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Nicholas Morrow: 'There's no substitute for work' 

Morrow (1)

When linebacker Nick Morrow toured the NovaCare Complex for the first time, he was comforted by the faces of Eagles greats that decorate the building's long hallways.   

The organization's rich history, paired with last season's NFC Championship success, made his decision simple – plus, he recently had a taste of the team's talent in the Eagles' 25-20 Week 15 victory over his former team, the Chicago Bears. 

On Wednesday, he signed a one-year deal to play in Philadelphia. 

"I'm excited to be here, man. The culture, the tradition, you see so many great players when you walk through the hall," Morrow said.  

"Obviously, the things they did last year to make it to Super Bowl and we competed against them last year – they're a tough team. They beat us, but I'm excited to be here and get started."  

Free agency was different for Morrow this time around – he went through the process just a year ago. In 2022, he was on the market after four active seasons in the Las Vegas Raiders' linebacker rotation, but he spent 2021 sidelined with an injury.  

Morrow landed in Chicago, aiming to address lingering questions that arose during his year off. 

"Can I finish a whole season? I played the whole season. Can I be a three-down player? I was a three-down player," Morrow said. 

Morrow played every defensive snap for the Bears in 2022, and in those 1,086 snaps, he recorded a team-high 116 tackles – there was little uncertainty surrounding his health and production by the end of the season. Now, he's looking to build off his recent success.  

"I'm excited about those things, but there are obviously things to work on. The biggest thing is getting here, working as hard as I possibly can, and showing that I love the game of football."  

That "love" emanated through his first meeting with the media – it's a quality Head Coach Nick Sirianni often praises in new additions to the team.  

Morrow's path to professional football had humble beginnings. He played collegiately at Greenville University, a Division III school in Illinois, with no scholarship funding.  

"There are not that many people watching you play. There are not that many incentives. So, you play for this strict love of the game," said Morrow.  

"I think that's the biggest thing – just working. Not necessarily because you get a big payday at the end, but you're working because you just want to play next to your brothers and you want to compete." 

It only took Morrow the opportunity to get in front of a scout to garner interest from pro teams. 

"When I when for a scout, I ran pretty fast for them, and they like that," he recalled.  

He put it simply – it was his speed to the ball that intrigued a Raiders' scout enough to put him on the team's radar; he joined the team as an undrafted rookie soon after.   

From DIII ball through injury recovery, Morrow's used his appreciation for the game as fuel to get to the next step, and he plans to keep that mindset to contribute to the linebackers room in Philadelphia. 

"I'm grateful man. It's been a journey. It happened so fast. One thing that's for sure is that there's no substitute for work. You got to work hard no matter what year you're in. So, I'm excited for that," Morrow said. 

"I think I realized, really early, that the only way to stay in the league is to work hard. Right? And there's no substitute for that. I think you hear from great players, and what separates them, for the most part, is how hard they work and how obsessed they are with their work."

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