Jenkins Talks Packers, Eagles

DE Cullen Jenkins (Joe Robbins/Getty)

Cullen Jenkins met with reporters in Philadelphia on Sunday, one day after signing with the Eagles, a team he says is "a favorite now to go deep into the playoffs."

Former Green Bay Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins met with reporters in Philadelphia on Sunday, one day after signing with the Eagles.

On having Andy Reid introduce him:

"It makes me feel a little special here."

On how it came together:

"It's a process you go through. This obviously has been a very different year than what normal years would be like. The whole process of being there and choosing the team in free agency, we tried to take the time to figure out what would be the best fit for me  and what would be a good organization. When the opportunity to come up here presented itself, you can't beat Philly. You have the great talent on the field, the great fans off the field, and the great football environment and history. It was something you definitely had to pursue."

On playing in a 4-3 defense as opposed to Green Bay's 3-4:

"Throughout my whole decision process, the schemes didn't matter too much. I always prided myself on being versatile and being able to play in any system or position up front. When I first came into the league, I was always told what I wouldn't be able to do because of my size, lack of size, lack of speed. I can always hang my hat on what I can do for any scheme. Getting here and getting in this scheme and seeing what coach [Jim] Washburn does with the defensive line,  they can't help but be excited."

On where he was able to accumulate more sacks, on the end or in the middle defensive line:

"I got more on the inside. Most of my sacks came on the inside."

On what defensive coordinator Juan Castillo will ask his DTs to do:

"So far in the little, quick conversation we had, they just want me to bring some penetration. Just go in there and bring some attitude and energy in there and get after it."

On defensive line coach Jim Washburn's style of coaching:

"I actually just learned about Coach Wash last season when we watched a little bit of tape of what the Tennessee D-linemen were doing. You sit there and you watch it and you say in your head, ‘Man, I'd love to be able to do that.' It's weird because now I'm here and I'm going to be a part of it. I'm pretty excited about it and anxious to get up in the meeting with him and learn more."

On whether the Eagles previous acquisitions influenced his decision:

"Yeah, it did. You look at it and you see the team and all the moves they're making and the things they're doing. You can't help but feel that the team is trying to do everything in their power to be the best team they can be and to win. You have to have respect for that because you know that you're coming into a situation where failure is not an option. They're expecting to win. We're going to come in here and do our best to bring victories and have a good ending for this season."

On whether he will play inside or outside on first-down:

"We'll see. I'll talk to the coaches and obviously we'll go through practices first. I'll get a feel for them and they'll get a feel for me, and we'll probably make more decisions after that."

On whether it seems ironic that the Eagles defense is being built to stop a team like the Packers:

"They're definitely stacked in the secondary here now. That's how we were in Green Bay, we had a heck of a talent with the secondary there. When you come here, you see the same thing. Up front, you have a lot of confidence when you have guys back there who are going to be able to hold it down. It makes you want to help them out and get to the quarterback as fast as possible so that you can hold up your end of the bargain." 

On whether Vick has an influence on guys wanting to come play in Philadelphia:

"You know, you don't have to chase him anymore. I mean heck, if he shakes me in practice I can always say I wasn't supposed to get close to him [laughing]. It's fun. Definitely coming here I was excited about being on the same team as him and not having to chase him around the field anymore. So that's definitely a positive here."

On him sacking Vick:

"Yeah, I got a sack on him. I mean, it wasn't one of the most highlighted sacks in my career but it was a sack so we'll keep it on paper."

On whether there was a reason the Packers beat the Eagles twice last season:

"You know, I think when we came in early in the season, the first game, we just came in with a tremendous amount of energy and a tremendous amount of heart. It was definitely a dogfight and we had gotten off to a good start against them. And I think that's what helped us to hold onto the victory because once Mike (Vick) came in they definitely started making a run at as in the second half and they almost won it there at the end; we came up with that fourth-down stop. And then in the playoffs it was just a lot of emotion, we were riding off of a lot of emotion. We were backed up against the wall going into that Giants game, and once we won that game with that big victory, and moving on through Chicago and everything, we were just riding an emotional high and we knew we had to keep going with it."

On whether he can pass on some of his Super Bowl knowledge to his new teammates:

"Definitely, I've talked to a couple of guys already. You hear a lot of hype about the team and how many additions they've made, how many players they have, you know, being a favorite now to go deep into the playoffs, and I explained to the people I've talked to so far; last year in Green Bay, early in the season a lot of people were picking us to do well, but we didn't have the success right away because I think it was expected a little bit. And we were still doing well but we weren't quite there yet as a team until we got our backs up against the wall. And once you get your back up against the wall and you have to do it, there was no more worrying about how good we were or where do people rank us, or this or that, then you have that mindset where you have to go out there and fight for your lives. And I think that's something regardless of how much talent this team has, we have to have that mindset that we have to go out and fight for our lives every game."

On the fact that Green Bay won a Super Bowl without adding a bunch of free agents and the Eagles have added a lot of free agents and whether there are different ways of getting to the Super Bowl:

"Yeah, there's different ways. I mean, anything's possible. We definitely have one of the most talented teams in the league and it's a matter of bringing it all together. You know, you just don't put talent on the field and win because of that. You have to build the camaraderie, the trust, the work ethic, everything has to come together, and that's something that we really have to use this training camp, especially with not having the offseason to go through giving the chance to build that. We really have to make sure we use this training camp to build that up because there will be times during the season where things don't go the way you want them to go, and those will be the times that will test the team the most. You know, will the team be able to come together, especially with so many new additions and personalities? Will everybody be able to trust each other? Will everybody be able to hang in there and pull things together?"

On whether his calf injury is completely behind him:

"It's completely behind me right now. I'm healthy right now, I'm ready to go – I wish we could practice right now instead of waiting until Thursday, but I'm all set to go."

On whether there was interest from other teams:

"It was a little strange. There was a lot of talking going on with some different teams. You know, I'm not going to specify any teams but there were some talks going on. It was interesting though because I didn't quite get as much looks as you would have though of. It's a good thing to some extent because I feel very motivated right now because of that. Me and my wife talked about ever since I've come into the league nothing's come easy, you know, so why should this be any different? So I'm going to stay with the attitude that I've always had and obviously, I have added motivation with it, and we're going to get out there and get after it and you know, just be on a mission to go win."

On whether the Eagles were interested from the start:

"Yeah, there were a couple of talks from early on. So it was always a communication there."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.

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