The newest Eagle DeMeco Ryans met the Philly media for the first time today and expressed his surprise and excitement after being traded by the Texans after 7 seasons. Ryans said he had no idea a trade was coming and was preparing for another season in Houston, but he was excited to learn that he’d be coming to a team as successful as the Eagles have been in recent years.
Andy Reid told reporters that considers Ryans to be "one of the top 4-3 middle linebackers in the NFL" and that having Ryans is "like having a QB on the defensive side of the ball." The coach says that Ryans’ experience will be important for the Eagles young LB corps.
Ryans said he was looking forward to getting back in a 4-3 defense, where he says he’s a natural fit inside. He’s played MIKE in a 4-3 since high school, but when the Texans shifted a 3-4 last season, he was clearly miscast as a weakside backer in that scheme. He says he’s looking forward to being back in natural position.
As for the Achillies injury that he suffered in 2010, Ryans admitted that it it did slow him at the beginning of last year, but at the end of the season he was feeling like his old self again. He declared that he’s back to 100% now.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman says that the team believes DeMeco played his best football in the playoffs last year. They had also went back and looked at tape of him playing in a 4-3 system when the Texans played the NFC East 2 years ago and were impressed by what they saw.