• October 5, 2022

Eagles Linebackers Sure To Benefit From Presence Of DeMeco Ryans

It’s time to take care of business for Eagles middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and he knows what it means to take care of business.  Ryans knows how to study in preparation for an upcoming game and Andy Reid and his staff are hoping that his professionalism will rub off on his younger teammates.

“I’m just focused on my job, first and foremost,” Ryans said. “My job is to make sure everybody is lined up properly, make sure I have my assignments down, make sure I’m correct on what I’m supposed to do and be able to make plays. That’s my job, and then everything else, it’ll fall into place as we continue to go along.”

“My goal is to step out there this year and prove that I’m the best linebacker in the league. That’s a goal of mine each year, and it’s something that drives me and makes me focused on what I have to do, and that’s all about being the best.”

I talked to Ryans for a few minutes when he came to the Nova Care Complex after being traded from the Houston Texans and I could tell that he’ll be bringing a level of attention to detail to the Eagles linebacker corps that they’ve been missing since Brian Dawkins and Jeremiah Trotter left the organization.

He talked about getting into the detail of learning the Eagles defense.  The linebackers and safeties are supposed to function like coaches on the football field, but it’s harder to do it without experience.  They’re supposed to know not only where everybody is supposed to be on each defense, but they should also know what are the strengths and weaknesses of each defense, so they’re capable of making the necessary changes.

If a defense can’t make the adjustments before the play but have to wait to get to the sidelines and have the defensive coordinator make the changes, then they find themselves always being a step or two behind the offense.  Having a veteran middle linebacker like Ryans in place will allow them to make the adjustments immediately.   Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo will be able to give Ryans more responsibility in making adjustments and getting the team into the right alignments.

Last year the Birds had rookie middle linebacker Casey Matthews running the defense and he was focused on learning his assignments, not making sure everybody was lined up properly or making an adjustment to a certain offensive formation.

A good veteran linebacker has a book on each offense in the league.  He has a book on quarterbacks and what they like to do in different situations.  A smart veteran player knows the tendencies of different offensive coordinators, especially the guys who call the plays for the opposing teams in his division.

Andy Reid has a special appreciation for the details of the game, so I know he values these qualities in Ryans.  This is the major difference in a guy like Ryans and former Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims, who played the game simply on his athletic ability in much the same way that college defensive players approach their jobs.

Ryans will also bring his discipline and work ethic to the table, which will allow the younger linebackers to see how they must dedicate themselves to being in the best of shape to perform their jobs at the highest level.  A coach can preach to his players until he loses his voice, but if you have an accomplished player on the team, who is demonstrating what the coach is saying, the players tend to get the picture.

It’s the difference in having a big brother to copy as he cleans up his room as compared to listening to your father lecture you to do it.

Former Eagles linebacker and current linebacker coach Mike Caldwell is confident that having Ryans around will make his job much easier and I agree with him.

“He doesn’t have to come in and say anything or do anything,” Caldwell said. “He’ll come in and be diligent. He studies. He does the extra things that other guys don’t do, so the younger guys see that and they’re just going to gravitate to that, and that’s going to become them.”


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July 27, 2012 1:32 pm

Haven’t posted here in quite a while. Not into the bull. Decided to post on Philly.com where there’s some regulation about what can be said.

On the street, I wouldn’t allow anyone to talk to me “out the side of his mouth” too much before I went “up in his.” Obviously, can’t do that over the internet. So, I “got my step game on,” but another season is approaching and I thought I’d test the waters. I’m here to talk football. Anything short of that and I’m Audi.

Okay, you’ve got my disclaimer. Now my viewpoint.

After 4 years of denigrating Reid, I think we are actually positioned to make some noise. Nickles is gone. We had a normal draft and we signed our core players.

When I posted that a happy locker room was key, more than a few felt differently. Jackson’s contract had as much to do with last year’s failure as anything, as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, the topic at hand. I was a bit skeptical about Ryans because of his injury. The Eagles have a history of trying to sign injured players at below-market value (in my opinion), but I don’t feel that way about the Ryans signing.

I believe Lurie deperately wants a SB win, albeit not for the same reasons as us. The important fact is that he wants one, and I think Ryans could be a key part of the puzzle.

Lord knows, we under-valued linebacking for years, but I think last season’s wide-9 alignment brought about a change in thinking. And Ryans could be a key part of the cog. It generally takes 2 years to fully recover from most major injures, and he’s had that. He brings experience, leadership and talent. I think he could have very positive influence over out defense

Okay, there you have my two cents on the topic.

Again, for the keyboard tough guys, I’m just not there. You’d never talk crap to a person’s face (at least not in Philly), so why do it hiding behind a keyboard? Save it for Bryn Mawr or whever.

July 27, 2012 1:35 pm

For all those who might feel optimistic about this coming season….

Juan Castillo is still your defensive coordinator.

Now, do you believe he can draw up a game plan to beat experienced coordinators come playoff time?

Against top doffensive minds?

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July 27, 2012 2:03 pm

Big Don W – welcome back – saw you posting over on Philly.com – you seem excited about the season – should be fun – season could very well boil down to how well Vick and Ryans can run the O and D –

July 27, 2012 2:05 pm

and don W – seriously – when was the last time ‘you lived in Philly’ – you live down south don;t you (arlington and atlanta)? and really – what are you 5’8 5’9 and not exactly a physical specimen – so don;t be trying to regulate –

July 27, 2012 2:06 pm

ok songs you just showed that you dont know football.. First off i have to say this. WHat place did our Defense under Juan place in the entire NFL? ok so how many other coaches did he out smart. For a first year to finish in the top 10 speaks volumes. Next, in the company you work for for example, if they hire someone off the street the person will be behind the curve why, becasue no matter were you go the new company will teach you their way. So if you hired someone from whithin the company who has been around that industry for years and know the ins and outs of that industry will they or will they not already have a 1 up on the new guy? hThat answer is YES 1000 times over.

Juan has been in PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL for over 18 years . so by now dont youthink he knowsmor ethan just one position unless you happen to be the guy at the job that only does what he is told and doesnt go beyond what is asked of him. Saying that and looking at the facts that is the NFL FACTS on what place he finished in a sewason were he wasnt allowed to teach as much as he wanted and to a bunch of new people to the company he did a hell of a job. And last but not lest a master mind defensive coach like JIM Johnson(RIP) needs to go to the offense of line coach to ask what a offense will do if they do this. Just liek MUDD says to vick.. If the defense does A and the we pick up BCD were is E coming from.

So before anyone comes on here to rip Juan OUR COACH learn football before you drink your morning Budwisers and get on here to talk what you dont know… WE WIL BE BETTER.. why dont you haters go cheer for the giants.. If you bleed green you dont talk about your own .. Only fake ass katz talk about there own kind behind ther back. So when they defense id kicking ass i better not see you on here cheering.

July 27, 2012 4:00 pm

lmao @ beachfrontpropertyinarizona (dot) com.

Songs that ish was funny. hang in there bruh. We can’t blame castillo for reid promoting him to dc. We gotta ride it out. The d started jelling the second half, so i’m willing to give him a pass for last season’s first half. Reid is still on the hotseat.

July 27, 2012 4:01 pm

Welcome back Drummer

July 27, 2012 4:27 pm

All I want from the Linebackers is solid tackling, and coverage, as well as have the best players on the sideline. They can start by cutting Casey Matthews, then move on to improve further.

July 27, 2012 8:06 pm

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