Philadelphia Eagles: DeMeco Ryans Set to Be Added to Linebacker Corps
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All Eagles fans who weren't quite satisfied with the "in-house" feel to the 2012 offseason, your wishes may have come true.
According to the National Football Post, the Eagles have acquired inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans and a third-round pick from the Houston Texans in exchange for their own third rounder and a fourth-round selection in the 2012 draft.
Ryans immediately boosts not only the Eagles' weak linebacking corps, but the defense as a whole as he plugs their biggest hole. The middle of the defense behind the wide-nine was a huge weakness the entire season and Ryans isn't a young draft pick learning on the job.
In Ryans, the Eagles have added a sturdy and athletic middle linebacker that can not only make plays coming forward, but has the ability to get the job done sideline-to-sideline as well. He is also known as a leader on the field, in the locker room and in the weight room.
Ryans was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006 and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009. His production declined last year with Houston's switch to a 3-4 defense, but he seems perfectly suited to fit in the middle of the Eagles' 4-3 alignment.
The Eagles appear to have gotten the best of both worlds with Ryans being 28 at the start of the 2012 season. He will be old enough to make an immediate impact with an understanding of the NFL game as well as be young enough to play a key role for a number of years.
Ryans stands 6'1" and 247 pounds. He is immediately the biggest and best linebacker on the team and his presence alone will improve whoever is penciled in to flank him.
Many fans and media members have been critical of the Eagles' personnel strategy, but this seems like a brilliant move at first blush. The Eagles filled their biggest need and can now focus their attention elsewhere.
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