PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fletcher Cox has reached a comfort zone. It’s a matter now of just playing. The third-year defensive end wants to let the NFL know that the Eagles’ defense will be attacking, and after a year in Billy Davis’ system, much better than it was last year.
Much of that improvement will depend on Cox’s maturation. The Eagles were 29th in the NFL in total defense last year, giving up 394 yards a game, but an NFL-high 289.8 yards passing a game. Part of that had to do with the Eagles’ anemic pass rush, which was 20th overall in sacks last year with 37 (though led the rest of the NFC East).
“We have more communication and this being the second yard of the defense, everyone is talking to each other and understands where we’re suppose to be,” Cox said. “You have to play with some kind of swagger. Every defense in the NFL has to play with some kind of swagger, you wanting to go out and play hardball. We’ll create turnovers and play hardnosed defense.”
Cox said the main focus of this defense is to correct the little things. He said he’s adjusted to the Eagles’ 3-4 defensive scheme, something new for the Eagles’ 2012 first-round draft pick out of Mississippi State.
“I’ve watched a lot of film since last year and I know a lot more,” Cox said. “I feel good, I’m around 313 right now, but I’ll play at around 310. I played in my rookie year at 309 and my feet are still nimble.”
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