Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
Before the Colts’ first run play of the preseason opener, Bennie Logan shaded to the center’s right. He fired off the ball, got underneath Khaled Holmes, shed the block and tackled Zurlon Tipton before the ball-carrier could get past the line of scrimmage.
He did it all without missing a beat.
“My first couple of years was just growth and development and now I’m real comfortable in this two-gap scheme,” Logan said. “I understand the ins-and-outs about the defense; not just my position, but the end position also. It allows us to play on the go.” Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco.
The Eagles beat the Colts, 36-10, in their preseason opener. Here’s what I noted.
MOST TELLING STAT: 60%
Although the Eagles’ defense played without four key defenders, most of their starters played every snap in the Colts’ first two drives. After allowing 16 yards on the first series, Philadelphia gave up a 68-yard drive in the second series. Why? The Colts’ third-down conversion rate was 60%.
The Eagles gave up an average of 2.5 yards on both first and second down in the first two drives, but allowed 8.6 yards per play on third down. A big reason for the starting defense’s success on early downs was Bennie Logan. The nose tackle helped force Andrew Luck out of the pocket on the first snap and tackled the Colts’ running back for no gain on second down. Read more »
Today’s question comes from Silvio on the Birds 24/7 Facebook page:
Two of our best young defenders (Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham) are better fits for a 4-3 scheme, and we are underusing them and risking losing them. Also, Trent Cole and probably Fletcher Cox are more suitable to a 4-3, while only Connor Barwin is a true 3-4 player. If the target is maximizing your talent, does it make any sense keeping this odd front?
Thanks for the question, Silvio. I actually think the job the coaching staff has done with the front seven in the past two years has been the biggest success story on defense. Read more »
There’s “V-Doc” (Vinny Curry) and “Fletch” (Fletcher Cox) and “Swamp” (Cedric Thornton, given to him by Jim Washburn who thought he was built like the Swamp Thing). Then there’s “Wado” (Wade Keliikipi) and “B-Bair” (Brandon Bair) and “T-Hart” (Taylor Hart). Those are some of the nicknames you might hear bouncing off the walls inside the defensive line room.
There is also a nickname for the group that the players have embraced in recent weeks.
“We’re ‘The Nobodies,’” said Cox. “That’s us.” Read more »
Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of what we saw from the Eagles’ defense against the Cowboys, after having re-watched. Read more »
Tim Heltman/USA Today
ARLINGTON, Texas — Bennie Logan insists he wasn’t trying to create a stir.
The Eagles’ nose tackle was asked during the week about the Cowboys’ offensive line, and he made it quite clear that he wasn’t impressed. His comments seemed somewhat out of character, but Logan’s fellow defensive linemen Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton backed him up. They felt like they were a good group that has been flying the under the radar, and they were not going to be intimidated by the one of the league’s best rushing attacks.
“People had their own opinions about teams and things like that,” Logan said after the Eagles’ 33-10 win. “I’m a nobody. I’m a nobody. We’ve got a lot of nobodies up front. People don’t give us the credit and things like that. We just play football. We have fun when we do it. It wasn’t any big talk or anything, no big pressure or anything like that. We just wanted to go out there and have fun and just play our style of defense.”
The Eagles’ defensive line showed up in a big way, limiting DeMarco Murray to 73 yards and 3.7 YPC. Both numbers were season lows. This was just the second time in 12 games Murray failed to gain at least 100 yards. Read more »
Billy Davis was asked Tuesday about the difficulty in making potential scheme changes, given that teams are approaching Week 13.
“It’s tough to change who you are at this point in the season,” he said. “You have to stick with what you have success with and try to correct and get better at the things you’re struggling with.”
Davis’ comment applies to teams around the NFL. In the offseason, coaches assess personnel and decide what they want their squads to look like from a schematic standpoint. They then practice, tweak and practice some more. Wrinkles can be added, and ideas can be scrapped. But as we approach Thanksgiving, for the most part, identities have been established.
And for the Dallas Cowboys, that identity is clear: A balanced offense that is finding success running the football on a weekly basis.
The Eagles, meanwhile, are a team that focuses on stopping the run. Read more »
Here’s a player-by-player review of the Eagles’ defense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Titans.
Fletcher Cox – Another solid game out of Cox. The coaches credited him with one tackle, one sack and one hurry. Cox stopped Shonn Greene after a 4-yard run in the first. He disrupted a run play that gained 3. Good rush late in the first half, but Zach Mettenberger reset and completed a pass. Got some help from the coverage in the back end, slipped inside the offensive lineman and sacked Mettenberger in the second. Cox batted a pass on the next play. Drew a holding call on a run play in the third. Fought off defenders and stopped Bishop Sankey after a 4-yard run in the third. He played 62 percent of the snaps. Announcers made it a point to mention how much Chip Kelly praised Cox during production meetings. He’s had a great season. The Eagles need him to be disruptive against Dallas. Read more »
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee – USA Today
Here are five things to know about the Dallas Cowboys.
Read more »
Photo by: Jeff Fusco
The Dallas Cowboys enter Thursday’s game averaging 4.9 YPC and 150.1 yards per game on the ground. Both marks rank second in the NFL.
DeMarco Murray (1,354 yards, 5.1 YPC) has received plenty of accolades, and so has Dallas’ offensive line. But in the Eagles’ locker room Monday afternoon, nose tackle Bennie Logan was in no mood to heap praise on the team’s next opponent.
“To be honest with you, [I’m] tired of hearing about it,” Logan said, noting that the Eagles have faced better offensive lines. “Their O-Line, the only thing they did was add one guy, so it’s not like this year they’re so special. They’ve got to line up and play us. Are we looking forward to it? It’s not a challenge for us or anything. It’s just next game. And it’s on Thanksgiving Day.” Read more »