DeMeco Ryans Was Supposed To Be A Three-Down LinebackerBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, Linebackers, News Friday, September 7th, 2012
I’ve stood on the sidelines at the Eagles practices with my eyes fixed on number 59, DeMeco Ryans, the Eagles new starting middle linebacker. I’ve waited for him to explode from one point to another and unload on somebody.
I saw something in one of the preseason games. I saw Ryans come out of his middle linebacker position and attack a crossing wide receiver. It happened to be a guy who couldn’t run. He tackled him for no gain on a third down, which impressed me, but for the most part I haven’t seen much from number 59.
In comparison, I can go out there on any day on any play and see that explosiveness from rookie outside linebacker Mychal Kendricks.
Despite the unimpressive performances, Ryans seems to be cool and calm when talking to the media about his lackluster play. During my time in and around the NFL, I’ve seen great players go through the motions during preseason and then show up big time once the regular season begins.
Because of that knowledge, I have stood back and decided to give Ryans more time until the season starts before making a judgement about him. But coaches don’t like to rotate what they are better players with lesser players. If a player shows them he is their best football player, then they want him on the field as much as possible and won’t be rotating him.
When I learned today at the Nova Care Complex that all the Eagles linebackers are going to playing in different packages on Sunday. I started thinking that maybe I wasn’t the only one waiting for Ryans to impress me.
“We had success with [using linebackers situationally] toward the end of last year. Guys know their role and can focus in on it. They’re all interchangeable, which is a good thing. They all know each other’s position and have gotten reps at all the positions,” Eagles head coach Reid said.
Let me translate. ”We’re not sure which one of our linebackers fit best in certain situations, so we’re going to give them the chance to show us what they can do at the beginning of the season”.
Reid doesn’t blast his players in the media, so he had nothing but positive things to say about Ryans today.
“I’ve been very happy with DeMeco. I’m giving everybody an opportunity,” Reid said.
Ryans was supposed to be a three-down linebacker for the Eagles and the fact that they will be taking him off the field says they’re not happy with what they have seen so far. It could change when the season starts, but that’s no guarantee.
They’ll have another group of linebackers on the field during their goalline packages.
Packages are personnel groupings for different situations which come up during the game.
On another note, the Eagles offense will be making Browns defensive coordinator Dick Juaron’s head swim with different personnel groupings or packages.
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