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October 12, 2015

Day-after review: Fletcher Cox is a beast

Eagles NFL
101215FletcherCox Michael Perez/AP

Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

Against the New Orleans Week 5, Fletcher Cox wrecked the Saints offense, collecting six tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. He has emerged as perhaps the Eagles' best player on the team who can cause havoc from a variety of positions along the defensive line.

Let's look at some of his highlights against the Saints.

First sack of Drew Brees

This sack wasn't as special as some of the moments we'll show below, but it was a good job of getting to the quarterback nevertheless. Cox is working around the edge here on Andrus Peat, and coverage down the field was good. Typically, tackles will be happy to ride edge rushers up the field and around the QB, however, Cox does a good job using his power (and his left arm) to keep Peat from riding him far enough away from the quarterback. Brees has nowhere to step up, because DeMeco Ryans kills the RG, and when Brees takes a step back, Cox is there to bury him.

Second sack of Brees

This one is comical. Cox is lined up in the A gap, and at the snap, he runs all the way around the RG, who can't block him, and then look at the closing speed as he gives Brees no chance to escape. This is a "wow play." 300-pound human beings are not supposed to move this quickly. As a bonus, the ball pops out and the Eagles recover.

Third sack of Brees

Again, the speed. Cox plays the run initially, but the LT gets too far inside on the play fake, Cox easily sheds his block, and then makes a beeline to the QB. After he pops the ball out, look at how quickly he is able to get to his hands and feet to crawl and recover. This, again, is special athleticism for a man his size.

Cox destroys the LT

We showed Cox's speed. How about his power? Cox wins with his initial punch, throws Peat to the ground, and tackles the back. Welcome to the league, rookie.

Cox destroys the C

Cox is lined up at NT here. Again, the initial punch here is what does it. He gets both hands up into the center's pads, stands him up, and from there he owns him. Cox waits for the back to make his move, and when he gets close, Cox throws the center to the side, grabs the back, and slams him to the ground violently.


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