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Eagles' Trent Cole confident in his 19-sack prediction

The Philadelphia Eagles tied the Minnesota Vikings for an NFL-best 50 sacks last season.

Jason Babin led the way for the Eagles with 18 individual takedowns. Trent Cole was second with 11, but he isn't eyeing another silver ribbon in 2012.

"Eighteen sacks," Cole told the Philadelphia Inquirer when asked to predict this year's total.

He then paused and bumped that up to 19.

Cole, at last, feels comfortable in defensive line coach Jim Washburn's wide-nine scheme, which he spent most of last season adjusting to.

"It took me to the end of the year to really catch on. I struggled with it," Cole said. "Not just me, I can talk for other people as well."

It's a common theme from Eagles defenders coming off a disappointing 8-8 record. As high as expectations were last season, we saw the new pieces on this roster stumble out of the gate. Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were learning on the fly in the defensive backfield, and Cole was doing the same up front.

A full offseason has helped. Philly's deep stable of defensive tackles and edge rushers make the Eagles a good bet to improve upon last season's sack total. Cole is one of the most entertaining rushers in the game; paired up with Babin, they represent a mega-headache for opposing quarterbacks. Nineteen sacks is quite a prediction, but Cole is part of a improved defensive unit that could help make that possible.

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