FLETCHER COX DESERVES LEAGUE-WIDE RESPECT
THE EAGLES’ ALL-PRO DEFENSIVE TACKLE IS OFF TO THE BEST START OF HIS CAREER
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES GAMEDAY MAGAZINE 47
A player with three Pro Bowls and
three All-Pro seasons on his résumé,
Fletcher Cox wanted something more
from his offseason after winning Super
Bowl LII. He wanted to be faster on
the field, and more agile, with better
conditioning. He wanted to take his
training to a new level, hopeful that
the work there would show up on the
Four games into the 2018 season, Cox
is dominating. He’s always dominated,
but now he’s really, really taking over
games. Cox has three quarterback sacks,
16 quarterback hurries, and five tackles
for loss, three key statistical categories
in which he is already tracking well
ahead of his career bests (9.5 sacks,
2015; 34 quarterback hurries, 2017; 14
tackles for loss, 2015).
“This year I did a little more. I normally
do a form of CrossFit early on and my
trainer Deon (Deon Hodges, D1 Sports in
Madison, Mississippi), later on when we
get closer to the season he gets me back
to doing football things,” Cox says. “First
half of the offseason I kind of get away
from the football stuff and focus on
getting in shape, more shape. Towards
the end, just football stuff.
“Quickness, being explosive, getting
in and out of turns, change-of-direction
stuff, all of the little things that most
people don’t focus on. I feel 100 percent
different. I can tell the difference when
I’m out there. Being able to get people
off me quicker, see stuff a whole lot
faster, it’s helped me a whole lot.”
Why then, with his career portfolio,
and with the high profile of the team
in a large media city, is Cox never, not
ever, mentioned among the other names
(Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack, etc.) for NFL
Defensive Player of the Year honors?
Certainly, the lack of national chatter
has to have some impact on Cox, right?
“Disrespectful. Very motivating. I
promise you it is,” Cox says.
So maybe that’s the case. But then Cox
is asked a few more times about it and
he softens. He becomes introspective.
He says it’s not on his mind.
“I really don’t care about it,” Cox says.
“They’re great players. Aaron Donald
and Ndamukong Suh are great players.
… It would be a distraction if I thought
about it. As long as the players in this
locker room know that I am a guy who
can take over a game, then I believe in
the guys in this room and nobody else.
Turn the tape on and see that all I do
is go out and play my game. I’m very
humble about it. As long as the guy
across from me – I respect that guy and
he respects me – I just go out and be the
best player I can be on Sunday.
“I don’t need nothing special. I just
need this team to win. Just play together
as a group and a unit and all stick
together and things will be great for us.”
What Cox is doing is proof positive
that diligence in the offseason pays
BY DAVE SPADARO, Eagles Insider