Stephen Tulloch can solve the Eagles' problem against the run.
Every fan of the Philadelphia Eagles has seen Stephen Tulloch in a midnight green jersey. With the Eagles' defense being weak against the run in 2011 and their linebackers missing numerous tackles, the need of a playmaker behind the defensive line is apparent.
Tulloch was instrumental for the Tennessee Titans in 2010, finishing the season with a career-high 160 tackles. Then, the Detroit Lions signed him with the hope of improving defensively—and Tulloch did not disappoint them. In 2011, he recorded 111 tackles and three sacks.
However, the deal between Detroit and Tulloch was just for one year and unless a new contract is signed, he will be a free agent, come Monday. Of course, the Lions have the franchise tag option, but they seem to be willing to use it on defensive end Cliff Avril.
According to ProFootballTalk, Tulloch is anywhere but close to signing a new deal with the Lions and with the free agency only a few days away, the Eagles’ chances are increasing by the minute.
The two sides are still talking and the Lions remain hopeful. They have to act faster, though. At 4:00 pm on Monday, Tulloch will be free to negotiate his future with every team that’s interested in adding him to its roster.
The Eagles will probably be one of those teams. Casey Matthews and Jamar Chaney struggled as the starting middle linebacker and Tulloch appears as the most suitable player to take that role.
Both as a Titan and a Lion, Tulloch had to make plays for a defense that utilized the wide-nine scheme. Philadelphia has also the wide-nine in its repertoire and Jim Washburn, the defensive line coach, simply loves it.
With DeSean Jackson receiving the franchise tag, the Eagles don’t have to look for a replacement and their top priority is acquiring a linebacker that can be a factor from day one. If Tulloch does not sign with Detroit in the weekend, expect him to be heavily featured in Eagles-related, free agency talk.