Philadelphia Eagles rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis is doing his best to “connect” with his new teammates. Connecting is one of the themes for the 2022 campaign — and no one on the roster is immune from it, from legendary 12-year veterans to wet-behind-the-ears newcomers.
Jason Kelce talked about connecting being the most important quality in building chemistry within a locker room. Connect – sometimes bundled with trust — is one of head coach Nick Sirianni’s five core principles. Davis — the No. 13 overall pick out of Georgia — used the word to describe this year’s Eagles team in a recent article for The Players Tribune:
If there’s one word I would use to describe this year’s Eagles team, it would be that we’re connected. I think it’s hard for organizations to have that in this league, but we really are going out there to compete with and FOR each other. It’s a job, but at the same time it feels like a real brotherhood.
Then, Davis poured it on his thick for Eagles fans. He wouldn’t want to play anywhere else in the world and put the Philly faithful right up there with Georgia fans:
We understand what the goal here is, and we know that Eagles fans are ready to get back to the promised land. I already love those people. I think I’m really spoiled, to get to play for the best fans by far in college football and then the best fans by far in the NFL. And I’m excited to show what I can do.
Adding to that, Davis touched on some prized qualities he’s seen from his teammates. He referred to Jalen Hurts’ leadership as “inspiring” and marveled at his speed. Davis also called out DeVonta Smith’s ability to break 40 yards down the field in the “blink” of an eye: “that dude is insane in person.”
Tarron Jackson, Patrick Johnson Ready for Bigger Roles
The Eagles intend to throw more on the plates of their young pass rushers in the wake of Derek Barnett’s season-ending ACL injury. Defensive end Tarron Jackson stands to benefit the most despite being a healthy scratch in Week 1. He’ll be active tonight against the Minnesota Vikings after Sirianni mentioned Jackson by name as one of Barnett’s replacements.
“We talk to our guys a lot about that, about their roles and how if you’re a backup, you’re one snap away from going in and it’s just the way that’s going to play out for Tarron,” Sirianni told reporters. “But my heart breaks for Derek and he’ll be missed, and look forward to Tarron get something more reps, though.”
Patrick Johnson may see a much larger role in Week 2, too. His versatility makes him a dual-threat coming off the edge as a pass rusher and as an off-the-ball linebacker. He made one tackle on eight defensive snaps against the Detroit Lions.
The Eagles also stole Janarius Robinson off the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad last week. It’s probably a stretch to get him in pads for Monday Night Football, but he looks like a big part of their long-term plans. His athleticism is off the charts.
Watch Out for ‘Explosive’ Vikings Offense
Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon used one word to describe the Vikings offense: explosive. And he dropped the adjective twice when talking about them.
“They have some explosive people over there,” Gannon told reporters. “The quarterback is a really good player, knows where to go with the ball, comes out fast. Obviously, they have some wideouts and a back. I was with a couple of those guys and they’re really good players, so we’re going to have to be on it to give ourselves a chance to win a game on Monday.”
Gannon was referencing Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Adam Theilen, and Dalvin Cook in his comments. Kickoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. on ABC.