Fletcher Cox has no new contract, but he's back at the NovaCareComplexandsuiting up in midnight green — and talking to the press.
"I am here today and I think that's all that matters," he said, surrounded by reporters at his locker Wednesday."I am not worried about the past."
The defensive end is starting fresh, a little later than the rest of the team in Jim Schwartz' 4-3 scheme. But no one is worried. By the time training camp starts (which Cox claims he is "expecting" to attend), Cox will be completely up to speed.
"When I got here on Monday I got the playbook," Cox said, confirming speculation that he hadn't seen the playbook before minicamp."I am a professional athlete."
"He missed all the installation," Doug Pederson said when asked about Cox playing catch-up. "It goes back to April4. I am not concerned with Fletcher Cox. He can play the game of football. He's a sharp guy, it's not going to take much or long for him to catch on."
Having adjusted and dominated in Chip Kelly's 3-4, much anticipation exists to witness Cox revert back to the 4-3, a defensive philosophy that could bring out the best in Cox next season.
"That'swhy they brought me here," Cox said. "It's what I played in college and my first year in theleague.I am really excited to see what I can bring to the table."
If it seems Pederson and Schwartz are excited to have Cox back, just ask his fellow defensive players. They are over the moon.
"Oh yeah," Brandon Graham said, commenting on how much better the defensive line is with Cox alongside him, "especially with the line we got, all of us working together and being on one page, I am excited, man. We are deep as far as the depth behind us. I am excited to bring along the rookies and the people we already have here and be the dominant force."
And learning a new defense?
"Fletch has been through this before as far as this defense," Graham said. "It's just different terminology but I think he has the concept down on what you need to do: rush, crush and close — and that's pretty much what you need to know."