Eagles DT Cullen Jenkins was a guest of WIP in the wake Juan Castillo's firing and discussed a lot of the issues currently facing the defensive line and the defense as a whole.
One thing he said, which might have been part of Castillo's downfall, is that the team is making mistakes that should have been corrected by now.
"Whether we won or not, I was still seeing a lot of the same things going on out there - things that we should be correcting by now. We're going into the sixth week of the season and you have to start to see the improvement happening and the things that the team needs to be working on or your focus is starting to come together. So I think there has to be more of a sense of urgency on our part to start to get these things corrected and adjusted."
Obviously the players only have themselves to blame for that, but firing a coach can sometimes be that catalyst to make guys feel the sense of urgency.
Despite the issues, Jenkins says that the defense is still united.
"We're definitely still a team. There's no finger-pointing going on. ... As a defense and a defensive line, we look at it as we had an opportunity to win the game at the end and we didn't. And that's something that we put on ourselves. ... We're feeling the heat; we're starting to get a lot of criticism. Everybody wants to talk about the lack of sacks or whatever, and any person that has pride in their job doesn't want to be critiqued. And we're putting it on our shoulders to go out there and get this stuff turned around."
As for the lack of sacks, Jenkins says he's seeing more double teams than ever in his career.
"I had more double-teams between the run and the pass in that game than I've ever had in my career. Stuff like that, we're getting schemed by a lot of teams, and the average person doesn't realize what's going on. But a lot of these teams are leaving seven, eight guys at a time in to block, just to keep us from getting pressure on the quarterback."
That may also reveal a bit about Castillo's problems as well. Last year, they were able to get pressure with just the front four, so there was never a need to adjust. This year, they haven't gotten that pressure and Castillo never seemed to have a plan B.
As we saw in overtime last week, just because the offense goes max protect, doesn't mean you still can't get sacks...