DeMeco Ryans Says He Can Play In A 3-4

Philadelphia Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans.Any time the talk of the Eagles potentially switching to 3-4 defense is brought up, the conversation generally hits a snag when you get to DeMeco Ryans.

The 27-year-old middle linebacker was shipped to Philadelphia from Houston with the label, “Can’t Play In A 3-4” written in big letters across the packaging.

Ryans says it was false advertising.

“I can play in any defense, it’s not that big of a deal,” said Ryans. “In a 3-4, it wasn’t that the defense didn’t fit for me. I played the whole year with the Texans and we were a top defense in the league, so it wasn’t that I didn’t fit the scheme.”

Indeed, the Texans were ranked second overall as a defense in 2011, holding opponents to 286 yards and 17 points per game. Ryans, though, finished with just 64 tackles after recording over 100 in each of his first four seasons.

“With their package they only have one linebacker that plays on third down, so I was the guy out and Brian [Cushing] was the guy in,” Ryans explained. “So when we are playing teams who are playing five wide, of course I don’t see the field [as much]. It wasn’t that I didn’t fit the 3-4 scheme. A lot of people put that out there, but that wasn’t the case at all.”

This season with the Eagles, Ryans has played 99.7 percent of the snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. That has resulted in 146 tackles and 16 tackles for a loss, per the stats kept by the team. As Sheil has brought to light, no player in the Andy Reid era has posted more tackles for a loss in a season.

“Just getting back out there, getting into the feel of the game, not on and off, on and off. This year I felt great and I had fun out there,” said Ryans.

It is possible that his dip in production last season was  injury-related as well. Ryans suffered a torn Achilles and missed the majority of the 2010 campaign for Houston. It is totally plausible that were some lingering effects.

He made it pretty clear that this year that those issues are behind him, and is willing to adapt to whatever situation — or scheme — is thrown at him.

“Teams turn over a lot nowadays. You have to approach it like any other time,” said Ryans. “If there are changes, you have to roll with whatever is in front of you. I accept whatever is put out there in front of me.”

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  • Buddy Ryan

    Monti Te’o, welcome to Philly!

  • CMS

    The most important player in a 3 -4 is the nose tackle. If the they move in that direction the Eagles would need a player like Star Lotulelei or Johnathan Hankins in the middle.

    • xlGmanlx

      Dixon could play that spot, which I think he did this year for the colts

  • Sean

    I would love demeco and mychal in the middle. With graham and cole as our rush LBs. Our 3-4 DEs could be Cullen and Fletcher. Then draft Star as our NT……. Good start to me

    • Big Chief

      I think they could throw Dixon in there for now but a nice 350 lb NT would be great! They don’t grow on trees though

    • xlGmanlx

      makes a lot of sense, however the key is the coaching staff. We need good assistants, and good instructors. Teams have switched to the 3-4 and had success right away, but we need the next “wade Philips” to squeeze every last bit of talent out of those players. On paper, and with Big Chief’s suggestion of Dixon playing the middle, it could at least be a look that they show. Any time you could get Mecco, Kendricks, Curry/Cole, Graham, Cox, Jenkins on the field at the same time attacking, it sounds very intriguing.

  • 1972

    i would pass on the 3-4 for now..jenkins is gone after this year , especially if we draft star ANd just resigned dixon. sure up that back end before we start touching the front 7

  • xlGmanlx

    I think Mecco has earned the respect with results on the field and on tape. If he says he can play the 3-4, I believe him, and nothing on Sundays has shown that he isn’t a man of his word.

    • Johngiam

      I agree. Dameco has been a godsend! I am intruiged by the 3-4…but I will always be a 4-3 guy Philly bred! I think at the LB position it’s more valuable to have a veteran like Dameco teach a player like Kendrick’s, then anything Kendrick’s can earn from his LB coach. We need to take advantage of having this type of mentor in Dameco and bring him another supreme talent alongside Kendrick’s to tutor. with Dameco and Kendrick’s in place, THIS IS OUR CHANCE overcome Andy devaluing a position that we all know IS VITAL, and for the first time in god knows how long to make our LB. yore a strength. Would love to see either Jarvis or Manti brought in to learn on the fly from Dameco. I think both players can play the SAM in a 4-3

      Jarvis: we all know he is being touted as a rush, 3-4 SSLB, but I just think he is that RARE PHYSICAL FREAK that can play any LB, in any scheme, and basically do whatever you ask of him, and grow to do it at a darn High level!…I would have no problems asking Jarvis to blanket TE, rush the QB…or run support! That kid is a JPP freak athlete and I expect Jarvis and Star Latululei to make the combine THEIR BITCH!

      Manti: is touted as the traditional mike in a 4-3 scheme. if we drafted eventually that where he would land..but I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t play the SAM for us at a high level for the first two seasons…then when Dameco gets put heir in age, and moves on Manti slides into the middle and takes Over the defense. There are plays with higher ceilingst hen Manti teo…but he is about as close as a cant miss prospect as it gets. When you have howie roseman picking your players, the security about not having to worry about Howie screwing up the pick can be appealing. What impresses me the most about Manti…is that for a guy so TOUGH and stout in run support, he mite even be better dropping back in coverage…It’s extremely impressive and see no reason why he could t spend his first two seasons blanketing Jason Witten.

      We have went too long without the Linebacking chore being a strength. That needs to change, and I’m ready for it to change now. factor inte fact that you got Dameco tutoring whatever young talent you draft at that position, and I believe getting a starting SAM in THIS DRAFT to complete the linebackers is PARAMOUNT!! I would be thrilled to have Manti or Jarvis… HOWEVER…..

      If you were to tell me, hey don’t worry about SAM because we will definitely draft Chase Thomas out of Stanford in the 3rd round…If I knew that he was a top priority for Howie Roseman, then without question I would do whatever it takes to walk away from the 1st round with STAR Latululie! basically I believe that Star can have more of an impact on the other 10 plays onthe defense. I believe star and Cox is truly that cornerstone of a young defense that you can start building around….put it to you this way, I LOVE CHASE THOMAS in the third round, and I don’t love any Tackles in the 3rd round…that’s what in my mind gives the nod to Star over Manti or Jarvis.

      I meAn can anyone really argue against walking away from then first 3 rounds with Star, Chase Thomas, and Matt Elam at Safety(2nd round)? There are few scenarios possible that would make me as happy as that. Walking away fromtbjne first 3 rounds with a young player I believe in at all 3 stages oft he defense!!…Rou d 4 and 5 then need to be dedicated to a QB and a lineman. Would actually prefer drafting a center over a tackle or guard….I mean if we were to walk away from the draft with those 3 players, our defense would really start taking shape. Think about it, the Dline and LBs would be set….and you go into free agency needing to shore up the secondary: Im no GM, and would never claim to be….JARIUS BYRD the 26yr old COMPLETE safety front he bills would be my number 1 target in all of free agency!! I pray he doesn’t get franchised and that buffalo doesn’t want to commit top dollar in their small market to a safety…we were able to trade peters away from them, because they didn’t want to pay top dollar, so I guess it’s not out of the relm of possabilitythat it could happen again…Dream world, I would sign DRC, cut Nmandi and sign the physical Truphant for one season…so I can get to next offseason, where my top priorities next years draft would be a young stud corner, a young stud offensive tackle.

  • Sensei

    I honestly want no part of the 3-4 as I think a fairly good 4-3 defense can see the field next year and see no reason to warrant a change because pass d will still be bad if we don’t find some secondary players no matter the front