They’ve been together longer than any other active defensive linemen in the NFL, and sometimes it’s hard to remember a time when Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox weren’t Eagles.
The Eagles’ first-round picks in 2010 and 2012 have both been through a lot since they became Eagles late in the Andy Reid Era, and both are still at it, Graham preparing for his 13th season here and Cox his 11th.
They’ve played more games than any defensive linemen in Eagles history, and with Cox signed to a new contract after a brief fling with free agency and Graham back healthy after tearing his Achilles last September, they’re a few weeks from starting their 11th season together.
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Graham has been one of the standouts of training camp, which is remarkable considering he’s 34, he’s coming off a career-threatening injury and he’s been working with the second-team defense for the first time since 2014.
“To see B.G. moving the way he is, it really is impressive,” Cox said. “He actually looks faster (than before the injury), looking at the tape and watching him run off the ball.”
Graham has always been the kind of guy who’s motivated by doubters, and he’s always had them, especially early in his career.
Some guys ignore that stuff. B.G. feeds off it.
Cox said he can tell Graham was motivated during his rehab by people who said at 34 and coming off a torn Achilles he wouldn’t be able to come back and play at a high level.
“He’s looked, honestly, the best he’s looked in a couple years,” Cox said. “He always looks good but I think now what motivated him times 10 was coming off the injury, you know B.G., he’s into the media deal where he might have read something (negative), but something lit a fire under B.G. right now so I think that’s the biggest thing for him.
“He looks really good, he’s in shape, obviously he’s my locker mate so we talk a lot about a lot of things, and I told him you look good, just keep doing what you’re doing. Whatever he’s doing is working, so I try to tell him to keep doing it.”
Graham and Cox rank fourth and fifth in Eagles history with 59 and 58 sacks, and they probably won’t be moving any higher — Clyde Simmons is third with 76 — but they’ve both etched their names forever into Eagles history.
Who knows what the future holds, but Eagles fans should treasure every minute they have with these two future Eagles Hall of Famers.
“I don’t feel my age,” Graham said. “I’m 34, but I don’t feel 34. I still feel good.”