Eagles Add DL Cullen Jenkins

Posted: July 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 95 Comments »

On Saturday afternoon the Eagles announced that they’d agreed to terms with DT/DE Cullen Jenkins.  He racked up 29 sacks in his 7 years with the Green Bay Packers.  Jenkins has played in a 4-3 and 3-4.  Crazy enough, he was the RDE when the Eagles played the Packers in the 2007 season opener.  Jenkins beat Tra Thomas with a speed rush and created a sack for someone else.  He used a couple of spin moves to beat Tra and get pressure.

The Packers switched to the 3-4 in 2009.  Jenkins played DE in that system, but also slid into DT in some passing situations.  Jenkins played a lot of LDT against us in the playoff game.  Sometimes he was used to rush, other times as a decoy.  A few times it looked like the Packers had him spying on Vick.  That should tell you that he’s pretty athletic.

The concern with Jenkins is durability.  Here is something former Packers beat writer Greg Bedard said on Twitter:  “Absolutely love Cullen Jenkins, but he gets hurt. A lot. Constant knee and ankle dings that sap him of his pass rush at times.”

I certainly like the move, but I’m curious about what it means for the current group of DTs.  Mike Patterson and Antonio Dixon have been the starters so far.  Patt reported slimmer than last year, but I’m not sure exactly what his weight is.  Dixon is still big, but has the frame Jim Washburn likes in DTs.  He’s tall at 6’3.  Trevor Laws should thrive in the new scheme.  Brodrick Bunkley is a guy people are down on, but Juan Castillo had legitimate high hopes for him.  No idea how Bunk has looked so far.  He’s the guy I think should be most concerned.

UPDATED:  Eagles trade Bunk to Cleveland for 5th round pick.

Will Jenkins start?  His deal is 5 years for $25M, but Mike Lombardi reports that it is a one-year deal for $4M that the Eagles can walk away from at the end of 2011.

Greg Cosell from NFL Films wrote this on Twitter:  ” Jenkins great fit for DL coach Washburn. Versatility to play DE + DT; an excellent pass rusher from DT, which the Eagles lacked. Great move.”

Jenkins at NFL.com

Jenkins at Espn.com

* * * * *

NFL Network is reporting that Ike Reese says the Eagles will sign Plaxico Burress.  At this point, nothing surprises me.

* * * * *

Eagles re-signed LB Akeem Jordan.  Add him to the mix at WLB, I’m guessing.



95 Comments on “Eagles Add DL Cullen Jenkins”

  1. 1 nicolajNN said at 5:23 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Just asked this in the other post, but do you still see us signing a veteran LB?

  2. 2 LT said at 5:36 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Holy smokes. Did Dan Snyder buy the Eagles?

    This is breathtaking.

  3. 3 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:38 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Seems like the Eagles will add a veteran LB at some point, but don’t count on it being someone who will take over at MLB. Eagles seem to like Casey Matthews. Might want someone to back him up. Or might want someone to take over WLB. Still don’t know exactly what we’ve got with these guys.

  4. 4 Kammich said at 5:40 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I figured that Bunkley would be the odd man out… at least they got something back for him. Heckert and Shurmur and co apparently still see something in him. I wish him luck.

    Pretty amazed, once again, with the signing of Jenkins. Going into this free agency frenzy, it was assumed that the market for Jenkins would be in the $7-$9 million per range. And now the Eagles have added him(once again stealing him from division rivals) for essentially $4 million a year? Just crazy.

    So much of this defense and the pressure it can apply is predicated on quality depth and rotation… this move just makes guys like Dixon and Laws THAT MUCH BETTER, which is what I love about it. Another savvy frickin’ move.

  5. 5 Shawn said at 5:41 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Akeem Jordan is our veteran LB

  6. 6 Alex K said at 5:43 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Looks like the Eagles are addressing the LB situation by ensuring that LBs in this system will only have to mop up the mess created by our D-line!

    I like the move to bring back Jordan; he adds a little stability to the situation.

  7. 7 nicolajNN said at 5:44 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Tommy I would love your take on this being Redskinsesque and the comparisons to Miami Heat.

  8. 8 Kammich said at 5:45 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I actually pity the QBs in our division. They’ll be dropping back 5 steps, trying to find an open receiver amidst Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

    And while doing that they’ll have Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, et al crashing down on their heads.

    Good luck with that.

  9. 9 Mac said at 5:49 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Tommy, do you think this means Fokou shifts back to the strong side, Chaney to the middle, and Jordan at weakside? Or do they keep Matthews in the middle and let Jordan battle Fokou on the weak side?

  10. 10 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:56 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    RE: Jordan

    Chaney stays at SLB. Matthews in the middle.

    Jordan is here to add to the mix. He’s not jumping to the head of the depth chart. It will be interesting to see where they play him.

    Solid at WLB in 2008.
    Looked bad at MLB in 2009 when placed there late.
    Looked awful at SLB in 2010.

    Maybe Jordan thrives in new system. Not likely, but possible.

  11. 11 GermanEagle said at 5:57 PM on July 30th, 2011:


    In your 74 years have you witnessed an off season like this before?!

  12. 12 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:57 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    @ nicolajNN…

    I’ll write something up on the Dream Team nonsense.

  13. 13 Tommy Lawlor said at 5:58 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    @ GE…

    No. Craziest offseason I’ve ever seen. 2004 was fun, but this is so different. And it’s not over yet.

  14. 14 Morton said at 6:03 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Wow. Another foolish signing by the Eagles. Why not see what Bunkley – who has tremendous talent and potential but was mis-used and underperformed under McDermott and Seagreat – can do under Washburn’s system? Bunkley is younger, and comes more cheaply than Jenkins would.

    Giving a fat contract to an older DT who has played primarily in a 3-4 anyway is just bad for business.

    I have a feeling that Bunkley will outperform Jenkins next year in the same exact role. Mark my words. Trading Bunkley and signing Jenkins was one of the worst moves this off-season. Bunkley was the one player that I felt most strongly was due for a breakout season under the new DL coach.

  15. 15 GermanEagle said at 6:05 PM on July 30th, 2011:


    Are you sure that’s your name?! I thought it was Moron…

  16. 16 Fran35 said at 6:07 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    The part of this whole thing that bugs me, despite how excited I am, is that we are going to be the darlings of the nonsense analysts now. Every idiot know-nothing analyst is going to be touting us as the next SB chap and I kind of like being somewhat underrated and overlooked. Anyone else agree with me?

  17. 17 JVB said at 6:07 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I liked adding CJ but would have preferred to keep Bunk.

    Check Jenkins out here though – http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/06/22/three-years-of-pass-rushing-productivity-interior-defensive-linemen/

    Tommy go back and watch Jordan at SLB, he was by no means awful. He played well. Better than Sims and Bradley anyway.

  18. 18 Tommy Lawlor said at 6:08 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Morton is an important part of the Eagles world. We need balance. He sees things no one else does.

    I do think his points could be better. Sometimes goes for the too obvious approach. Must get more creative with his Eagles bashing.

  19. 19 phillybirdzfans said at 6:09 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    RE: Philadelphia Redskins
    Yes, they’ve signed a lot of names, but I don’t think they overpaid for anyone.

  20. 20 Morton said at 6:11 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I was actually all set to praise the Eagles FO after the Kolb trade for Cromartie and the Babin signing. Signing Babin is a risk because he is an older player with a single impressive season, but he came very cheaply and has experience with the new DL coach.

    But they completely lost me after overpaying for a good, but not great 30-year-old cornerback (see KC Joyner’s metrics as he explains that Nnamdi is mostly overrated) when they *already* had solidified the CB position by dealing for DRC. There is absolutely no reason to throw money at an overrated free agent when you have already added enough to have a very effective tandem with DRC and Samuel.

    So after they wasted money on Nnamdi, then they go and throw even more money at another older player in Jenkins and deal away one of their most talented, high-potential DL that was already on the roster. Bunkley underperformed severely last year, no doubt, but he was one of the prime candidates for a resurgence under Washburn.

    The Nnamdi deal was simply wasteful; the Jenkins deal and the trade of Bunkley is downright foolish. This will hurt the team next year. I guarantee it.

  21. 21 Tommy Lawlor said at 6:12 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    @ JVB…

    Jordan struggled mightily at SAM. That’s why he was replaced. He was terrible in loss to WAS. Fokou was instant improvement when he took over.

  22. 22 Iowa Eagle said at 6:12 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    NFL Network just reported that after Howie was done with the Jenkins annoucement he was talking to reporters and his phone range. He sprinted away from the reporters and sprinted back to where Joe Banner was, and they went inside… HMMMM..

  23. 23 Tommy Lawlor said at 6:15 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    @ JVB…

    Interesting note on the link. 4 of the Top 20 from 2008-2010 were developed by Jim Washburn:

    Randy Starks
    Big Al
    Jason Jones
    Tony Brown

  24. 24 Morton said at 6:15 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I’m honestly not trying to bash the FO at all. I absolutely *love* the Kolb trade and was excited about the Babin signing.

    But I was expecting the FA money to be spent in other areas after the CB position was solidified. Tell me, please, why spending big time $$$ on a good, but not great cornerback makes ANY sense when you already have enough on the roster after the trade? It’s so wasteful.

    Read this article by Football Scientist KC Joyner:


    “Asomugha is a terrific cornerback, but an $18 million per year price tag is a premium cost that makes sense only if the player is far ahead of his competition.

    That may not be the case with Asomugha. Look at this comparison with Johnathan Joseph:

    Joseph has been targeted nearly three times as often, yet has a lower YPA total. This isn’t to say that Joseph is the better cornerback, but if he can be had for half the cost of Asomugha (or less), it could be a move that provides much more bang for the buck.”

    The point is that Nnamdi is good, but not worth his pricetag, and definitely superfluous after trading for DRC. It makes ZERO sense and wastes precious FA money that could be spent on a LB, or an OT, or simply re-signing current players.

  25. 25 mcud said at 6:15 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I do agree with Morton that I would have liked to see Bunk in this system vs. signing Jenkins.

    This seems like a Washburn didn’t think too much of Bunk move, in which case, Brodrick had to go. I’m quite certain that they asked Wash his opinion before the trade…

  26. 26 Kammich said at 6:22 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Morton- KC Joyner seems to be praising Asomugha fairly highly there. He’s simply stating that an $18 million dollar asking price is a bit steep compared to someone like Johnathan Joseph.

    The problem? Asomugha signed for $12 million. Joseph signed for $10 million. The comparison has been rendered moot.

    And honestly, people like Joyner and Football Outsiders will be the FIRST to tell you that cornerback play is the single hardest and flimsiest position to analyze from any kind of metric standpoint. I’d rather follow the opinion of Nnamdi’s peers and coaches, who unanimously list him as one of the top 2 corners in the game.

  27. 27 Anders said at 6:29 PM on July 30th, 2011:


    Once this crazy FA is over, can you guys make a right up how the different deals affect the our cap this year and in the future? I know the Eagles are master of cap and I doubt they have set them self up for disaster but I would still like some explanations how they are able to do it 🙂

  28. 28 Sokhar said at 6:31 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Had we signed Nnamdi for 18 million I’d agree with Morton’s point. But we didn’t. His contract averages out around 12 a year. Jonathan Joseph signed for around 10. The difference between the two players is worth 2 million dollars. And with Asante likely on the block, it only ends up being about 3 million extra against our cap to go from Asante to Nnamdi. I really can’t see what there is to complain about here.

    As far as Bunkley goes, would have been nice to get a little more for him, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing what he could do. But obviously Washburn and Castillo weren’t really attached to Bunk. Can’t say I blame them overly much. Its not like last year was his only down year. He’s never performed to the expectations you’d have for someone who was a top 15 draft pick.

    Cullen Jenkins’ deal (according to the report I saw) seems reasonable, to the point where we might have freed up a decent bit of cap by trading Bunk. Production wise, Jenkins’ worst years are comparable to Bunk’s best. If he goes to Cleveland and doe well, good for Bunk, won’t hate on him. But in all likelihood he’s going to be the same sort of player–ok, with infrequent flashes of greatness punctuated by mediocrity.

  29. 29 Morton said at 6:31 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    But why give in excess of $10mill/year to any CB _right_ after trading for a capable starter, and already having a Pro Bowl corner on the roster to begin with?

    Even if Nnamdi is as good as the hype (which he assuredly is not – he will be tested in Philly and will give up completions, especially as he ages) why not just go into the season with DRC and Asante as the two starters and spend the money on more greatly needed positions?

    Again, unless they trade Asante for quality players or draft picks, this move is just superfluous and wasteful. And even then, I think I would rather just go into the season with DRC and Asante, and better linebackers/offensive linemen (which can’t be bought now that all this money is tied up with Nnamdi and Jenkins).

  30. 30 bp said at 6:34 PM on July 30th, 2011:


    I too had hoped that Bunkley might be in for a resurgence under Washburn, but your assessment assumes that Wash didn’t have any input in the decision to replace Bunk with Jenkins. I’d be willing to bet that Washburn has watched plenty of tape on both, developed an assessment during the offseason as to how he might use Bunk, supplemented that assessment with whatever info he was able to garner from the first few days of camp, and then gave Howie the vote of confidence to go ahead and make this move. The structuring of Jenkins’ contract is very reasonable, btw @1yr/$4m, effectively only guaranteeing that he’ll replace Bunk in what would have been Bunk’s walk year.

    I think folks here can be a little harsh with you at times, but you don’t really seem to make much of an effort to actually understand the dynamics between the coaching and scouting staffs and the front office, preferring instead to cling rigidly to your preconceived notions.

  31. 31 Kickin Asomugha said at 6:42 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Morton, you sound like my nagging ex-wife. Just sit back and be happy with what the birds are doing for a change. Let this thing play out first, you have no idea what your talking about until this is all over and we go into the first game. They are smarter than you, I think they have all the angles covered, that’s what they do for a living. So stop your bitchin and chill out.
    We just got a Deon Sanders type of CB and your over there bitchin about saving money. Are you sure your not a cowboys fan? ENJOY THE BEST OFF SEASON EVER FOR THE EAGLES. ENJOY, RELAX,

  32. 32 mcud said at 6:44 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Yeah, that’s the way to go. Rather than make an argument to address Morton’s concerns and further the discussion, throw personal insults at him on the internet.

    Well done.

  33. 33 netherman said at 6:47 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    If Jenkins can stay healthy as part of a rotation it seems like a solid move…he seems more versatile than Bunk, though more injury prone. I am willing to give Wash the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Bunk’s attitude/effort was not up to Wash’s standards. I am just in love with this off season and I cannot wait to see this team in action.

  34. 34 Tommy Lawlor said at 6:49 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Eagles have been frustrated with Bunk over the years. No one questions his pure talent, but his play is up and down. When he was good in 2008, the defense was really good. Bunk struggled the last couple of years. Also had the elbow injury last year. Team felt Jenkins was an upgrade.

    Castillo had high hopes for Bunk, but it must have been evident that the situation was very iffy. With a normal offseason, Bunk may have had time to sell himself to Washburn. Not the case this year.

  35. 35 TSA said at 6:52 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    My buddy was at practice this morning and said Bunkley basically choke slammed Dion Lewis. Apparently Andy was highly upset. Probably didn’t help his case.

  36. 36 Kammich said at 7:00 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I respect your opinion, Morton, but I have to disagree that adding a Pro Bowl cornerback widely considered to be one of the best in the league is “superfluous.”

    Especially in today’s NFL, where we not only face a slew of talented receivers within our division–Austin, Bryant, Nicks–but also the wide array of teams who trot out 4 receivers on nearly every down.

    Not to mention potential injuries. How is it possibly a BAD thing to have 3 Pro Bowl cornerbacks? They can obviously afford it, seeing as they’re still making moves as we speak. I don’t want to go back to watching Dmitri Patterson and Trevard Lindley trying to cover Packers receivers in playoff games.

  37. 37 Morton said at 7:04 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Let’s put it this way: would you rather have DRC, Samuel, and Nnamdi and a bunch of rookie/scrub LBs?

    Or DRC, Samuel, and say, an elite Cover-2 MLB like Paul Pozluzny?

    I think adding a player like Pozluzny and staying with just Samuel and DRC is better than having Nnamdi and Samuel and wasting DRC as a slot corner.

  38. 38 Kickin Asomugha said at 7:05 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    MCUD, To further a discussion with someone who just called the signing of the number one free agent in the NFL and probably the best singning the Eagles have ever made in FA wasteful; and he calls the Jenkins deal and the trade of Bunkley foolish, should not be considered for further discussions.

    Sorry, Morty’s not going to ruin my day in the sun, but apparently he’s drug you down with him. Enjoy. GO BIRDS

  39. 39 Kickin Asomugha said at 7:07 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    MORTY, they are not done with free agency, signings and trades yet, you can’t judge the Birds on anything until this is all over with and you see what they have, and how this is going to play out. STOP AND ENJOY LIFE BUD, your too wound up. E A G L E S!!!!!

  40. 40 deg0ey said at 7:20 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I have a question for some of you more knowledgeable types:

    A lot of the talk at the moment is about how Washburn’s new system is about getting all 4 guys rushing the passer. And people have suggested that our LBs are expected to drop back in coverage. And we’ve just gone and got another 2 CBs that excel against the pass. I’m quite new to football, so maybe I’m just missing something obvious, but what do we do against the run? It seems like our entire defence is shaping up to stop the pass, but we were ranked 15th for rushing yards allowed last season and, from where I’m sat, it doesn’t really look like we’re doing much to improve that.

  41. 41 Kammich said at 7:21 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I like Posluszny’s versatility(and his PSU pedigree), but I wouldn’t call him an elite linebacker. The fact that Buffalo did not work extraneously to retain him kind of confirms that. I think he’s a nice player, but probably better as an attacking ‘backer that thumps the LoS, which may not have fit with our new scheme of playing LBs off the ball.

    Not to mention, I don’t think the Eagles were ever really in the running for him. Poz is getting $7 mil a year… does that sound like the type of investment the Eagles–a team that places so little emphasis on the position–would make?

    Like I said, I respect your opinion. Just gotta’ disagree with you. The NFL is an aerial league now. I seriously cannot find a single negative thing about having 3 Pro Bowl cornerbacks in the prime of their career(and developmental guys like Lindley and Marsh behind them).

  42. 42 Kammich said at 7:28 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Sounds like the Birds waived Noel Devine already. Well, that was quick.

    Somewhere in the world, Deion Sanders is shedding a diamond encrusted tear.

  43. 43 mcud said at 7:33 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I think Morton’s larger point is that Jenkins represents a marginal upgrade over what we already have, while at the same time our three starting LBs have three years of total experience, and weren’t exactly highly coveted to begin with (a 4th and two 7th rounders).

    We don’t have a head-topper that really dominates in the red zone, so I’m okay with the thought of adding Plax or Randy Moss. They bring something to the table that we don’t have in terms of a skill set, even though we’re good on WRs. I’m not sure Cullen Jenkins brings something special to the table, though he has shown to be a good player.

    I don’t hate the move, but love it or hate it, I think we can all agree that it was unexpected.

    Still plenty of time to add a vet at LB though, as the corps could obviously use one.

  44. 44 theguyotc said at 7:38 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I’m one of the guys who thinks they could use some veteran help at LB and S, but I don’t hate the moves at all. And I’m not really hoping for an instant Asante trade either. With the idea of going all in this year (which isn’t actually the case because they didn’t gut next year’s draft, quite the opposite), keeping all 3 CBs and adding Babin and Jenkins makes a lot of sense.

    Assuming everyone stays relatively healthy, the Eagles are hopefully set vs. QBs and WRs. The possible weakness at LB and S could make things nice for RBs and TEs, but for the most part they don’t win games. It’s a huge cliche that this is a passing league, but it’s a cliche for a reason. Give me a choice between shutting down guys like Romo, Nicks, Austin, and Bryant or guys like Witten, Jones, Bradshaw, and [insert NYG TE here] and I won’t have to think too hard.

    All 3 CBs are locked in through next year, so worst case you trade one of them after this season and make the current huge draft haul even better.

  45. 45 Sokhar said at 7:49 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Had there been a stud linebacker available that we passed on Morton, I’d be somewhat in agreement with you. However if Paul P. is the best you’ve got (and while he’s a pretty decent player, he’s nothing special), then I’ve got no issue. We nabbed the top free agent in the class at a reasonable salary for a blue chip player. We’ve either got great trade bait in Asante, or we’ll enter the season with (theoretically) maybe the best trio of cornerbacks ever put together. As others have said, its a passing league. If we have dominant pass defenders and an improved pass rush to go with our explosive offense, we’re going to be extremely dangerous.

    I can appreciate your concern about the linebackers, I do feel we could do better there. But great options weren’t really available in free agency, whereas secondary assistance and pass rush help were. If the Eagles wanted to spin a deal that sends Asante somewhere for a high-quality linebacker, I wouldn’t complain; same if they wanted to turn around and deal one of those draft picks we’ve acquired. I just don’t see the point of bitching when the market for linebackers has pretty much sucked.

  46. 46 mcud said at 7:58 PM on July 30th, 2011:


    Excellent. That is the kind of rebuttal I’m interested in reading.

  47. 47 MoneyDavid said at 8:10 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Understatment of the year ….. exciting offseason with more to come.

    Disappointed with Devine drop, but something must have been really wrong there or they will bring him back at some point later – attitude, injuries, whatever.

    I have been reading all the comments and have not yet seen anything relating to the “vanilla” offenses that will be implemented for the first half of the season due to the lockout and lack of reps. That should help our current inexperienced LB corps gel/adjust (if it does not change).

    It should also make for a potentially jaw-dropping dominant secondary for the first half of the season …. especially if we keep all 3 top CBs. It’s going to be fun to watch …. for us !

  48. 48 PK said at 8:12 PM on July 30th, 2011:


    1. The same Bunckley with promises but little to show for whatever his salary was for this year.

    2. Jenkins for 4M and a 5th round pick…

    Surely Washburn had a say in it and saw Jenkins a better player in his scheme…

  49. 49 ian no 2 said at 8:18 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I was sort of curious about Bunkley in the new one gap so now I have my answer. They wanted Jenkins and wouldn’t carry both salaries.. Bunkley was in the last year of his rookie 6 year and there’s something about escalators that could “can escalate to the greater of 8.4M or the franchise tag for DT’s” which won’t happen but he’s making something. The Browns thought the contract was worth it so the Eagles got a 6th.

  50. 50 TSA said at 8:24 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    While I agree with degoey that our run defense is the chink in our armor defensively. I hate the 13 play, 4 yards and a cloud of dust drives as much as the next guy. But the Eagles goal is to win the Super Bowl. It would be the collapse of the century if this team does not get to the playoffs. So then you have to concern ourselves with who would we see there. Green Bay, Saint Louis/Arizona, da Bears, Tampa?, New Orleans, Atlanta, and maybe Tampa or Detroit. None of those teams really scare me with their running attack.

    Chicago- is historically a running team but Mike Martz is running that offense and they do not have an elite running back.

    Saint Louis- Steven Jackson can run and they have a young QB so would use him as a workhorse in the playoffs but their team collectively isn’t enough to make that a major concern.

    Green Bay- Most of their running is based off of teams concentrating on their passing game.

    New Orleans- Running back by committee most likely this year but with Drew Brees under center that would be our main concern.

    Atlanta- Also a fairly balanced offense but we managed to keep them in check fairly well last year.

    Tampa/Detroit- Decent running attacks, just like Saint Louis our overall starting 22 gives me confidence in these matchups.

    Super Bowl- In the past few years that has shown to be a toss up

    The wide nine does open natural running lanes. But for every time it is second and two you will have a second and 16. Plus with the talent of our DB’s we should be able to cheat Coleman/Jarret up to help with the run should it become a major issue.

  51. 51 phillybirdzfan said at 8:28 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Tommy, when you say Castillo had high hopes for Bunk, remember that he could have been talking him up for this trade.

  52. 52 PhxPhilly said at 8:34 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Backup plan to Haynesworth. I still would have preferred Big Al (who still might be an option if he annoys Belicheat). I suppose Eagles did not want to wait that out and went after Jenkins.

    I could also see this as a salary dump. If Bunkley is getting $8.4M, then getting a pick for him might be considered a win.

    Doubt the 3 ‘starting CBs’ works out. Nice to see that DRC at least has said he’d do whatever. No way the Eagles get ‘full value’ for Samuel, which should be pretty close to Asomugha.

  53. 53 Morton said at 8:44 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    If you want to run Cover-2/Tampa-2, you absolutely need a MLB that can run with TEs and WRs down the seam. You need someone who is equally as adept in coverage as he is in run support.

    Paul Pozluzny fits that bill and would have been an excellent addition to this team. If you run Tampa-2, you should not balk at the prospect of spending $7mill/year on your MLB, because he is literally the “straw that stirs the drink” of that type of defensive scheme. Look at Urlacher in the Bears defense and what he means to that team.

    According to Profootballfocus, Poz is exactly what a Cover-2 defense needs in the middle: http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/07/27/free-agency-2011-poz-to-the-jags/

    “A truly complete player, we live in an age where it seems 75% of MLBs are just sideline to sideline, tackle number guys. You ask them to cover a zone, or track someone and they just don’t have it in them to do it. Posluszny isn’t that type of guy. Even after returning after breaking his arm, he didn’t allow any touchdowns and picked up three interceptions, with just 64.5% of throws against him being complete (very low for a linebacker). He’s utterly comfortable in coverage and it shows.”

  54. 54 Morton said at 8:47 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    More about the Tampa-2:


    “The middle linebacker must have better-than-average speed, and additional skills to be able to read the play and either maintain his central position to help the outside linebackers cover short passes, drop behind the linebackers in coverage and protect the zone of the field behind the outside linebackers from 11-20 yards out, or run up to the line of scrimmage to help assist in stopping the runs. “It takes a special linebacker to do that, a guy with speed,” says Pete Prisco, senior NFL writer for CBSSports.com.”

    To run any variant of Cover-2 effectively a skilled athlete is mandatory at MLB. I don’t see this type of player on the Eagles roster. Maybe Chaney can develop into this type of player, but we don’t know that yet. Poz would have fit this role perfectly.

  55. 55 ian no 2 said at 8:51 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Eagles are also off the hook for guaranteed money that they’d owe Bunk if they cut him, 600+K.

    The Eagles 2 gap has actually been pretty good against the run in recent years. But as a national columnist pointed out, can you really beat the Eagles offense by running the ball? It keeps the ball out of Vick’s hand at least. Bunk hasn’t gotten to the QB and this move was clearly made to improve pass D.

    CB: If teams only throw at Aso twice a game, that makes your LCB pretty important! The Raiders D has been anything but consistent the past few years.

  56. 56 Morton said at 8:53 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Haynesworth would have been a great pickup, had we tried to sign him. He was an impact free agent at DT and we made no effort to sign him.

  57. 57 fran35 said at 8:56 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Hey genius,
    Haynesworth was not a free agent.

    Take your ridiculous criticisms and bogus claims elsewhere.

  58. 58 TSA said at 8:59 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Yes MLB is important in the cover 2/Tampa 2. But it looks like we will be playing alot more of bump and run than traditional Tampa 2 teams do. That may affect coverage schemes. Also Casey Matthews is a good cover LB. He’s coming from the Pac 10. They throw it alot out there. Tommy has covered this before, Chaney is fast but does not really have the instincts to drop into the deep zones that will most likely be required. Don’t discount Casey just because he was a fourth round pick. Plenty of good players are found later in the draft. Lance Briggs was a mid/late round guy. As far as Poz sure it would have been nice to go get him but going from having valued LB’s so little to 7 million is a big jump. Baby steps my friend.

    PS. Pretty sure the Bucs of old didn’t exactly have a stud MLB due to the fact I had to look up who it was.

  59. 59 ian no 2 said at 9:01 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I don’t see why Chaney doesn’t play in the middle.

    Reid needs adjustment time to buy into whatever new importance there is to the LB in a Tampa 2. He wasn’t going to snap his fingers and start paying a premium or using a high pick for one.

  60. 60 Dan said at 9:17 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Why isn’t Fokou playing SAM? I thought he was solid last year

  61. 61 mcud said at 9:18 PM on July 30th, 2011:


    Its funny. I’m not terribly worried about the coverage abilities of our LBs. Mathews was the consensus best coverage MIKE in the draft. Chaney didn’t show the greatest instincts in coverage last year, but definitely showed potential. Keenan Clayton was one of my favorite prospects a year ago because of his coverage abilities (he was simply terrific in space at OU).

    My issue is 1st and 2nd down. I’m very hesitant to have Casey and Keenan taking on OL on run plays.

    With the new Wide 9, plus the DBs we have, I would think the blueprint on how to beat us would be to run straight at our LBs.

  62. 62 piercit said at 9:27 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Who said the D was going Tampa 2 or even Cover 2 as a base D?

    I see where they will no longer be playing the 46. Going to a more traditional 43.

    More than likley more man to man and mixed zones. In the base defense at least.

  63. 63 piercit said at 9:36 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I think the plan is to strike quick, and force the other team to play catch-up. If we go up a couple of scores, its all out sack the QB, and pick off the football.

    It’s tough to come back running the football down two TD’s. Of course the other team is going to play to dominate the clock. If our O plays as well as last year, we can let them eat the time for us.


  64. 64 Sokhar said at 9:43 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    I agree with mcud. We’ve drafted two guys that almost specialize at pass coverage at the linebacker spot, and Chaney definitely has the athleticism for it. Not sure how I feel about us switching the guy around from their projected spots, but that seems to be an annual project for the Eagles.

    Its not fair to mention Urlacher when discussing the importance of having a good MLB in a Cover 2. Urlacher was one of the best linebackers in the league. It’d be great to have him, no question. But that’s like arguing that if you don’t have Ray Lewis or Patrick Willis on your team, that your defense will suck.

    The info about Paul P’s pass (alliteration FTW!) coverage was interesting, but doesn’t really sway my opinion on him much. You can find guy that can do alright against the pass and be decent overall. If he was more of a playmaker in addition to those talents, I’d have been all over it. Or if his cap figure was a bit lower. Truth be told, had the Eagles decided to sign him I’d have been fine about it. He’d probably be a pretty good addition. But I don’t think we missed out on some grand opportunity. Decent to even pretty good player, maybe. But I’ll take the blue chipper every time. Lot easier to find a servicable linebacker than a corner that shuts down his half of the field.

  65. 65 Sokhar said at 9:45 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Well aid, Piercit. Absolutely seems to be the plan, and its a solid blueprint for the style of football that’s played today. My biggest concern at the moment is getting a contract extension to appease our most dynamic playmaker and get his smurfy ass into camp.

  66. 66 Name said at 9:45 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    *Well said. Damn lack of an edit button. I’ll stop spamming now. 🙁

  67. 67 Kickin Asomugha said at 10:28 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    @ Morty, Hey Bud, what’s with you and all the hate toward what the Eagles have done. Now your on Haynesworth’s Jock? What’s the deal. R U not happy with anything in life?

    Really, are you front office or something? How do you know they didn’t try to trade for Haynesworth? Dude, give it up, take some pills or something, chill out. The Birds are a better team for not getting an overweight, drunk, abusive, lazy, overpaid fat slob of a player. He was so out of shape he couldn’t even pass the physical for the Patriots today.

    Go back to playin Madden

  68. 68 Cafone said at 10:39 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    One point that I didn’t see mentioned is that Bunkley would have been a free agent next year. If he was in the long term picture that means the Eagles would have wanted to extend him now or during the season. I think that if he had two more years left on his current deal he’d still be an Eagle with the chance to prove himself in the new system.

    Good job by the Eagles to get something for what probably would have become nothing.

  69. 69 izzylangfan said at 10:46 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    We need pressure on the QB and we need it coming from the middle as well as the ends. Bunk has never generated that pressure and while he might have been able to do it in the new system it was far from certain. Instead we got a guy who is likely to generate pressure up the middle and can play end as well. Bunkley was on a downward trend having lost his starting position and would have been a free agent next year anyway. We got a fifth round pick for him. Thus, signing Jenkins and trading Bunkley was an excellent move

  70. 70 Mike said at 11:31 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Love all the moves so far but I’ve been holding my breathe for Tulloch since Tuesday. Tommy, should I stop holding my breathe? It’s curious that he hasn’t signed yet.

  71. 71 ATG said at 11:33 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    First, I respond in disagreement to Morton as much as anyone, going back to Iggles Blog. I disagree with him now. That being said, I am glad he is here. He offers his opinions with explanation and presents a perspective far ( really, really far) from my own. Often I feel he is raging against the machine for it’s own sake, but occaisionally he hits on something. He nailed the McD firing long before I thought it would happen.

    Kicking asomough, nice handle, poor posts. This isn’t Philly.com and we like it that way.

    Now, specifically, signing Nnamdi was a great use of resources. We gave up nothing except money, which we seem to manage as well as anyone. Worst case, we replaced one of our top two defenders with a guy who presumably fits better and allowed ourselves to entertain offers for a very desirable commodity. Best case, we get to witness what is possibly the best CB collection ever assembled hold QBs to single digit yardage. If there was a LB available that we were forced to pass on because we couldn’t afford him with the possibly of making us the best, I’d see your point. If anything, signing Aso opens the door to more possibilities to upgrade LB.

    With Jenkins, I am ambivalent. I don’t know him well, but again, it didn’t cost us anything. We will save money, we got a pick, and the staff must have thought it was an upgrade. At a minimum, it will shake up any guys that are too comfortable.

  72. 72 BrianS said at 11:37 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Tommy, how are they going to be able to sign DeSean and Vick?

    I’d rather get those deals done than sign Plax.

  73. 73 BigEFly said at 11:50 PM on July 30th, 2011:


    Isn’t Jenkins a bit of an injury risk?

  74. 74 Name said at 11:51 PM on July 30th, 2011:

    Bigger question…how soon will Maclin be able to play this season, and how well….?

  75. 75 Dtown said at 12:19 AM on July 31st, 2011:


    Interesting prediction that Asomugha will be tested in Philly. According to Pro Football Focus, he was thrown at only 28 times during the 2009 season, when he played in all four games against NFC East teams. It wouldn’t seem that Asomugha was tested much during those games, so why would he be tested next season?

    The stat can be found here (you have to search for “Asomugha”):


    Also, regarding your comment: “If you want to run Cover-2/Tampa-2, you absolutely need a MLB that can run with TEs and WRs down the seam.” Don’t forget that no one really knows what scheme Castillo is planning to run. There is speculation that he might run some sort of Cover-2/Tampa-2 scheme, but that is strictly that: speculation. Judging personnel moves based on a possibly inapplicable scheme is hardly fair, in my opinion. For all we know, Castillo might be tailoring his scheme to his personnel. Now, if Castillo announces that he is running said scheme, then that would be a different matter.

    I think that a better way to evaluate the Asomugha signing is the following, given that Asomugha is as good as his reputation suggests (and I know that you disagree with this claim. However, you have yet to prove that Asomugha is overrated. As someone has mentioned before, K C Joyner seems to be saying that Asomugha isn’t worth the 18 million he was rumored to be offered. On the other hand, I don’t have ESPN Insider, so I can’t read the rest of his article): he has a skill that no one else on either the Eagles or free agency list has, namely the ability to shut down a wide receiver. Without such an important weapon at the OC’s disposal, it makes his job harder. That’s a skill any DC would love to have if considerations about scheme don’t come into play.

  76. 76 Cafone said at 12:27 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Eagles cap currently has them at 8,700,000 under the cap using estimates for the latest signings. He is using a projected tag figure of 16 million for Vick so let’s say they are just about 25 million under the cap. That should be enough to sign Vick, Jackson and Watkins without trading Assante shouldn’t it?

  77. 77 Flyin' said at 12:45 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    i don’t get the negativity about this f/a. you’re not bringing me down.

    Top 100: Nnamdi … in case you haven’t seen it.


  78. 78 Flyin' said at 12:54 AM on July 31st, 2011:


    might have to factor in a 6’5″ wr as well.

  79. 79 ian no 2 said at 1:00 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Graham’s bonus is supposed to be prorated but Eaglescap has it all for this year.. don’t get that, but it might mean they are 16M under the cap. They also have Aso getting a big bonus for this year which may be a different number.

  80. 80 netherman said at 3:44 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Tommy, wondering how you much having to tall corners with better man coverage skills will help our red zone D. I would have thought with less space to work with, a guy like Samuel would be at an advantage, but it seemed like at least a couple times he got burned for a TD. Do you think it was more a problem with Samuel not getting safety help he was counting on? If we keep our trio, how would you play Samuel in the red zone?

  81. 81 deg0ey said at 7:29 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    @DTown: I assume Morton’s point about Aso being tested next season is not about the teams he’s facing, but rather who he’s (possibly) playing with.

    Last season, Nnamdi was thrown at 31 times – good for 6.5% of all passes thrown against that Oakland defence.

    In the same year, Asante was thrown at 36 times – 6.7% of all passes thrown against the Eagles.

    In contrast, Tramon Williams saw 15.7% of all passes thrown against Green Bay and Antonio Cromartie defended 19.2% of passes for the Jets.

    In the past, it has been relatively easy to avoid throwing to Nnamdi and Asante because they have had weaker players on the other side of the field (Stanford Routt fielded 19.5% of balls at OAK last year), but now that option has been taken away – you have to throw at one of these guys.

    It’s been a long time since Nnamdi saw more than 2 or 3 passes per game and (as Morton said) he will be tested with a few more than that if he’s playing alongside Asante – I’m quietly confident, but it remains to be seen how well he’ll actually hold up.

  82. 82 nzflyer said at 8:01 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    a G named Mathis ?

  83. 83 Damon said at 8:19 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Tommy do you think Jaqua Parker becomes a cap casualty?

  84. 84 GermanEagle said at 8:31 AM on July 31st, 2011:


    when looking at this year’s cap figures it is highly likely that JP will be cut. In fact releasing JP and Joselio Hanson would save the Eagles approx. 5 Mio $ in salary cap.

    Both players could not only be a roster casualty, but more likely a cap casualty.

  85. 85 Cliff said at 8:39 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Weird to think about us having “cap casualties.” We cut guys due to make an unnecessarily high paycheck, but we almost never have to cut guys just to stay under the cap.

  86. 86 GermanEagle said at 8:46 AM on July 31st, 2011:


    it’s both strange and amazing at the same time, isn’t it?!


    speaking of veteran LB’s who could provide immediate impact this year: would you trade Asante for Lofa Tatupu?

  87. 87 GermanEagle said at 8:50 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Well, if that’s really the case (Tatupu might be cut) then please ignore my question, Tommy:


  88. 88 GermanEagle said at 9:36 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Tulloch is signed by the Lions. What a pity… 🙁

  89. 89 McG said at 10:03 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    I don’t think it’s a pity. I think we have the LB core that we want. It’s pretty clear that we could have courted him, and chose not to do so.

  90. 90 Alex K said at 10:53 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    I agree with Dtown, in that none of us really know exactly what kind of defense Castillo is going to run. With our current personnel, I’m imagining a Cover 3, with Jaiquawn Jarrett providing run support on first and second downs, laying massive hits on opposing running backs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnCQkoIZOFg).

    But I’m probably way off base. Having two (or three) elite corners lets you do just about anything. I keep thinking back to how the Eagles defense truly came together once Ben Smith joined Eric Allen in 1990, freeing the front 7 to confound and terrorize the opposition.

  91. 91 Kevin (RealCrippler) said at 11:18 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Anyone criticizing the Jenkins signing has never watched him play. I’m sorry, but he’s on a 1 year/4M deal given how it’s voidable. Jenkins can push the pocket inside, which was our #1 issue with the pass-rush last year. He’s going to play on 3rd downs with Laws and wreck havoc with Cole and Babin.

    Even the injury history is overblown: he’s not going to play 60 snaps a game. He’s going to play 40 as Patterson/Dixon can play the base run defense.

  92. 92 Will the real Lady Gaga please stand up!! said at 11:51 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Lady Osi reportedly scared of a Giant GM. Run, run, run away Lady Osi.

  93. 93 ian no 2 said at 11:53 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    G Evan Mathis supposedly played well when he had a chance in Cinci and folks were puzzled he didn’t start. Muddier than MJG and the really big boys, may be a FO telegram to Fireman Watkins that the truck is leaving. Indication that Fireman and/or Fire It Up Todd may be the RT options rather than bidding for help there.

  94. 94 ian no 2 said at 11:58 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    Just glad that Plax didn’t go back to the other Meadowlands tenant. Wanted him but getting him may be a bit much at this point, cap and media frenzy factored, and DeAndre Brown may be a cheaper, lower maintenance alternative.

  95. 95 Tommy Lawlor said at 11:59 AM on July 31st, 2011:

    New column posted.

    You guys had some great questions/talking points in here. I addressed some. Others will have to wait. This pace of action isn’t conducive to letting me answer everything.