Eagles veteran Fletcher Cox spoke to reporters on Friday, just days before hitting the road for his second career Super Bowl. He spoke about the respect he has for Jalen Hurts, Nick Sirianni, and how he’s “cherishing every moment” leading up to the big game. Cox also explained why the defensive line rotation has allowed him to feel really good at this point in the season.
Here’s what the defensive tackle had to say:
On Jalen Hurts
The thing he’s most impressed by is how the QB approaches things, and the way he approaches the team when he’s speaking.
“He’s always the same Jalen every time you see him. He don’t get too high, he don’t get too low, and you can’t help but respect a guy like that. Even when things aren’t going our way, or his way, you never see him really frustrated. You never see him screaming at each other on the sideline, screaming at a teammate for maybe messing something up or it didn’t go the way that he wanted it to go. When you gotta quarterback that’s like that, you definitely want to go out and play harder for him.”
On going to his 2nd Super Bowl
“It means a lot. I’ve been cherishing every moment. Living in the moment. The moment is right now, which is today. Just gotta know what I walk through, obviously, just soaking it all in, you know, letting all the guys know, like, ‘Hey man, we got a chance to do something special.’ And we really do. And that’s going to start with us making sure that we have a good practice today, and take that energy and the momentum on to Arizona when we get there.”
His biggest piece of advice for any of the younger players going to their first Super Bowl, is to try and stick to their routine as much as possible. Cox acknowledged that’s now always easy, especially because you’re not in the facility you’re used to and you’re waking up in a hotel every day, but it’s important to try and stick to your routine.
Cox later said that the feeling of getting to the Super Bowl never gets old, so he’s just as excited this time as he was the first time. He pointed out that there are 32 teams in the NFL and only two get to go, so you have to enjoy the feeling of getting there. He did note that it’s a little easier to control his emotions the second time around, but there’s a limit to that, because it is an emotional game and at some point those emotions need to come out.
Brandon Graham reportedly said that this year’s team is more talented than the group that won the Super Bowl six years ago, but Cox said that it’s hard to compare — they had elite players back then, and they have elite players now. The DT did say that in addition to having really good players, this year’s team has a bunch of really good guys and teammates, which he credits for being where they are. Cox explained that no one in that locker room thinks they are better than anyone else, and it’s hard to stop a group that’s connected and plays for each other like they do.
On stopping Patrick Mahomes
Cox pointed out that Mahomes is a good player, a great quarterback, and the Kansas City offense is going to be a big test for the Eagles.
“Probably going to be one of the better offenses we’ve seen all year. I mean, he don’t take a lot of hits. He don’t take a lot of sacks. Obviously, he gets the ball out and knows where it’s going, and that’s going to be the challenge for us.”
On health and the DL rotation
The defensive tackle was very quick to admit that he feels fresher at this point in the season compared to previous years, thanks to the deep rotation they have on the line — Cox also said this with a big smile on his face.
“I think I played maybe 28 snaps last week in the NFC Championship game, which was probably — I felt really good. And when you can do that and you keep guys fresh in the way that we rotate, I feel really good coming out of that game.”
On Nick Sirianni
The Eagles veteran said with a smile that the head coach has won him over, and admitted that there’s a bit of a learning curve when a new coaching staff comes in while they work on building their relationship. But once they did that, they were able to understand each other and respect each other.
“You can’t help but want to go out and play for him.”