One of the newest Philadelphia Eagles’ defenders, LB Nicholas Morrow, made his way to Philly on Wednesday and spoke to reporters about his decision to sign with the team, his role in the defense, and a bit about his skillset and background. Morrow emphasized that there’s no substitution for hard work in this league, and it’s what he credits for his now-6th season.
Here’s what the linebacker had to say:
On signing with the Eagles
“I’m excited to be here. The coaching, the tradition — obviously, you see so many great players when you walk through the hall —, and obviously the things they did last year, make it to the Super Bowl, and competed against them last year, tough team. Obviously, the beat us, but I’m excited to be here and get started.”
Morrow explained that when he was with the Bears, they really focused on being prepared for the Eagles O-line and D-line. He noted that the Eagles did a good job of mixing the quarterback run game with the passing game, and obviously have really good receivers in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.
The linebacker was only with Chicago for one year after having missed the 2021 season due to injury and then hitting free agency. He acknowledged that this free agency was different, coming off a 17-game season, but only in the sense that every free agency opportunity is unique. Ultimately, he said the most important thing is that he landed with the Eagles, and he’s really excited to be part of an organization like this.
Asked what he showed last season, and Morrow firstly pointed out that he was able to prove that he’s durable and can play a full season. He also showed that he can be a three-down player, which was another question about his ability.
“There’s obviously things to work on, but the biggest thing is getting here, working as hard as I possibly can, and showing that I love the game of football.”
On his role with the Eagles
“Playing defense. You know what I mean? I’m a versatile player. I’ve played Mike, I’ve played Will, I played Sam, I played in the 4-3, I’ve played in landmark defenses, I’ve played in match defenses, I’ve played in man defenses. I’ve kind of played it all with the Raiders and with Chicago.”
Morrow said that there isn’t one specific position that he feels most comfortable playing, and that he just wants to play football and do what the coaches ask of him.
The LB later smiled when asked how it will feel to be the oldest guy in the room and admitted that it sounds so weird to say — especially since he’s only 27 years old. But, Morrow said that he’s excited to be part of the group and to get to know the guys and start competing.
He hadn’t yet spoken to any of his new teammates, but did have a short conversation with LB coach D.J. Elliot. Morrow noted that they spoke a little but about scheme and what Elliot is looking for from him fundamentally, but it’s been good so far.
On his skillset and background
“One, I like to get to the ball. So, I’m competing to get to the ball every play, that’s the biggest thing, and then obviously, whatever my assignment is, I want to be assignment sound. But the biggest thing is just competing snap to snap.”
Morrow talked about how his experience playing DIII ball in college shaped the type of player he is today. He noted that there are no scholarships for DIII football, so you’re paying to play, there aren’t that many people watching you play, and there aren’t that many incentives, so you play strictly for the love of the game.
Despite playing DIII, Morrow said that he ran for a scout and he was pretty fast so that started garnering some attention and the Raiders said they liked how he ran to the ball. He actually played safety in college, but the Raiders moved him over to linebacker. Morrow acknowledged that there was a learning curve, especially coming from where he did, there were a lot of changes schematically.
The LB said he finally started getting comfortable at his new position when NaVorro Bowman joined the Raiders mid-season his rookie year, and Morrow sat next to Bowman and was mentored by the veteran. Bowman’s experience in different NFL defenses and his willingness to help Morrow, had the biggest impact. Morrow also named Derrick Johnson and KJ Wright as other mentors throughout his career.