Alex Singleton and T.J. Edwards played fantastic football against the Cowboys, along with a nice performance from Duke Riley. With Nate Gerry out for the foreseeable future, that trio could be the Eagles’ new linebacking unit moving forward. It’s not a bad idea to let the young guys grow on defense instead of bringing in an outsider.
But what if there was an outsider available that had inside knowledge of both the Eagles’ defensive scheme and organization. Enter Mychal Kendricks. The Seahawks signed the 30-year-old back to their practice squad on Wednesday following the collapse of a deadline deal gone wrong. Kendricks had been in talks to sign with another franchise, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. The Eagles could easily swoop in and steal their former starting linebacker off Seattle’s practice squad.
Is Kendricks a good fit? Well, that depends on how bad the Eagles feel they need to upgrade the linebacker position. Kendricks, a second-round pick in 2012, was a six-year starter in Philly where he accumulated 458 total tackles (40 for loss), 14 sacks, 25 pass deflections, three interceptions, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries. He was the starting strong-side linebacker in Super Bowl LII and then they released him in 2018 to save approximately $6 million against the salary cap. It was the right move at the time, although it’s been hard to fill his cleats.
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Edwards Turning Into Stud Linebacker
Maybe the reason why the Eagles did nothing at the NFL trade deadline was they believe in what they have in-house. Edwards, the undrafted linebacker out of Wisconsin, has been playing lights out since returning from a hamstring injury.
He recorded a team-high 13 tackles (two for loss) versus Dallas, plus added one quarterback hit, one sack, and forced the fumble that led to Rodney McLeod’s touchdown. Just an all-around great game.
“So, a big play for us,” Edwards said of the forced fumble. “We needed a little spark there at the end and just happy to be part of that play.”
Edwards saw 62 snaps (78% of the defensive snaps) and made every single one of those snaps count. He and Singleton were the top two linebackers, with Riley mixing in as needed. The Eagles rarely put three linebackers on the field at the same time. Rookies Shaun Bradley and Davion Taylor were relegated to special teams. Edwards had expected to play a lot due to the Cowboys’ use of 12 personnel (two tight ends).
“Yeah, I mean we knew they ran a lot of 12 personnel, so I figured it would be a good amount of base snaps,” Edwards said after the game. “Towards the end, the game got moved to nickel and just got ahead of, you know, comfortable feel for the game at that time. So, you always have to be ready for whatever the coaches think and I’m just glad that my rehab went well and everything like that, so I was able to perform well tonight.”
Yes, Edwards looks like the real deal. The Eagles also added ex-Cowboys linebacker Rashad Smith to their practice squad to give them added depth at the position.
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