• December 3, 2022

A Quick Look At The Eagles Defensive Line

The Eagles spent the entire off season and the draft focused on improving their defensive line.   The jury is still out on exactly how much they able to achieve.

Left defensive end, Juqua Parker is a good football player but they’ve got to get more production out of that position.  Parker was a solid contributor this year by playing in 13 games and finished with twenty-two tackles and six sacks.  He shouldn’t be the starter and number one contributor at this position.  He’ll be 33 years old next year, but don’t be surprised if he’s still around.

First round draft pick Brandon Graham showed some promise as a pass rusher, but I don’t think he’s a three-down player.  He registered three sacks and a big one against the Niners to help win the football game.  Graham had a total of 13 tackles and played in 13 games.

He didn’t have an answer for the huge arm length advantage of the big offensive lineman he was facing.  He didn’t seem to have the size and technique to hold up again drive blocks on running plays.  He looked more like a third down pass rusher.

Trent Cole started the season like a ball of fire then he wore down in mid season and was missing during the playoff game.  There’s no question that the Birds have to reduce the number of plays he’s on the field.  If they want him fresh and contributing as a pass rusher all season long.

He should be on the field all the time in pass situations, but they should sit him down during parts of games in run situations.  Cole has an incredible motor when he’s fresh.  He was second on the team in tackles this season with 65.  He led the defense with ten sacks.

Darryl Tapp has proven to be a solid backup, who contributed three sacks in the regular season and one big sack in he playoffs.  I don’t see him as a starter or top third down pass rusher for a good playoff team.

I can’t say conclusively that Daniel Te’o Nesheim can be a starter in this league.  He looked overmatched in training camp and he hasn’t done much since to prove otherwise.  He played in six games, contributed two tackles and registered one sack.

At the defensive tackle position, the Birds need to get bigger.  Antonio Dixon was the best thing to happen to the defensive line in 2010.

He’s the biggest defensive tackle the Birds have on the roster and he’s also their best defensive tackle.  Former number one draft picks Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley are solid players, but not standouts.

Bunkley played in 14 games, contributed 20 tackles and didn’t get a single sack all season long.  Patterson played in 15 games, contributed 37 tackles and registered 3 sacks.

They aren’t difference-makers, which means the Birds should add another big defensive tackle and start saying good-bye to the two first round draft picks who never became anything more than average players.

Trevor Laws showed tremendous improvement, but he’s still a backup and third-down pass rusher.  He was stronger and quicker this year and it helped him to lead the defensive tackles with four sacks. He played in 14 games and tallied 14 tackles.

The success of  two castoffs indicts the players, coaches and player personnel people who put together this defensive line.

Castoff defensive end Jason Babin went to Tennessee garnered 13 sacks and made the Pro Bowl.  Another castoff defensive end Chris Clemons went to Seattle and promptly led the Seahawks in sacks with 11.  He’ll be playing this week, as the Birds defensive line goes on vacation.


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January 11, 2011 10:48 am

Wow with all of these 3rd down pass rushers on the team, you´d think they´d get lots of pressure on 3rd down… … . ..

January 11, 2011 11:29 am

All they had to do all along was keep Clemmons and Babin and the Dline problems would have been solved. Who the hell determined that these guys were bad enough to let go?

January 11, 2011 11:30 am

G, I would love an explanation of why and how this occurred: “Castoff defensive end Jason Babin went to Tennessee garnered 13 sacks and made the Pro Bowl. Another castoff defensive end Chris Clemons went to Seattle and promptly led the Seahawks in sacks with 11.”

Why did we identify them as good, train them, and they could only do well elsewhere? Perhaps to understand this is to understand why we fail.

January 11, 2011 11:31 am

Graham is a linebacker in most systems. I guess our FO thought he would be like Dwight Freeney. Wrong!! Stand the kid up and see what he can do. He’ll be a lot better than Sims at LB

January 11, 2011 11:38 am

Dixon reminds me lot of Corey Simon (when he wanted to play). Big man doing work in the trenches. We need to get another big man in there to match up with Dixon. Someone that’s over 6′ 1” and 300 lbs and can do work with Dixon……

January 11, 2011 12:10 pm

Is it possible Babin and Clemons went elsewhere to have big seasons because of the defensive scheme here in Philadelphia? Seems to be the common denominator.

January 11, 2011 12:31 pm

I still can’t believe we passed on Earl Thomas to take another Juqua Parker….

January 11, 2011 1:58 pm

Eagles #1 Priority all last season was to updgrade and fortify this Eagles Def/Line (at least that’s what we were told by the FO and Coach AR)
They spent 3 Draft Picks in Graham,Teo,Sapp which since they moved up to draft Graham,
really cost them a total of 5 Draft Selections to aquire these 3 players, which is a horrible Draft….
When you really think about it, this D/Line is in worse shape then it was a year ago which is hard to say
but true… Unless they catch lightning in the bottle thru Free-agency or that all of a sudden
Teo and Sapp become the Incredible Hulk or the new Dynamic Duo, this plan of action and evaluation last draft was terrible and will ser this Eagle club back 2-3 years to overcome..
compound this with Graham’s injury and it’s even worse…
I look at the D/Line more like this …

DE – Consists of 4 Rotational players in Cole,PArker,Tapp and Graham.. (I’ve stated for 2 years
that Cole was overrated and is not a true everydown D/Lineman, which I always caught a lot of heat for)
Just because T Cole is the Eagles best D/Lineman doesn’t mean he plays at a All-Pro, consistent level for I think he’s best suits for a sitautional pass-rushing specialists.. I bet if he and Parker played 30 Snaps a game, they would have more Sacks then playing 50 snaps a game

DT’s – Dixon,Patterson,Bunkley,LAws — Dixon is by far the best player out of this group, he will need to increase his stamina and cardio-vascular system,so he can play more snaps.. Patterson and Bunkley have been overrated and protected by this Organization and Coaches for too long.. These are former #1 Picks that are simply “average players” and do not stand out versus the run or the pass
though I admit that Patterson definitely had a better season than Bunkley who just appears uninspired
I like what Laws did this year and still expect him to imprve and he also needs to work on stamina and cardio system for I think he will see the field more in 2011..
The Move is to trade Bunkley and package him with a low-round Draft Choice and hope to get a mid-Round Choice in return…

And to jump on mjacobs45 bandwagon,
The Passing up on Safety Eric Thomas in favor of B Graham will haunt this team for the next 10 years
A very poor move by GM Roseman/Coach AR

January 11, 2011 3:59 pm

Hey G, Can you tell me how many snaps did Clemons and Babin been on to get all them sacks? Maybe the way the Eagles rotate there lineman in and out have something to do with it.

Tech Triumph
Tech Triumph
January 11, 2011 4:58 pm

No mention of the DL coach who I know Garry has crushed repeatedly. That guy needs to go to.

January 11, 2011 5:58 pm

@mjacobs45….couldn’t agree more about Thomas…I remember the draft night when I first heard that we had moved up….I was sure that Thomas was they guy….but instead we drafted another small defensive lineman…nothing against Graham, seems like a nice kid with a drive to be sucessful, but not worth trading up, and certainly not filling a need the way Thomas would have…..if we HAD to go D-line, then why not a player with some size along with speed like Pierre-Paul?

@Tech….Segrest MUST go…..how this team would trade up in the draft and then place the player in the hands of THIS coach is another weakness of this FO.

Ronnie Noel
Ronnie Noel
January 12, 2011 9:38 am

Eagles need to fire Roy sea. BTW wouldn’t it be nice if the birds would draft some big defensive players like Balt and Pitt do every yr. Those defenses don’t wear down like the undersized eagles d does every yr

January 12, 2011 10:48 am

This smallish DE/OLB started with JJ and has continued..
JJ knew how to put speed in the right places to make plays.. Eagles have lots of fast players but little physicality on the Defensive side of the ball but this has been an issues for the last 5-6 years
starting with JJ and has gotten progressively worse each year..
This Eagles D is about the Softest in the NFL