Malcolm Jenkins, Jim Schwartz react to Case Keenum earning opening day start
Safety Malcolm Jenkins had to be reminded on Monday about the last time the Eagles faced quarterback Case Keenum.
“When was last time we played them?” said Jenkins.
He was told it was January of 2018 in the NFC Championship Game. That was all he needed to jog his memory.
“Obviously that was some good memories for us,” said Jenkins.
Indeed. The Eagles whipped Keenum’s team that day, the Minnesota Vikings, 38-7 to win a trip to the Super Bowl.
Keenum, of course, is now with the Redskins – his fourth team in four years – and Washington head coach Jay Gruden, on Sunday, named him the starter for the ’Skins’ season opener at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 8.
Ohio State rookie first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins will serve as Keenum’s backup, at least temporarily.
“I’m a Buckeye so I was hoping to see Haskins out there, but whoever they put out there, the offense seems to be running the same, they're a very familiar opponent,” said Jenkins. “He’s a capable quarterback, he can do all the things. It’s not necessarily surprising”
VIDEO: Malcolm Jenkins reacts to Case Keenum starting the opener for Washington
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, whose defense picked off Keenum twice in that game and sacked him once, with defensive end Derek Barnett stopping a Minnesota drive with a strip-sack fumble.
(Pictured above is the Patrick Robinson pick-6 of Keenum, wearing No. 7, that started the rout)
“(Keenum) had a really good year that year,” said Schwartz. “The other team had a really good year that year. That just happened to be our day. That happened to be the City of Philadelphia's day. I think a lot of times the first half of that game is a little bit of a blur. I remember P-Rob (Patrick Robinson) making that interception and scoring and Derek Barnett getting the sack strip. Those were big plays.
“But honestly, the second half of that game moved in like slow motion and high-speed at the same time because it was obvious we were going to win the game. It was just really cool. It was sort of a party atmosphere the whole second half and it was fun to be a part of that.
“Not every game comes down to the last minute. However you've got to win it, you've got to win it. But that game in the second half was really a special experience. But that doesn't take anything away from Case Keenum. He really had a great year that year, and we had to play really good defense to come out with that win, and we were able to.”
Mailata not at practice
Offensive tackle Jordan Mailata did not practice on Monday. It was unusual because Mailata has not missed a practice throughout the spring or training camp.
Asked on Monday if Mailata coud play a regular season game this year, offensive coordinator Mike Groh said, “I think he's made a lot of progress, I really do. I think we are very pleased with the way that he's been able to progress throughout the course of spring.
“In training camp a year ago this time, he had never played football, or he played football for three or four weeks. This guy, he's done a good job and we've got to continue to go out there and get a little bit better every day. We know it's only going to get harder from here.”
What about the turnovers?
The Eagles haven’t done a good job of taking away the ball in three preseason games. They have not recorded an interception, yet, and have recovered just a single fumble.
“Turnovers are sort of funny,” said Schwartz. “Sometimes you chase them, and you don't get them. Sometimes they come in bunches, things like that.
“But when it's all said and done, that's really the way I look at defense is limit points and give your offense a chance and then also, do something to help and that's getting turnovers. That's probably the biggest thing over the course of last year that we would like to do a little better in is takeaways.”
Quote of the day
“He's a little small for defensive tackle, but I think he'd figure it out. That's just him. I mean, how many rookies can you guys recall - I don't know any - that started a game at safety, nickel and corner in the same season when they were a rookie? It's tough duty. It’s tough to learn one position much less two much less three, and also experience success at each one of those.” – Schwartz on second-year defensive back Avonte Maddox.
- Boston Scott and Donnel Pumphrey continue to lead the Eagles in rushing this preseason, with Scott getting 43 yards on seven carries and Pumphrey 40 yards on eight carries. It’s unlikely, however, either player makes the final roster.
- Josh Adams continues to struggle in the run game, with a team-high 15 carries for just 28 yards, though he is doing OK in the pass game, with five catches for 55 yards.
- Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside leads the team in both receptions (12) and receiving yards (147).