The Eagles haven’t made any big investments at linebacker for years now and seemed to fill those roster spots with special teams guys and inexperienced rookies. There have been a few standouts here and there — thank you Alex Singleton — but the position still lacks leadership for the most part.
Now, as the team and coaching staff continues to get younger, the Eagles put the position group in the hands of one of the youngest assistants in the NFL: Nick Rallis.
Rallis spoke to reporters following OTAs and explained how new-addition Eric Wilson has been stepping up into a leadership role with his new team, and has gone from the young guy in the room to the veteran — with five (whole) years of experience.
“You add Eric Wilson, whether I worked with him or not, he adds value to your team because he’s talented, he loves football, he works hard, and I’ve seen Eric really project into a great leader since being here. Back at Minnesota he was in a room where he had some older guys with him, and he definitely led by example, but he was the younger guy. And, so now, coming in, he’s actually one of our older linebackers — he’s done a phenomenal job of taking guys along and helping lead.”
Currently, the Eagles have 10 linebackers on the roster, including two of their 2021 draft picks:
- JaCoby Stevens (Rookie)
- Patrick Johnson (Rookie)*
- Shaun Bradley (2nd year)
- Davion Taylor (2nd year)
- Rashad Smith (2nd year)
- Joe Ostman (2nd year)*
- T.J. Edwards (3rd year)
- Alex Singleton (3rd year)
- Genard Avery (4th year)*
- Eric Wilson (5th year)
*(Johnson, Ostman, and Avery seem to profile more as standing pass rushers than full-time off-ball linebackers)