Fletcher Cox Hopes to Expand His Leadership Role
Fletcher Cox is only 25, but with four years of NFL experience, the pro bowl defensive tackle is getting looked at as one of the leaders on the Eagles’ defense.
How does he feel about it?
“I looked at it just to continue to humble myself, just keep working every day in practice, man," Cox said at a press conference on Thursday. "[I want] to be the leader that this team is expecting me to be; to show up every day and to work.”
After signing a record deal that included $63 million in guaranteed money, the most ever for a non-quarterback in NFL history, he knows he knows he is being looked upon as one of the core players on the Eagles roster and what comes with the territory .
“Just look at it as being more vocal, being more vocal on and off the field," Cox explained. "We know with the younger guys, always stepping up, being that guy to step up. When the team is down, they need somebody to bring them up, I need to be the guy to step up for that.”
Cox know this kind of deal puts a bullseye squally on him, he knows he will have to preform at the level of the very best defensive tackles in the game and discussed how he will be able to live up to those expectations.
“Me, myself, I have expectations, high expectations for myself," Cox stated. "But all I can be is Fletcher Cox, be really, really humble about it, come to practice every day, show up every day, let my teammates know that I'm there for them. I'm willing to do anything to help this organization win football games week in and week out.”
Cox sat out the voluntary portion of the offseason program in search of a long-term extension, but said he was never too worried about getting a deal done with the Eagles.
“Not at one point was I concerned about it," admitted Cox. "I don't think I was ever concerned about it. I knew they would get it done. When you're dealing with stuff like that, I think it just takes patience and a lot of time. They got it done. I'm really happy and excited about it.”
Hopefully Eagles fans will be really happy and excited at the end of the year by the performance Cox puts on this season in Jim Schwartz's new defensive scheme.
“You can expect me to be in the quarterback's face a lot as far as, you know, just the way the defense is made," Cox stated.
"The way that the scheme is, running off the football, getting after the quarterback each play. I think that will help a whole, whole lot. Helped me a whole lot going back to 2012, my rookie year, going back to what I was doing. But, you know, I think I can play any defense. Whatever they put me in, I think I just have to adapt and adjust to it.”
Eagles Executive VP of Football Operations Howie Roseman pretty much admitted that Schwartz's presence could have played a factor in their confidence to give him this contact.
"Fletcher changes the game," Roseman explained. "He changes how people block us and how people game plan against us. But at the same time, understanding that this scheme is predicated on getting pressure, on getting to the quarterback. It's hard to think that his value was going to go down in this game. You look at who Jim's had. He's had [Albert] Haynesworth, he's had [Ndamukong] Suh, he's had [Marcell] Dareus. He's made some guys a lot of money.”
Plenty of Eagles fans are hoping he is worth the money and can help bring the Eagles something they have never been able to get - A Super Bowl.