Eagles’ Gannon considers communication key when it comes to Fletcher Cox – Daily Local

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PHILADELPHIA – Two days after defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said very publicly that he couldn’t play in the Eagles’ passive scheme, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said he would try to give the six-time Pro Bowl player more money. opportunities to rush the ferryman.

That would involve freeing the future Cox, 31, from the constant double-team that wore him out in a brutal 2-5 Birds start.

“We’re going to try to do it and we have things in our pocket that we’ve done so far and some things that we’re looking at to make it happen,” Gannon said Tuesday.

After the Eagles’ 33-22 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, Cox said he was paid to get sacks, not to stop on-screen passes and was frustrated with a non-stop double team. . He only had two tackles playing 56 snaps against the Raiders. Cox then introduced himself as the victim and tore Gannon, 38, for not being aggressive enough after Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed 91 percent of his attempts.

Still, Cox has only one sack in his last nine games dating back to last season, marking his biggest drop as a passer since Jim Schwartz became defensive coordinator in 2016. Last year, Cox made the pitch. Pro Bowl more about reputation than performance.

Barring a minor miracle, the Eagles are stuck with Cox at least until this season. In September, he restructured his contract to convert $ 14.8 million in salary into a signing bonus, giving the team nearly $ 11 million in cap relief this year and $ 8.8 million l ‘next year. As the November 2 trade deadline nears, the Eagles would be at the mercy of nearly $ 35 million in dead capital over the next two years if they dealt with Cox.

The last thing the Eagles need as they prepare to visit the Detroit Lions without a win on Sunday is a high-priced veteran who questions coaching decisions. That’s not how you build culture, a goal of rookie head coach Nick Sirianni.

Against this background, Gannon tiptoed about the issues Cox has with him, brushing aside Cox’s criticisms as if they weren’t a big deal.

“I understand Fletch’s point,” Gannon said. “I think it stems from the fact that he’s a selfless player who has a lot of passion to win and lose. Our entire defense is frustrated that we’re 2-5 right now because we know we’re not playing well enough. So talk to Fletch about “Hey, what’s your take on how we can play a little better on defense?” And do it with really all of our guys across all three levels from a “Hey, here’s the game plan.” Here is what we think. Here is what we need to do. … You can do it better. Coaches can do it better.

Over the past year, the disgruntled veterans of the team have been traded. The Eagles hit a record $ 33.8 million in dead money when they shipped Carson Wentz to the Colts, although they could still get a pick in the first round of the deal. The Eagles saved $ 5.66 million by shipping tight end Zach Ertz to the Cardinals for day three draft compensation.

Unless Gannon finds a way to make Cox happy, he risks losing the rest of his defense. For the record, Gannon’s description of defensive line responsibilities differed from Cox’s explanation. Instead of playing blockers to get onto the pitch, Cox laments to back off and take blocks depending on the cover behind him.

Plus, with opponents making 74.4% of their passes, it’s hard to believe the defense has bought into Gannon’s plans, including the complementary football philosophy in which giving up distance is not a major issue when ‘it doesn’t lead to a lot of points. .

Gannon thinks players believe in the system although, quite frankly, what would you like him to say?

“I’m confident because when we go out and set up the game plan, they’re filled,” Gannon said. “When we explain to them, ‘Hey, here’s why we’re doing what we’re doing,’ they understand, and you see it in practice, and you see it in the game. They try to do what we want them to do. . We need to configure it a little better.

“A lot of people are starting to point fingers at the players. I have never met a player who wants to ruin everything. So when things aren’t going well, it always comes from, “Hey, let’s look at what we’re asking this guy to do? How do we coach him? What do we tell the guy to improve the player? ‘ … Let’s serve the players because when you serve the players and they play better, you win football matches.

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