• August 12, 2022

Platoon System Is Keeping Eagles D Line Fresh, Rested And Hungry

The importance of the first quarter of this game can’t be overemphasized. You know how it’s going to affect the Falcons ability to put the ball on the ground and control the clock. If they get ahead they can be conservative. If they fall behind there will be pressure on them to throw the ball.

Everything about the Eagles defense is designed to stop the pass and not the run. As much as I’ve talked about how the Eagles defense is vulnerable to the run, they are stacked up to defend the pass. Defensive line coach Jim Washburn has done a nice job of putting together not one, but two defensive lines to rush the quarterback. He’s got every guy who lines up on the defensive line playing with tremendous intensity and desire to get to the quarterback.

Washburn has a platoon system that fires those fastballs which Reid always likes to talk about. Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins start the game. After about four or five plays, they’re replaced by Darryl Tapp, Juqua Parker, Trevor Laws and Antonio Dixon.

On every play the Eagles have four defensive linemen intent on getting to the quarterback. His platoon system keeps his guys fresh, rested and hungry about getting to the football.

“Everybody here is capable of starting”, Jenkins said yesterday. His group tallied five sacks on Sam Bradford last week.

One guy plays three or four snaps then another guy jumps in there and continues the attack. It’s like a tag team, which I remember seeing as a kid when I was looking at wrestling.

“It’s four plays in, four plays out, sometimes it’s six plays in, six plays out, and sometimes it’s eight,” Cole said. “But we’re going in there, it’s all out and then, bam, you’ve got somebody fresh coming in.

“It’s always nice to know that you get in, you go hard and you get out,” defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. “You’re not out there trying to pace yourself, and that’s why he has it like that. He wants guys fresh, he wants guys going at it, and it’s good for us.”

The Rams were getting the best of our defensive line when they started out running the ball, but once Juqua Parker returned that fumble for a touchdown and the Eagles took a 14-7 lead, St. Louis started changing their attack by throwing the ball more. Once they started throwing the ball, they played right into the Eagles hands.

After a while, the defensive line platoon started to wear down the Rams offensive line and when the fourth quarter arrived, they were still going strong and the Rams were wearing down.

“We didn’t fatigue,” Cole said. “I think the Rams fatigued. I saw it. I don’t know what everybody else saw, but I know what I saw. I’m not saying we were at our best, but we were the ones pretty much on top later in the game.”

Jenkins knows that they’re going to give the Eagles a major dose of Michael Turner, so the defensive line is prepared to be disciplined in their gaps although they’ll still be playing the run on the way to the quarterback.

“Having played against him (Turner) last year twice”, Jenkins said. “Turner is a tough back. You’ve got to make sure you’re getting him down and make sure you’re got a pursuit to help. It’s going to be our biggest focus going into the game to stop the run”.

If the Atlanta Falcons make the mistake of falling behind the Birds, their offensive line is going have to deal with “The Platoon”. They’ll be lined up out there in that “Wide Nine” and they’ll be flying off the line of scrimmage at the snap and getting good hits on Matt Ryan.

The “Wide Nine” alignment seems to allow the defensive ends to get shots on the quarterback where they’re able to run right through him and deliver punishing shots.

Washburn and his boys have to make sure not to have too much success getting hits on the quarterback, or the competition committee up in the NFL office in New York may decide to make that “Wide Nine” illegal.


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Cullen Jenkins: Falcons Will Be Fired Up We’ve Got To Be Just As Fired Up


  • The entire Defense will be like this and need solid contributions from most of their defensive roster…
    I see 8 DL playing a lot every game
    I see at least 5 LB’s seeing a lot of actio
    I see 4-5 CB’s and at least 3 Safeties seeing lots of action every game

    Defense’s have become specialized units just like the Offense’s have..
    with all the multiple WR’s Sets, No-Huddle offenses, Double TE’s then Pass-Rushers and more Secondary players are neeed, against the strong running teams in early downs, then it’s the studs up front and LB’s that are needed

  • The Eagles will have to watch their shots on the NFL’s newest “fair-haired boy.” Its quite obvious that the league and especially the media want this kid to be the next Brett Favre/Tom Brady. So the refs will call anything a half a second too late. I guarantee that there will be at least one questionable roughing penalty. Hopefully it doesn’t impact the game.
    If I’m Mike Smith, I am going play action deep down Samuel’s side to start the game. 50% chance of scoring a TD against a defense paranoid about the run. I hope the Eagles are considering this possibility as well. I’m kind of afraid they won’t and Atl will get up early and get that crowd right into things.
    If I’m Castillo, I’m starting Antonio Dixon and Mike Patterson and saving Jenkins for third and long. This way we help out the LBs if they do try to run down our throat. Atl has to score before us or they lose.
    Their O line is more questionable than ours and we have seen what our D line is all about. If they have to play catch up we can cover those glorified receivers. I would also consider putting Nnamdi in the slot against Gonzo and DRC outside. Also, they can’t cover our receivers. Their D backs are average. And their pass rush does not pose the threat that other teams do. I don’t think they can pressure us as much as the Rams did. And Vick will be motivated. Still I feel like this is a loss.

  • Good article on Earl Thomas who many were begging for. San Francisco 49ers receiver Ted Ginn Jr. pulled away from all but one man during his 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Sunday.

    Earl Thomas, second-year safety for the Seattle Seahawks, was that man. He had to maneuver around kicker Steven Hauschka along the sideline before hitting stride, and when he did, Thomas kept pace the rest of the way. He wasn’t going to catch Ginn, who ranks among the very fastest players in the NFL. But neither was Ginn running away from him.

    That type of speed separates Thomas from most safeties. It’s one of the qualities that led Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to say Thomas could be on his way to very special things in the NFL. In fact, instead of rejecting as premature comparisons between Thomas and Pittsburgh Steelers great Troy Polamalu, Carroll embraced them. That is telling.
    “Boy, there are some tremendous similarities,” said Carroll, who coached Polamalu at USC. “One guy’s just proven it over a long period of time and he’s a great player. Earl, he’s emerging.”

    Polamalu, 30, is a six-time Pro Bowl choice. He’ll be chasing down Thomas’ teammates when Seattle visits Pittsburgh in Week 2.

    “What Troy is so famous for is just these knifing, rocketing drives to make a tackle or to make a play on the football and the willingness to take a chance and go for it,” Carroll said. “Both these guys are like that. If Earl could be so lucky somewhere down the road, six or eight years from now …”

    Carroll pointed to their size, speed, toughness, and instincts as similar. Both are 5-foot-10. Polamalu is listed at 215, Thomas at 202. The first time I saw Thomas in person, I thought he looked like a cornerback. He also happened to be in the company of massive left tackle Russell Okung at the time, which probably added to the perception.

    Thomas had five interceptions as a rookie last season. After watching him collect eight tackles, two for losses, and contesting multiple other plays in the Seahawks’ opener at San Francisco, I probably was remiss in not featuring him more prominently among players Seattle could least afford to lose.

    “We really want to do similar things (with Thomas) like we did with Troy back in college because of their nature and the style of play that they offer you,” Carroll said. “It’s a good model for him to follow.”

  • Well hell PmAn – your post would imply the eagles must have a depth and quality on the defensive side of the ball.

  • daggolden what are you talking about? What does this have to do with Earl Thomas? And anyway, Ted Ginn is one of the fastest players in the league. He could pull away from any safety in the league….. pretty much like Jackson would. I’d take Earl Thomas over Nate Allen, without hesitation.

  • For the past few years, Reid has always been attempting to have a heavy rotation on the Dline. That’s what you have to do in this league. But it doesn’t matter in week 1. It matters in the second half of the season where injuries kick in and everyone in slightly worn down. Then we will see if the perceived “freshness” will help our “fastballs”. On another note, that wide 9 or whatever they call it is going to get our LB smoked.

  • Scorp and Dag….We should have taken Earl Thomas over Brandon Graham. He wasn’t an option when we took Allen.

  • scorp…they really don’t care about stopping the run. They are going back to their old pre-2007 philosophy. That is that running only beats you if your losing. They expect not to be losing very often. Stopping the pass is what wins playoff games. However, If the other team has a good defense and they can grind our offense down in the playoffs, not being able to stop the run becomes a major problem. We have to hope that the O line comes together and that this offense is clicking on all cylinders come playoff time so this won’t be a problem. We have to score at least 24 points a game in post season to win.

  • Agreed scorp. Was just pointing out we should of taken Thomas. This has nothing to do with subject just a article I came across and was sharing.

  • We can play hindsight ‘coulda woulda shoulda’ all day. If Brandon Graham and Nate Allen didn’t get injured, it’s possible we wouldn’t care about Berry. Good news is we’ll likely beat the falcons and continue to have a good season and potentially more than that.

  • jbird, I agree. He should have been our first round pick. But I was a little confused on where that came from when dag brought it up. Schiller, fans play woulda coulda shoulda all day. Don’t like it? Ignore it and keep it moving. Brandon Graham and Nate Allen weren’t doing anything before they got hurt anyway. We don’t know what they will be but it’s likely we wouldn’t still have a big hole at the safety position if we would have drafted Thomas. That’s quite clear. But Andy has been playing musical chairs with safety and LB for the last few years probably because he doesn’t value them as much. I don’t know that, but it sure seems like it. And I agree, as long as the key offensive players are healthy, we will continue to have a good season. That’s expected. We will see if the players that are talented can overcome the deficiencies of their peers. That we likely won’t see until playoff time.

  • schiller, one of the things you probably should keep in mind is that most fans already expect playoffs and a good season so we’re looking at the bigger picture on whether this team can win a championship. Of course we don’t know and won’t know because a lot of things happen during the course of the year. But as fans that’s what we will talk about because 10-6 or 11-5 is expected for this team. So excuse us if we tend to look at where our team measures up in the grand scheme of things. Just fan talk.

  • jbird, I do agree stopping the run is less of a priority than stopping the pass. We all know this team is built to get after the QB and shut down the receivers. But of course, this isn’t a problem until it is a problem. We will see what happens later, but if we lose it will most likely because of the things we’ll be talking about all year….. offensive line, linebacker and safety play.

  • Andy built this team expecting to blow everyone out. Well sooner or later, you’ll face a team that can contain your offense and score as much as you do. Then every play and yard counts. And that’s when we will see how much stopping the run becomes a problem. It’s funny because when a team knocks us out the playoffs it’s because we can’t stop the run and then they go back to passing against the next team. While this is a passing league, coaches aren’t dumb. They (most) will run when they can. If they can, they will exploit us even though this is a “passing” league. Good teams can do both when it counts.

  • Then scorp – you also know the key elements to any good super bowl run –

    1) Luck
    2) Get hot at end of season
    3) Luck
    4) Injuries
    5) Luck
    6) Which team is playing its best football in Late December and Jan.

    am I right – do you doubt me for a second? Then we are 16 weeks away from any of the 3 things you mentiones (OL, Safety, and LB) play impacting that (and you JUST admitted you expect to win 10/11 games and qualify for playoffs.

    So why woulda coulda shoulda about previous drafts, and if you as a fan can would shoulda coulda, don’t then I have the same right as a fan to tell you it is a complete and total waste of time to woulda coulda shoulda?

    Does anyone want to tell me what the heck the Eagles D (which would include the Safteties and LBs) need to do this week to shut everyone up for a week?

    I feel like I am having a cenversations with my wife – dear, what would make you happy……….crickets chirping……..

  • scorp – i generally agree with you about fans’ expectations (and I’m right there with them/you). But to think that the Eagles are going to field THIS team if/when they get to the playoffis is (IMO) silly. The team will have gelled and gained much more experience then. The OL will have game experience together. Steve Smith will have an opportunity to work into the offense and have experience as one of Vick’s many weapons. The DL will have their approach to stopping the run more solidfied. The 3 corners will know how to best use their skills. Jarrod Page will have his contribution/role in muscle memory. And the LBs will have time to get better.

  • navy (I know you’re not asking me) – the Eagles D needs to keep the Falcons from scoring less points than the Eagles do. Nothing else matters. At all.

  • 1) Luck
    2) Get hot at end of season
    3) Luck
    4) Injuries
    5) Luck
    6) Which team is playing its best football in Late December and Jan.

    Fully agree. But we are going to talk about what we want to talk about. Stop trying to regulate what we want to discuss. If you don’t want to take part in the discussion, then ignore it. Pretty simple. But don’t try to tell me what we should and shouldn’t be talking about.

  • “navy (I know you’re not asking me) – the Eagles D needs to keep the Falcons from scoring less points than the Eagles do.”

    Agreed. The question though is always, how do they do that?

    That’s is always the basis of the discussion. We know at the end of the day in order to win, you need to score more than the other team. But since every team is different, the discussion is how does each team need to do that.

  • “But to think that the Eagles are going to field THIS team if/when they get to the playoffis is (IMO) silly. The team will have gelled and gained much more experience then.”

    I agree 100%. As the season goes along then the observations and opinions will change accordingly. But for right now, we are talking about what they are and not what they may or may not be. They could get worst as the season goes. Not likely, but possible. So again, as they get better, the conversation changes. It’s much easier to talk NOW about how they match up in the grand scheme of things with what we see now than what they may or may not be later on. Don’t really see how that is so “silly”. It’s happens every year and it will go on forever regardless of how “silly” you think it is.

  • Scorp – I ain’t regulating – and as I said before, you can talk about it, just expect to here the other side asking you why are you wasting time, effort, energy ect. talking about something 1) you have ZERO control over and 2) isn’t going to happen for 4 months.

    My issue (well one of my many) is that I love my Eagles. I plan my week around my Eagles. I have been following the Eagles since Ed Khayat was the head coach and the games used to be blacked out in Philly so you had to listen on AM610. I have been up through the Vermiel, down through RHodes and Kotitie and back up again –

    I love getting in verbal jousts with Giant fans, cowboy fans Redskin fans, but to come on a site and actually have proclaimed fellow fans predicitng Eagle loses or pointing out every pimple blemish and fault – – – well, that irks me. Not that we have pimples, blemishes and faults, but that we place evrry Eagles fault under a magnifying glass and act as if every other team is perfect – freakin Pats gave up 400 yards in the air to Chad Henne?????? Really

    So I am asking for good Eagle discussion – pretend you are the D Coordinator for this week in Atlanta and what stats or performance indicators would you give your defense that would be the goals for this week

  • Schill – as Head coach my goal is to have my team score more points then other team as D Coordinator what would your D team goals be… hoepfully your O and Special do the same…..

    damn I can not type or spell today

  • Scorp “It’s happens every year and it will go on forever regardless of how “silly” you think it is.” – yep – can’t argue that.

    It’s silly because you admit you’re plugging ‘now’s “x”‘ into the equation for ‘later’. You admit that “now’s X” will most likely not equal “laters’s X” and that “later’s X” is what matters in the equation. So what I think is silly is trying to solve an equation knowing that you don’t have the right variable to solve it. You know you have the wrong variable to solve the equation corretly but you’re plugging it in anyway just for shits and giggles/discussion?

    THAT is the silly part. It’s like, I know I need bread to make the sandwhich, but I haven’t baked the bread yet. So I’m going to put some flour on the plate, pour some water on it, and then put the ham and cheese on, more flour, and more water.” How’s that working for ya?


    Dude, if making tht flour water ham and cheese sandwhich makes you happy (as you’re saying – “thats what fans do every year”) – hey, go for it, but it’s not wrong for me to point out that that’s no sandwhich!

  • navy, I get it with you being a coach. I don’t play that game because the Eagles have coaches.

  • Schill – no worries – I am an old washed up – has been, used to be coach… something about that time I told my wife there was a job offer for a D line coach at Div II Northern State in Aberdeen South Dakota……….

    San Deigo – South Dakota . . . . I lost that one something about the average temp in December being 6 degrees……

  • They ned to go out there crack his ass right the first couple of times and he will be looking over his shoulders all game ….. Dont worry about fines Jeff should pay them if that will allow them to put fear into other QBS’. This is what the “Get Em Boys” do baby.. they go GET the QB. yall are sleeping on the name but it will catch on. “THE GET EM BOYS”….

  • Not to change the Subject..
    Did anyone watch the Bronco’s play the other evening.. MLB J Mays made some plays..(5 Tackles and 1 Tackle for a loss) He’s about 5′ 11″ and 250 lbs

  • How you doing NavyDave,
    How is your boy adjusting to School and NC.. Havethey started their Season yet

  • PMan – he seems to be doing fine – Fall ball is underway – they have fall scrimmages in OCtober – I’ll be out again in March (14-18) to catch 3 games.

    I was always a Sam Mills fan (he was the smallish LB that played for our beloved USFL team right?) and Mays seems cut from that mold – I think Studebacker or whatever his name is is still running around inthe NFL too

  • Studebeacker is with the KC Chiefs and one of their best rushers from the OLB position and sometimes even rushes afrom a 3 point stance..
    I thought the Eagles gave up way too quick on him..

  • Didn’t he get signed/stolen from our practice squad –

  • I thought he was a final cut at camp when he was in Philyl, but you may be right about being scooped from the Practice Squad which I hate how the NFL has this set up–
    The Should have 10 Players allowed on a Practice squad and they should only belong to the team that places them..This way these 10 players go thru OTA,Summer Camps and Pre-Season and can practice full time with the team during the Season and then be called up and if and when a player gets injured without fear of losing them to another team…It’s crazy for a player to work,practice and learn a Teams system for 2-3-4 months only to be yanked by another club with no notice .. it would add flexibility to teams Rosters and game day line-ups and would help younger players being in 1 system to learn and master so that they can be ready to contribute if/when called upon abnd if nothing else, helps that you can place some Draft PIcks to prepare for the future without having to flat out release them or give them an active Roser SPot when everyone knows they are not ready yet…

  • from his (Stude’s) offcial bio –

    Philadelphia EaglesStudebaker was a sixth round selection (203rd overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2008 NFL Draft.[7] He was waived by the Eagles on the last day of cuts on August 30[8] and subsequently re-signed on the team’s practice squad.[9]

    [edit] Kansas City ChiefsStudebaker was signed off the Eagles’ practice squad by the Kansas City Chiefs on November 19, 2008,[10] and played in his first career game against the Buffalo Bills on November 23, 2008. His first start was on November 22, 2009 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, in place of injured Mike Vrabel. In his first start he intercepted Ben Roethlisberger twice as the Chiefs won the game.

    I thought teams would work more players into the CBA … why not expand pracice squads.. keep more players in the game

  • Good stuff Navy..

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