The Eagles didnt expect him to be around when they selected. Andy Reid figured Fletcher Cox would be a top six or seven pick in the 2012 NFL draft.When he started falling, Reid said after the Eagles traded up on Thursday evening to take Cox 12th overall (see story), to be honest, we got excited about it.No one was more excited about that than Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn maybe not even Cox himself. In the rotunda just outside the auditorium at the NovaCare Complex, Washburn gushed about visiting the Mississippi State defensive tackle and putting him through a workout prior to the draft. Actually, check that. Washburn gushed about visiting with Cox, but he seemed a lot more excited about Cox the person than Cox the player.When Washburn ventured down to Starkville, Mississippi, he took Cox out to lunch. It sounded like they had a grand time even though, as Washburn told it, they didnt discuss football for very long. We talked about deer hunting and guns for the first two hours, Washburn said. We spent about 15 minutes on football. Good dude. I know Jason Babin and Trent Cole are going to be excited. We swapped deer pictures and gun pictures. Hes just a really cool guy. He was really proud of his new pickup. He got a King Ranch is that a Ford? He had no idea what King Ranch was. Anyway, good guy. Country guy.Washburn said he first noticed Cox one night when he was watching Mississippi State play on a random Thursday. (I must have been bored, Washburn joked.) He called a friend and asked about Cox. The more he watched, the more he liked. Washburns initial impression of Cox the country guy as a player was simple and direct: Whoa.Hes going to jump right into the rotation weve got and start playing, Washburn said.Cox who is 6-foot-4, 298 pounds and was named first-team All-SEC after recording 56 tackles and five sacks last season said the scheme he played in at Mississippi State is similar to the one run by Washburn and the Eagles.It will be a pleasure to play under coach Washburn, Cox said, reciprocating the praise. We had a good time during the visit. We went out and had lunch. We worked out. We had a good time. He told me that I was a great player and he wanted to coach me at the next level. We went out and did some drills and he liked the way I learn things real quick.Washburn said the pick was a unanimous deal for the Eagles decision makers and that everybody is on board.Fletcher gets to be coached by the best defensive line coach in the National Football League, Reid said. They developed a relationship Obviously, Jim is very excited about it.E-mail John Gonzalez at email@example.com.
Washburn ecstatic about Birds' drafting Cox
April 27, 2012, 3:19 am