The Eagles brought a familiar face back for a workout on Tuesday, at a severe position of need. Dante Olson came to Philadelphia presumably to serve as a replacement for injured linebacker T.J. Edwards.
Olson, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Montana, spent the summer with the Eagles but the team waived him during final roster cuts. He brought moderate hype into training camp thanks to a sterling college resume, including earning the Buck Buchanan Award, aka FCS Defensive Player of the Year.
His 397 career tackles broke Montana’s school record and Olson set the Big Sky Conference’s single-season tackles record with 179. Incredibly, the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder recorded 330 of his school-record 393 career tackles over his final two seasons. Olson also totaled 26 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, three interceptions, and five forced fumbles.
“He’s just a humble guy that works his tail off. He wants to be good, and he’s not satisfied unless he improves,” Montana coach Bobby Hauck said of Olson, via ESPN. “Then personally, he’s just a wonderful guy to be around. He’s good, not just at football, he’s a good person. He’s a great guy.”
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Eagles Protect 4 Players, Add DB Insurance
The Eagles protected four players on their practice squad on Tuesday to guard against other NFL teams from poaching them. No surprises here: DB Grayland Arnold, DB Elijah Riley, DT T.Y. McGill, TE Jason Croom.
Philly has been decimated with injuries all over the field, particularly at defensive back. They only had three cornerbacks active last week and moved starting safety Jalen Mills over to his old spot at corner. Rookie K’Von Wallace and special-teams ace Marcus Epps split snaps at Mills’ spot versus San Francisco.
“I thought that was a really unselfish thing for him to do,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said of Mills. “He was still a developing player at safety, and making some plays there and also having some learning on the job, growing pains at the position.”
Croom gives them added insurance at tight end with Dallas Goedert (ankle) down and Hakeem Butler getting up to speed as he converts from wideout you tight end.
Arnold Shines in Special Teams Role
Meanwhile, Arnold played a major role on special teams last week. The safety-cornerback hybrid from Baylor saw 18 total snaps (62%) and earned kudos from special teams coordinator Dave Fipp for owning the gunner role on several kickoffs for a second straight week.
“I thought Grayland, for his first game out there not having any preseason reps, to be a gunner and work against a competitive double team in a game in the National Football League, I thought he did a really good job,” Fipp said of Arnold last week. “Are there things he could do better and learn from? Absolutely.”
Arnold is serving as the Eagles’ fourth safety right now with Rudy Ford (rib) out and Mills over at cornerback. There is growing speculation that prized free agent Will Parks will be coming off IR very soon.
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