Fletcher Cox has been a part of some pretty memorable teams during his decade-long run with the Philadelphia Eagles. So when he says this year’s squad – the one that was supposed to be rebuilding – has “a chance to do something special,” people’s ears tend to perk up.
The Super Bowl champion tackle dropped that nugget while discussing the Eagles’ flourishing new offense. They have won two of their last three games after committing to running the football. By doing so, Cox and his defensive teammates have been able to rest on the sideline. Philadelphia has dominated time of possession (32:07), ninth-best in the NFL over the last three weeks.
“When the offense is winning time of possession, always a big smile on our face,” Cox told reporters. “Obviously we’re getting them the ball back and they’re utilizing their time. I think time of possession is big especially on defense because if we go out and get a three-and-out and put our offense right back on the field, when their defense is just coming off the field for three or four minute drives, that can catch up to you.”
The Eagles will look to keep that trend going on Sunday, November 21 against the New Orleans Saints. One of the keys to winning will be how they game-plan for Taysom Hill, the gadget-play specialist who is recovering from a foot injury. He saw 21 offensive snaps in Week 10 while lining up at quarterback, wide receiver, and running back.
“He’s a hard runner, people bounce off of him all the time,” Cox said. “You really don’t feel how strong he is until you actually try to hit him. He got a strong lower body and he can break some tackles so we got to rally to the football and get him on the ground.”
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Another Case of ‘Slay Being Slay’
DeVonta Smith has struck up a nice bromance with Darius Slay. The two skill players have been battling hard on the practice field during one-on-one matchups. Sometimes they swap sides, with Slay playing receiver and Smith playing cornerback. It’s made for really fun banter, according to Smith.
“He’s like a little bad kid. He doesn’t know how to stop,” Smith said. “I mean, he just wanna keep getting whupped so I’m going to have to keep doing it.”
Smith said he won their individual matchups, a claim rejected by Slay. It doesn’t matter who wins since they are making each other better every day. Perhaps the biggest area where Slay’s influence on Smith can be seen is personality. Smith has been a lot more animated, noticeably vocal.
Slay has that effect on people, according to Cox. He was teammates with Slay at Mississippi State and first met him on a joint recruiting trip coming out of high school. He sees the same boisterous kid from college.
“He’s the same Slay since I’ve known him and I don’t expect any of that to change,” Cox said. “I’m happy for him, he’s been a really good teammate, really good addition to this team. Slay is Slay, right now what you see is what you get.”
Eagles List 3 Players on Injury Report
The Eagles were back to a normal practice following Wednesday’s walk-through. Three players – C/G Jack Anderson (hamstring), LB Davion Taylor (knee), TE Dallas Goedert (concussion) – were listed as limited participants on Thursday’s practice report.
Goedert still has time to get cleared by doctors prior to Sunday after absorbing a nasty – and completely legal – hit from Justin Simmons. Taylor’s issue first popped up after Wednesday’s walk-through. Everyone else is good to go.