Eagles Tackle Calls Defensive Line ‘Best That’s Out There’

Hassan Ridgeway

Getty Eagles DT Hassan Ridgeway was undergoing further evaluation after seriously injuring his ankle Sunday night in Dallas.

The Eagles might have the best defensive tackle rotation in football. The interior line is the stuff of nightmares.

The addition of Javon Hargrave in the offseason only strengthened an already freakish collection of talent, including Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson and Hassan Ridgeway. Yes, the latter player may not inspire the same amount of fear as the other three but remember the name.

The 25-year-old is out to prove he belongs in the conversation. And he believes that Philadelphia owns the best defensive line in the NFL.

“This interior is probably, man, as they say every year, probably one of the best that’s out there if everybody can stay healthy,” Ridgeway told reporters in April. “You got a lot of talented people all in the same room, so it’s going to be a lot of competition.”

Ridgeway bet on himself in free agency when he inked a cheap one-year deal worth $1 million to return in a backup role. He had two sacks in his first seven games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 7. The former fourth-round pick of the Colts had played on 252 snaps for the Eagles, fourth-most on the defensive line. Ridgeway will enter training camp in a familiar role as the team’s fourth defensive tackle.

“Same as it was last year,” Ridgeway told Penn Live, when asked about his role for 2020. “Everybody’s usually going to get a chance to go out there and perform and show what they can do. Obviously, some people are going to play a little more than others, but everybody knows what their job is on defense.”

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Increased Talent & Depth on Eagles Defensive Line

Ridgeway may have an opportunity to eat up more snaps in 2020 with a strong camp. His role as the fourth defensive tackle isn’t set in stone but he will have his work cut out for him.

It’s no secret the Eagles are absolutely stacked on the interior. Cox and Hargrave are slated as the starters, with Ridgeway and Jackson penciled in as the backups. That’s 101.5 career sacks. Philadelphia also has Anthony Rush, Albert Huggins, Bruce Hector and undrafted rookie Raequan Williams filling out the depth chart.

Rush played in nine games last year for the Eagles and recorded nine tackles. Huggins saw action in four games in 2019 but never registered a single tackle. Meanwhile, Hector has been buzzing around for the Eagles over the past two seasons. He started one game last season and tallied half a sack in 2018.

Williams will be an interesting player to watch this summer as he fights for a roster spot. The Michigan State product is an athletic tackle who can play “anywhere from the zero to the three-technique,” per Ryan O’Bleness. Williams finished his college career with 11.5 sacks while serving as a 303-pound run-stuffer in the middle for a Spartans defense that ranked No. 1 in the country against the run in 2018.

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