UKEagle99

          I’d feel happier about this if we had a Ronnie Lott (to start with!)

      • anon

        baltimore’s d was way better once they had everyone on the field – they had a ton of injuries in 2012. think it’s the mentality of domination and great pass rush.

        • OldDocRoss

          We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. They had a few guys on their last legs and a few more who just weren’t very good IMO (Sconces being one). At a push I could be convinced they were above average, but they certainly weren’t good.

      • paul from nc

        mediocre defences make bad neighbors.

        • Andy124

          My favorite post of the thread so far.

      • UKEagle99

        Colts had a poor defence until the playoffs, then they turned it on, their defence wasn’t the same one that showed up in the regular season.

        • OldDocRoss

          It was precisely the same defence. Same players. Same coaches, same everything. Being sub-par doesn’t mean you can’t put a good game together and that’s what they did.

          They played well against Baltimore, shipped points to NE, then achieved the less than almighty task of keeping the Bears – led by Rex Grossman and shorn of Benson early on to injury – to 17 points. They were not a good defence. No way. No how.

          • UKEagle99

            Yes, you are right. Mediocre is where it is at.

          • OldDocRoss

            Huh?

            I’m not saying I *want* a mediocre D. I want us to be great on both sides of the ball. Just pointing out several teams have won in the recent past with average defences. That’s kind of a fact. People jumping back on the “Defence wins Championships because Seattle” bandwagon are suffering from recency bias.

            Doesn’t mean you should settle for mediocre, and our signings in FA plus our draft strongly suggest we aren’t.

    • Burberry Manning

      The playmakers on offense didn’t get drafted or signed overnight so I wouldn’t expect the defense to get loaded overnight or in one offseason. I like the direction of the defense especially with the growth we witnessed last year. If we can get production out of curry and graham up front and jenkins stabilizing the secondary I think the defense will be borderline top ten…..

    • Wilbert31

      Broncos D was not “good enough”. Not even close.

    • paul from nc

      If the offense is as predicted, a top 10 offense will suffice to make somewhat of a run this year.
      I’m mostly happy with the defensive changes and can see that happening, if all goes well. They need to continue the turnovers like last year, and improve the yd/gm stat. Oh and get off the field on 3rd down.

      • Eagles1018

        I could care less about yards. With all due respect to Sconces, the only number that matters is the scoreboard. Bend but don’t break. BUT, “break” is giving up third and 15′s…I agree that has to stop

  • travis papa

    Nobody pointed out Dawson is also drinking a beer. Makes him jump 10 spots on my all-time favorite list

    • Scott J

      He’s drinking a Fresca.

    • igglesfaninportland

      Are you sure that doesn’t say cola on the bottle?

  • Jamie

    #WinTheDay Has arrived in Philly.

    The mantra of the man.

  • Eneagled3

    I think it’s a possibility that Herremans and Peters show improvement this year as well. Both of them were rehabbing from injuries and surgery last offseason and will have a full offseason this year to benefit from lifting, conditioning and sports science. It’s not unreasonable to think it would take Peters two years to fully recover from an Achilles injury as serious as his was. It’s true that time will catch up with them soon, but older players can excel at OL more than at most other positions. I am cautiously optimistic.

  • paul from nc

    Love the Lenny Dawson Pic. What a difference 50 years makes.
    Those guys loved to play ball, had fun and weren’t in it for the money.

  • JofreyRice

    Sounds good, but we’ll have to see how it looks on the field. Jenkins, like Williams, impresses me a lot more in sound bites than he does on the game video. He’s played some very bad football.

    • daggolden

      Bingo. Im sure he studied hard in New Orleans. He was a leader in New Orleans. Guess what that didn’t help him when he was getting torched on gameday. Eagles seem to covet smart, hard working average players over much more talented studs who may be knuckleheads. Hence the results when Oregon would play the Alabamas of the world. Its gonna kinda be like when Seattle comes to town and that brash, out-spoken, superiorly talented defense tests all them Eagle offensive “character” players. We shall see if character wins over talent then.

      • OldDocRoss

        Oh please. They have a preference for smart players. They may opt to take a smart guy with slightly less “physical upside” because they figure smart people are more likely to make the most of their physical gifts but that’s it. I don’t think LeSean’s going to be anointed Nobel laureate any time soon but they still seem awful keen to have him on the field.

        To say they want average, smart players over uber-talented ‘knuckleheads’ is……..well, it’s your opinion.

        I’m also super excited by the view that the defending Super Bowl champions in year five under their present coach against a team that 12 months ago was a 4-12 shambles will provide a definitive answer to whether the Eagles approach is correct.

        • daggolden

          Nah a weak NFC East. A gimp RGIII, a snowstorm, a third string QB in GB, a Romoless Cowboys, facing the worst 8 defenses in the NFL there last 8 games (Bears, Cowboys, Raiders, Redskins, Packers, Vikings and Lions) . A fully healthy oline, a last place schedule,had something to do with it.

          • OldDocRoss

            Has something to do with what? Your reply seems to have nothing to do with anything I posted. Drunk?

          • daggolden

            Yeah I prefer to drink beer while others prefer the kool aid.

          • OldDocRoss

            Riiiiight. So basically you can’t intelligently back up your original post so you just try to change the conversation.

            Good job!

            Oh, and try smoothies. Great for the body and mind I hear!

          • daggolden

            Oh stop with the “if you cant intelligently do this or that”, it doesnt work with me. My home court is actually gcobb.com. I come here daily but don’t post that much. Anyway responding to your original post I thought you were referencing the Eagles success from last year on Barney Rubbles infatuation with so called “smart players” . was a direct correlation to the Eagles quick turn around. I was simply expressing my opinion of why I thought the Eagles turned it around in 1 season. But after re- reading your last sentence it is clear that you were stating that you are waiting to see if his approach is correct also.

      • Clamdigger

        Byrd is broken down and Ward is a box safety. I assume those are the stud/knuckleheads you were referring to.

        • Joe L

          Both Byrd and Ward are far better players, let’s be real here.

          And I’d take Jenkins over a talented knucklehead in the mold of Will Hill. Electric on the field, moronic off of it.

          • Ben

            How can they be better players if you cannot count on them playing? Byrd had an operation on his spine.
            Ward is an addict that can’t put down the pipe if you paid him.
            He’s an accident waiting to happen.
            So one injured stud or a train-wreck stud are my only choices?
            I’ll take a gamble on Jenkins who has a lot of NFL experience that knows the correct calls that need to be made.
            He’s durable with absolutely no history of drug or alcohol abuse. He’s well spoken and has character.

            I say he relishes his chance to help this defense get over the hump. He is more than just a position. He can also help Nate, Wolff and the rook Reynolds to transition to the NFL and pass along tricks of the trade.
            I think he cleans up his tackling woes and also works well in tandem with our corners with much more success than he had in New Orleans.

    • Andy124

      Are you sure it was very bad and not just regular bad?

      • JofreyRice

        no other way to describe his pitiful arm tackle attempts on Marshawn Lynch in the playoffs. Now, I’m not saying he should be de-cleating beast-mode, but it looked more like what Nnamdi did on that horrible Monday night game a few years ago than I would have liked. And he was pretty consistently bad in that aspect, along with getting lit up in coverage.

        • Andy124

          What you said, as read through green-tinted glasses:

          no other way to describe his pitiful arm tackle attempts on Marshawn Lynch in the playoffs. Now, I’m not saying he should be de-cleating beast-mode, but it looked more like what Nnamdi did on that horrible Monday night game a few years ago than I would have liked. And he was pretty consistently bad in that aspect, along with getting lit up in coverage.

  • igglesfaninportland

    The best improvement of the season may prove to be Carroll and or Watkins It seemed to me that 4 wide receiver sets killed the birds last year.

    • Joe L

      I’d love to see Carroll play well and push one of either Williams or Fletcher out of the starting line up on the outside.

      • NickS1

        Preferably WIlliams.

  • Johnny Domino

    Like to see Jenkins wrest the bow tie away from that putz Dhani Jones.

    https://www.facebook.com/RockAveBowTies

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

      the man has great taste. big fan of that site. last I heard, he was walking into philly shops personally trying to find a place where he can move product.

  • DirtyWaters

    Can we discuss the bar tab? Most people have never had Harlan, Screaming Eagle or Shafer HS Select let alone at one dinner. They also almost drank a whole bottle of Louis XIII. I wonder if they mixed it with the ginger ale.

    • George

      if it was split between all the rooks, its something like $710 a pop. i know it sounds rediculous, but its really not all that bad considering even some of the UDFAs had $10000 signing bonusses

      • DirtyWaters

        Screw the price. I just love to see these kids live it up!

        • Andy124

          As long as they were safe getting home, I think it’s awesome.

      • anon

        That’s only 5k after taxes. Hopefully shith and Matthews footed most of the bill. Those udfas might not have a check after the summer.

      • Corey Dawson

        That dinner was for o-lineman only. Lane Johnson paid the entire tab. His tweet the day after the one with the bill clarifies that.

  • SunShine

    Always interesting to see a newly acquired veteran’s perspective of Chip’s philosophy, especially after a few months with the team. Speak volumes when they are that thoroughly impressed

  • cliff henny

    17k, actually isnt all that bad. seen some that are in 75k+ range. didnt Cowboys hit Dez up for like 85k? know he’s still bitter about it, that’s straight up hazing. hear stories about guys running it up by ordering top price Filets for their dogs. 10k each for SMith and ‘he who walks on water’ isnt too bad, not exactly sure their contracts, but figure Ertz got 2.2m signing bonus as #34 last yr.

    • Andy124

      Lane paid.

      • cliff henny

        oh, well, he got 12m signing bonus, he’s got cash to burn

  • Broadcasting Wisdom

    Adam Caplan retweets you, Sheil? You’ve really become big time, haven’t you?