In order to learn more about Philly’s new pass rusher, I thought it’d benefit Bleeding Green Nation readers to get some insider insight on Reddick. And so I contacted both Bradley Smith from Cat Scratch Reader and Seth Cox from Revenge Of The Birds. Here’s what the representatives from SB Nation’s Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals blogs had to say.
CAROLINA PANTHERS PERSPECTIVE
1 - How would you sum up Reddick’s stint with the Panthers?
Reddick was signed because he was a good fit in Phil Snow’s defense due to Matt Rhule and Snow coaching him at Temple. It was a 1-year prove it deal that worked out well for both parties, as Reddick gave the Panthers 11 sacks and earned a pretty nice contract offer from the Eagles.
2 - How do Panthers fans feel about the team not re-signing him?
We understand that he was going to get a big offer from someone that the Panthers wouldn’t be able to match, and overall we’re happy that he got paid.
3 - Did the Panthers noticeably use him in an off-ball LB role at all or was it all just about rushing the passer?
There were probably times where he played off the ball, but 99% of the time he was strictly a pass rusher.
4 - What are Reddick’s strengths?
He’s quick to get to the quarterback and has a relentless motor, and is very effective as a pass rusher.
5 - What are Reddick’s weaknesses?
He could stand to put on a little weight and improve against the run, but other than that he’s pretty much everything you could want in an edge rusher.
6 - Anything to know about him off the field?
There’s not a lot out there about his off-field work, but he did donate $15K worth of toys to the kids in his hometown elementary school for Christmas last year. That makes him a pretty good guy in my book.
ARIZONA CARDINALS PERSPECTIVE
1) Can you recap his career with the Cardinals?
The Cardinals fell in love with Reddick at the Senior Bowl, when athleticism and being able to work in coverage against linebackers and running backs in one-on-one’s is a lot easier. Then he got to Arizona, was clearly needing work as an off-ball linebacker and then one of their starting edge players got injured. From there it was like a game to see where Reddick would be working that week, he struggled to make plays at either position as a rookie. From years two to four he was basically a strugging, bust of an off-ball linebacker who would move again back to the edge as a situational pass rusher.Remember, they had three defensive schemes while Reddick was there and it wasn’t until Vance Joseph that they figured out what they had in Reddick.
2) Why did it take so long for Reddick to produce in Arizona? Was it as simple as the role change from off-ball linebacker to edge rusher?
It is. They fell in love with his athleticism as an off-ball guy, but his instincts just were not there and anyone that has played football understands that at linebacker, you have to know what you are seeing. Reddick never had that and never developed it. Let him attack, let him play and make plays coming off the edge and he is a dynamic, game changing athlete.
3) Is there any regret the Cardinals didn’t keep him or find a way to re-sign him this year?
Obviously since they had an offer of three years, $36 million with $24 guaranteed on the table. They know what he can do and has earned that type of money. They wanted Reddick back, he got a better deal in his hometown.
4) What are Reddick’s strengths?
He’s a ferocious athlete off the edge, but brings good strength with him as pass rusher as well. He has developed enough of a pass rush repertoire to cause issues, but his athleticism is what allows him to win consistently and has made him into a very good pass rusher.
5) What are Reddick’s weaknesses?
He is not great against the run, but he is a relentless and hard worker, so it won’t be for lack of effort, it just is not what he is built to do consistently.
6) Anything else to know about him off the field?
Reddick was a great team guy, who worked hard everyday and once he was used correctly became a great player on the field as well. He is a team first guy, he is a community first guy and a great all-around person. Philly got a great player and better person.
BLG’s take: Reddick is a nice addition to an Eagles defense that simply didn’t generate enough pressure last year. He should help the Birds be a lot more disruptive if they allow him to regularly get after the quarterback. They shouldn’t be messing around by regularly having him drop back into coverage. Reddick’s sack numbers understandably get all the attention but it’s the forced fumble numbers that really stick out to me with eight over the past two years. He also had three in his first two seasons despite not making much of an impact. It’s clear that Reddick has a knack for knocking the ball out. Contrast his 11 career forced fumbles with Derek Barnett, who only has three. Reddick’s 23.5 sacks over the past two seasons are more than Barnett’s career 21.5 sacks from five seasons.