After a preseason full of questions about who would be the team's nickel back, the Eagles pulled out a new personnel package that hadn't been used in the preseason. Safety Malcolm Jenkins moved to nickel and Chris Maragos came in at safety.
Defensive coordinator Bill Davis explained the move following the Eagles' 26-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
"Because we stay in base versus 11-personnel (one running back, one tight end) so much, both of our safeties are down playing the slot, so they've gotten work at it," Davis said. "I've told you all along that I have a lot of confidence in Jenkins and (Walter) Thurmond, and I thought Jenkins did a great job in the nickel spot tonight.
"We just thought that was our best combination right now for who we were playing on Monday night with a great quarterback and a passing game coming in."
Jenkins perfectly read a pair of Matt Ryan passes, nearly intercepting them both. After the game, Jenkins explained that he was comfortable moving back inside, but he knows those two plays could have been made.
"There were plays I would have liked to make, and obviously one of those probably changes the game a little bit," Jenkins said. "When you look at how close the game was, you start looking at those plays and you see where the game could have been won in different areas, but at this point, you just go back to the drawing board and come back the next week."
After allowing 20 points to the Falcons in the first half, the defense battened down the hatches in the second half, holding Atlanta to a pair of Matt Bryant field goals. While the Eagles weren't able to finish the comeback, Jenkins saw the game as a solid starting point for the new-look secondary.
"I think we started out pretty strong," Jenkins said. "We loosened our grip a little bit, and they made some big plays ... They got a couple of big plays that we want to eliminate, but other than that, we battled a good offense."
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