Eagles Wake-Up Call: Ryans On Health, Moves
DeMeco Ryans continues to send out positive signals about his recovery from an Achilles tear.
During an appearance on Comcast SportsNet Thursday, the 30-year-old linebacker said his rehab is going “really great” — far better than it did back in 2010 when he suffered a similar injury — and sounded confident that he’ll be green-lighted before long.
“I’ve been out on the field, doing some running, put the cleats on last week, doing some position drills. I’m in the weight room lifting with the guys, doing everything that they’re doing,” he said. “I feel really good with where I am right now in the recovery phase. I think with the OTAs and the minicamp, I’ll ease my way back into those. I’m not going to rush it doing things over the summer but I’ll definitely be ready to go full-go during training camp.”
Some uncertainty accompanied Ryans into the offseason given that he was coming off a major injury and was set to cost $7 million against the Eagles’ cap in 2015. The subsequent flurry of moves by Chip Kelly, which included the acquisition of inside linebacker Kiko Alonso, only clouded things further.
“I was just like everybody else. You don’t know as players what’s going on, what kind of moves are going to be made. I was of course surprised by some of the moves. You don’t really know where you stand,” Ryans acknowledged. “You’re just looking for some type of stability.”
That stability came in the form of a contract extension that assured Ryans that he was still in their plans (while also reducing his cap hit).
“For the Eagles to step up and Coach Kelly and those guys, for them to extend me for another year on my contract, that was awesome. I definitely feel great about being here another two years. I’m excited about it, excited about having another player like Kiko join our linebacking group, another playmaker, so it’s going to be fun.”
There are details still to be ironed out — like how time will be split between Ryans, Alonso and Mychal Kendricks when all are healthy (assuming they’re all still here) — but Ryans believes the bottom line is that the defense got better this offseason.
“I feel like this is really a much-improved defense,” he said. “We got better on the outside, which we struggled at last year — we had a lot of struggles there on the outside at the corner position, so I feel we’ve upgraded there with [Byron] Maxwell, a guy that you’ve seen make a lot of plays for the Seahawks…A guy like Kiko, who his rookie year was a really outstanding player, up for Defensive Rookie of the Year, a play-maker all over the field; and another guy in [Walter] Thurmond who is expected to definitely push guys to be the starting corner on the other side. So I feel like we upgraded at a lot of positions, and I feel like it’s really going to improve our defense.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Any chance the Eagles draft Marcus Peters if he’s available? Thoughts on that and more in the latest Twitter Mailbag.
Sheil takes a look at intriguing cornerback prospect Kevin Johnson.
The strongest report yet suggesting the Chargers will deal for No. 2 pick to acquire Marcus Mariota.
An Eagles slant to the Titans-Chargers trade rumors.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
NFL Media columnist Adam Schein says the personnel people he’s talked to aren’t buying the Philip Rivers-Titans trade talk.
One NFC general manager was crystal clear in his explanation for this: “This is all being driven by Rivers.”
OK, I’m listening.
He continued, “Nashville is close to where Rivers is from. He’s a family man. The Titans need a buzz. They would pay him. His agent (Jimmy Sexton) is (based) in Tennessee.”
When another NFC general manager was pressed on the subject, his response was telling: “I checked in on Rivers. It was a quick conversation. (Chargers GM) Tom (Telesco) said he wasn’t available. San Diego told me he’s not going anywhere.”
Mike Mayock tells the Daily News that ASU safety Damarious Randall is on the rise.
“Randall is by far the best cover safety in the draft. Because of the way Arizona State plays defense, you can see him play a ton of man-to-man, which is so helpful (in evaluating him). He’s a guy that there’s been a lot of buzz about for the last month or so. He reminds me of Jimmy Ward, who was drafted in the first round last year by San Francisco. But he’s not as physical or as good a tackler as Ward.’’
We’ll look at a possible offensive line target for the Eagles.