When Vinny Curry began his college career at Marshall, he played defensive end in a 3-4.
His position coach at the time? Jerry Azzinaro. Yes, that’s the same Jerry Azzinaro who is now coaching the Eagles’ defensive line. He spent one year at Marshall before joining Chip Kelly at Oregon and eventually in Philadelphia.
While many (yours truly included) expected Curry to make the switch to outside linebacker this offseason, he’ll instead be under Azzinaro’s direction – for now, at least.
“Last year, I was disappointed with the playing time,” Curry said. “This year, I’m just hungry. I just want to get on the field and help this team win football games.”
Curry says he is up to 278 pounds after having played at around 260 in 2012 (he weighed in at 266 at last year’s Combine). As a rookie, he didn’t dress until Week 11 and played a total of 89 snaps (per PFF), failing to notch either a hurry or a sack.
The purpose of this mini-camp is for Kelly and the coaching staff to continue the process of evaluating the team’s current personnel. In other words, nothing is set in stone in terms of where Curry will play or what his responsibilities will be. But playing the 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 is obviously completely different than playing in the wide-9 in a 4-3.
“Everything is more from a technique and striking standpoint,” Curry explained. “Last year was just how fast can you go. Here, it’s going to take more patience, striking your guy, relaxing, seeing the second key.”
The Eagles were in the market for versatile defensive linemen during free agency, but ended up only signing veteran nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga.
They will likely add more bodies in next week’s draft, which could affect Curry’s role. But for now, the 24-year-old is putting his trust in the coaching staff and hoping to make an impression this offseason.
WHAT YOU MISSED
The new experience at the NovaCare Complex includes custom-made smoothies, music during practices and players wearing heart monitors.
Trent Cole says he played through a snapped bone and tendon in his right hand last year.
Brent Celek says the Eagles’ new way of calling offensive plays will “change the league.”
Michael Vick said the team’s been running a lot of read-option. What about Nick Foles? “Everybody got two legs,” Vick said.
EJ Manuel likes his chances of landing in Philly.
Geno Smith and Star Lotulelei are popular choices for the Birds in the latest mock draft roundup.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Clark Judge of CBSSports.com says the Eagles have to draft a quarterback with one of their first two picks:
I don’t deny that Michael Vick has rare ability. I don’t deny that he can still operate an offense or run for first downs or launch a bomb over the deepest defender. What I don’t believe is that he can win. He was 10-13 the past two years and hasn’t won a playoff game since January 2005.
That tells me something. It tells me Philadelphia had better look at the next available quarterback.
Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports put out an ultimate mock draft. He uses the real draft order, but projects picks using all available players, not just college prospects. At No. 4, he awards the Eagles with Robert Griffin III:
Given that RG3 is coming off a severe knee injury, which ended his transcendent rookie season, this may not seem like a prudent choice. Chip Kelly, the Eagles’ new coach, doesn’t care. The man is a risk-taker, and the thought of having the unreasonably athletic and preternaturally accurate Griffin direct a pro-style version of the spread-oriented offense Kelly ran at Oregon is too enticing to disregard. ‘Skins fans, don’t adjust your HDTV screens: Mike Shanahan’s face did, in fact, turn purple.
The Eagles wrap up their first mini-camp. We’ll be at NovaCare, talking to more players.