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Spadaro: Armed with a contract extension, what's next for Reed Blankenship?

Reed Blankenship
Reed Blankenship

It all starts, safety Reed Blankenship believes, with a love of the game. He's had it since the very start, since he was a little one in Lester, Alabama, through his seasons at Middle Tennessee State and now in the NFL with the Eagles.

He lives for the game. He loves every bit of it.

And with that mindset, Blankenship signed with the Eagles after the 2022 NFL Draft, made the 53-man roster that summer, and has grown and grown and grown. He talked about his journey, an inspiring one for a player not taken in the seven-round NFL Draft who has now signed his second contract in the league – an extension through the 2025 season – with the kind of passion he brings to the field as one of the key players set to play in Vic Fangio's 2024 defense.

"Never fall out of love with football. Yeah, it takes time and it's hard work, but you reap benefits when you reach this point," he said on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex after having a video press conference with beat reporters. "I'm still growing. I'm still learning. I'm excited about what we have in the future and I love this game and am going to play it for as long as my body allows me to play.

"Approach this game as if you have a chip on your shoulder, regardless of whether you were drafted. Start getting into your books. Find a special teams coach. Find any coach, find your strength coach, find somebody that you can have a personal relationship with and grow on that. That helps you when you get here."


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Blankenship had a stellar career in his five seasons at Middle Tennessee State – he started every year, he was a three-time team captain, he finished his career as the school's all-time leading tackler, and he was an All-Conference USA performer. Blankenship was smart to listen to his agent at draft time, who directed him to sign with the Eagles where he would get a fair chance to make the team.

Not only has Blankenship "made the team" in his two seasons here, he's become a huge contributor to the defense and special teams. His journey is a prime example for everyone coming from just a little bit under the radar.

If you can play football, the NFL will find you.

"It's football. It's 100 yards, and when you are in this position, you take advantage of the opportunity. That's the mindset I've always had," said Blankenship, healthy now after offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia injury that hampered him late in a 2023 season in which he led the team with 108 total tackles, the most for an Eagles safety since the 1994 season. "Starting last season and getting this contract, they are all important steps. But by no means have I 'arrived.' I still have that chip on my shoulder. I keep growing from my experiences.

"This is a steppingstone and I'm excited to have signed it. There is no place I'd rather be. I love the Eagles, the fans, the city, and all of the passion. It's infectious. It fits me perfectly. But there is a lot of work for me to get where I want to be, so it's all work for me and I'm digging in and looking forward to getting into this defense and see how it comes together."

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