Fletcher Cox is no doubt one of the bright young players on the Philadelphia Eagles‘ defensive front. However, he has struggled to adjust to new responsibilities in a 3-4 defense thus far.
Cox is still getting used to 2-gapping. Cox is most effective in a 1-gap technique, where much of his job is to get to the quarterback and cause disruption in the back field. This year, new defensive coordinator Billy Davis is asking him to 2-gap a little bit more and help out with the run, which limits his pass rush opportunities.
Cox has struggled with this. I think Davis should think about having Cox 1-gap a little bit more. Asking for him to primarily defend the run is a waste of Cox’ immense talents. Ever since his college days, he has been an excellent pass rusher, and an inside pass rush is at an all-time premium nowadays.
I think it would be in Cox’ and the team’s best interest to play him in a manner in which he is most comfortable with and most effective at. We will see what Davis does moving forward, but Cox needs to make more of an impact for this defense to have a chance. Over the past three weeks, the pass rush has simply not been there. Cox is one of the Eagles’ best pure pass rushers. It may be time to let him loose.
Cox also needs to take some of the responsibility for this. He hasn’t adjusted quite as quickly to a new defense as some had hoped, and hasn’t looked like the player that looked like a dominant defensive tackle as a rookie. Cox will need to find his game and soon if the Eagles’ defense wants to get back to respectability.