Eagles Wake-Up Call: New-Look Curry Ready For Anything

The photo below was posted on Facebook recently, titled, “Vinny Curry, before and after Real Gymm.”

Real Gymm is in Keyport, New Jersey, not far from his hometown of Neptune City. Curry has been spending much of his time there this offseason, and is reaping the rewards.

“I feel much stronger. I look kind of different,” Curry said in a phone conversation with Birds 24/7. “More definition.”

It isn’t just strength training. Curry has been focusing on footwork and drops in the event that the new coaching staff opts for a version of the 3-4 and moves him to outside linebacker. Like Brandon Graham, Curry played some linebacker in high school before switching to defensive end. In his first couple seasons at Marshall, the Thundering Herd ran a 3-4 and he was asked to drop into coverage some, he said.

There is some familiarity with playing in space. And this isn’t exactly a crash course — Curry has been readying himself for a potential position change for a while now.

“All last year all I worked on it because I thought a 3-4 team was going to get me [in the draft],” said Curry. “As a student of the game you gravitate to all positions that fit your body type and skill set so you can overcome any obstacle.

“Whether my hand is in the dirt or I’m standing up, I promise you I will be prepared for both.”

It wasn’t a 3-4 team that got him, but rather the Eagles with the 59th overall pick last April. His rookie season did not go as planned, as he did not see the field until late November. He showed some flashes in his limited time but ended the year without a sack. Curry said he put 2012 behind him the moment time expired in the Giants game.

Despite the noticeable physical change, Curry said he will remain near last year’s playing weight of 270.

Whether it’s D-line or linebacker, Curry will see some familiar faces on the coaching staff. Defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro held the same post at Marshall during Curry’s freshman season before jumping to Oregon the next year. And inside linebackers coach Rick Minter served as both the defensive coordinator and interim head coach for the Herd when Curry was there.

“[Azzinaro] is excited for me. He can’t wait to get me going,” said Curry. “Coach Minter is one of the greatest coaches in the world, and we’re blessed to have him on the staff now.”

Not that he believes his relationships with the coaches will give him a leg up.

“I have to hold up my end bargain, so when it’s time for minicamps I am ready to rock and roll…I am trying to make my mark this season.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

Eight Eagles players are set to become free agents. Who will stay and who will go?

The Eagles officially signed quarterback G.J. Kinne Tuesday.

What can Kelly’s history with quarterbacks tell us about Nick Foles‘ chances? Sheil explores.

A look at what some of the experts are saying about QB Geno Smith.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Though there are plenty of holes to fill, Reuben Frank says the Eagles should remember the lessons from 2011 and go easy on big-ticket free agents.

Build through the draft, and you build with guys who’ve been raised on a certain work ethic and who have a connection to their teammates and the city and the uniform and the owner and the coach. This is all they’ve known. It means something.

Build with high-priced veterans from other teams and they’re generally not going to be committed to being Eagles. They don’t understand the city. They didn’t grow up here. Philly is simply a stop along the way for them. Just another payday. When they lose, ahh, who cares?

That’s what we saw the last couple years. Guys stopping through. None of them were true Eagles. Why do so many former players — from Ron Jaworski and Bill Bergey to Ike Reese and Jeremiah Trotter — still live here? Because Philly means something to them. It’s home.

Pro Football Focus put together a list of the 24 most undervalued players in the NFL. Evan Mathis made the cut.

Left guard: Evan Mathis
Cap difference: $9.2m

Proving 2011 wasn’t a fluke, Mathis firmly established himself as the most consistent, dependable and impressive guard in the league. Despite getting rewarded by the Eagles in the offseason, Mathis still showed he’s a great value and wound up our top-ranked guard for the second consecutive season.

The “cap difference” noted is the value by which a player’s production outpaced his cost against the cap.

COMING UP

Free agency is six days away. We’ll continue to get you prepped.