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Cole: Sack Explosion Is Coming

Posted Oct 3, 2012

The last time the Eagles played the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger in a regular season affair the defense battered the Pro Bowl quarterback with nine sacks in a gritty 15-6 win.

That game was four years ago at Lincoln Financial Field. This Sunday, the Eagles travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers. While the two teams only play each other once every four years in the regular season, they have met in the preseason in four of the past six seasons. While the Steelers quarterback remains the same, the Eagles defense is vastly different. On that Sunday afternoon back on September 21, 2008, six Eagles sacked Roethlisberger. Only one of those players is still on the team today - defensive end Trent Cole.

"That was in the past. This is a new year. It's a new game. We're going to treat them like any other team," Cole said on Wednesday. "We're going into this game looking to build upon what happened this past Sunday. We're on a winning road right now. We're back on track again. We've got to go here this Sunday and stay on track."

Coincidentally, Roethlisberger has been sacked nine times so far in 2012 which ranks him tied for 12th among all quarterbacks in the league. However, Roethlisberger has only played in three games as the Steelers were on a bye in Week 4.

Since the start of the 2008 season, Roethlisberger has been sacked an astronomical 177 times which ranks tops in the NFL. However, Roethlisberger is tough to bring down because of his 6-5, 241-pound frame.

"He's a big guy. You can't tackle him low. You've got to tackle him high," Cole said. "That's going to be one of our keys to getting him down."

After finishing tied for the league lead in sacks in 2011 with 50, the Eagles have seven so far in 2012 which is good for a tie for 21st in the NFL. They had no sacks in last Sunday's win over the Giants. Teams have adjusted their gameplan to account for the bevy of pass rushers unleashed by the Eagles. Still, the Eagles feel that an explosion of sacks could very well be on the horizon.

“It's coming. I want to let you know it's coming," Cole said. "We're going to keep working hard at what we're doing. We're going to have some great practices and keep digging and trying for it. It's going to come. It's going to pop. We're going to keep working hard and do what we're doing, go out here and win games and it will come."

The question now is whether it will come this Sunday in Pittsburgh?

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