Take a look at what the linebackers are up to during 2018 training camp.
Another significant position battle is the fight for the starting role at weakside linebacker. With Nigel Bradham and Jordan Hicks locked in at the first two linebacker slots, it has become clear that Nathan Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill are battling to start on the weak side.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz told reporters on Monday that "this week will go a long way to determine how we line up." So, take a look at what the two linebackers are thinking ahead of the Eagles' third preseason game Thursday night at the Cleveland Browns.
Gerry has five tackles so far in the preseason. Gerry started at the weakside linebacker spot in the Eagles' preseason opener against the Steelers, playing 33 snaps on defense and eight on special teams. Against the Patriots, Gerry split time with the first-team defense, playing 23 snaps on defense and 18 on special teams.
- "That's one thing that obviously I worked for in the offseason, I wanted to expand my role individually. I want to be able to play more defense this year but we have a lot of guys on the defensive side of the ball that can play in a lot of different spots. That's what makes us so good this year, we're just so deep in a lot of areas so I'm just excited to see how many guys are able to showcase their abilities this year."
- "I feel great. I put in a lot of work in the offseason to add weight, get stronger, and faster, and I put a lot of good weight on this offseason. So I wasn't really worried about losing my speed or things like that just because of the type of weight I put on my body. So I was excited to see how it translated over from OTAs to Training Camp. It just makes you feel better to know that some of the hard work I put in and kind of show off a little bit."
- "Just to show everybody that, individually, I can play football at this high level, being able to show the coaches that they can trust me, my teammates are accountable to me and I am to them, and to just show everybody they can rely on me."
- "I think as a group we are night and day from what we were last year. We've got a lot of guys that can play multiple spots. I think we're all pretty interchangeable. Obviously, we all have our strengths and weaknesses but I think overall as a linebacker corps we're pretty deep and I'm excited to see a lot of the guys get out there this season."
Grugier-Hill is tied for third on the Eagles in preseason tackles with eight, including two for loss. Against the Patriots, Grugier-Hill played some snaps with the first-team defense as well totaling 31 defensive snaps and 18 special teams snaps. Grugier-Hill did not get the start on the weak side against the Steelers but still played 32 snaps on defense and three on special teams.
- "To me, it's just another opportunity to show what I can do and let the team know that they can trust me and, you know, it's just a big step."
- "All I can do is what I can control. I'm not too worried about it, just keep doing what I'm doing, everything I've been doing is on the right track so I'm not going to change anything up."
- "It's awesome to see the results, obviously I'm stoked to see that. It was a grind this offseason, so it's a relief to see it sticking and paying off."
- "I think we're one of the most underrated linebacker corps in the league. We have depth everywhere. If either one of us drops out, the next guy can step up and the drop-off isn't crazy at all. There isn't a more athletic group out there I think. It's going to be a fun year."
- "It's not really a big deal switching sides. We have a good grasp on what each position needs to do."
- "I think the big thing for me coming into this season was just showing that I can be physical in the run game. I think I've done that pretty well so far and Thursday night is going to be another opportunity to show that."