Eagles defensive player to watch: DT Fletcher Cox

December 20, 2012

 


Fletcher Cox at the NFL draft (Mary Altaffer/The Associated Press)

How he beats you: Cox, the 12th overall selection in this year’s NFL draft, is tied for the team lead with 5-1/2 sacks. He leads Eagles defensive linemen with 62 tackles.

He is fourth among NFL rookies in sacks behind Seattle’s Bruce Irvin, New England’s Chandler Jones and Houston’s Whitney Mercilus.

“They have a great [defensive] line,” Redskins left tackle Trent Williams said. “The Eagles have a very, very talented team. A lot of people picked them to win the NFC East. Just because they’re not in position to do that doesn’t mean their talent has gone away…. They’re going to play us just as tough as anyone else will. We see them twice a year every year so they probably know our personnel more than anybody.”

How to stop him: The Eagles are 4-10 and have little to play for except their dignity. But this will be a big test for the Redskins’ offensive line, a unit that has been mostly injury-free this season but this week is dealing with two injuries—a partially torn MCL in center Will Montgomery’s left knee and right tackle Tyler Polumbus’s concussion.

Montgomery is expected to play, but it will be interesting to see how effectively he will be able to help deal with Cox on the interior. When Montgomery was hurt last Sunday, the Redskins moved Kory Lichtensteiger from left guard to center and used Maurice Hurt at left guard. Now the Redskins will hope that Montgomery’s knee holds up and he continues to coordinate a unit  that has started the same five players every game this season.

“Will has done a great job,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. “He’s a warrior. He’s a fighter…. He makes all the calls on the offensive line. He coordinates the group, gets everybody in the right place. But you have to have other people ready. Kory is ready. [Chris] Chester is ready. [Josh] LeRibeus is ready. We have a number of people that can go into that position because you practice it every day. But hopefully [with] Will, there is no setback because we need him and he’s done a great job all year.”

 

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mike Jones · December 20, 2012

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