Trent Cole enjoying positive surge in play in second half of Eagles career

Trent Cole
Trent Cole has seemingly broken out of his slump. Credit: Getty Images

The haters were coming hard at Trent Cole early in the year. In fact, the whispers started last season — after he registered a single-season, career-low three sacks — that maybe the game had passed the veteran pass-rusher by. There was simply no dog left in Cole and, at age 31, there was no teaching that old dog new tricks.

Cole had to learn an entirely new defense this past offseason, as the Eagles switched to a 3-4 hybrid. Suddenly, a man who had simply been asked to rush the passer his entire career was being told to drop back in coverage, potentially matching up against running backs and tight ends.

The transition was slow, uneasy at times in the preseason, but Cole appears to have turned the corner. His strip-sack of Carson Palmer, on the Cardinals’ first series, in Sunday’s 24-21 Eagles win set the tone for the whole game. Later, he added another sack to boost his 2013 total to five, including two straight weeks with two-sack performances. Apparently, old dogs can learn new tricks.

“I told myself in the beginning of the year that I was going to make it work regardless,” said Cole, who switched from a pass-rushing defensive end to an outside linebacker this past offseason. “Hard work pays off, man. If you work hard, good things will happen.”

Cole’s second sack against Arizona moved him into second place on the Eagles’ all-time list, tied with Clyde Simmons at 76. A respectful Cole downplayed that honor.

“Well, it’s great … just numbers, though,” Cole said. “It’s about where we’re at on the year, as a team, winning games and knowing what this team can do, and we’re doing it.”

As the longest-tenured player on the Eagles, Cole has seen it all. While he wasn’t totally open to changing all aspects of his game at first, Cole has taken defensive coordinator Billy Davis’ teachings to heart.


“I have watched Trent put pressure on the quarterback the whole season,” said Davis. “I kept telling him that the sacks were going to come. Now, they are coming. Trent always collapses his side of the pocket. Turnovers and sacks always come in bunches, and he is working on getting them.”

It took some time, but he finally has embraced the challenging nuances of the 3-4 scheme. The hardest part has been knowing when to check from a run to a pass play, and vice versa.

“Everybody has to buy in, everybody has to do their job, do their assignments when it comes to gametime,” Cole said. “When the moment of truth comes, everybody has to stay on their keys and everybody has to do what they have to do. I learned the way a 3-4 defense rolls is, everybody has to be disciplined, everybody has to do their job, bottom line. One mess up could cost us the game.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…