Fletcher Cox Is Embracing His OpportunityBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
When the Philadelphia Eagles selected Fletcher Cox in the first-round of the NFL Draft, it was apparent what their plan was for him. He wasn’t drafted to become the star of the defense in year one, rather to come in and be a new, formidable piece to the defensive line rotation.
Every first-round pick has expectations, some more so than others. The Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins, for example, are handing over the reigns of their franchise to the likes of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. While those are a few extreme instances, not every first-round pick is asked to be the face of the franchise.
Coming into camp, Cox was competing for the starting job with a long list of players at the tackle position. However, when Mike Patterson was ruled out for training camp, a hole opened up for Cox.
And because of that, Cox, despite only having a few practices under his belt, is the starting defensive tackle heading into the 2012 season.
From here on out, all eyes will be on the former Mississippi State star. Some of those eyes belong to his teammates, who are taking notice of his potential.
“He has shown a lot of potential. He can be a heck of a player,” said Cullen Jenkins, who enters his second season with the Eagles.
“He’s going to be really good. He’s young, and he’s getting better each and every day,” said six-year veteran Derek Landri. “Even with the four days that we have been out here with him, we’re constantly working on hands, feet, and everything.”
Between his linemates and coaches, Jenkins is absorbing all the information he can in order to succeed in his rookie campaign.
“[Jim Washburn’s] always giving me those extra little pointers, small things,” explained Cox. “He said I’ve got long arms, so I need to emphasize and use my long arms a whole lot more.”
Benefitting Cox is the fact that Jenkins has taken his rookie counterpart under his wing, teaching him about the speed of the game and the various techniques.
“He gave me a lot of advice. He was just telling me the small things like in one-on-one pass rush, he told me, ‘Try something different. Try this. Just don’t get comfortable with one thing,” said Cox. “[He told me] to use my ability, which is long arms. I’ve got long arms and he said to use my long arms. Just a lot of little stuff.”
Those long arms, which have been pointed out constantly throughout camp, gives Cox an advantage in getting into the backfield and impeding the vision of the quarterback.
With that in his repertoire, he hopes to please coach Washburn, who “always stresses, ‘sack the quarterback.”
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