Fletcher Cox: Eagles will have best front seven in the NFL

BY foxsports • June 15, 2015

Defensive end Fletcher Cox is confident that the seven linemen and linebackers that make up the Philadelphia Eagles' front will be the league's most dominant group. This front seven will feature some new faces in 2015. Trent Cole is gone, and the Eagles have added 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year, Kiko Alonso, to the mix at linebacker.

“Being honest, I think we should be No. 1 in the league,” Cox said, per CSN Philly. “I say that for (several) reasons.

“We have a bunch of great guys, and they are going to put everything they got on the field. They are going to leave it on the field. They are a bunch of selfless guy that’s going to play for another and to let each other know they are there to win the games.”

The Eagles' front seven shined at times during the 2014 season, but they never achieved the consistency necessary to become the league's most dominant front seven. One player who remained consistently dominant throughout 2014 was Cox. The defensive end finally put it all together in his third season and became one of the NFL's most dominant 3-4 defensive ends.

Playing the five-technique defensive end position in Bill Davis' 3-4 scheme, Cox racked up 70 tackles, seven tackles for loss, four sacks, 14 hurries and a forced fumble in 2014. He also finished as Pro Football Focus' fifth-best 3-4 defensive end overall with plus marks as a pass rusher and even better grades as a run defender. Cox credits his breakout season with his improved understanding of Davis' defensive system.

“Well the key thing was to get comfortable with everything I was doing,” Cox said. “To get comfortable with the defense. The players playing next to me, and to let everyone around me I’m here and I’m here to make a statement and be the best player I can be every down and every game.”

While the Eagles' lost one of their best edge rushers in Cole, they have the pieces behind him to make the jump to the next level. Edge rushers Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry will see expanded roles at outside linebacker in Cole's absence, after excelling in rotational roles in 2014. At linebacker, the addition of Alonso is going to add more speed to the front seven. Cox could be on to something here.

(h/t CSN Philly)

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports 

share story