By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a tall order on Monday night for the Eagles defense as they look to contain an explosive New Orleans Saints offense.
That unit was shredded by the Falcons last time out in their first game under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as the Falcons scored on their first six possessions en route to an easy 30-17 win.
Eagles’ defensive tackle Cedric Thornton had one of the defense’s few highlights in the loss as he recorded the team’s first sack since Week #3. He says it hasn’t been that difficult going from Juan Castillo to Bowles as DC.
“Not too much of a transition,” Thornton tells KYW Newsradio. “They have different methods of the way they talk and the way they coach, but definitely the defensive line up front, still doing the same things. We just got a couple plays that are different, but it’s no different other than the way he talks to us and the way he tries to relate to us, because he (was) a player. That’s about it.”
Listen to the entire interview here:
On Monday night, the Eagles defense will face a Saints offense that is averaging more than 27 points a game, despite the team’s 2-5 record. But Thornton says they are much, much more than just All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees.
“They pretty much can run it,” Thornton says. “They’ve got Pierre Thomas and they’ve got Darren Sproles. Up front they’re pretty good. Their interior guys, their two guards are Pro Bowlers, and I think their left tackle is a Pro Bowler. So up front they are pretty good. They pretty much can run or pass.”
But Brees is the triggerman, and his quick release makes life difficult for opposing pass rushers.
“It’s very difficult,” Thornton says, “and plus, like I said, they can run, too. With a quarterback like Drew Brees you want to play the pass first, but if you mess around and play the pass first, you’ll get run on. He’s definitely going to try and get it out quick, so basically we’re working on quick pass rushing moves and getting on and getting off.”
Thornton spent most of his 2011 rookie season on the practice squad, but he has emerged as a key member of the rotation at defensive tackle this season. The Division II product out of Southern Arkansas is looking forward to this prime time showdown.
“It’s very exciting. I like the prime time lights, I think I perform better when more people are watching. This is my first Monday night, so I’m excited and I’m just trying to take advantage of the opportunity that they give me.”
Eagles and Saints will kick-off at 8:30pm on Monday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.