The Philadelphia Eagles released two defensive players with local ties on Tuesday — one man left gracefully and the other not so much. Will Parks was the first casualty and thanked the organization for the opportunity, then the team released Shareef Miller who took umbrage at being let go.
Miller, a Philly native, had promised to record 10 sacks in 2020 during a whirlwind offseason that saw him left off the 53-man roster to start the year. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder never seemed to get over that slight and blasted the “horrible” organization in a now-deleted tweet. Miller was originally selected by the Eagles in the fourth round (138th overall) in 2019 but had been cut three times over the past three months.
He was signed to Philly’s practice squad on Oct. 19 after being waived by Carolina on Oct 3. Prior to that, the hometown kid (George Washington High) was cut coming out of Eagles training camp. His career in midnight green ends with just two special-teams snaps in one game.
“He’s in the best shape that I’ve seen him in since he’s been here,” Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said of Miller on Aug. 9. “I feel like he’s really grasping everything. He’s moving a lot faster and I’m excited for him, too, because I know he has that chip on his shoulder and I really do believe each and every day he’s going to get better.”
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Doug Pederson Hypes Defensive Effort in Week 12
The Eagles’ offense managed just four passing yards in the first quarter of their Week 12 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Think about that.
Now think about the fact that Seattle’s secondary ranked dead-last in the NFL in passing defense, giving up 328.8 yards-per-game through the air. Naturally, everyone wanted to talk about the offense the day after that brutal NFC loss.
Head coach Doug Pederson admitted that was a fair topic during his media availability on Tuesday, but he also took a minute to praise Jim Schwartz’s defense. They were on the field for 32 minutes and 57 seconds while the stagnant offense bumbled along.
“I will say, and you guys aren’t even talking about how well the defense played last night with the two huge couple of red-zone stops and all of that, and really how well they played to keep us in this football game,” Pederson told reporters. “I know everybody is enamored with offense, as probably they should be, but this is a team sport.”
They held the Seahawks to 76 rushing yards and twice stopped them on crucial fourth downs (thanks Derek Barnett), plus went 2-of-4 in the red zone. The pessimist will say the secondary surrendered 225 yards — until you subtract DK Metcalf’s 177-yard performance. That’s 48 yards, a pretty good night for Philly.
Eagles Promote Grayland Arnold to Roster
With Parks hitting the curb, a spot was freed up for rookie safety Grayland Arnold who was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.
The undrafted hybrid player out of Baylor has carved out a niche for himself in Philly. He was elevated from the practice squad twice before being signed to the active roster on Oct. 10, then waived and re-signed after he cleared waivers.
Arnold, who played cornerback and safety in college, has seen 43 special-teams snaps in three games in 2020. His name has been mentioned unprompted a few times by the coaching staff and his teammates.
“I even like Grayland Arnold,” safety Rodney McLeod said on Aug. 6, “based on seeing him so far and go through the cornerback list as well. It’s a room full of depth and talented guys, and hungry guys, too.”