How Can Fletcher Cox Be Better Under Jim Schwartz?
With a fresh six year, 103 million dollar contract extension from the Eagles, Fletcher Cox got paid for the potential of what he can do in the Jim Schwartz defense over the next few years. While Cox has averaged 40.5 Tackles per season and 5.5 Sacks per season during his career in Philadelphia, he has played most of his career in a defensive system that was not well suited for his skill set. The Eagles and Cox have put their money where they mouths are in betting that Cox will be even more productive in the new defensive scheme run by Jim Schwartz.
ESPN NFL Nation Eagles Insider Phil Sheridan was a guest on The Sports Bash on Wednesday and explained the details of why Cox will be better playing under new Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz:
“He was not a natural fit in the 3-4 scheme playing as an end under Bill Davis the last few years....But last year he was really starting to get the hang of it, in that scheme you’re supposed to play two gaps if you’re a defensive lineman so you have a lot of responsibility and not let anyone by you. It’s really important to hold your ground basically, and try and tie up a couple blockers – and Cox can do all that, because you have to put two guys on him to try and stop him. But in this (Jim Schwartz) scheme, the whole idea of this scheme is just to let those guys go, the guys on the defensive line can just shoot the gap, pick a gap, they go, and they try to get through it. We have Fletcher Cox who is a guy who is very hard to handle, just going full speed at the quarterback every play, I mean that can really be productive for the Eagles.”
Sheridan went on to compare Cox's potential impact to another former Eagles defensive lineman:
“It’s a really good combination of timing and everything working out for Cox, of course, but also the Eagles, if they’re right about him, and all signs suggest they are, they have a guy that can really be disruptive and make the whole rest of the defensive that much better. Take Reggie White, for example, as a guy that could really dominate and require a lot of blockers to block, it freed up a lot of other guys to get things done.”
Checkout what Sheridan had to say about the impact of Jim Schwartz of getting Cox this contract and the outlook for the Eagles with the new defensive scheme