Even beyond the first name oddly familiar to a recently vanquished foe, Colt Anderson has a few connections to the Eagles that should quickly endear him to the Philadelphia faithful.
For one, Anderson spent the first season and a half of his NFL career on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad, where he was coached by Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the Eagles defensive backs coach from 1999-2002. So Anderson has a base of knowledge on the system and nomenclature used by Sean McDermott and the Eagles. He'll need that familiarity as he steps in as the primary backup at both safety spots this week with starting free safety Nate Allen likely out with a neck sprain.
"There are a lot of similarities to both defenses," Anderson said on his first day as an Eagle. "In a year and a half in that system, I learned a ton of football and that's only going to make me better."
Anderson acknowledged that special teams will be of the utmost important if he's to make an impact as an Eagle. Because he was signed off Minnesota's practice squad, league rules mandate that he must remain on the Eagles roster for a minimum of three weeks.
"I'm looking forward to playing a lot of special teams," he said. "That's going to be where I make my name and I'm excited to do that."
But Anderson, a two-time MVP at Montana, gives the greatest insight into his mindset on the football field when asked about a former Eagle. Tim Hauck, a 13-year NFL veteran at safety and member of the Eagles from 1999-2001, was actually Anderson's position coach in college.
"He's my mentor," Anderson said of Hauck. "He's the reason why I'm here. I emulate my game after him. He's kind of a small guy but obviously he's well-respected around the league."
Anderson said he almost joined the Eagles coming out of college but chose to sign a rookie free agent deal with the Vikings instead. Head coach Andy Reid confirmed the team's long-standing interest in Anderson.
"Well, we liked Colt coming out of Montana," Reid said. "I think he's going to be a good, solid player that's a good special teams player. We need another player at that safety position. We felt comfortable that he could come in and learn and be efficient back there."
And while Anderson clearly was sought-after, he still has a lot to prove. At 5-10, 194, Anderson looks more ballboy than player, but that's something he's dealt with for a long time. In fact, Hauck, who played at 5-10, 187, is the one who cemented Anderson's outlook on the game.
"I guess you could say the one thing I learned (from Hauck) is that size doesn't matter," Anderson said. "If you go out there and fly around and make plays, then (size) is the last thing you're looking at."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 6:13 p.m., November 11