Philadelphia Eagles take Fletcher Cox to stop QB-driven NFL

Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid has made it clear he's an aficionado for his "big uglies", but he's also aware of the direction NFL offenses have evolved recently and how it affects the way defense is played.

Reid and the Eagles used high draft picks last weekend on Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and California linebacker Mychal Kendricks and the Philadelphia coach couldn't stop talking about the ability to rush the quarterback over stopping the run, even though the team struggled in that area last season.

"It is (all about the pass), yeah," Reid told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "With the college kids and the offenses that these guys are running (in college), they're throwing the football and the ball is in the air. That's eventually going to carry over to our league. You're seeing that now."

"You saw (Carolina Panthers quarterback) Cam (Newton) come out and start putting up 400-yard games as a rookie. You look at Cincinnati and their quarterback (Andy Dalton). These quarterbacks are coming in here knowing how to throw the ball. So you'd better have guys that can move on the defensive side, that can run. Run and cover."

Reid might just be right, last season only six teams had fewer than 500 passing attempts. It's not that the Eagles don't put pressure on quarterbacks, the collected a league high 50 sacks, however only 11 came from the tackle position. The Eagles also allowed 28 touchdown passes in 2011.

The Eagles also said that Kendricks will see some time as a strong side blitzer.

"You utilize your strengths," Reid said. "On the strong side, there are some things he can do that can work for you."

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