The confidence is oozing through the walls at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia. The Eagles believe they have enough talent to win the NFC East, perhaps enough to go on a championship run. That journey begins on July 26 when rookies and veterans report to training camp.
Rookie linebacker Nakobe Dean plans to be one of the first guys in the building. He’s ready to pick up where he left off in college after leading Georgia to the national title in 2022. The 5-foot-11, 231-pounder recently told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro that he plans on winning multiple Super Bowls in Philly. And he’ll do “anything legal to win.”
“I will do anything legal to win,” Dean told Spadaro, via John Clark. “I’m ready to get to work and show the Eagles why I was a great pick. The number one job is to win the Super Bowl. I plan to bring a couple of Super Bowls to Philadelphia.”
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Cross-Training at Mike and Will Spots
Dean has all the tools to be a stud linebacker in the NFL, including the versatility to play multiple spots. The third-round pick was cross-training at the Mike and Will positions during OTA sessions. Remember, Dean recorded six sacks and 72 tackles (10.5 for loss) in 15 starts last season. He is a nightmare matchup.
Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said: “Nakobe is a high, high football character, highly intelligent, versatile, production was obviously through the roof. Excited to add him to that room.”
There is an expectation that Dean could even win a starting job at camp. The youngster could be wearing the headset and quarterbacking the defense in his rookie year. You can’t teach intangibles and Dean has them. All of them.
NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank summed it up best:
So who makes the most sense to wear the green dot for the Eagles this year? The youngest guy on the roster. Nakobe Dean, who just turned 21 in December, has dazzled the Eagles’ coaches with his intelligence since the pre-draft process began. He’s already learning both the Mike and Will positions, and if all goes according to plan, his versatility and intelligence — and ability — mean he’s going to play most of the defensive snaps.
Dean Explains His Leadership Style
Dean was a permanent captain at Georgia and the unquestioned leader of the second-best defense in college football. Opposing offenses averaged just 4.16 yards per play against the Bulldogs. And Dean was the not-so-friendly face blowing up those plays while roaming all over the formation. He was the one keeping his teammates in line, too.
“I’m not the biggest rah-rah guy. I’m going to say what’s on my mind or whatever gets the job done,” Dean said after the draft. “At the end of the day, I feel like the only thing that matters is winning games. It’s the only thing that matters. I feel whatever we got to do to win games is what I’m for.”
Dean was a 2021 semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player in college football. (Editor’s note: that award went to his teammate, Jordan Davis, who the Eagles took in the first round). He was voted SEC Defensive Player of the Year by Pro Football Focus.