Rodney McLeod. (Jeff Fusco)
Jalen Mills stood in the middle of a circle made up of the Eagles’ defensive backs before their game against the Vikings. Located in the tunnel just before running out onto Lincoln Financial Field, the rookie raised his voice.
“How the f-ck they going to say they’re the best defense in this f-cking league, and we sitting right here?” Mills said. “How the f-ck they going say that?”
Perhaps Minnesota said that because they visited Philadelphia ranked first in the NFL in points per game allowed. Or perhaps Minnesota said that because it was a practically unanimous view point among those who followed football. But regardless of the reason, the Eagles’ defense dismissed it as they staked a claim of their own Sunday by dominating in their 21-10 win over the Vikings. Read more »
Brandon Graham. (USA Today Sports)
LANDOVER, MD — Jim Schwartz didn’t address the media after the Eagles’ 27-20 loss against Washington, but if he did he probably wouldn’t say missed tackles was the main fault of his defense. Instead, he may have pointed to bad angles or poor pursuit as he did three days before the game when he explained his philosophy on missed tackles.
“We’re going to miss some tackles, and it’s because we’re an aggressive defense. We like to fly and not slow down at the ball. In order to do that, you need other guys filling off of you,” Schwartz said. “If you over-coach guys not to miss tackles, you don’t fly to the ball. You don’t have big hits and things like that and it sort of softens you up.
“If you take an approach of guys run with their angle and aggressively take their angle, they’re going to miss sometimes. That’s why team pursuit is so important. That’s why team speed is important. You need other guys to fill off of them.” Read more »
Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)
When Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman released a story yesterday about how all 21 of the white NFL players he polled support Donald Trump, many were dubious of the figure. But according to Malcolm Jenkins, that number is probably an accurate reflection of the breakdown in the Eagles’ locker room.
“I would say if it’s not 100, it’s probably 90 percent in this locker room,” Jenkins said.
The story also reported that 20 of the 22 black players polled support Clinton, while the other two plan to vote for Trump. In general, the Pro Bowl safety thought the piece’s detailing of a political divide in NFL locker rooms is true. Read more »
Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin. (Jeff Fusco)
Some final position-by-position thoughts on why the Eagles’ defense dominated in their 34-3 win over the Steelers after watching the All-22 coaches film:
*It’s safe to say Antonio Brown made his presence felt as he compiled 140 receiving yards on 12 receptions. However, Jim Schwartz did a nice job of limiting Brown’s impact in the red zone by shading Malcolm Jenkins toward the Pro Bowl receiver, which is why Brown didn’t score a touchdown. Here’s one example of how much Jenkins shifted toward Brown before the snap: Read more »
Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)
As you prepare for Sunday’s big interstate battle between the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers, here’s this week’s edition of Weekend Reading: Read more »
As expected, several Eagles players took part in a demonstration during the national anthem prior to Philadelphia’s game against Chicago Bears on ESPN Monday Night Football. Starting safety Malcolm Jenkins, Ron Brooks, Steven Means, and Marcus Smith (not pictured) each held one of their fists up in the air through the duration of the anthem. Watch the demonstration in the video below. Read more »
Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)
A number of NFL players from different teams have joined Colin Kaepernick in making demonstrations during the national anthem since the 49ers quarterback sat down while the song was being played prior to a 49ers preseason game. To this point, no members of the Eagles have joined Kaepernick in protest. That just might change this week, however, as the Birds prepare to play against the Bears on Monday Night Football. Read more »
Jalen Mills, Robert Griffin III and Nigel Bradham. (Jeff Fusco)
If Leodis McKelvin is unable to play against the Bears because of his left hamstring injury, Jalen Mills would likely replace him at outside cornerback opposite of Nolan Carroll, according to Malcolm Jenkins.
“I think right now Ron [Brooks] will probably stay at the nickel [and] we’ll bring Jalen Mills on the outside like we did at the end of this past game,” Jenkins said. “If anything happens from there, we’ve got some versatile guys that we can move around, whether that be Jaylen Watkins, myself or Ron. All of us have played the nickel, played corner and safety. I think that versatility gives us a little bit of comfort knowing we can keep all of our packages up and just kind of interchange guys here or there.” Read more »
Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)
While Myke Tavarres decided yesterday whether he would sit down during the national anthem before the Eagles’ preseason finale on Thursday, he spoke with Malcolm Jenkins.
Tavarres considered following Colin Kaepernick’s lead to protest the injustices he sees in the United States by not standing up, but Tavarres’ agent, Corey Williams, released a statement last night saying the linebacker would stand. Jenkins, who met with the Philadelphia Police Commissioner a month ago with several other NFL players to discuss ways to improve relations between communities and local authorities, told Tavarres he had his back and would support him no matter what.
“He’s a young player that sees what’s going on in America, who sees all of the issues and wants to do something. I think from that standpoint, I totally agree with what he wants to do. Now, how he chooses to convey that or get that message out there is completely up to him,” Jenkins said. “At the end of the day, the issues are the issues and if somebody else gets offended, then that’s fine because the things that they are standing for are just as egregious.” Read more »
Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)
INDIANAPOLIS — Malcolm Jenkins is aware the Colts’ offensive line isn’t very good. He also recognizes how the Steelers started their third-string quarterback in Week 2 and sat their best wide receiver. But if you exclude a field goal allowed on a short field after a Sam Bradford interception, the Eagles’ first-team defense has given up zero points in their last two outings.
Even though it’s only the preseason, which features vanilla play calling and little game-planning, Jenkins notes there are several important takeaways to be drawn from their play thus far, which Doug Pederson agrees with.
“They are playing outstanding football,” Pederson said after the Eagles’ 33-23 win over the Colts. “I think that’s obviously the biggest bright spot for the training camp, and again tonight they came up with another big turnover there in the end zone. They’re playing aggressive, tenacious football and that’s Jim Schwartz’s style of ball. That’s what I wanted when I hired Jim Schwartz and that’s what you’re seeing. Our defensive line is putting pressure on the quarterback with just a four-man rush. So (I’m) very pleased with where they are. We just have to keep it rolling and carry it into the regular season.” Read more »