Browns vs. Eagles: Philadelphia's Front 4 Must Generate Pressure vs. Cleveland

Darren GrossmanCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2011

Trent Cole leads the Eagles improved front four in 2011
Trent Cole leads the Eagles improved front four in 2011

The Eagles spent a lot of money on their defense this offseason.  They signed Nnamdi Asomugha, and they also made a couple nice additions on the defensive line with Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins.  Thanks to those additions, plus the inexperience at linebacker, it is imperative that the Eagles be able to generate a pass rush without the blitz. 

Blitzing led to several defensive breakdowns against Pittsburgh, mostly because the Eagles players seemed confused as to where to go on the blitz.  The reality is with a talented secondary and a talented front four, the Eagles should be able to rush four guys and drop the rest into coverage.  If they can generate pressure with the front four and limit the blitzing, it will help the defense as a whole.

Teams are always gong to blitz and the Eagles will blitz at times, but it has to be used more effectively.  The easiest way to fix the problems they had against the Steelers is to get a good solid pass rush from Babin, Dixon, Cole, Jenkins and the guys who rotate in with them.  Then you send the blitz at the right time and you have a great defense.

The reality is this defense could be really good and really special.  The play of the front four is so important.  The weakness of the defense is obviously the linebackers, so the Eagles have to make up for it by getting great play out of their defensive line and secondary. 

That's what I want to see against a red-hot Cleveland offense that has looked great so far this preseason.  Colt McCoy has been great, and the Eagles will face a surprisingly tough test.  If they can make McCoy look bad, it will give them confidence that maybe they are figuring out how to play together as a unit.