Eagles Young Defensive Line Is Playing Better And SmarterBREAKING NEWS, Defensive Line, Eagles, News Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
After the game on Sunday, Robert Griffin III made an eliminating statement about the Eagles defense. Regarding the Birds defense, he said, “They kind of knew what was coming”. This type of statement could be taken as a shot at the Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan or a compliment to the Birds defense.
I think it’s both, but we’ll focus on the compliment to the Eagles defense.
The Eagles young defensive players have been growing before, during and after each game. This is especially true amongst their young defensive line. Before each play, the Birds young line doesn’t just jump down immediately in their stances.
I just talked to Fletcher Cox, who is emerging as a dominant player in this league. He put the pass rush pressure on RGIII with the game on the line to force an errant throw. Because of him the ball was thrown up for grabs and Brandon Boykin wound up picking it off.
The second-year defensive lineman picked off a pass, which was caused by Connor Barwin and it helped stop the Skins in the red zone.
Cox told me that he, Cedric Thornton and Benny Logan start communicating in practice as they prepare for the next opponent. They communicate before each play and anticipate what the opposing offense is going to do based on their tape study and scouting report.
They think about the down and distance of each play. Is it 3rd and five or 1st and ten? Is it a running down or a passing down? How does the guy they’re facing like to pass block? Does he cut block when the play is going away to the other side or will he stay up?
They look at the formations they’re facing. Is a run formation or pass formation? They find out where the running backs are lined up at. Is there a fullback or H-back in the formation and where is he lined up at? Which side is the strong side or where’s the tight end?
If you notice before every play, the Eagles defensive line doesn’t get down quickly into their stances. They were calling out the plays to RGIII because they had studied the scouting report of the Redskins.
I see big things in the future of this defense and a lot of it will sink or swim based on this young defensive line.
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