The Philadelphia Eagles open up OTAs with fewer question marks than in past seasons. Coming off a Super Bowl appearance, the Eagles will bring the majority of their starters back. One area that will have new faces is the linebacker position. With that fact, the Eagles will need a new defensive signal caller. Early returns on OTAs see an exciting second-year linebacker stepping up.
Nakobe Dean to be Philadelphia Eagles New Defensive Signal Caller
Why the Defensive Signal Caller Role Became Available
Last season, the Eagles base defensive scheme deployed two off-the-ball linebackers a vast majority of the time. These two linebackers we’re T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White. In the offseason, the Eagles lost Edwards to the Chicago Bears. They suffered a similar result with White who was also a free agent. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
The loss of Edwards is particularly problematic. Besides his stellar play on the field, he was a defensive captain and a leader. He also wore the green dot for the defense last season, meaning he called the plays. With his departure, the Eagles will need someone to step up and fill that important role.
How Nakobe Dean Earned the Opportunity
The Eagles held their second of six OTAs on Thursday, June 1st. This was the first practice open to the media. The first opportunity for people to lay eyes on the 2023 squad. One big takeaway from this practice was Nakobe Dean’s role. Dean, the second-year linebacker, was running with the first-team defense. A good sign for Dean who the Eagles hope to step up this season. Dean could also be seen wearing the green dot at the start of OTAs.
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Dean was selected in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Georgia. Despite much hype, Dean did not have much of a role on the Eagles defense last season. The Eagles had outstanding depth last season; including the linebacker position. Dean was the primary backup to T.J. Edwards who was in on 94% of the snaps.
This is a big responsibility for Dean, however, this is not Dean’s first time as a defensive signal caller. At Georgia, Dean called plays for one of the best defenses in college football history.
This is an exceptional opportunity for the young linebacker. He gets the chance to start for the, make the play calls, and be a defensive leader. The Eagles new defensive coordinator Sean Desai is showing great faith in him and, Dean looks primed and ready to make the most of it.
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