Philadelphia Eagles News

From Books To Birds For LB Gatewood

There was only one person who was surprised when Curtis Gatewood got a call from his agent informing him that the Eagles were interested in bringing the second-year linebacker to Philadelphia.

"I've been preparing for this day every day that I've been away from the game," said Gatewood, who was released by the Detroit Lions about two weeks ago. "I knew any day could be the day. I was prepared for it, I was ready for it, I don't think my girlfriend was ready for it though."

Gatewood was with his girlfriend in Nashville, TN, when he got word of the Eagles interest. He was hard at work, studying that is.

"I was studying for the (Graduate Record Examination)," said Gatewood, who graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Human and Organizational Development. "I was just keeping my options open.

"You never know in this business what will happen or when it will happen, so you have to be prepared for the plan A and the plan B ... so I was ready to go back to school just in case."

But make no mistake, football is Gatewood's passion.

"I'm a hard worker, man," Gatewood said when asked to describe himself as a football player. "I'm a hard-nosed, old school football player. I like to hit."

After playing both linebacker and defensive end at Vanderbilt, Gatewood joined the Washington Redskins in 2008 as a rookie free agent. He spent time on the Redskins practice squad before joining the Kansas City Chiefs in November. There, Gatewood saw action in six games, recording four special teams tackles. He then moved on to the Detroit Lions this summer, but was released after suffering a minor hamstring strain.

"The main thing was getting rehab," Gatewood said, describing how he spent his two weeks away from football. "That and just working on my cardio. A little jump-rope, a little swimming here and there. Just light work to keep my cardio and my heart rate up."

Gatewood knows it will be difficult to make a strong impression this late in the preseason, but he's confident he can help the team.

"I know I can contribute a lot," he said. "It's just a matter of me finding myself in this league.

"Now, I think the greatest need is probably special teams, so that's definitely my number one priority, just balling on special teams ... that's my money maker."

And even though Gatewood is new to the Eagles locker room, he did see one familiar face when he arrived at the NovaCare complex - college teammate Reshard Langford.

"I love it," Gatewood said of seeing Langford. "It just reminds me of college times, just seeing him is a comforting thing. He's looking good too."

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 3:00 p.m., August 25

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