Bill Davis has been asked about Trent Cole since the day he was hired as Defensive Coordinator. Davis has had nothing but positive comments about Cole. At times you wondered if some of this was coachspeak. Was Davis really seeing the kind of pressure from Cole that he expected? Davis either has a good poker face or he legitimately was happy with Cole. The message he preached is that the pressure was there and that the sacks would come.
2 weeks ago Cole finally broke through and had 2 sacks. I didn’t think he did anything significantly different. Chris McPherson did a good interview with Cole for PE.com. Cole told McPherson that the light did go on for him and that he did make some small changes. Cole didn’t talk about them and said they were secret for now. I don’t know if this is a player BS’ing us or if he did really tweak some things in regard to rush angles or something like that. On Sunday we’ll see what he does vs the Cards. Carson Palmer has been sacked 30 times. Cole should have good chances to add to his sack total.
I’ve talked about the Eagles need to upgrade at ROLB, but I’d love Cole to get hot down the stretch and make me wonder about that.
What if he did figure something out? If the pressures turn into sacks, that will make a difference. Cole still isn’t going to be a dynamic force off the edge, but if he’s able to get to the QB on a regular basis, that might make him a player worth keeping around for another season. The Eagles still need to find a stud for that role long term.
Cole said that Kelly’s training methods have him feeling better right now than he’s used to feeling late in a season. Cole sometimes struggled late in seasons when it seemed that he wore down. This will be another angle to consider when evaluating him.
As for the other LBs, DeMeco Ryans is playing his best football of the year. I think he’s finally comfortable in the scheme.
Connor Barwin has played pretty well all year.
Najee Goode had to play a ton in the last 2 games and looked like a solid ILB.
We don’t know what to expect from Mychal Kendricks. He is healthy and will play Sunday, but has been erratic all year. Did watching from the sideline help him? Did the coaches figure anything out with Goode that will help Kendricks? The coaches did say that Kendricks was playing better as the season went along so he’s headed in the right direction.
Brandon Graham has had his moments, but still has yet to really stand out.
All in all, the LBs are playing their best football of the year. That’s crucial in the 3-4 defense. If the defense is going to play well down the stretch, the LBs are going to be a big part of that.
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“He’s a leader in so many different ways,” defensive end Vinny Curry said of Barwin. “He’s all about team camaraderie.
“That’s something he brought to the team. And just look at us now. Guys are out there making plays. Everybody is happy. Everybody is jumping around compared to last year. It’s fun to be a part of.”
Just another reason to love the Barwin signing from the offseason. Good on the field. Good in the locker room.