The Eagles signed former Bills and Raiders offensive tackle Ed Wang to a two-year deal on Friday. A former fifth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2010, Wang was the first Chinese-American player to ever be drafted in the NFL.
"I'm excited to play here with the tradition that they've had," Wang said.
He played in six games as a reserve offensive lineman in his rookie campaign before being placed on Injured Reserve by Buffalo prior to the start of the 2011 season. The 25-year-old signed with the Oakland Raiders in the 2012 offseason, but did not make the team.
In Buffalo, Wang played in a spread offense which should have some similarities to what new head coach Chip Kelly is installing with the Eagles.
"He had such a great career in college and I'm sure he's going to bring that winning attitude to the NFL," Wang said of Kelly.
Bob Bicknell, the Eagles' new wide receivers coach, was in Buffalo with Wang and oversaw his workout at the NovaCare Complex.
"He told me it's a good atmosphere and everyone is here to win," Wang said.
Wang may not be the most accomplished athlete in his own family. His parents, Robert and Nancy, both met as Chinese Olympians and competed in the 1984 Los Angeles games before immigrating to the United States. Wang is proud to be the first Chinese-American to ever be drafted in the NFL and has done work to help the NFL grow the game overseas in China.
"That means a lot to accomplish that. That was one of the goals I had as a child was to make it in the NFL. To have that added along with it meant a lot," Wang said. "I'm just trying to fulfill what I'm supposed to do here."
A four-year letterman at Virginia Tech, Wang started the final 35 games of his career and earned second-team All-ACC honors as a senior left tackle as he helped pave the way for an offense that ranked 14th in the nation in rushing, averaging 208.2 yards per game on the ground. He began his college career as a tight end before making the switch to the offensive line as a sophomore. Wang is now teammates with another former Hokie in quarterback Michael Vick, who is an icon at Virginia Tech.
"He really set the tone at Virginia Tech," Wang said. "We always heard stories about him. It's just going to be great to play with him."
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