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August 06, 2017

Eagles could use newly acquired DB Corey Graham in three-safety sets

Eagles NFL

Last Thursday, when the Philadelphia Eagles announced that they had agreed to terms with former Bears, Ravens, and Bills defensive back Corey Graham, it was somewhat unclear what his role would be with the team.

Graham played cornerback under Jim Schwartz in Buffalo, but at the age of 32, had since converted to safety, where he started all 16 games the last two years.

It gives us depth, obviously, at [safety], said Doug Pederson on Friday. "Great character guy, good competition, veteran player. Like always, it gives us depth at the position. So we'll see where he's at health-wise and get him out here and get him going."

On Sunday, Schwartz expanded on the role Graham will have in the Eagles' defense, and what he does well.

"We're going to start him off at safety," Schwartz confirmed. "One of the things we like about him is that he's a multi-dimensional player. He's even played the nickel in the past. He's played corner. He has the ability to match up against wide receivers. I think that's one of his strong points. He made 100 tackles I think a couple years ago, so he's a reliable player. I think that's the bottom line. He's smart, he makes quick adjustments. I was only with him one year, but he played in the division when I was in Detroit, with Chicago. He's always been a good special teams player."

Schwartz also noted that Graham could get on the field even with a good starting safety duo in Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod.

"Malcolm has played some nickel in the past, particularly when we like some of those matchups in there, so there's potential for that opportunity in there for a three-safety package, which we played probably more due to necessity last year," he said. "Some was on our terms, but some was due to necessity, but it allows us to potentially do it more on our terms."

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