We had all made such a big deal about new defensive line coach Jim Washburn and his ability to get his defensive linemen to put pressure on the quarterback. I thought they lived up to the hype in their first preseason game.
Nearly everything involving the first-team defensive line went the way Andy Reid, Juan Castillo and Washburn had envisioned. The Eagles defensive lineman were be shuffled in and out and you could see some of the passion that Washburn demands out of his players.
Pro Bowler Trent Cole made his presence known immediately. He got up the field on the second play of the game and put a lick on Ray Rice on a running play. Cole was three yards into the backfield before anybody knew it.
Cole also teamed up with Jason Babin for a sack. On the play both of the defenders got upfield, Flacco stepped up and tried to escape up the middle, but Cole was able to come off and get him. Babin’s pass rush on the other side contributed to Cole being able to bring down the Ravens quarterback.
Rarely has Cole been able to benefit from pressure put on by one of the other defensive lineman. Hopefully we’ll see more of that during the season.
Cole’s backup defensive end Darryl Tapp collected two sacks for the Birds during his turns in the lineup. Tapp made a great play early in the game with an inside rush against Michael Oher of Blindside fame. Cole gave the impression that he was going upfield, then came back inside with good use of his hands on Oher. He was by him in a flash and on the way to the quarterback. It was best pass rush of the game by the Birds.
On another sack, Tapp didn’t even bother spending any time with offensive lineman, Oniel Cousins, as he went by him quickly on the way to the sack of Tyrod Taylor.
Defensive tackle Derrick Landri had a nice pass rush on the first drive when he forced Flacco to throw the ball away. Antonio Dixon did a nice job on that play of recognizing screen and taking it away. Later in the game, Landri came down with a sack of Taylor.