He’s only been in the nest for three weeks, but it’s time to let Genard Avery loose. He could be the Eagles’ best pass-rusher.
Avery, who was acquired from Cleveland in a trade on Oct. 28, has been impressive in limited action. He’s only seen 13 total defensive snaps for Philadelphia — three against Chicago, 10 versus New England — but he’s been making his presence felt. Avery was credited with a half-sack in Week 9 when he fought through two blockers to drag down Mitchell Trubisky.
The guy has wheels and serves as a welcome shot of adrenaline for the Eagles’ middle-of-the-road pass rush. The team has 25 combined sacks this season. Earlier this week, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz explained what Avery brings to the defense.
“He’s a bit of a hybrid player, and when we got him, we needed to have a specific plan for the way we were going to use him,” Schwartz told reporters. “First week we used him just a little bit, used him a little bit more as a defensive end in this last game, but we’ve used him as a hybrid linebacker in there, also. He’s done a nice job working really hard to make the most of his opportunities when he’s been out there.”
Avery More Than Situational Edge Rusher
The Eagles gave up a fourth-round pick in 2021 in exchange for Genard Avery. Obviously, the coaching staff sees great promise in him. Browns fans were sad to seem him go, so that is always a good sign.
Conventional wisdom assumed Avery would be used primarily as a situational pass-rusher, likely on third downs and plays with long down and distance. But the 24-year-old has been seeing snaps on first down and second down as well. He’s been used as a knuckles-in-the-ground edge rusher and as a blitzing stand-up linebacker. Avery may have been the steal of the year for GM Howie Roseman.
Avery has quickly morphed into the Eagles’ secret weapon, one that should see an uptick in snaps this week against Seattle. It’s just a matter of getting him adjusted to the team’s scheme and tempo. He flashed potential versus New England.
“That’s a team [the Patriots] that’s really savvy to catch you with too many guys on the field, so it’s hard to sub just willy-nilly, so you really have to be surgical with your substitutions,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said of Avery’s performance against New England. “So sometimes it’s hard to get specialty players out there. But he’s been a nice addition for us.”
Browns Kicking Themselves for Trading Pass-Rusher
The Browns could sure use a pass-rusher after Myles Garrett was suspended for hitting Mason Rudolph with his own helmet. Garrett is out indefinitely and lost his appeal, meaning Cleveland is down a pass-rusher for the year.
Genard Avery was a solid contributor for the Browns during his rookie year when he collected 4.5 sacks. He was largely seen as a rising star when Gregg Williams was the defensive coordinator but then fell out of favor with the new regime. He wasn’t a fit for the scheme.
The Browns could have easily plugged him into Garrett’s spot. That isn’t an option. Avery has already started to make his mark with his new team.
Follow the Heavy Philadelphia Eagles page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!