As happy as Brandon Graham is that he's been elevated up the depth chart, someone who might be even more ecstatic is Trent Cole.
"I see greatness. I see us having a great time this season, flying around the ball, making plays, sacks, celebrating after sacks. I see it all," Cole said. "I can picture it right now. We're going to be patient; make our way through this preseason, and see what happens during the season."
Coming off a season in which he earned a second trip to the Pro Bowl and tied a career high with 12.5 sacks, there is no question Cole would stand to benefit greatly if the pass rush improves. With Graham in the mix, Cole believes the Eagles have more weapons to get to the quarterback than they did last season. And these reps in practice now will help Cole get used to playing with the 13th overall pick from this year's draft.
"I'm trying to get them used to playing with me, and get myself used to playing with them and be comfortable playing against different people now," Cole said. "You've got different types of people you're playing against now. We've got some good rookies that came in that are great players that I'm excited to be playing with this season."
Cole did make the jump to the starting lineup as a rookie in 2005. But as a fifth-round pick, Cole wasn't expected to contribute so quickly. Looking back at the film from years ago, Cole can certainly compare himself to Graham. There's one thing that Cole definitely notices that the two have in common.
"He's hungry. That's one thing I like about him and my teammates in general, that hunger they have. I share that hunger with him," Cole said. "I'm the type of guy, I'll never be satisfied. Until the day I stop playing football, I probably still won't be satisfied."
Cole continues to not get the hype that he properly deserves. Since 2006, only one 4-3 defensive end in the NFC (Jared Allen) has more sacks than Cole. And, technically, Allen wasn't even in the conference until 2008. Last year, Cole was fourth among all of the 4-3 ends in the NFL in sacks and sixth overall. In the last four years, Cole has been so consistent that he's had between 8.0 sacks and 12.5 sacks in each of those years. And Cole is not just an elite pass rusher, but he's stout against the run as well.
"He's a phenomenal player. The sky's the limit, as far as Trent goes," defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "I mean, you keep busting your tail, working hard like Trent works, approaching the game like he approaches the game, and who knows where that will go."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 7:30 p.m., August 24