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Matt Hennessy: 'So excited to be home' 

Matt Hennessy signs his one-year contract with the Eagles!
Matt Hennessy signs his one-year contract with the Eagles!

Matt Hennessy had goosebumps when he drove past Lincoln Financial Field on his way to making his signing with the Eagles official.

"Philly is like a second home for me," Hennessy said.

The offensive lineman played his college football at Temple University in North Philadelphia. Hennessy is familiar with the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field, having played his home games there with Temple. The Owls have made the South Philadelphia stadium their home since 2003.

Hennessy and his wife, Toni, met at Temple. The two got married at Philadelphia's Parkway Central Library in July 2023. Even after getting drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2020, the Hennessys have spent a lot of time in the city while Toni was attending graduate school at Thomas Jefferson University.

"It's amazing to have the opportunity to play in a place that is so close to me," Hennessy said. "We spend a lot of time here and love the city."


During his final two years at Temple (2018-19), Hennessy was awarded a single digit (No. 3) by the coaching staff. Single-digit jerseys were introduced in 2009 by former Head Coach Al Golden and are awarded to the toughest, hardest-working players on the team who represent the Temple TUFF mentality. Being an offensive lineman, Hennessy wasn't permitted to wear a single digit on his jersey due to NCAA rules. The Nyack, New York native still wore the number on his helmet during games and on his jersey during practice.

Eagles linebackers Shaun Bradley (No. 5) and Haason Reddick (No. 7) were also awarded single digits during their final two seasons at Temple. Hennessy played with Bradley for all four years (2016-19) and Reddick during his freshman year.

"It was huge for me, really because of the guys who wore it before me," Hennessy said. "That is what made it special."

While bringing the toughness he acquired in North Philadelphia, Hennessy also boasts a versatile skill set and immense knowledge of the game.

Throughout his college and professional careers Hennessy cross-trained at multiple interior offensive line positions. Having that knowledge of those positions has given Hennessy more of a "holistic" understanding of the offense. Being able to play numerous positions along the offensive line is something that Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland looks for in his players.

"All the interior three (positions), you can move them interchangeably, and you need to be able to do that to stick around in the NFL," Hennessy said. "That is something I am willing to do and want to do."

One player who stuck around in the NFL for 13 seasons was recently retired Eagles center Jason Kelce. Hennessy, especially while at Temple, looked up to Kelce and admired his production and love for the city.

Hennessy is looking forward to playing with some of his former Temple teammates, continuing the tradition of Owls with the Eagles, and representing the place he calls home.

"It is really cool to have us all at home," Hennessy said. "I love the culture and the grit of the city, so I am excited to be back home with everybody."

Go inside the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles sign players – both new and returning veterans – for the 2024 season. Check out all of these exclusive photos in one spot.

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