Eagles Wake-Up Call: Fletcher Cox’s Versatility

Fletcher Cox. (USA Today Sports)

Fletcher Cox. (USA Today Sports)

Before the season even started, Chip Kelly made a bold statement about Fletcher Cox.

“Fletch can play any position on the defensive line in any system in the National Football League,” he said.

Playing as a 4-3 defensive end is very different than life as a 3-4 nose tackle, but on the surface, the statement makes sense. It’s just a head coach going a bit overboard in praising his second-team All-Pro defensive end.

However, as Cox has dominated through seven games this season, he continues to prove Kelly’s words aren’t actually far-fetched. Read more »

Eagles Weekend Reading: Future Considerations

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Hope everyone is enjoying this Halloween weekend. Some links to pass along for your reading pleasure:

Domo talked to Joe Banner, who says the Eagles have some financial decisions to make when it comes to their defense.

The Eagles picked up Cox’s option for 2016, which means that unless he signs a new contract, his salary-cap number will jump from $3.3 million this year to $7.8 million next year.

As things stand now, he will be one of seven defensive players with a cap number of at least $4 million next year. The others are cornerback Byron Maxwell ($9.7M), linebacker Connor Barwin ($7.3M), safety Malcolm Jenkins ($7.2M), linebacker Brandon Graham ($5M) and linebackers Mychal Kendricks ($4.6M) and Ryans ($4.5M). Read more »

All-22: How the Eagles Limited Odell Beckham

Odell Beckham Jr. (USA Today Sports)

Odell Beckham Jr. (USA Today Sports)

The first drive of the game Monday night couldn’t have gone much better for the Giants. They traveled 80 yards in eight plays and finished it with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr.

Manning completed all five of his passes to four different receivers for 59 yards.

The Eagles answered by going three-and-out, before the Giants again drove the ball into field goal range. Then, DeMeco Ryans intercepted Manning, and New York went scoreless the rest of the game.

“I love the way our guys respond, to be honest with you,” Bill Davis said. “I’ve been a lot of places where those miscommunications happen and people turn on each other and there’s a huge argument, and our guys are really together.

“It’s a tight unit because they knew a mistake was made and they were real mad that a touchdown happened. We got to the sideline, we solved it and it didn’t happen again, and it won’t happen again. But, it’s really a testament to the camaraderie we have and the chemistry we have on defense right now.” Read more »

Coughlin, Manning Talk Eagles’ D-Line

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

The NFC announced its Week 5 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week today, revealing the two will play against each other Monday night as Fletcher Cox tries to repeat Sunday’s dominant performance against Eli Manning and the Giants.

Manning’s first five games of the season have been impressive as he’s amassed a 66.5 completion percentage, 1,417 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. But Tom Coughlin recognized the Eagles’ good start to the season today and explained why they can be a tough matchup.

“I think they’re physical, and I think there’s improvement all along the line,” Coughlin said. “Each guy’s very difficult to deal with on an individual basis. You have good size at the outside ‘backer positions, which also solidifies that front as you end up with your sub-rushers.” Read more »

Notes: Cox Named Defensive Player Of Week

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Fletcher Cox has been named NFC Defensive Player Of the Week for his dominant performance against the Saints.

Cox had six tackles (one for a loss), three sacks and a pair of forced fumbles Sunday, including this key one in the third quarter that he recovered himself. Read more »

Eagles-Saints, The Day After

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

The fortress walls were shaking ever so slightly as Chip Kelly stood in front of his team Saturday afternoon.

Theories about pending locker room implosions and Kelly’s imminent NFL demise fell a few clicks west of reality, but this was a significant moment in time for both the head coach and the 2015 Eagles nevertheless. Early October, and the season already at cliff’s edge. A loss here and they would be charged with the very difficult task of trying to climb out of a 1-4 hole while simultaneously fighting to keep the growing outside skepticism about the operation from finding its way in.

Such was the state of affairs as Kelly addressed the players before they headed for the team hotel.

“He always uses analogies, and he had an analogy about [a fighter],” said linebacker Najee Goode. “When you keep getting hit, you keep getting hit, 1-3 right now…the outside looking in, people are thinking, ‘What’s wrong with the Eagles?’ You keep getting hit. But we’re going to throw the last punch.

“Coach Kelly said, ‘We have to throw the last punch no matter what.’ You’ve gotta take it right in the face and just go straight ahead and knock them the f–k out.” Read more »

Instant Observations: Eagles vs. Saints

Josh Huff. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Josh Huff. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 39-17 win over the Saints from Lincoln Financial Field:

*Fletcher Cox was a monster. He finished with three sacks, two forced fumbles, a recovery and six tackles (including one TFL). His strip sack and recovery midway through the third set the Eagles up at the Saints’ 13. On the very next play, Sam Bradford found a wide open Brent Celek to extend the Eagles’ lead to 23-10. (Caleb Sturgis missed the extra point.)

Cox’s previous single-high was 1.5 sacks against the Bengals his rookie year. He doubled that up in a huge spot against one of the better quarterbacks in the game. Read more »

All-22: Inside the Defensive Line’s Dominance

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ season through three weeks has been a fascinating series of twists and turns. Before the opener in Atlanta, many considered the rushing attack to be a potential juggernaut. After Week 3, however, they rank third-to-last in yards per carry.

The secondary, meanwhile, was considered a potential weakness in the offseason. But after the win against New York, the Eagles’ defense ranks in the top-10 in interceptions, opponent passer rating and yards per throw allowed. Read more »

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