The Philadelphia Eagles defense on Sunday has the luxury of going up against a rookie quarterback in Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller Mike Glennon. This is an opportunity the defense should take advantage of.
Rookie quarterbacks, besides a few rare exceptions, are still learning their way around the NFL and make their fair share of mistakes. Glennon takes over for the exiled Josh Freeman in what is a chaotic time for the Bucs organization. The Bucs thought highly enough of him to take him in the third round in this year’s draft. They saw a king-sized pocket passer that has the arm to make all the throws.
While this is true, I believe the rookie quarterback can get rattled. Glennon didn’t necessarily respond to pressure well in college and made a few mistakes in his debut last week, throwing two interceptions when the pressure was on. This is going to be key for the Eagles’ defense: get pressure early and often.
While the Eagles did get better pressure this past week, forcing three Eli Manning turnovers in the fourth quarter, they still aren’t getting home consistent enough.
Trent Cole is still without a sack. That leaves him with three in his last 21 games — an unacceptable number for a sack artist who is used to getting double-digit sacks. They also need more from guys like Connor Barwin and the young players like Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry.
Defensive coordinator Billy Davis would be wise to mix up his defensive looks. Odds are he can confuse the rookie Glennon with exotic coverage and blitz packages that he has never seen before. The rookie Earl Wolff, his teammate in college, is also very familiar with Glennon, which should help him and some of his teammates.
This is a big week for the Eagles. If they go on the road and beat a bad football team with a rookie quarterback just taking the reins, they will get back to .500 and be in first place headed into the second-half stretch of the season. On Sunday, it is time for the Eagles’ defense to eat.