By Harry Allison
Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan has been waiting a long time to play in an attacking, physical defense.
A second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2014, Jernigan has played in a read-and-react, two-gap system, even going back to his college days at Florida State.
“Oh man, I’m excited. [Coach Schwartz] told me it’s going to be a big year for me and he has plans for me,” Jernigan said yesterday at his introductory press conference.
“I’ve been waiting to play in this type of scheme for a while. Being at Florida State for a couple years, we were more of a read (defense) there, then I went to Baltimore and we read a little bit there. Last year in Baltimore we started attacking a little bit more and I had my best year, so it’s going to be exciting.”
Jernigan, the newest piece on the Eagles defense, was acquired by the team via a trade that moved the Eagles back 25 spots in the third round of this month’s NFL draft. Listed at 6-2, 295 pounds, Jernigan has one year left on his rookie contract, and while some of the writing was on the wall that he wouldn’t be getting a new deal in Baltimore after the Ravens signed fellow defensive lineman Brandon Williams to a big contract, this week’s trade caught Jernigan by surprise, but he’s only looking ahead to getting things started as an Eagle.
“I knew that after next year I would probably be gone, but I wasn’t thinking a couple months or a couple weeks and I would be out of there, but it’s part of it,” Jernigan said. “I’m an Eagle now. This green and black are the only things on my mind. It’s all I care about. I’ve got to do whatever I’ve got to do to help take this defense to the next level and help us win football games. That’s the only thing that’s important.
“I haven’t even thought that far. I understand the situation. Right now my mind is on football and winning football games. The money part – that stuff will figure itself out. I’m not worried about that … I want to play football and I want to prove my point. I want to prove I’m one of the best.”
“He’s a dog,” Jernigan said of Cox. “People are going to double him and he’s going to cause attention. When you get attention and you get double teams, you’re free on the other side. I’m pretty confident that I can win one-on-ones and I feel confident that I can beat two people sometimes, so I think we complement each other.”
“It’s been a little bit hectic, but I’m adjusted. I’m going to be fine,” Jernigan said. “I know that this is home. I know that I’m wanted here and I want to be here. “