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Tag:Trent Cole
Posted on: June 16, 2011 3:25 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Trent Cole compares Kevin Kolb to Tom Brady

Posted by Ryan Wilson

If super agent Drew Rosenhaus can call Terrelle Pryor a first-round pick, then Eagles defensive end Trent Cole can compare teammate Kevin Kolb to Tom Brady. Appearing Wednesday on SiriusXM Blitz with Adam Schein, Cole spoke glowingly of Kolb, who has played in just 19 games since Philadelphia selected him in the second round of the 2007 draft.

“Kolb can play," Cole said. "He is very, very accurate. I compare him to Tom Brady. I really do. They can both throw it downfield. But they both know how to use the entire field. They can take five yards and work with that, make it 10 or 15 with yards after the catch. Kolb can make every throw. He knows where his players are. He, like Brady, is a great leader.”

Kolb seems well liked by his teammates, and by most accounts, he has the talent to be an NFL starting quarterback. It's just that the few opportunities he's had to prove it have either ended in injury or poor showings.

Even if Cole is laying it on a bit thick with the Tom Brady talk, "potential" will keep teams interested long after they have any reason to be. In February, before we entered the NFL's version of "Operation Shutdown," Kolb was often mentioned as a possible trade target for QB-needy teams. Here's what Football Outsiders' Bill Barnwell said about Kolb at the time:

"Kolb's raw statistics look worse than [Michael] Vick's -- especially his 3.7 percent interception rate, more than twice Vick's rate of 1.6 percent -- but a lot of that has to do with Kolb's Week 17 start against the Cowboys," Barnwell said. "That game came with rookie Austin Howard making his first career start at left tackle against DeMarcus Ware, and the Eagles left LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson on the bench. Kolb threw three interceptions, two of which came on Hail Mary passes. Take out that game and the Eagles' pass offense DVOA with Kolb under center was 28.9 percent; with Vick, it was 29.9 percent."

Schein suggested Wednesday that Andy Reid's tutelage makes Kolb "the perfect fit in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense." If the conversation is "Do you think Kolb is an upgrade over Derek Anderson?" the answer is a resounding yes. But that's a far cry from "a perfect fit."

Last month, Scout.com theorized that the Cardinals "wonder about [Kolb's] decision making," adding: "But mostly the Cardinals' brass wonders if Kolb is the right fit for ... Whisenhunt's offense. … In theory at least, the Arizona passing design is more vertical than that in Philadelphia, takes some pages from the Mike Martz passing game and expects quarterbacks to drive the ball into the intermediate and deep windows with accuracy."

If there's a new CBA in place in the coming weeks and free agency follows, it's a good bet that Kolb will be traded. We can all agree that he's not the next coming of Tom Brady, but he's certainly better than anyone currently on the Cardinals' depth chart. And sometimes you don't need a Hall of Famer to get you to the postseason, just someone to avoid the icebergs. At the very least, Kolb appears capable of that.

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Posted on: December 9, 2010 12:43 am
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Non-Brady MVP votes

M. Ryan would be the top MVP candidate in the league right now if it wasn't for a guy named T. Brady (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

This week, seemingly everybody is proclaiming Patriots QB Tom Brady as the player who should be named MVP – including his former teammate, Troy Brown, who I talked to for this week’s Five Questions (or more) segment. After watching Brady dissect the Jets on Monday, that’s hard to argue.

But we’ve still got four weeks of regular-season NFL football, so Brady can’t be named the Most Valuable Players quite yet (I think that’s actually in the rules). That said, there are a number of players who have done quite a bit to help their respective teams this season that also must be in the conversation for MVP. What happens, after all, if Brady throws 10 interceptions in the final four games and the Patriots go 0-4 in that stretch?

Thus, this Top Ten With a Twist pays homage to those who are having hellaciously good years for teams good and bad and could creep into a voter’s conscience (assuming he/she doesn’t simply write Brady’s name in every possible space on the ballot). I’m not saying most of these guys should win; I’m just saying they should be considered.

10. Julius Peppers, DE, Bears: In his first season in Chicago, the defense, ranked as the third-best in the NFL, is a huge reason why the Bears are 9-3, lead the NFC North and own the second-best record in the conference (tied with the Saints). He’s recorded seven sacks and a very strong six passes defended and he’s forced three fumbles. You could also make a case for Brian Urlacher in this spot.

9. Drew Brees, QB, Saints: So many other quarterbacks have made big headlines this season – some for good reasons (we’ll get into those candidates later) and some for bad reasons (ahem, Brett Favre) – and it seems like Brees has been slightly ignored. That’s also because he isn’t the top quarterback in his division at this point and because the Saints are in danger of not winning the NFC South (more on the Falcons below). But the fact is that Brees is statistically the most-accurate quarterback in the league, and the Saints are 9-3 with a chance to return to the Super Bowl. That’s not too shabby.

8. Clay Matthews, LB, Packers: Remember how amazingly fast Matthews started the season, recording six sacks in the first two games? Well, he’s slowed considerably since then, and even Miami’s Cameron Wake has surpassed him for the league lead (Wake has 12 sack to Matthews’ 11.5). Matthews only has one sack in the past three games, but he’s still got a good shot at defensive player of the year (along with Julius Peppers, Steelers LB James Harrison, Eagles DE Trent Cole and Bills NT Kyle Williams), and he’s still having one heck of a year. 

7. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs: Coming off a sophomore season in which he averaged 5.9 yards per rush and finished 2009 with 1,120 yards and seven TDs, Kansas City rewarded him by going out and getting (gulp!) a legitimate RB in Thomas Jones. In his first two games of the season, Charles averaged 11 carries and 70.5 yards per contest, leaving some of us to wonder what was going on in Kansas City. But Charles has been awesome for the resurgent 8-4 Chiefs, averaging a ridiculous 6.2 yards per carry while gaining 1,137 yards.

6. James Harrison, LB, Steelers: You’d be forgiven if, the other day when Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin was defending Harrison in another laborious discussion about fines, you would have scoffed when Tomlin said Harrison was having an MVP-type season. But look at the plays he’s made and the numbers he’s produced. Harrison is third among linebackers with 10 sacks, he’s defended six passes and produced two interceptions, and he’s forced six fumbles, best among LBs. And he does it for a top-five defense which could help the Steelers to a deep postseason run. He's the MVP of NFL fines, but he might be the MVP overall as well.

5. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers: You’ve got Matthews on defense, and now you’ve got Rodgers as the catalyst for an offense ranked in the top-10, despite a dreadful running game. Rodgers has been so impressive (a 65.4 completion percentage, 3,243 yards, 23 TDs and nine INTs) without the benefit of Ryan Grant and having to play with very little support in Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn (they rank 30th and 50th in rushing in the league, respectively). His MVP candidacy obviously will ride on whether he can get Green Bay into the playoffs.

4. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers: A week ago, I might have picked Rivers a little bit higher, but he’s coming off a bad, bad home loss to the Raiders that dropped San Diego two games behind the Chiefs in the AFC West. Not that Rivers played poorly, because he wasn’t bad. But it’s tough to get excited about a QB leading a 6-6 squad who very well could miss the playoffs, even if he is the guy who’s led his team to all six of those wins.

M. Jones-Drew has made himself a strong MVP candidate in the past five weeks (US Presswire). 3. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars: What would you say if I told you that Jones-Drew has rushed for at least 100 yards in his past five games and helped Jacksonville win four of its past five to take over first place in the AFC South? Would you say that man would be an MVP candidate? I would.

2. Michael Vick, QB, Eagles: Yes, he’s missed three games because of injury, but other than that, Vick is, bar none, one of the best quarterbacks in the league and he’s having a career season in a year in which he wasn’t supposed to be the starter (you might have forgotten about a guy named Kevin Kolb). He could, throughout his career, always change the game’s dynamic with his running ability (and he’s got 467 rushing yards, a 6.3 average and six scores this season), but he’s showcased his arm this year as well (63.8 completion percentage, 2,243 yards, 15 TDs, two INTs). He is absolutely a complete quarterback and absolutely an MVP candidate.

1. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons: The “Matty Ice” moniker has already worn thin – unlike the “Pocket Hercules” nickname for Jones-Drew – but there’s no question that it’s reflective of his playing ability. Even when he doesn’t play altogether well – an example would be last week in Tampa Bay – he still somehow finds a way to lead Atlanta to a win. At this point, the Falcons are the best team in the NFC, and Ryan is the biggest reason for that. If Brady falls off in the last month of the year, my vote at this point would go to Ryan.

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Posted on: November 12, 2010 7:54 pm
 

Trent Cole goes after McNabb

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Jeez, at this point, has anybody decided NOT to pile on top of Redskins QB Donovan McNabb?

Today, it was Eagles DE Trent Cole adding his name to the list of people who aren’t all that impressed by McNabb.

Cole appeared on Sirius NFL Radio this morning, and he was asked, as a former teammate of McNabb’s, why it’s so tough to play against McNabb. A nice, easy question that should have been easy for a veteran to answer about one of his former colleagues. Say nice things and move on.

Except that’s not the way Cole played it.

"Yeah, I think I'll say no, he's not that difficult a quarterback to play against," Cole told hosts Adam Schein and Jim Miller, via D.C. Sports Bog. "Because I think we should have won that game. This past game we played against them, we should have won. Like I said, I just think he's not a difficult quarterback to play against."

Um, OK.

"I've seen what our team can do to that team," Cole said. "I know what we can do. We just didn't execute. He's a good quarterback – I didn't say he was bad – he's a good quarterback and he's done great things over time. But now, talking about now, I feel like our team can go in there and stop all that. We can go in there and win that game."

And you know what? Cole is most likely correct. It’s just a little surprising that he’d be so forthright about it.

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Posted on: November 5, 2010 10:44 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 10:56 am
 

Key Matchup Week 9: Colts-Eagles QBs vs pass rush

Posted by Andy Benoit


The Colts-Eagles game this Sunday (CBS 4:15 ET) gives us a chance to pull the mask off oneP. Manning (US Presswire) M. Vick (US Presswire)of the greatest farces in the NFL. Thanks to Michael Lewis’ The Blindside, many fans believe you need a dominant left tackle in order to win in today’s NFL. Not true.

The reality is, a great quarterback can overcome just about any pass protection issues. We often think of mobile quarterbacks in this instance. And, obviously, Philadelphia’s Michael Vick is the poster child here. Indeed, early in the season, we heard again and again about how Andy Reid would choose Vick over Kevin Kolb because Vick had the athletic ability to evade pass-rushers who would shoot through Philly’s porous offensive line. This thinking is certainly logical (we’ve all seen Vick make spectacular plays when having to flea the pocket), but it’s also a tad under-baked.

Will Vick’s mobility be important this week against speedy Colts defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis? At times, yes. But the Eagles aren’t going to rely on it. Eagles coaches know that left tackle Jason Peters is coming off a knee injury and struggles with pass protection technique. They also know that right tackle Winston Justice does not have the lateral agility to handle Robert Mathis’ dip-move around the edge. Thus, look for the Eagles to employ frequent double-tight end formations, and to align receivers and running backs close to the edge of the front five in order to help chip.

Why would the Eagles help their tackles in protection if they have a quarterback who can simply scramble away from the Colts ends? Because as valuable as scrambling can be, the best way to elude a pass rush is to play with poise in the pocket.

Enter Peyton Manning. The future Hall of Famer runs like he’s wearing ski boots. And his left tackle was a sixth-round pick in 2006 who would be a utility backup on just about any other team. Yet Manning almost never gets sacked. Thank his poise in the pocket.

Poise in the pocket can mean different things. Sometimes it means getting rid of the ball in a hurry. Other times it means holding the ball a split second longer even when your protection is breaking down and you know you’re going to get drilled the second you finish your throw. Often times it means taking a six-inch step forward or a two-foot step to the side in order to subtly elude a pass-rush and give yourself room to operate.

This skill takes outstanding footwork and throwing mechanics. It’s a skill Manning has mastered and one that so many coaches have tried so very hard to instill in Vick. While improved, Vick is still far from masterful in this department. And he does not have the command of Philly’s playbook the way Manning does of Indy’s. It’s this command that allows for Manning’s quick decisions, which allows for the Colts to live with a Trent Cole-on-Charlie Johnson mismatch.

The Eagles don’t have the luxury of simply living with this type of mismatch. Vick takes longer to process information and has rougher mechanics. Thus, he needs a cleaner pocket than Manning. The Eagles can give it to him, but they’ll have to compromise some of his receiving targets. This means fewer weapons for Colts defenders to worry about, which means Colts defenders can now be more deceitful before the snap and more aggressive after it.

As you can see, it’s a domino effect. But the first domino is not actually the left tackle – it’s the quarterback.

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:46 am
 

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Obviously on Sunday the focus in Philadelphia will be on Donovan McNabb. But what about the rest of the other 21 players on the field? The 1-2 Redskins are dangerously thin – emaciated, even – at the skill positions. Wideout Santana Moss can stretch the field. Fellow wideout Joey Galloway can stretch the field only theoretically. The 16th-year veteran has just three catches on the season.

You can’t count on Galloway or any of the backup wide receivers to provide much. Thus, one key for Washington will be finding ways to avoid a Moss-on-Asante Samuel matchup. Moss’ game is predicated on speed and quickness. Samuel’s off-ball style of coverage naturally neutralizes these elements.

Chris Cooley is often Washington’s X-factor. In this game, he’s a XX-factor. The Eagles struggled mightily last season in covering tight ends. Hence, the trade for speedy underneath outside linebacker Ernie Sims. By using Cooley in motion and aligning him in a variety of areas (the slot, backfield, etc.), Washington can force Sims – or, ideally, strong safety Quintin Mikell – to react presnap. This will make Philadelphia’s blitz schemes easier to diagnose.

A key factor will be whether rookie left tackle Trent Williams is healthy enough to block Trent Cole one-on-one (Williams was inactive in Week 3 but returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to play.) The Redskins would hate to have to keep Cooley in as an extra pass-blocker. In fact, they’d probably use Cooley as a de factor receiver and refer to second tight end Fred Davis for blocking duties. In that case, fullback Mike Sellers might off the field, which could dilute the play-action threat.

The Redskins must incorporate their run game to avoid getting into a shootout. Running will be tough given the issues at left guard (incumbent starter Derrick Dockery has fallen into a serious job competition with Kory Lichtensteiger). Philly’s Mike Patterson and Broderick Bunkley form one of the more vociferous defensive tackle tandems in the league. Plus, backup Trevor Laws is coming off one of his best games as a pro.

And let’s not forget, Clinton Portis is nearing the point where he’s only effective as a fourth quarter closer (assuming he’s still fresh in the fourth quarter). Plus, Portis’ bruising style won’t be as impactful against 258-pound middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Ryan Torain is Washington’s best runner – especially in Mike Shanahan’s zone scheme. Don’t be surprised if Torain wears the hat on Sunday.

Ron Jaworski thought McNabb had perhaps the best game of his career against the Texans in Week 2. That still came in a losing effort. McNabb’s return trip to the City of Brotherly Love could be a reminder that talent is important, but equally as important is the talent around you.

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Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:33 am
 

Hot Routes 9.16.10: Video killed the NFL star

Got a link for the Hot Routes ? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or drop it in the comments.
  • We've been discussing how "locker room spies" are beneficial to their new team (although Eric Winston told me he doesn't think Kyle Shanahan will make that big of a difference) and the Giants have the best one of all in Jim Sorgi, who was Peyton Manning's backup for quite a while. (Of course they also have, you know, his brother Eli Manning, but he doesn't know the Colts offense.) Sorgi, however, doesn't think it'll matter. Because it's Peyton.
  • One of Brian Bassett's readers noticed that Kris Jenkins had a tough time making it up the stairs at Cortland. Provided this account is true, well, it kind of makes it seem like he shouldn't have even been on the field for Week 1. Or we should have seen another injury coming.
Posted on: August 27, 2010 9:57 pm
 

'Guls' Jackson and Cole, Chiefs' Charles injured

Posted by Will Brinson

Not a great game for anyone involved in the Chiefs - Eagles game on Friday night -- Kevin Kolb's first half was "meh" to say the least, the Chiefs appeared turnover prone, and Jamaal Charles, Trent Cole and DeSean Jackson left the game with an injury.

Jackson caught a four-yard screen pass from Kevin Kolb on the Eagles' first play from scrimmage (which followed a Charles fumble that was recovered by Cole) and got absolutely rocked by rookie safety Eric Berry. It was one of those hits where you see the ballcarrier headed to the ground, see a red flash come flying and then hear a noise on the television that creates a reaction loud enough to make the people in the other room wonder what you accidentally stabbed yourself with.

Jackson actually left with an "upper back injury " -- and will not return -- but it probably has something to do with Berry compressing his spine -- when you hear the hit tomorrow on replay, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Cole left later and while he won't return, the X-rays on his ankle were negative, which is certainly good news for the Eagles.

The Chiefs got even better news: according to Josh Looney of Chiefs Insider , Charles -- who hurt his elbow in what our own Dave Richard referred to as a "serious" looking injury -- is "back out and in full uniform on sidelines" to begin the second half.

So, good for the Chiefs, temporarily bad for the Eagles, although there's always the chance that neither injury ends up being too serious. We'll keep you updated as we hear more.

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 1:56 pm
 

Trent Williams might need some help

T. Williams struggled against Baltimore's pass rush Saturday (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Trent Williams will face numerous pass-rushing specialists this year – some of the best defensive ends and linebackers in the game. Sure, he’s a rookie LT, but he also was the fourth pick taken in the NFL Draft and the Redskins are expecting him to keep QB Donovan McNabb’s blind side safe.

That’s why Saturday night’s game against the Ravens was so disheartening.

Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs – who’s more of an all-around LB rather than a monster pass-rusher – owned Williams, who gave up a sack and numerous pressures to Suggs in the Ravens win. As the Washington Post points out, that means the Redskins might need to give Williams more help, especially when he has to face the likes of DeMarcus Ware, Mario Williams, Trent Cole and Dwight Freeney this season.

Jason Reid writes:

On Suggs's sack of McNabb in the second quarter, Williams was beaten so badly off the ball that he never had a chance to set up and get into his technique. For that matter, McNabb didn't have a chance, either. And the big play illustrated why premier rush ends/outside linebackers are valued more in the NFL than any position except quarterback and lock-down corners.

(After a Baltimore fumble), on Washington's first play, Suggs raced past Williams and brought down McNabb for a five-yard loss. The Redskins attempted two deep passes that fell incomplete, punted and did nothing on offense for the remainder of the blowout loss.

Late in the first quarter, with Washington facing third and 1, Suggs drove Williams into the backfield and brought down running back Larry Johnson for a three-yard loss. Williams also was called for a false start.

Of course, it was only a preseason game. Suggs has won many individual battles throughout his career against some of the game's most experienced and talented left tackles. And the Redskins had other major pass-protection issues against Baltimore, especially in blitz pick-ups.


But still, not a great start for a tackle who’s very athletic but was also known as a devastating run blocker and just a pretty good pass protector while in college.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com