By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – First, Steelers nose tackle Steve McClendon had some less than complimentary things to say how to go about defending Michael Vick. “He’s trying to be the quarterback he’s not,” he said. Then wide receiver Antonio Brown referred to Eagles rookie cornerback Brandon Boykin as “a candy bar.”
Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins says the Eagles aren’t fazed by any of Steelers’ talk. “We’re fully aware of all it coming out,” Jenkins told 94WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese on Thursday. “I’m not sure what it is, maybe it’s just that division out there, with Baltimore and them, they like to get a lot of chatter going and stuff like that, but it’s our job to just remain focused. We’re aware of it, we’re going to take it to heart, we take it as a challenge and we just want to talk back by our play. We want to let our play do the talking for us.”
The Eagles defense in 2011 had a lot of trouble early in the season, but started to come together over the final four games. They’ve brought that momentum to the 2012 season, and rank 6th overall in team defense. “I just think it is a great job by everybody starting to understand each other,” Jenkins said. “The coaches have done a great job, you know, putting guys into their comfort zone and everybody is playing things that they like to do, or things they are good at it and everybody has full confidence in themselves and in the person next to them right now.”
More than ever, the key to the Steelers offense is quarterback Ben Roesthlisberger. “[The key to getting to Roethlisberger is] just being patient. One thing we fully expect them to do is come out and try to run the ball on us. They obviously kind of just challenged us a little bit, with the comments they said about us, especially up-front at the d-line, and we got out there and want to get that run stopped and keep the down and distance in our favor,” Jenkins said.