Last season, the Eagles' defensive line made a name for itself.
Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan and Cedric Thornton only want to expand that name and become the best D-line in the league. All three are all locked in as starters once again this year, and the trio has been working all offseason to pick up where it left off at the end of 2014.
"We want to be as dominant as we can be week in and week out, play with a lot of effort, a lot of energy and just bring everybody with us. That's just the main thing," Cox said. "Honestly, I think it's a good thing the three of us are together again, but it's also challenging. Can we repeat what we did last year, going out and competing every week and putting it on film and showing that we can be the most physical people on the field that day?"
Despite high expectations, the three are happy to remain a unit in 2015. In their time playing together, they have developed undeniable chemistry and the ability to predict each other's moves on the field.
The success can be attributed to the understanding each player has of the defensive scheme. According to Logan, it allows them to play a faster game with quicker reactions. They don't have to think and analyze. They can focus on playing the game and having fun.
And for Cox, Logan and Thornton, having fun is what it's all about.
"Man, if you know me, Bennie and Ced, we're always playing around with each other," Cox said. "It's always competitive. Me and Bennie will jump on Ced about his dreads, just all fun stuff, nothing personal. Obviously we love each other and they're both great teammates. That's the best thing about it."
Out of the three, Logan has received extra recognition as of late for improvements he has made in preparation for the season. Now entering his third year, he's worked to evolve from his college days at LSU into a force who excels in this Eagles scheme.
"Yeah they were a one-gap defense (at LSU). He was very disruptive in what they did, but you could see his strength and his ability to hold up that point. Very rarely was he defeated in one-on-one blocks, whether he was playing 3-technique or 1-technique," head coach Chip Kelly said.
"So sometimes you have to project their ability to two-gap, but when you talk to your strength coaches you understand how strong he is. Along with the quickness and athleticism that he had, we felt that he was perfect for what we were looking for in the nose."
Yet while Kelly and analysts have highlighted Logan's preseason play, it's Thornton who needs to be acknowledged for his skills. Both Cox and Logan agree that although they each bring different traits to the table, Thornton is the most underrated. They want their teammate to have the credit he deserves heading into this year.
"I definitely think Ced is under the radar for the things he does. Last year in the defense he was really dominant, but he didn't get a lot of attention or anything," Logan said. "Ced has done a great job of making his presence known every game, every snap. If you watch him, you can see him going against the offensive lines, and he just dominates."
With the pressure on and the season opener just days away, it's time for the defensive line to get to work. They know what they need to do to be successful. Now they need to go out and play their game, starting against the Atlanta Falcons.