On Tuesday afternoon, linebacker Stephen Tulloch reunited with the man who had him drafted 10 years ago.
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“The Tennessee Titans were about to draft a guy from another school, so Coach (Jim) Schwartz goes into (Titans head coach Jeff) Fisher’s office and shows him tape of my highlights in college and changed Coach Fisher’s mind,” Tulloch said. “I was the 116th pick in the 2006 draft and the rest is history.”
Tulloch and Schwartz prepare for their third stint together. Schwartz spent three years as his defensive coordinator in Tennessee from 2006-08, and three as Tulloch’s head coach Detroit Lions from 2011-13. When Tulloch got the call from the Eagles, he was ready to go to work and play the game he’s loved since he was a 5-year-old.
After linebacker Joe Walker was lost for the season with an ACL injury, it was clear the Eagles were going to need some additional help at the linebacker position. That’s why it was no surprise to anyone, including the players currently in the locker room, when head coach Doug Pederson announced the team had agreed to terms with veteran Stephen Tulloch on Monday.
Welcome back, Rasheed Bailey. The local kid who had such a strong 2015 preseason for the Eagles is back after seeing some time in Jacksonville and then San Diego, where he suffered a preseason injury last year and was waived.
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The Eagles know enough about Bailey, who adds to the competition at wide receiver.
“He is a guy that has route skill, a guy that has ball skills, a guy that we’re excited to have back,” Douglas said.
Quarterback Matt Barkley replaced Mark Sanchez and hit rookie wide receiver Rasheed Bailey on a pair of consecutive passes of 25 yards to put the Eagles in position for a 35-yard field goal from Cody Parkey.
It’s certainly possible that the Eagles will add some ammunition to the offensive line in the offseason, either in free agency or in the draft, bolstering depth and increasing competition. Seumalo figures to Philadelphia Eagles jerseys push for playing time at either guard or center in 2017 and Vaitai played well enough at right tackle that the Eagles think he can be a strong player on the edges of the offensive line. The Eagles also have Josh Andrews, a guard/center, and Dillon Gordon, a converted tight end from LSU with enormous athletic ability, as a project at the tackle positions.
Overall, the offensive line is in good shape. Is it a dominating line? At times this year, the Eagles have been dominating. Another year together, and a full season with Johnson at right tackle, certainly would help the picture.
Guard/center Josh Andrews suffered a concussion on Wednesday at practice, making him unable to play on Sunday against Miami. In need of a backup center, the Eagles plan to bring back Vandervelde. To make room for Vandervelde on the roster, the Eagles released linebacker Brad Jones.