Eagles Pass-Rusher Picking Ex-Steelers Brain to See Who ‘I Can Talk To’

Javon Hargrave


Former Steelers DT Javon Hargrave has been giving his new teammates in Philly trash-talking ideas.

Anybody who watched the Eagles on Amazon Prime’s “All or Nothing” sequence final yr discovered rapidly that Brandon Graham likes to run his mouth. In a great way, not in a demeaning or annoying method. Graham, who ranks fifth all-time for sacks (54) in franchise historical past, likes to have enjoyable on the market — and playfully rib opponents. Simply ask Tom Brady.

So it ought to come as no shock that Graham has been interrogating new Eagles defensive deal with Javon Hargrave concerning the distinctive personalities within the Steelers’ locker room. Hargrave spent his first 4 NFL seasons in Pittsburgh earlier than cashing in on a $39 million contract in Philly this offseason. Whereas the prized free agent hasn’t but made a serious affect for the Eagles’ protection — half a sack on 99 defensive snaps in three video games — his recommendation on how to finest trash-talk the Steelers may show invaluable.

“I attempt to work out what kind of particular person that every man is, that Hargrave can keep in mind,” Graham told reporters on Thursday. “I believe he does a great job of, you know how I play, I like to speak so I wished to see who I may speak to.”

Graham was half-joking as a result of he is aware of the Steelers pose a stiff take a look at, particularly with their floor sport. They rank eighth within the NFL in speeding yards per sport (139.7) paced by energy working backs James Conner and Benny Snell.

“After which on prime of that, the working backs,” Graham mentioned. “They downhill, it’s an influence working sport and these boys do a great job of taking part in collectively. They’ll say that about us [Eagles defensive line], too. It’s going to come down who’s extra bodily, who can deal with, who can break tackles, I suppose, for they sake.”

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Eagles Prime in Sacks, Room for Enchancment

The Eagles-Steelers matchup will pit the 2 finest groups at sacking the quarterback in 2020 in opposition to one another. They use two very completely different strategies, too. Pittsburgh brings a extra blitz-happy entrance, whereas Philly picks their spots and lets the protection dictate how a lot strain to carry. Each types have been extraordinarily efficient.

The Eagles lead all the NFL in sacks with 17 by way of 4 video games this yr, together with pummeling Bengals rookie Joe Burrow to the tune of eight sacks and 18 quarterback hits. However the Steelers are proper behind them with 15 sacks in solely three video games after their contest versus Tennessee being postponed due to COVID-19 issues.

Pretty much as good because the Eagles have been, Graham thinks they are often higher. Particularly with reinforcements on the way in which. Keep in mind, Hargrave and Derek Barnett missed all of coaching camp and Vinny Curry hasn’t performed since Week 1.

“I really feel like we’ve been performing some nice issues to this point however I really feel like there’s room for enchancment,” Graham mentioned. “We received to make sure that we take over these video games a bit of extra as a result of I really feel like we haven’t even hit all of it the way in which but. Hargrave is lastly now feeling actually good … Derek Barnett, similar there. Vinny’s again. It’s up to us to take it to one other gear.”

Don’t Neglect About Massive Ben Roethlisberger

All of it begins with stopping the run, in accordance to Graham, however that doesn’t imply you possibly can sleep on Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers quarterback has two Tremendous Bowl rings and may need a bust ready for him in Canton when it’s all mentioned and executed. Roethlisberger isn’t as cellular as he used to be, though he can nonetheless use his legs in a pinch.

“He’s not nervous in any respect,” Graham mentioned. “He’s actual calm when he’s shifting round, likes to sidestep, he’s actual good within the pocket and he could make all of the throws. We received to make sure that we a minimum of disrupt him first after which if you happen to can’t get him down, maintain him up — make sure that he can’t throw the ball to allow them to blow the whistle lifeless.”

The person often known as Massive Ben has 1,361 profession speeding yards, however solely 11 this yr. At 6-foot-5, 240 kilos, Roethlisberger stays a staggering physique to take down as soon as he will get exterior the pocket. They want to account for him at all times.

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