Can Trent Cole Get His Career Back on Track with the Eagles in 2013?
In his age-30 season, the usually consistent Cole registered a career-low three sacks despite starting all 16 games in Philly's mess of a defense. He went from being ranked the best defensive end in the league by Pro Football Focus in 2011 to not even making the top 20 in 2012.
There's a chance Cole won't be able to improve on that particular ranking in 2013, though, because he might no longer be a defensive end.
With the Eagles transitioning to what will likely be a 3-4-oriented defense under head coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis, Cole is expected to be asked to play standing up for the first time in his nine-year career.
That's a lot to ask of a 31-year-old trying to get his career back on track. Lots of veteran 4-3 ends have struggled with the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker roles. But Cole was actually considered by many to be well-suited for such a role coming out of Cincinnati in 2005, so dropping back might not be as difficult as some fear.
This is a huge freakin' year for Cole, who has to prove that he can adapt to said changes while also establishing 2012 as a bad year rather than a sign that he was beginning to decline. With a salary of nearly $10 million per year, there's no way this regime keeps him around beyond 2013 if he doesn't improve his sack and pressure numbers in dramatic fashion. I know he's a good run defender, but he's still getting paid too well to stick around while failing to contribute to the pass rush in a major way.
How many sacks will Trent Cole record in 2013?
You really begin to see the backup plan when you consider the kind of money they gave established 3-4 outside 'backer Connor Barwin earlier this offseason. With Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry also on the roster, and Graham emerging in 2012 as the best pass-rusher on this team, the pressure's on Cole to return to the double-digit sack club.
Will improved coverage (it can only go up from here), better coaching (same with this) and a new scheme help Cole get it back together in 2013, or has one of the best defensive players in team history hit a wall?
I don't know if it's that black and white. I don't believe he'll ever be the force he once was, but with the talent Philly has on D, Cole could be a 10-sack player again. I get the feeling he'll do enough next year to keep his job, but I also think his best days have passed.
Now, what do you guys think?
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?