Cole Worried About Producing, Not Starting
One person who might have been annoyed at the Eagles acquisition of defensive end Darren Howard is Trent Cole. That's because the addition of Howard as a free agent from the New Orleans has pushed Cole down the depth chart.
You'll remember that Cole came in as a relatively unheralded rookie fifth round pick out of Cincinnati last year and ended up starting seven games. He recorded all five of his sacks during a three-game stretch in November, but wore down toward the end of the season.
Now Howard will start at defensive end opposite Jevon Kearse. Under coordinator Jim Johnson's rotation, Cole should see his share of reps, along with Jerome McDougle, who the Eagles say has recovered after missing last year following a gunshot wound.
"Darren Howard is a nice guy and has good character and I am willing to sit and learn from him," Cole said. "He has been in the league 6-7 years and I will take notes from him and see what I can do to improve my game."
Howard can also play tackle, so Cole might find more snaps. The 6-foot-3 Cole has gained 15 pounds and now weighs 270, still small by NFL standards. Cole prides himself on his quickness and he still has the mindset of a starter, even though that isn't expected to be his role this year.
"With a year under my belt, I'm looking to improve," Cole said. "I can't wait to get started."