As we inch closer to the possibility of actual football news, the run of lists and rankings continues this offseason.
The New York Times' Andy Benoit, citing film study from last season and not stats, ranks the Eagles' Trent Cole as the seventh-best defensive end in the NFL. Cole also was seventh in last year's rankings.
Writes Benoit: "Not in the first tier of pass rushers, but has a motor that warrants a stale Energizer Bunny joke (you can insert your own). Uses his tremendous initial quickness to fire in any direction off the snap, making him nearly impossible to contain against the run."
Be curious to see how Cole reacts to this ranking, if it all. You might recall that he was none too pleased when he was listed as No. 73 in the NFL Network's Top 100 list as ranked by the players. Cole went so far as to say that he did not believe the rankings were done by the players at all.
Regardless of how you rank him, one of the most interesting storylines to this Eagles season is what influence Jim Washburn and by extension Juan Castillo has on Cole's performance. He clearly was not happy toward the end of the season with the way things were going with Sean McDermott.
The Eagles, of course, are not expecting Brandon Graham to be ready for the start of the season to play opposite Cole, leading to more questions about the defensive line.
There has been plenty of speculation about Jason Babin, a former Eagle, who is a free agent having interest in coming back so he can be reunited with Washburn. Babin has a Pro Bowl season with the Titans last year. And even more speculation about a reunion of Washburn and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.
Hopefully soon, we will start to get answers to these questions instead of just asking them.
ESPN.com ranked the Top 10 up-and-coming assistant coaches this week. Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell topped the list.
Interesting to note that no member of the current Eagles staff received votes, although a few caveats are worth noting:
* Two of the top assistants on the staff are well-established veteran coaches Howard Mudd and Jim Washburn. Both are in their 60s, so while they are considered among the best at what they do, neither qualifies as up-and-coming.
* Andy Reid has a lengthy track record of turning out head coaches, including first-year head coaches Ron Rivera in Carolina and Pat Shurmur in Cleveland.
* Am guessing that Juan Castillo might have made this list were he still the offensive line coach. As defensive coordinator, he is unproven and will have all eyes on him this season.
Nice story in the New York Post about Temple product and Eagles second-rounder Jaiquawn Jarrett, who has been supporting football in New York City and trying to be a role model for young players in his hometown of Brooklyn.