Eagles Jordan Davis: "Nobody's Coming to Save Us," Especially Not Fletcher Cox

The defensive tackle retired and left behind a young but talented groups of players.
Mar 30, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Former Philadelphia Eagle Fletcher Cox appears before the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Former Philadelphia Eagle Fletcher Cox appears before the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA – When last seen in public, Fletcher Cox was hanging at the Italian Market in South Philly judging a hoagie contest. He had dropped 20 pounds, dipping below 300 pounds, and was running four miles a day.

He didn’t talk like he wanted to be one of those hired guns teams call to see if they can help with a playoff push sometime in November like Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph did with the Eagles two years ago on their way to the Super Bowl.

It was a strange spring without Cox around. Jason Kelce, too.

When Kelce retired, he left behind a veteran offensive line that includes right tackle Lane Johnson.

When Cox retired, he didn’t leave anything behind other than a bunch of talent on the defensive line, but not much experience.

Eagles NT Jordan Davis
Eagles NT Jordan Davis / John McMullen/SI Eagles

“It is an adjustment,” said one of those talents, Jordan Davis. “I ain't gonna sit here and lie. Fletch is my guy, but at the end of the day, he's not here anymore.

“It's us. So, we can't sit there and think about if Fletch was here and blah, blah, blah…we have to go out and we have to make sure that we put our best foot forward and we continue that. Nobody's coming to save us. So what you gonna do? What we gonna do?"

What the Eagles will have to do is get by on that talent, which will have to be molded by new defensive line coach Clint Hurtt then deployed by new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

“We all can learn from each other,” said Carter. “There’s stuff I’ve learned from Mo (Moro Ojomo), and we’re in the same (draft) class. There are some things he learned from me. I still learn from JD. We’re all just working with each other to help each other get better.”

It’s a defensive tackle room that has two first-round picks in Davis and Jalen Carter, a third-round selection in Milton Williams, a sixth-round pick in Marlon Tuipulotu, and a seventh-round selection in Moro Ojomo. There are also a few others, such as undrafted free agent Gabe Hall, Thomas Booker, and P.J. Mustipher.

There is no true veteran to lean on.

“I said this to Jordan, I’ve said this to Jalen, to Milton, all those guys, they can do it collectively, do it together,” said Hurtt. “It shouldn’t fall on one individual’s shoulders.”

Cox, though, will be just a phone call away. Brandon Graham talked to reporters during the minicamp and said that he just got off the phone with his friend and longtime locker neighbor, and they were talking about the young guys, Davis and Carter.

But Davis is right – nobody is coming to save them, though Hurtt took exception to that description of nobody coming to save them.

“That makes it seems like they’re in trouble,” said Hurtt. “There’s nothing in trouble, not at all, so I wouldn’t use that messaging exactly. What happens is when you have an all-time great player like Fletch, a great leader, and he does everything right, they have a presence and aura about them that it is very difficult to even imagine somebody stepping into that role.

“For a young guy there’s a comfort zone when you have somebody like that in the building and in your room in particular, so they can really lean on that guy. Now, obviously with him (not) being there, now it falls on their shoulders to start to take that role. So, it’s not about saying it’s OK now we have to step into this and they do it collectively.”

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Ed Kracz

ED KRACZ

Ed Kracz has been covering the Eagles full-time for over a decade and has written about Philadelphia sports since 1996. He wrote about the Phillies in the 2008 and 2009 World Series, the Flyers in their 2010 Stanely Cup playoff run to the finals, and was in Minnesota when the Eagles secured their first-ever Super Bowl win in 2017. Ed has received multiple writing awards as a sports journalist, including several top-five finishes in the Associated Press Sports Editors awards.