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Once A Lion, This Osprey Is Now An Eagle

Posted Dec 10, 2014

The Eagles announced Wednesday morning they had signed safety Jerome Couplin III from Detroit's practice squad. Not more than two hours later he was with his new teammates in the NovaCare Complex field house, taking part in his first Chip Kelly training session.

It was just another day in the rookie's back and forth, roller coaster of a first year in the NFL.

A rookie free agent signing of the Lions out of William and Mary, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Couplin played in eight games this season for the Lions. He also spent two weeks with the Bills in November before being re-signed to the Lions' practice squad.

Head coach Chip Kelly said before Wednesday's training session that he and the rest of the Eagles' coaching staff liked what they've seen from Couplin on tape, and wanted to get an up-close look to see if the coaches can develop his talent.

"Big, tall safety. We think he's got potential," head coach Chip Kelly said. "We've got to see where he is, see where his skill set is. He could be a dime for us. He's got a unique skill set."

After Wednesday's training session, Couplin said the Eagles told him that they had their eyes on him ever since Detroit first cut him earlier this season.

That was new to Couplin. He hadn't been contacted by the Eagles. It turned out they had been watching him from afar, and decided this was the right time to make the move for the young safety.

"When they called my agent yesterday, I was very shocked," Couplin said. "But it's a blessing, it's an honor, and I'm going to take full advantage of it."

Upon his official signing this morning, Couplin said the coaches told him "to do (his) best, to learn the system, learn everything as fast as I can and be prepared to contribute."

He played on three of the four core special teams units with Detroit, playing punt return, kick return and kickoff coverage.

One of Couplin's biggest assets is his size. He also sports an 81-inch wingspan, which earned him the nickname "Osprey" and helped him in high school sports, particularly basketball.

"Well I could dunk, first of all," Couplin said with a laugh. "And I could block other people's shots as a defender."

Couplin said he's also made good use of his wide-ranging reach on the football field.

"It helps me get to defend some passes that I might not have been able to get to, or a ball that people might have to reach and get," Couplin explained. "It comes in handy."

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