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Haason Reddick says getting to play for the Eagles means so much to him

Philly’s new edger rusher is excited to come home and to play in front of the fans this season.

The Philadelphia Eagles signed Haason Reddick just before the start of free agency, and the EDGE rusher and Camden, New Jersey native couldn’t wait to come home. Reddick spoke with reporters on Thursday about how eager he is to play in front of fans and how Jonathan Gannon hopes to utilize his versatility within the defense.

“It’s exciting to be home. Thrilled.”

He went on to explain that he was overwhelmed with emotion when he learned he’d be coming to Philly and moving closer to his family, and also that he’d be playing in the stadium he competed in his whole college career at Temple.

“This right here is amazing. I don’t think this story could’ve been written any better. I’m truly excited and can’t wait to get in front of the fans and play come the start of the season.”

Reddick was asked, in addition to coming home, why he chose the Eagles.

“Contrary to belief, this is a great place to be. It’s a great sports town, great sports city, and the connections here. I love it here. During my career so far, every offseason I would come back home, and now I got the chance to play here, it just means so much to me. So, I’m happy to be here, and like I said, I just can’t wait for that first game to get in front of the crowd and get to play here.”

He later talked about how being drafted when Philly hosted, and just miss out on being picked to the Eagles — he went No. 13 when the Eagles had the No. 14 pick — all goes into his story. Now it’s come full circle.

On his role in the defense

As for how he expects to be used in Jonathan Gannon’s defense, Reddick said that his versatility will be utilized, but they haven’t gone into the specifics just yet. They’ll see how things go this offseason and into training camp, but they want to play to his strengths.

“I’m a fast guy, just get me on the field, and let me go play football at the end of the day. I’m a football player, just get me on the field and let me go play football.”

Reddick emphasized that he doesn’t have a preference as far as his role or how he’ll be used, he just wants to be on the field. He admitted that he has a bunch of family just over the bridge in New Jersey, so he’s been embracing being back and hasn’t thought too much about how he’ll fit in this defense.

He later talked about how rushing the passer is something that comes naturally to him, with his years of experience from college, even though he was asked to do different things when he got into the NFL. And while he was able to get back to that a bit, he acknowledges he’s got more work to do in that area.

The defender did add some weight since last season and is currently at about 242 pounds. He noted that he wanted to get into the 250’s, but wants to see how he moves around with the extra weight, and make sure that he maintains his speed at a bigger size. As for why he wanted to add some weight, Reddick said he wanted to open up his rush plan a little bit more and move guys out of his way at will.

Other notables

  • Reddick said he’s talked to a few guys on the team, including Darius Slay and Jason Kelce. Brandon Graham and Javon Hargrave both reached out on Twitter, as well. He also noted that Jalen Hurts reached out and said he’s thankful to be on the same team as the defender instead of trying to go against him.
  • He wouldn’t say whether he was willing to accept less money in order to play in Philly, but did emphasize that the opportunity to come home was a big impact on his decision.