Trent Cole benefited from new scheme

Trent Cole thrived under the new regime with the Philadelphia Eagles last season.

And he’s hoping for an even bigger season in 2014.

Following a rather disappointing season two years ago, Cole became one of the most improved players on the team in coach Chip Kelly’s inaugural season.

Cole, who was selected by the Eagles in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL draft -- pick No. 146 overall -- had an impressive season on the club’s revamped defense. He led the Eagles in sacks (8.0), forced fumbles (three) and tackles for loss (10), while finishing second in quarterback pressures with 15.

Cole currently ranks second on the Eagles’ all-time career sacks list with 79.

Arguably the Eagles’ top pass-rusher, Cole had to adjust from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense under Kelly and defensive coordinator Bill Davis. It took some time to adjust in his ninth season, but Cole wound up being one of the team’s most dangerous defensive players.

After going the first eight games without a sack, Cole registered all eight sacks in the final eight games. In the process, he anchored a defense that improved steadily throughout the season.

Cole’s best performance came against the Chicago Bears in a stirring 54-11 victory. In that game, Cole sacked Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler three times and generally created havoc from the first snap to the final one.

“From Day 1, Trent has just played with great effort,” Kelly told the Philadelphia Daily News. "Sometimes the numbers didn't show because he didn't have a sack total, or whatever. But the pressure he got from Game 1 to now, through Game 15, sometimes it starts to come. He was so close in a lot of games, but I think what you see out of Trent is that he just gives you that effort, and he just plays so hard.”

Cole, entering his 10th season with the Eagles, will be looking for his fifth season with double-digit sack totals.