December 6, 2012
CRAZY OL' Jim Washburn is gone, ridden off into a Tennessee sunset astride his rumbling hog, schematics for his nutty "wide-nine" defensive-line alignment stuffed into his saddlebags. If anyone should be happy that Andy Reid threw out the Wash, it is Trent Cole. He should supply the gas money. He should pay the tolls. In theory, the wide-nine should have cemented Cole as a superstar. Instead, its flawed premise - and the lack of an immovable defensive tackle - diminished Cole into insignificance.
December 5, 2012 |
Playing on the defensive line for Jim Washburn required an understanding of the controversial coach who was loyal to his players and often effective in developing their pass-rushing skills. Washburn could be abrasive, and his style has come under criticism since the Eagles fired him on Monday, but respect remains. "If you're one of the guys on the D-line, we know how he is," defensive end Trent Cole said Tuesday. "So we're used to that. We're used to . . . I don't know what you call it. But we had that [close]
November 30, 2012 |
A day later, the reverberations from Jason Babin's release were still being felt at the NovaCare Complex, but perhaps nowhere as great as they were in the office of Jim Washburn. The defensive line coach was not pleased when the Eagles cut the veteran defensive end Tuesday, sources close to Washburn said Wednesday. Washburn was upset, according to one source, because he believed that Babin was a scapegoat for the deficiencies on the defense, especially on the line. The Eagles defense has gone into a tailspin since Todd Bowles replaced Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator.
November 30, 2012
THE SUBJECT, obviously, was hunting. The season began in Pennsylvania the day before, on Monday, but carnivores Trent Cole and Jason Babin did not participate. They were preparing to lose to an awful Panthers team Monday, so the hunting talk had to wait until Tuesday afternoon in Cole's garage. Finally, Babin rose to leave. Cole walked him out to his tricked-out truck. Babin's cellphone buzzed. He excused himself. Cole bent his head and opened his own phone to check messages.
November 29, 2012 |
WHEN NEWS spread of Jason Babin's release Tuesday, uncertainty and concern spread with it. "My mom called me," defensive end Brandon Graham said. "Everybody was calling, saying, 'What's going on? Everything all right?' Hopefully, I'll still be here," Graham said, chuckling. "I'm just going to take this opportunity, and I'm about to go hard. Y'all going to see me this weekend. You're going to hear from me. " Graham said he was sorry to see Babin go, but he grasped immediately what his mother did not: Babin's departure made Graham a starter.
November 6, 2012 |
Since he joined the Eagles as an unheralded fifth-round draft choice in 2005, defensive end Trent Cole has made his reputation by sacking quarterbacks. He had five his first year - while making just seven starts - but recorded eight or more in each of the next six seasons, two of which ended with Pro Bowl honors. So for Cole, this season has been baffling, because he has recorded just 11/2 sacks for the 3-4 Eagles. And the struggles aren't limited to Cole. The Eagles have recorded just nine sacks overall.
October 16, 2012
THE EAGLES started the season with this impossibly deep, imposing defensive-line corps that was going to terrorize the league. It didn't look so imposing down the stretch Sunday. Rookie defensive tackle Fletcher Cox was ejected for throwing a punch at the bottom of a pile following a Lions extra point with 10:30 left in regulation. Veteran Derek Landri, who frankly hasn't excelled this year, was playing with a bad knee and looked really creaky. More under the microscope, though, are the three veteran starters who lead the group - defensive ends Trent Cole (30 years old)
October 2, 2012 |
THEY NEED a name. Fans of the New York Giants brag about their defensive-end-laden "NASCAR" package. And many NFL anchors, analysts and media members have appropriately defined the personality of the Super Bowl champs through their defensive front. But in a head-to-head comparison Sunday, with a national-television audience watching, it was the Eagles' defensive front that proved more disruptive, the Eagles' defensive front that is quickly defining the personality of this 3-1 team.
September 28, 2012
IN THE ANDY REID era, there are 10 quarterbacks who have started at least five games against the Eagles. None of them has a winning record in those games, including Eli Manning. Yes, he has won two Super Bowls, but the Giants quarterback is also 7-9 against the Eagles. For people here, reconciling those two facts has become the most confounding of exercises. Eagles fans have seen every flavor of Eli over the years. His best game against them was last September, when he completed 70 percent of his throws, had four touchdown passes, no interceptions, and essentially invented a guy named Victor Cruz.