Saturday, August 1, 2015

Eagles seeking answers about sackless performances

The Eagles have gone two weeks without a sack, an alarming number for a defense built on pressuring the quarterback. The way they'll explain it, teams are throwing the ball quicker, which prevents the amount of big plays opponents produce.

Eagles seeking answers about sackless performances

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“We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing," defensive end Trent Cole said. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
“We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing," defensive end Trent Cole said. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The Eagles have gone two weeks without a sack, an alarming number for a defense built on pressuring the quarterback. The way they'll explain it, teams are throwing the ball quicker, which prevents the amount of big plays opponents produce.

But sacks are negative plays, and the question is when will those sacks arrive?

“We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing," defensive end Trent Cole said. "We’re just going to keep fighting and they’re going to come. It’s not just us. There’s other teams out there having the same situation. But like I said, this happens. It happens every year so it’s nothing surprising. You go on little dry spells."

Opposing offenses have counteracted the Eagles' defensive scheme with more protection. So Cole and Jason Babin -- the starting defensive ends -- are occassionally needing to get past two blockers. There's also someone chipping them at the line of scrimmage, which slows their initial burst down.

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Cole said he's getting chipped at the line of scrimmage more this year than ever before. He said he's unconcerned about the chipping, but it gives the tackle an extra second to adjust.

“You look at a guy like Trent and a guy like myself and you’re an offensive coordinator, what do you do?" Babin asked. "That’s the thing. You look at [Colts DE/OLB Dwight] Freeney and [Colts DE/OLB Robert] Mathis, that production went down a few years ago as well. Guess what teams were doing to them. They realized how good they are. They’re not going to let them run wild. It’s just something as a team [and] as a defensive line that we’re going to have to deal with and work through.”

One possible solution is more blitzing, and that could come on Sunday against the Lions. If the Eagles have more defenders rushing the quarterback, it will be difficult for the opposing line to protect everyone. Of course, that would put more pressure on the coverage.

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