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Don Banks
September 03, 2012
DeMeco Ryans
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September 03, 2012


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DeMeco Ryans


The Eagles knew what they needed when they went shopping for a middle linebacker this off-season; they just didn't know where they'd find him. "It was important for our football team to go out and get a quarterback for our defense," G.M. Howie Roseman says. Philadelphia has been searching for the next Jeremiah Trotter since Trotter parted ways with the team (for the third time) after the 2009 season.

Enter Ryans, the Texans' two-time Pro Bowl selection and a strong locker room presence. "They didn't necessarily want to get rid of him," says Eagles coach Andy Reid. "They just had cap issues and kind of had to. Plus he was playing in their 3--4 defense last year, and I think he's a 4--3 middle linebacker." Philly swapped third-round picks with Houston and shipped a fourth-round pick to the Texans in exchange for their alltime leading tackler. Ryans suffered a torn Achilles tendon in 2010, and it wasn't until the final month of last season that he began to resemble the player who'd averaged more than 100 tackles a year over his first four seasons. The Eagles believe he's all the way back now and will end the gouging the Philly run defense endured last year.