Defensive linemen Bennie Logan and Damion Square are both promising rookies for the Eagles who have turned heads during Training Camp. Logan was selected in the third round (67th overall) from Louisiana State, while Square was signed as an undrafted free agent from Alabama. Each player offers the versatility the Eagles covet and figures to see playing time at all three positions along the defensive line.
"That's the type of players (Bennie and I) are," said Square. "We're two guys who can play any position up front ... I feel like I can dominate at nose, end, wherever they need me. It's just versatility as a player."
Both players excelled against the New England Patriots in the Eagles' preseason opener and received praise from the coaching staff. Head coach Chip Kelly singled out Logan and Square as the standout defensive players of that game and, as a result, the two were rewarded with increased reps during the ensuing practices. Logan even spent significant time with the first-team defense.
"Once I got the first snap out of the way, all the jitters were gone and it was pretty much everything I expected," Logan said. "Once I got that first snap, I was like, it's nothing but football from here. I just knew my assignments and executed everything coach asked me to do."
Even though Logan, 6-foot-2, 309 pounds, and Square, 6-foot-2, 293, are only entering their first years in the NFL, they are hoping to contribute immediately and look to bring toughness, physicality and a dominating attitude to a defense that is searching for an identity.
"Hit the man in front you, dominate the man in front of you," Logan said. "That's my main thing every time I go out to play. Even in practice I get mad when a guy gets the best of me ... The attitude I have in practice is the same way I approach the game."
"Physicality, intensity, rage, controlled chaos," Square said, adding that he hopes to be "contagious with good effort."
Logan and Square did not really know each other before joining the Eagles, although they had been introduced after LSU-Alabama games by wide receiver Russell Shepard, a childhood friend of Square and college teammate of Logan.
"We knew each other a little bit, but not much," Square said. "Russell Shepard is a good friend of mine who played at LSU with (Logan). We're two guys from the Houston area. On game day after the game whenever we would play (LSU), no matter how the game would turn out, I would go say hello to those guys. (Bennie and I) have mutual friends, he's a good guy. We're both two guys from the south, so it's very easy to get along."
The two have been virtually inseparable since the first rookie minicamp in early May and are constantly pushing each other on and off the field.
"You get your guy who's going to push you along, and Bennie's my guy," Square said. "I come out here every day and I compete. If Bennie sees me slacking, he's going to tell me, 'Hey, man, you're not performing the way I know you can perform.' And I do the same thing for Bennie. I try to do it for anybody, but Bennie is the main guy. We have a real open line of communication. If I see him doing anything wrong technique-wise, I'm going to let him know because I'm very interested in Bennie being the best player he can possibly be, and I'm pretty sure for him it's the same thing."
It appears as though the defensive line will feature a rotation of players so that everyone is kept fresh and at peak performance ability. Logan and Square will be integral parts of that rotation and should be granted every opportunity to make their respective marks with the Eagles in 2013. If Training Camp and the first preseason game were any indication, both players are headed toward establishing themselves as vital pieces of the team's present and future.
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