Will Curry Finally Get His Chance?

Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach Todd Bowles.Vinny Curry sat at his locker Thursday afternoon, bumping some Michael Jackson from his phone as he got ready for practice.

Minutes earlier, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was asked what the Eagles’ second-round pick needs to show in practice to get on the field.

“I think he’s doing everything he can do,” Bowles said. “He’s working hard. He’s hungry. He’s doing a lot of the right things. But you’ve got six other guys that are hungry also and doing the right things. By gameplan and how we see it, and how you can bring him up and bring him down, it’s just a tough deal. You’ve got about seven tough players over there.”

Is Bowles happy with how the defensive ends who are currently in the rotation are performing?

“I don’t think anybody’s playing bad,” Bowles said, not exactly offering up a ringing endorsement. “I think it’s going to be tough. I think he’s closed the gap considerably. We just have to play it by ear.”

Of the 31 players who were taken in the second round of April’s draft, only two have not played this season – Curry and 49ers running LaMichael James . The Eagles clearly liked Curry enough to take him with the 59th overall pick, but he’s yet to dress on gameday. I asked him what he thought of Bowles’ comments.

“Maybe Mike can answer that,” Curry said with a laugh, looking in teammate Mike Patterson’s direction. “I don’t know. I just try to compete and work hard. That’s all. That’s great to hear coming from coach. I’m just going out there competing and doing the best I can do to help the team be ready and prepared for certain situations, so I can’t really answer that.”

The truth is the lack of production from the Eagles’ defensive ends is one of the reasons the team currently sits at 3-6 after nine games. Jason Babin had no sacks, one hurry and no tackles against the Cowboys last week. In the last three games, he has one sack, four tackles and four hurries. Trent Cole has not played to his usual standards. Brandon Graham has been solid. And Darryl Tapp has just one hurry (no sacks) in his last three games. Phillip Hunt, meanwhile, was deactivated along with Curry last week.

With the team having lost five in a row, you’d think now would be as good a time as any to give Curry a shot.

“He’s hungry. He’s very hungry, and I like that,” Cole said. “He reminds me of myself. I told him, ‘Man I was in the same position you are, I was hungry, and just keep that hunger because when the opportunity arises, you better step up.’ …I came in, I had a bunch of Pro Bowlers in front of me, great players in front of me. I learned from them, and they always helped me out. I’ve always been there to help the rookies out since I’ve been here. I’ve never turned down anybody who has asked for help.”

The Eagles go with nine defensive linemen on gameday. They could either sit Derek Landri, Cedric Thornton or Mike Patterson and go with five defensive ends instead of five defensive tackles. Or they could play Curry instead of Tapp.

At some point, they will turn the page on this season and look to the future to see what they have with Curry.

“The word I got from Howie [Roseman] was it’s basically a numbers game,” Curry said. “As far as being talent-wise, I don’t think that was it at all. It’s coming, man, I’m just remaining patient.”

Is he tired of answering the same questions every week?

“Not at all,” Curry said with a laugh. “I’d rather get asked questions than get forgotten about.”

Tim McManus contributed to this article.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

  • morgan c

    time to play this guy. seriously. what are we waiting for? another 1 sack performance from our other linemen combined? come on!

  • limodriver2750

    He deserves a shot; he can’t do worse than the million dollar men.

  • casehop

    Another poor pick. Tackle picked by Ravens immediately after has started every game. Howie don’t know how to pick ‘em.

    • Sb2bowl

      are you serious?

      • Johngiam

        Good post Wesley. Bambini and cole should be sat and held accountable for their lack of production, and graham and curry should start the rest of the season. People hate on graham so much that they fail to realize that he has been our best defensive end this season. No player has made the most of every single snap they got like graham has. All u can do is BRING IT when snaps are given to you, and graham has been answering the bell all season long. His production per snap percentage is really high this season, and I’m willing to bet that it compares with that of JPP. JPP un,bers are higher, but he has had more then double the snaps that graham got.

        I’m anxiously waiting for McManus or shiel to do an article comparing JPP and Graham’s production PER SNAP percentage. I think it would be really interesting and shed some light on one of the few eagles who are BRINGING IT every time they line up

    • Wesley

      Really dude? Curry was an excellent pick. He is going to be the future for us at DE along with Graham. Its not his fault DE is such a deep position. There is no denying his talent. It would have been a bad locker room move had a veteran DE been deactivated for the rookie to play early on. Now he should get his chance since we have very little shot at playoffs moving forward.

      • casehop

        Our line is subpar and he can’t even dress for games let alone get on the field. ’nuff said. BTW, Alonza, Peters was hurt before the draft. We thought we had it covered with Bell. Another poor talent decision. Why aren’t our special teams special? Talent again. Even is we go 3-13 and have a high pick, we’re still screwed because HR is clueless. Time to find something else to do with your Sundays until JL sells the team or wakes up and smells the coffee.

      • NickFoles

        If he’s so damned talented why the hell won’t they play him?

    • aub32

      We didn’t need a tackle back in April. We were set at starting tackle with Peters and Herremans. King was still being looked at for whether or not he could find a starting gig some where but was a good back up. In 2010 and 2011 Roseman got ripped for not going BPA. Now you want to attack him for it. Curry may or may not pan out but it was a good pick. He was projected to go much higher but slipped.

    • The Guru

      I completely agree. Vinny Curry might be Bruce Smith….but offensive line was a HUGE question mark back in April since Peters went down in Feb. Why do we need a 7th DE when Mathis and Herremans are both over 30 and King Dunlap is your backup to Bell?

      • defroe81

        they cant win with the fans ever either we are mad because we go in the draft picking for needs or they are mad we go into the draft picking the best player available. i guess us eagles fans just can never be satisfied…

    • defroe81

      has nothing to do with curry’s play and all to do with everyone in front of him or did you not read the story?

  • daggolden

    Our defense is so good that we can afford to redshirt our 2nd round picks.

  • Tubby Must Go

    this is a typical eagles numbnuts coaching joke of a decision. the stupidity behind not playing Curry to see if he has any talent is mind boggling, this is why i hate tubby and his assistants including bowles. they can’t see obvious things that a casual fan can see…that Babin sucks this year and hasn’t delivered so why wouldn’t you play the rookie….god I hate this regime,

    • aub32

      So let me try and understand this. You want to bench a player that has over 30 sacks combined in the past 2 years for an unproven rookie? Babin may be having a down year, but he has earned his spot. Now if you believe Hunt or Tapp should be sat, that’s a legit argument. This is goes to show why fans don’t make personnel decisions.