In 2007 pressuring the quarterback was a one man show starring Trent Cole. In 2008, Cole should have plenty of company getting after the quarterback.
Last year Trent Cole was the team’s only consistent threat off of the edge. Off-season moves and the maturation of the younger players should bolster the Eagles pass rush in 2008. The new theme of of the ends is SPEED, SPEED, and more SPEED.
The end rotation now consists of Trent Cole, Victor Abiamiri, Chris Clemons, Juqua Parker, and Bryan Smith. Don’t be surprised to also see Chris Gocong lining up as an end and bringing speed off of the edge.
Jim Johnson will maximize each player’s talents through multiple looks and blitzes designed to get after the quarterback. Maybe a 4-3 one quarter and than a 3-4 the next? Johnson must be salivating with his options!
The abundance of talent at the cornerback position should also lead to Johnson crating additional pressure on the quarterback. Samuel, Sheppard, and Brown each have the ability to man up against wide receivers. There will be no fear leaving the cornerbacks one on one to release Dawkins and Mikell after the quarterback.
2008 is going to be a bounce back year for the Eagles defense in terms of getting after the quarterback and creating turnovers. Don’t be surprised to see the defense winning a few games on their own this season.