Game Review: Eagles Defense Vs. Rams

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Philadelphia Eagles

Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of what we saw from the Eagles’ defense after having watched the All-22 tape.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Fletcher Cox – He was outstanding as a pass-rusher. Cox beat his man cleanly and forced Austin Davis into the Connor Barwin sack in the first. His pass-rush forced Davis out of the pocket on third down later in the quarter. Cox got pressure on third down in the second, but Davis completed a pass to Jared Cook. Cox hit Davis on third down in the fourth, but he completed the pass anyway. For the most part, he was solid against the run also. Cox got blocked on Zac Stacy’s 14-yard run in the first. He and Bennie Logan tackled Trey Watts after a 4-yard run in the first. And Cox blew up a run that gained 1 in the second. Overall, two tackles and two hurries, but he played better than those numbers indicate. Read more »

Gameday: Three Eagles Leftovers

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

SAN FRANCISCO — As we count down to kickoff, here are three Eagles leftovers to chew on.

1. Nose tackle Bennie Logan is quietly playing really well and has been a key to the Birds’ sound run defense.

Logan leads all Eagles defensive linemen in tackles (18), according to stats tracked by the coaches. NFL.com stats have Logan down for 16 tackles, which ranks third among all defensive linemen.

I asked Logan what the key has been to improving on his performance from a year ago.

“Being able to read and see offensive linemen, their stance, what they’re trying to get to and keeping our linebacker free,” he said. “Make sure ‘Meco [DeMeco Ryans] stays healthy. That’s my biggest thing. If I never get any more tackles, my biggest thing is making sure ‘Meco stays healthy throughout the whole season. He just puts us in situation to be successful. As long as he stays healthy, our defense will stay strong and remain strong. So that’s my main thing. Make sure he’s taken care of when I’m in the game and don’t let the offensive linemen get up on him.” Read more »

Maclin To Play Vs. Chicago

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

CHICAGO – Jeremy Maclin, who sat out parts of practice this week, will suit up and play tonight in the Eagles’ preseason opener against the Chicago Bears.

This will be Maclin’s first game action since the 2012 season finale. He tore his ACL last July during training camp and was sidelined for the year.

The following Eagles are out: nose tackle Bennie Logan (hamstring), cornerback Nolan Carroll II, wide receiver Riley Cooper (foot), inside linebacker Jake Knott (hamstring), wide receiver Jeff Maehl (ankle), running back Chris Polk (hamstring) and center Julian Vandervelde (back). Read more »

Expect More Base Looks From Eagles ‘D’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Billy Davis and the Eagles made a decision going into last year’s playoff game against the Saints: Commit resources to stopping Drew Brees,and force New Orleans to move the ball with its ground game.

In the first half, the gameplan worked well as Sean Payton’s offense managed just six points. But in the second half, the Saints got going, scoring on four of five possessions to secure a victory.

In reality, it was a pick-your-poison situation. Against the Saints’ prolific passing attack, Davis wanted Brandon Boykin on the field. But against the Eagles’ nickel package, New Orleans ran 13 times for 84 yards (6.5 YPC).

Fast-forward to 2014, and Davis feels like he has more options – specifically because of the addition of Malcolm Jenkins.

“Absolutely,” Davis said, when asked if Jenkins’ versatility will allow him to stay in base more this season. “I think all of our safeties have the skill set of being able to come down and cover a third wide receiver. I don’t have to put nickel on the field. Read more »

Camp Notes: McCoy/Cole Square Off

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The first fight of training camp featured a pair of prominent Eagles players.

At the end of the very first play of 7-on-7’s Sunday, a large scrum grew near the left sideline. In the middle LeSean McCoy and Trent Cole were locking horns. Teammates successfully separated the two for a moment until McCoy leaped back into the pile trying to get a shot at the outside linebacker. The two launched words back at one another as they were guided to different areas of the field. Eventually, the scene settled.

What happened? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: D-Line Training Camp Preview

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Leading up to training camp on July 25, we’ll have a position-by-position preview of the Eagles’ roster. We start with the defensive line.

The pressing question: Can Fletcher Cox make the leap?

Cox has been a productive player and shown off his unique blend of power and athleticism on several occasions. But he’s yet to put it all together. The third-year player has had three different defensive coordinators and three different defensive line coaches in his first two seasons. Now he gets some continuity under position coach Jerry Azzinaro. Cox demonstrated in 2013 that he could indeed play defensive end in a two-gap 3-4 after firing off the ball as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 as a rookie. Read more »

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