Quotable: Trent Cole Preaches to Darryl Tapp's Choir

Quotable: Trent Cole Preaches to Darryl Tapp's Choir

The Eagles haven't sacked a quarterback in two games. That's not necessarily the worst thing in the world, considering the defense has gotten plenty of pressure, been solid in both of those outings and really wasn't to blame for what happened in the team's 16-14 loss to the Steelers.

But if you listen to Trent Cole, not sacking the quarterback almost sounds like a good thing.

Basically, as Trent tells it, the Birds' defensive tackles and ends are so good that other teams don't just let them tee off on on the most important player on the field.

Instead, out of respect, they do frigging crazy things. Block, for example.

This beautiful exchange between Trent Cole, Darryl Tapp and the media after Sunday's game comes courtesy Geoff Mosher:

With reserve defensive end Darryl Tapp seated to his right, Cole said the max protection schemes used by the Steelers to slow down the pass rush was a tribute to the potency of the Eagles’ front four.

“Hey that’s just called respect,” Cole said after the Eagles lost 16-14 on Sunday at Heinz Field ... Ain’t that right, Tapp?”

“Feel it,” Tapp shot back.

“They leave max protect and every team you go against that max protects -- Tapp, tell ’em -- that’s called respect,” Cole continued. “That tells you, ‘That’s the best damn defensive line in the [expletive] NFL.’ That’s just real talk. That’s common sense. It’s right there in front of your face. Every team.”

To an extent, they're actually right. When an offense max protects a front four, that should make it easier for the linebackers and the secondary in coverage. The sacks, in and of themselves, are not the goal so long as the defense, by whatever means necessary, does its job.

Just like earning respect, in and of itself, isn't an endgame.

Right, Trent? Darryl? Guys?

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Carson Wentz further asserting himself as Eagles' leader in Year 2

Carson Wentz further asserting himself as Eagles' leader in Year 2

It's not like Carson Wentz wasn't a leader last year. 

He was. 

From the moment the No. 2 pick arrived at rookie camp in May, those leadership qualities the Eagles discovered during the pre-draft process were immediately on display. Wentz is a natural leader at a position that necessitates it. 

So in his rookie season, he led. 

"I thought that was all kind of natural, things naturally happened," Wentz said. "Yes, I was a rookie but I don't think that I was by any means quiet. I wasn't just the guy that rolled with the punches and went with it. I thought I was still doing my job as a leader as well. But the longer we're playing this game and the more experience we have, the more we can just step up our leadership as well."

If Wentz was a leader in his rookie season, he's really a leader now.  

Last year, he arrived to the Eagles' offseason after the whirlwind of the NFL draft and admitted on Tuesday that he "didn't really know where the locker room was." Hard to lead when you don't know where to get changed. 

And throughout last spring, he was the team's third-string quarterback preparing for a redshirt season until he was thrust into the starting role after the Sam Bradford trade, just a little over a week before the start of the season. 

A year sometimes makes a huge difference. 

This year, he's the guy, the face of the franchise, the unquestioned leader of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. 

"There’s definitely a poise about him," receiver Jordan Matthews said. "You can tell it’s not like last year when he was thrust into the position. He knows his role, he knows he’s the guy, and I think there’s a sense of confidence that comes with that, a sense of poise that he handles extremely well. I’m excited to see what he does this whole offseason and what we’re going to do moving forward."

Wentz is the Eagles' leader on and off the field. He's planning on getting together with his receivers and skills position players again this summer, something he thinks will become an annual trip. 

Earlier this month, Wentz took his offensive linemen out for a day of shooting guns and eating steaks (see story). He bought his entire line shotguns last Christmas. 

It might not seem like a summer get-together or a trigger-happy trip would help the Eagles on the field, but it might. After all, the team's being closer certainly won't hurt. And Wentz, 24, is the guy facilitating all of it. 

Then there's the way Wentz leads on the field. He's always had control of the huddle, but with more time in the offense, he knows what he wants. Center Jason Kelce said the more knowledge Wentz gains of the offense, the "more comfortable (he is) voicing [his] opinion." 

"And I think that he's definitely asserting his style on the offense," Kelce said. 

For the most part, Wentz had a pretty good season as a rookie, flourishing early, hitting a long rough patch, and then finding his way out of it. He ended up throwing for 3,782 yards and set an NFL record for completions as a rookie. 

The Eagles this year, and in the foreseeable future, will go as far as Wentz leads them. 

"They say the biggest jump is from year one to year two, so him just knowing what’s coming, he looks like a vet already," offensive tackle Lane Johnson said. "Pretty extraordinary."

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Shaq always has the trump card -- and by that we mean championship rings -- to throw in Charles Barkley's face. But with that said, Sir Charles is probably a much better trash talker and therefore has a superior mouth to defend himself with and throw barbs back in Shaq's direction.

The mouthy duo got into it a bit last night and it teetered between fun and lighthearted and a little personal.

Shaq attacks Chuck for only playing in one NBA Finals and therefore not really knowing what he was talking about. Charles claps back at Shaq for having ridden Kobe and Dwyane Wade's coattails. 

During an NBA playoffs that has been mostly boring, at least these two can still entertain us.