Building the Philadelphia Eagles front four in 2021.
As training camp begins and the preseason nears, ITI’s Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster projection continues. The front four have been a major reason why the Eagles’ run defense has been top seven in three of the last four years. 2020 was the exception but in large part due to the poor linebacker play. They’ve also ranked top ten in pressure percentage in the past two seasons.
While they have collapsed the pocket and stopped the run, they haven’t been as effective at getting the quarterback down. They’ve been in the top ten in sacks just twice in the past four seasons, and one of those times (2018) they were tenth by a slim margin.
While that isn’t anything to scoff at, there is a high standard considering what the Eagles have invested into the defensive line. That’s probably why they had three defensive line coaches in four seasons (2017-2020).
To Matt Burke’s credit, his group ranked third in the NFL in sacks last year and second in pressure rate. As is the case during most head coaching changes though, he was not retained for 2021. It’ll be Tracy Rocker as the defensive line coach and there is a lot of excitement around what he can do with this group.
Rocker’s 1988 season put him in the College Football Hall of Fame. He briefly played for the Washington Football Team before embarking on his journey as a coach. Since 1994, he has been a defensive line coach for nine different colleges and one NFL team. Let’s take a look at who he’ll be coaching at his 11th destination.