Trent Cole: 42
Jason Babin: 41
Darryl Tapp: 20
Phillip Hunt: 15
Brandon Graham: 4
Four. That’s not a lot to work with for the former first-round pick, who has fought back from microfracture knee surgery and a torn ACL to try and get back in the mix. But Graham says he’s thankful for every morsel he’s fed.
“You know how I feel about that. If I can keep them all, I will,” said Reid. “As many as you can keep. I think that’s an important position. Put a lot of responsibility on them. We’ll have to see how the numbers turn out, but I don’t like giving up good defensive linemen.”
“Brandon’s on a mission,” Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said today. “You can ask him, and he’ll tell you the same thing. He’s on a mission. We expect some good things from Brandon. But he’s in a dogfight, just like all of them. It’s tough to keep 12 of them.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast locally on 6-ABC.
Tim and I will be there, and we’ll be hosting a live chat right here, so be sure to join us.
Meanwhile, here’s a cheat-sheet for you: 10 things to keep an eye on this evening.
Jim Washburn put the depth chart up this morning, and it showed “Graham” as one of the starting defensive ends. Granted, it took injuries to both Jason Babin and now Trent Cole to get there, but he’ll take it.
“It feels good because I’ve been working, man,” said Brandon Graham. “That’s the goal – to get the Number One spot. Jason Babin and those guys did a lot last year, but there is competition every year and everybody deserves a chance for that Number One. And hopefully I can push myself up there.”
Is he a fit for this system?
He was drafted before Jim Washburn got here, after all. Some men are Wide-9 guys, and some aren’t. What category does Graham fall into? Depends who you ask.
Jim Washburn rarely holds back.
Through two-and-a-half days of training camp at Lehigh, the Eagles defensive line coach has been as vocal as ever. The fact that there are probably only two defensive linemen here (Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry) who will make the roster doesn’t matter to him. He prides himself on being able to motivate everyone – from Pro Bowlers like Trent Cole to undrafted free agents.
But when Brandon Graham steps onto the field later this week, Washburn is pretty sure motivation won’t be an issue.
“He doesn’t need Vinny Curry to motivate him,” Washburn said, referring to the fact that the Eagles spent a second-round pick on another defensive end. “He’s got everything to motivate him. He’s been beat down. That’s the way it goes, right? You’re a first-round draft choice. You don’t produce great the first year. The guy up north [Jason Pierre-Paul] playing his ass off. People throw that in his face all the time. Somebody said, ‘You gonna pimp him to death?’ I said uh-uh. I don’t have to. I don’t need to.”