Cole has felt the grueling and relentless heat of eight summers in the hills of Bethlehem on Lehigh University’s campus under former head coach Andy Reid before Kelly concocted his unique blend of physicality and sports science this year at the Novacare Complex.
Kelly of course is embarking on his first NFL season, and according to Cole, his mindset is on winning early and winning often.
“As a coach, he’s very educated,” Cole said. “He’s very knowledgeable and he is on a mission that he refuses to fail. He’s going to do whatever he’s gotta do to get it done and he’ll make sure he can do everything in his power to make sure he’s doing it the correct way. He’s man on fire”
It certainly couldn’t have been an easy task to mend a broken locker room that had won just 12 of it’s last 20 regular season games under Reid. According to Cole, that’s exactly what Kelly has done in short order.
“I think he’s done a great job of getting us all together,” he explained. “Getting us in sync as a team, getting us back together and to what Eagles football is all about.”
“You’ve gotta give it to him. You can tell there are some bright spots on this team and there’s also a lot of things that need to improve on. He’s done a great job of getting everybody together in such a short amount of time.”
Cole himself is learning a new position. A nine-year NFL veteran who made two trips to the Pro Bowl as a defensive end is being asked to pick his hand off the ground and play outside linebacker for the first time in his career. After finishing last season with 41 tackles, the Cincinnati product says he’s just going to roll with the punches this year.
“The way it works is, it’s a new year every year.” Cole said. “I’m not a guy who dwells on the past I’m not a stat guy, a trophy guy, I don’t even have any Eagles stuff in my house. I just love playing the game, a team game, that’s what I’ve been bred to do.”
Matt Lombardo is also a sports radio host on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow him on Twitter.