As far as debuts go, the 2010 Eagles defense was about as perfect as one could expect. Two series against the Jaguars' No. 1 offense resulted in two three-and-outs.
On six plays, the first-team defense of Juqua Parker, Brodrick Bunkley, Mike Patterson, Trent Cole, Akeem Jordan, Stewart Bradley, Ernie Sims, Ellis Hobbs, Asante Samuel, Quintin Mikell and Nate Allen allowed a meager 10 yards.
"We didn't really have that many snaps; we only had six plays," said Bradley, who played in his first game since the end of the 2008 season and added that he felt great physically. "It was short lived, but two three-and-outs is what you want to do as a defense, so we feel really good about it."
On the first play, Bunkley batted down a David Garrard pass at the line of scrimmage. Ellis Hobbs then made a perfect form tackle on Mike Sims-Walker after a short completion. Then, on third down, with the nickel defense in - Joselio Hanson at nickel corner, Brandon Graham at left defensive end and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Trevor Laws as the tackles - Garrard completed a short pass to Marcedes Lewis, who was brought down by Asante Samuel short of the first down.
"It was just a matter of getting into the game atmosphere," said Hobbs. "One thing that I do that I think this whole defense has the personality of is going out there and being a tone-setter, going out there and flying around. Whether we make mistakes or not, we're going to give it 100 percent effort and that's going to cover a lot of our mistakes."
On the next series, Akeem Jordan ran unmolested into the backfield to bring down Maurice Jones-Drew for a two-yard loss. Then, Garrard hit Jones-Drew for a six-yard gain over the middle of the field, and Jones-Drew was brought down by Hobbs and Sims. On the ensuing third-down attempt, Samuel dislodged the ball from Sims-Walker, who would have had a first down.
While it's tough to have a more impressive start to the season, it was, after all, only two series of what is going to be a long season. But for tonight, at least, defensive coordinator Sean McDermott can rest easy that his new-look defense did everything right.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 9:55 p.m., August 13