Vinny Curry grew up an Eagles fan, so in a lot of respects this is a dream job for him. But his time in Philadelphia has come with its share of frustrations. And as he embarks on his second season, it’s unclear exactly how he fits into the team’s plans — if he fits into them at all.
The Neptune, New Jersey native found himself in a familiar spot Monday night: on the inactive list. He did not dress for the first 10 games his rookie season. Curry was hoping those days were behind him, but was relegated to the sidelines once again on Monday night while the other six defensive linemen on the roster were active and saw playing time against Washington.
There is some talk that he is simply not a fit for this scheme and is best suited as a pass rusher in a 4-3.
Is it time to move on?
His representation is open the idea.
“Vinny’s main objective is to play and play at a high level,” agent Kevin Connor told Birds 24/7. “The question becomes, can that happen in Philly or do we need to facilitate an opportunity outside of Philly if it makes sense for all parties.”
One of the tricky things when it comes to dealing Curry is finding appropriate compensation. The Eagles spent a second-round pick on the former Marshall standout in 2012. Given that he is still a relative unknown in this league, it’s difficult to envision a team offering that same value in return for Curry’s services. That’s not to say he wouldn’t draw interest. Any team that runs a 4-3 defense and is looking for a pass rusher could see value.
Howie Roseman will have a say in whether Curry stays or goes. The general manager suggested that the decision not to play Curry this week had more to do with the opponent the Eagles were facing than anything else.
“Vinny Curry has tremendous pass rush potential and showed that in the preseason. That’s why he is on our team,” said Roseman. “Each week we try to match up our active players versus the skill set of the team we are playing.”
The Redskins were the top rushing team in 2012. Stopping the run is not Curry’s strength, so the explanation makes sense.
Chip Kelly, meanwhile, offered this take:
“Why was Vinny Curry inactive? Just because we were only going to have six d-linemen active for the game,” he said.
“It was just a combination of what our depth is. In that game we were going to have six d-linemen active, we weren’t going to have seven. And then we always factor in when it comes to backup guys special teams.”
Curry has been the odd man out for a good portion of his time in Philly.
He did not appear in a game until late November his rookie season — one day before Jason Babin was released from the team. A disgruntled Jim Washburn was axed the next week, and Curry finished out the string playing for new defensive line coach Tommy Brasher on a bad Eagles team during the final, ugly days of the Andy Reid reign.
Out went the old coaching staff and in came Kelly, who hired Billy Davis to overhaul the defense. The 4-3 pass rusher would have to find a way to adapt and survive in a 3-4. So he bulked up about 15 pounds to about 280 this offseason to try and make it as a 3-4 end. He flashed at times during the preseason, showing a quick first step while applying frequent pressure to the quarterback. However, sources indicate that Curry’s game isn’t an ideal fit for the two-gap 3-4 scheme that Davis is trying to run.
That leaves Curry as more of a situational player for this team. By the sounds of it, he’ll see action when a pass-rushing specialist is needed. That certainly wasn’t the goal for either Curry or the Eagles when he was selected with the 59th overall pick in April of 2012.
Roseman gave an interesting quote about the effects of coaching and schematic changes back in May.
“…When you talk with people around the league, they tell you, ‘When you change coaches, when you change schemes, there are going to be good players who fall by the wayside,’ and that’s hard for the general manager because you know it’s a good player. You know in a different scheme he’s going to be a good player, but at the same time you know it’s not a good fit for you.”
You wonder if Curry is in that boat, or if there is still room for him on the team he grew up rooting for.
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