December 27, 2017
An hour and a half before the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders kicked off on Monday Night Football, middle linebacker Joe Walker appeared on the Eagles' inactive list as a healthy scratch. Getting the start in his place was Dannell Ellerbe, a player the team signed on November 12.
Listening to Jim Schwartz's press conference on Wednesday, it seems that Ellerbe is the Eagles' new starting middle linebacker.
"It's probably the way we're leaning going forward," he said. "He's done things we liked. It wasn't an overnight thing getting him in there. He's worked really hard at it, and I think it showed in the game. He's tough, he's a good inside run defender, he uses his hands well, he's active. He stepped up and made a big tackle for loss in that game. Just like any other player, he's still got a long way to go, but I like the way he's trending and think that he can help us going forward."
On Monday, Ellerbe had four tackles, one of which was for a loss, as noted by Schwartz. He's a breakdown of that play by Brian Baldinger:
As Schwartz said, Ellerbe is a strong linebacker when working inside. However, there were times I felt that he looked a touch slow running to the sidelines. At a minimum, the tackle for loss illustrated above is more than Walker has shown this season.
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