Defensive players love when the pads go on camp. They usually have spent the better part of the summer getting whipped on by the offense as the QB gets near unlimited time, the RB is allowed to run through the line untouched and WRs have no fear of getting hit.
When the pads go on... that all changes. Well, except for the QBs. But this is the time when defenders really get their chance to shine. Several key Eagles D-men spoke yesterday after the team's first live practice.
Trent Cole talked about the defensive line's comfort level with Jim Washburn's system in year 2.
"Very comfortable. We didn't have that the year with Jim to really get acquainted to the new style of defense that he has. Everyone as a whole defense did not jell together. This year it was nice to have everyone there in the mini-camps and I think we accomplished a lot of things as a team in mini-camps. It went well, things looked good coming out of mini-camp, and we're starting camp here and starting off the season. We are looking forward to a great season."
This defense led the league in sacks without "jelling" last season. So it should be interesting to see what they can do this time around.
Nnamdi Asomugha has been lining up both in the slot and on the outside so far in camp. He was asked about the ability to play all over the field.
"I was talking with [secondary coach] Todd Bowles about that earlier. There are things that when he's got me in the slot and we're playing a certain coverage that I'm getting better at that. I was further away, and now I'm getting closer and closer to that. The more we do that and the more we run zones, I'll get better at it."
Cullen Jenkins was asked about who he sees as a potential replacement for Mike Patterson.
"It's a tough call. Hopefully we can get Mike back soon but we've got a lot of depth along the [defensive line], period. [DT Fletcher Cox] has shown a lot of potential. He can be a heck of a player. [DT Derek Landri] is one of the best and most underrated defensive tackles in the league. You've got those two going and you've got [DT Cedric Thornton] who has really improved a lot behind them. You've got [DT Antonio Dixon]. When you get Dixon firing off of the ball it is hard to stop him. There is a lot of depth on the line and even at the defensive end spot. The defensive ends are looking great so far."