Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Jenkins, Washburn and the Eagles' D-line

Many of you have suggested I get back in my car so the Eagles can make their next move.

Jenkins, Washburn and the Eagles' D-line

The Eagles signed former Packers defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins to a five-year deal on Saturday. (David J. Phillip/AP)
The Eagles signed former Packers defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins to a five-year deal on Saturday. (David J. Phillip/AP)

Many of you have suggested I get back in my car so the Eagles can make their next move.

This week, I've been driving when the Birds traded Kevin Kolb, signed Nnamdi Asomugha and acquired Cullen Jenkins.

I'm now back by my computer, so apologies, things might be a little quiet for the rest of the night.

But let's get to everything that's happened since I last posted. The Birds have added another piece to their defensive line rotation with Jenkins. And they traded Brodrick Bunkley to Cleveland for a fifth-round pick.

More coverage
 
Career stats: Cullen Jenkins
Photos: New Birds in Eagles nest
 
Get coverage of the Eagles on your phone

Juan Castillo talked Bunkley up earlier this offseason, but he's in the final year of his contract, and with the emergence of Antonio Dixon last year, along with the addition of Jenkins, trading him made a lot of sense.

The more I think about it, the more I realize pretty much everything the Eagles are doing defensively revolves around the addition of Jim Washburn. Would they have made Castillo the defensive coordinator without having Washburn in place? I'm not so sure.

And now they have added Jason Babin and Jenkins, two guys who combined for 19.5 sacks a year ago.

Jenkins is 30 and has had some injury issues, having played in 31 games the last three seasons (11 in 2010).

But assuming he's healthy, how does Jenkins fit in?

According to Pro Football Focus, he played 58.5 percent of the snaps in the games he was active for last season. About 72 percent of those snaps were passing downs. In other words, Jenkins' job will likely be to provide pressure inside as part of Washburn's rotation.

With Antonio Dixon emerging as a run-stuffer last season, this gives the Eagles some versatility inside. The guess here is that Mike Patterson and Trevor Laws will be the third and fourth defensive tackles, but who knows what else Howie Roseman has up his sleeve?

Also, it should be noted that Jenkins could see time at DE also. Here's what Greg Cosell of NFL Films wrote 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.

I've mentioned before that Washburn used eight guys in his rotation last season. I looked at snap counts when the Eagles played the Titans. Eight defensive linemen played at least 15 snaps in that game. And seven of them played at least 35 snaps.

Keeping that in mind, it'll be interesting to see how the roster shakes out. I mentioned the four defensive tackles above, plus Trent Cole and Babin at DE makes six.

That would leave four spots, assuming no more major moves are made (which I understand is a dangerous assumption). I'd say Darryl Tapp and Juqua Parker are favorites for two of them, leaving Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Ricky Sapp, Phillip Hunt and Victor Abiamiri.

Of course, I'm probably jumping the gun, and there very well could be more moves still to come. But that's an early look at how things are shaping up.

JORDAN COMES BACK (NOT WEARING THE 4-5)

The other move the Eagles made was bringing linebacker Akeem Jordan back. In 2010, he had the most special teams points on the team, according to stats kept by the team. Jordan had 16 special teams tackles, behind only Moise Fokou. That's where he has certain value.

But depending on who else the Eagles add, it's not out of the question that Jordan competes at the WILL position, where Fokou has been taking reps with the first team.

In 2009, before he got injured, Jordan played very well at that spot.

Again, there are still probably more moves to be made before we get into in-depth discussions about roster spots and defined roles, but that's a instant look at how Jordan might fit in.


You can follow me on Twitter or become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

Follow Sheil on Twitter. And become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for even more Birds coverage, including app-exclusive videos and analysis. Download it here.

Reach Sheil at skapadia@philly.com.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected