May 18, 2022
Another week in May, another round of Eagles media availability.
This week Landon Dickerson, Avonte Maddox, Quez Watkins, Marcus Epps, and T.J. Edwards each spoke to the media, and just off the heels of the James Bradberry signing.
Here's the best of what they had to say:
Like with many of the returning players, Year 2 under Nick Sirianni has started with a lot more familiarity. For Dickerson, he has a more clearly defined role at left guard between Jason Kelce and Jordan Mailata. Though he wouldn't say he's locked into it by any means.
"I mean, I wouldn't say that I'm entrenched," Dickerson said. "There are a lot of good guys in that room. We're all competing against each other, trying to make each other better. We still have a lot of time until the first game, so you never know what's gonna happen with the lineup, who's gonna be playing, so I'm just trying to get better every day no matter where they put me."
By the way, when did he find out Mailata was on "The Masked Singer" as a contestant?
"Uh....think it was like a couple days before it aired. I don't know. I don't think he was supposed to tell me that, but I kept it hush-hush."
Here's how Maddox found out about the Bradberry signing earlier today:
"I walked in the locker room, I didn't even know about it because I didn't look at my phone or anything like that, but then I saw a few guys talking about it then I looked at my phone and saw it. So pretty lit, pretty cool. High praise for the player and the guy, so I'm excited to work with him."
Bradberry is just the latest in a series of defensive additions from Haason Reddick to Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean at the draft last month. Does that put extra pressure on the Eagles to perform?
"It's no pressure, I mean it starts with us. You don't want to listen to the outside. Whatever we have in this building is just us and we know what we have, what we're capable of."
Like nearly everyone on the Eagles, Watkins is happy about the trade to bring in A.J. Brown.
"I loved it, honestly. Extra guy in the room, extra threat in the room. So for us, it's just gonna be dynamic."
He said he doesn't expect his role to change, but talked about the adjustment to playing in the slot last year after spending whole his career prior on the outside. He said it was like running through an obstacle course of defenders rather than having to just beat one corner. It took some getting used to, but he believes he's better for it.
"Last year helped me get out of my comfort zone. I played outside all my career, college and stuff like that, but moving into the slot got me out of my comfort zone and I'm just able to go inside, go outside, able to do both. It's another tool for me."
He believes the rest of the team is better too going into the second year under Sirianni's coaching staff.
"For us, in that aspect, it's about trust. The first year, we were learning, feeling each other out. This year it's like now 'alright we got our trust in, we got our foot in the door, now it's time to unleash.'
"We understand each other better, as a group, as a whole offense. We understand each other a lot better, and we know what we're capable of."
What about Jalen Hurts?
"Jalen's gonna be Jalen. He's always confident, he's always a leader, and coming into this year he's gonna continue being that leader and being that guy for us."
After signing Bradberry, the Eagles addressed every position on defense but safety. Right now it's Anthony Harris at strong safety and then either K'Von Wallace or Marcus Epps filling in for Rodney McLeod, who left to sign with Indianapolis, at free safety.
Epps, however, doesn't want to look at it like he's replacing McLeod.
"I don't really look at it as seeing as I gotta fill anybody's shoes. Rodney's in his own lane. Great player, great leader, great teammate for this organization for a while. So I'm not taking the approach of I have to fill anybody's shoes or be anybody else. I'm just trying to be myself day in and day out."
There's still a chance the Eagles could make a move for a safety down the line. There's still plenty of time to do it. But Epps said he isn't wasting time on what he can't control.
"My biggest thing is I try to focus on things I can control, and the only thing I can control right now is me and my actions and what I do every day."
Between Reddick, Dean and sixth-round pick Kyron Johnson, there were a few additions to the Eagles' linebackers room, but no concern from T.J. Edwards that his role would change. The more depth, the better.
"It's awesome, really what it is. I think the more depth you have, the more pieces you have, the more you can do.
"I think we brought in some really good additions and guys that have really played football at a high level, so I think it adds more to what we can do. You look at that, you look at it as competition, and everyone's gonna get better from that really."
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