Eagles’ Vinny Curry Explains Getting the ‘Itch’ & Why He Signed So Late

Vinny Curry

Getty Vinny Curry had five sacks last year for the Eagles and was one of their most productive pass rushers after Week 12.

Some things are bigger than football, way more important. And make you re-evaluate everything in life.

Vinny Curry wanted to play football in 2020 and the thought of not playing football never crossed his mind. That is until it did cross his mind. He lost his half brother, Dr. Gerald Glisson, to the novel coronavirus on May 3 and ceased negotiating with NFL teams. It froze him in his tracks, admittedly like a “deer stuck in headlights.”

Dr. Glisson — a man known as a “gentle giant” standing at 6-foot-5, 300 pounds — was only 46 years old when he died from complications due to COVID-19. He served as the principal and athletic director at Eastside High School in Paterson, NJ, a community he was actively involved in from volunteer work to higher education.

“He got it [COVID-19] very sudden,” Curry told reporters on Thursday. “He couldn’t walk to the bathroom. He went to the hospital, the rest is crazy.”

Curry said that he had talked to “multiple teams” but decided to put everything on hold after losing his childhood hero. He had to get through the grieving process and be strong for his family.

“When free agency first started I obviously could have went to multiple teams,” said Curry who signed with the Eagles on Aug. 10. “As many of you know, I was just grieving the passing of my brother which has been really, really, really hard on me. So I thought I should just take my time with it. I didn’t even think about the game honestly but I started to get the itch, so that’s what brought me back.”

His half-brother’s death crushed Curry to the core and he couldn’t even think of returning to an NFL locker room until last week.

“That’s why I signed so late,” Curry said. “You know, when you are grieving like that … it’s somebody you see every day, and that happens the way it happens, you ain’t thinking about nothing else but the family.”

It was only after talking to his supportive ex-teammates in Philly — guys he considers true brothers, friends that checked up on him every single day — and hearing how strict the protocols were at the facility that he even considered it. They helped ease his pain and make the transition smooth.

“It’s phenomenal, the whole protocol is phenomenal,” Curry said. “It’s testing every single day, the way the lockers are spread out, the way they did the showers is great, the whole layout is very, very comfortable and — it’s like whew! — you can just exhale and worry about football.”

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Curry Not Sure of Pass-Rushing Role Right Now

The assumption is Curry will step right into his previous role as the third edge rusher in the Eagles’ defensive end rotation. He clocked five sacks in 16 games last season and has a whopping 27 career sacks in midnight green. But those discussions will come later on as he gets re-acclimated to the team that drafted him way back in 2012.

While Curry did receive other offers in free agency, it was a “no-brainer” to return to Philly. The 32-year-old recalled leaving the Eagles nest as a free agent in 2018 and regretting it. He spent one year in Tampa Bay — 2.5 sacks in 12 games — and just never fit in there.

“At the end of the day … you know in your heart that you shouldn’t have left in the first place,” Curry said of that experience.

Now he’s taking commands from new defensive line coach Matt Burke, a guy who wasn’t on the Eagles’ staff during his first tour of duty. How’s that going? So far, so good. Curry also mentioned that Jeremiah Washburn (senior defensive assistant) has been another calming voice chirping in his ear.

“He’s demanding a lot from the defensive line,” Curry said of Burke. “It’s been awesome. His message to us has been awesome.”

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