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Tim Hauck: Philly Will Embrace McLeod

Posted Mar 16, 2016

Rodney McLeod has been asked about it more times than he can count.

Flying across the field, seemingly from out of nowhere, the safety delivered what he believes is the biggest hit of his career on Emmanuel Sanders during the 2014 season. He drove his shoulder into the Broncos’ receiver, prevented the catch and finished with a highlight that has been watched over and over.

That hit gave a lot of insight into McLeod as a player. It showed his toughness, athleticism and determination, all of which he’ll bring to the table for the next five seasons in Philadelphia. After all, that spirit is exactly why the Eagles targeted him in free agency.

“We said this is a guy that we want on our team,” safeties coach Tim Hauck explained. “He brings attitude, he brings experience and he brings a physical nature with him and a little excitement.

“He’s not a big guy, which I embraced because I wasn’t a big guy. He’s about 5-10, 195 pounds and he plays extremely hard. You know the impressive thing about him? The last four years he’s played over 95 percent of the defensive snaps for the Rams and he was a free agent coming out of college.”

Since the 2012 season, McLeod has appeared in all 64 games and racked up 289 total tackles with the Rams. That durability, despite his style of play and smaller frame, is another reason the Eagles were drawn to him. McLeod is fearless on the field.

“(He has) no real regard for his body when he’s hitting someone,” Hauck said. “He’s not worried about getting hurt and that’s kind of what we like.”

The safety’s ability paired with Malcolm Jenkins beside him provides both players the opportunity to further excel and build off each other’s strengths.

Hauck, for one, is looking forward to seeing what his starting safeties can accomplish in 2016. He strongly believes Philadelphia will be impressed with the product they put out each week.

“Just the tandem with Malcolm Jenkins, you’ve seen him play enough,” Hauck said. “He’s a very good player and putting Rodney in the mix with him there, it’s going to be fun to watch those guys play.

“McLeod’s got a lot of talent and a lot of heart. Philly will embrace this guy.”

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