Jalen Mills Fires Back on Malcolm Jenkins & Eagles’ Leadership Void

Malcolm Jenkins

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Malcolm Jenkins has been trending in Philly since Sunday, even after an up-and-down game for his new team.

Jenkins led the Eagles’ defense six seasons before exiting for (slightly) more money in New Orleans last March. His name gets brought up in every press conference — and in every man cave around town — whenever the Eagles miss a tackle or blow a coverage.

Fair or not, the former team captain cast a huge shadow. On Tuesday, Jalen Mills vented a bit to reporters when the man whose shoes he is filling entered the conversation. Again.

“People gotta get that out of their heads,” Mills told reporters. “Everybody watched the game last night. Twenty-seven was playing for the Saints. At this point, this is the Philadelphia Eagles, so as far as questions with Malcolm and things like that, that’s my brother, all due respect for him, but can we please stop doing that? This team, we have enough leaders, we have enough captains. There’s no void as far is in our leaders and in our captains on this team, and guys are doing their part.”

Mills, who switched from number 31 to number 21, wasn’t done pontificating. He stressed everyone has the utmost respect for Jenkins but he’s gone.

“At the end of the day, this is the Eagles defense,” Mills said. “Malcolm doesn’t play for us, so people can get that out of their heads. So much respect for him and what he’s done for not only me, but this team and this organization. But I mean, as far as that goes, that’s just us as a defense.”

Jenkins started Monday night’s game strong when he busted through the Raiders’ offensive line and sacked Derek Carr in the first quarter. Then, things took a turn for the 32-year-old safety. Matched up on monstrous tight end Darren Waller, Jenkins looked out of sorts and a bit old. Waller had 12 catches for 103 yards. It wasn’t all on Jenkins but the optics sure looked better for the Eagles’ decision to let him walk.

Either way, it’s time for both the fans and the media to forget Jenkins. He’s in New Orleans and his vacated strong safety position was given to Mills.

“Malcolm doesn’t play here anymore. We can’t judge anything on how he would have done in those situations,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said after the Week 1 loss. “We have our guys this year. You don’t get graded on the curve because you got new guys out there or it’s the first game of the season or anything else.”

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Ronald Darby, Rasul Douglas Earn High Marks

Speaking of ex-Eagles players, a pair of familiar faces — cornerbacks Ronald Darby (Washington) and Rasul Douglas (Carolina) — are off to surprising starts with their new clubs. Pro Football Focus ranked Darby No. 10 among qualifying corners after Week 2, with Douglas earning kudos at No. 13.

Meanwhile, the Eagles starting tandem of Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox ranked No. 53 and No. 102, respectively. Not a large sample size — and Pro Football Focus isn’t the be-all, end-all — but the numbers are interesting.


Jim Schwartz Explains Rams Breakdowns

The Rams’ offense shredded the Eagles for 449 yards and five touchdowns, including three passing scores and 17 passing first downs.

They appeared to pick on Philly’s weak linebackers and exposed miscommunication in the revamped secondary en route to a 37-19 victory. It was a really bad day for Jim Schwartz’s defense. He took the full blame for everything.

“Well, what happened on the field was I had a poor game plan,” the defensive coordinator said. “We had a very simple game plan. You guys know that the Rams use a lot of tempos out of their huddle, a lot of different motions and things like that.”

Schwartz denied the communication issues were real and deemed it a matter of him not putting his players in the right position to make plays. It took the Eagles three series — under barrage from the Rams’ jet motion sweeps and boots — to make an adjustment. They were already down double digits by that point.

“In this game, we didn’t get beat by tempo and communication, it was execution,” Schwartz said. “It was very difficult to execute those things. Again, simple but more difficult to execute. Like I said, we changed it. Probably one series too late on changing that.”

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