First up, you’ve got All Pro Fletcher Cox, who forces teams to respect the Eagles defensive tackle position because he can take over a game by himself. The big fella looks healthy and ready to roll. I think he might have dropped a few pounds which is a smart move for players to make as they get older.
The Eagles defensive line has added former Pittsburgh Steeler, Javon Hargrave, who looks very powerful on tape. He played nose tackle with the Steelers and does a great job of collapsing the pocket by pushing the center and guards back into the face of the quarterback. Cox likes to do that as well, so opposing quarterbacks are going to drop into the pocket and see their offensive linemen getting push back into their laps.
Hargrave should learn a great deal from Cox and Malik Jackson. He’s got the power move, but he must add some speed moves to keep offensive linemen guessing.
Tim McManus of ESPN reported that Hargrave has a pectoral strain. The Eagles need him for the Redskins. They will need dominant play from their defensive tackles early in the season as their entire defense gets used to playing with each other. There are lots of new people out there for the Birds at the linebacker position and in the secondary. They will need pressure on the quarterback.
We really don’t know what the situation is with Hargrave because they say he’s going to be out multiple weeks. What is multiple weeks? Is that three weeks? Four weeks? Eight weeks? It’s already been about three weeks and now we’re going to be closing in on four.
Veteran defensive tackle Jackson looks like a monster at camp. He’s both powerful and as quick as a cat with a bevy of pass rush moves. We saw the same thing last year but then he got hurt early in the season. Once he went down, teams were able to double team Cox whenever they wanted to do so.
Looking back at the 2019 season, it was injuries to two guys that really hurt the Eagles severely last year. One was to veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson and the other was to veteran defensive tackle Malik Jackson. Both of them went down early in the season and and they really hurt the football team on both sides of the ball.
This year we’ve got a healthy Malik Jackson, but what’s going on with Hargrave. We’ve got to get him back because the three dominant defensive tackles give the Eagles a dominant personality in the middle of defensive line. Bottomline when you’re playing the Eagles, if you can’t block the defensive tackles you’re going have a problem moving the football.
Hargrave is supposed to be splitting time with Malik Jackson, so that the veteran doesn’t have to play too many snaps. If you keep them healthy with Cox doing his thing, it’s gonna be tough to keep them off of your quarterback.
You want to be able to turn Hargrave loose on first and second down, then Malik Jackson comes in there on third down to beat a single block because they know teams are going to double teaming Cox. They need Hargrave healthy and dominating on first and second down!!!
The defensive tackles line up very close to the quarterback. If you don’t block one of the DT’s, you really can’t do anything with the football. You can’t run it or pass it. You must block those interior defensive linemen and that’s why Howie Roseman has tried to make than impossible.
We need you Mr. Hargrave!!!