Schwartz: ‘I Have A Lot Of Respect’ For Tulloch
After ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday night that the Eagles are in “serious negotiations” with former Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch, a deal may not be as close as it once appeared. Les Bowen of the Daily News tweeted Sunday morning that although there are discussions, “nothing seems imminent.”
Jim Schwartz, who coached Tulloch for both the Lions and Titans, addressed the free agent after practice Sunday.
“I got a lot of background with Steve,” Schwartz said. “I was with Tennessee when we drafted him; [he] ended up being starting middle linebacker for us there. When I was head coach in Detroit, we brought him up there. I have a lot of respect for that guy and his production. But last week, when you guys asked me similar questions, I said the same thing: Howie [Roseman] and Joe [Douglas], those guys — all the scouts — are always looking for ways to improve our team.
“So, whoever is out there that can improve our team, whether it’s a guy like ‘Tully’ who is unsigned, or guys that are on other teams, that they’re looking at roster numbers. We’re going to watch preseason games and be looking at the waiver wire, who might be cap casualties. That’s what the personnel department does. I trust those guys to explore every option that would help us.”
The Eagles defensive coordinator also singled out seventh-round pick Joe Walker as a young linebacker who has stepped up during training camp.
“All [have], at times. But like a lot of young players, they’re all trying to work through inconsistencies,” Schwartz said. “I think Joe Walker has done a very good job of handling all the stuff that goes along with being a Mike linebacker. I said a couple days ago I wasn’t giving gold stars to Jordan Hicks for doing that, but Jordan’s not a rookie and Joe is. When he’s out there, he does a nice job with it.”
Although the Eagles appear to have a pretty good trio of starting linebackers, they have very little depth. The primary backups are mostly rookies like Walker, Myke Tavarres and Quentin Gause, but Schwartz said he doesn’t necessarily see a need to add older backups for depth purposes.
“We have some good veterans here. Najee Goode is a young veteran, but I think he does a great job in that role. I think we’ve got a good mix of younger players and older players,” Schwartz said. “I don’t think you go in with preconceived notions that way. I don’t think you sit there and say, ‘Yeah, we have ‘X’ number of vets and ‘X’ number of rookies.’ We leave that to Howie and Joe and the personnel guys. We’ll coach who’s out there.”