DeMeco Ryans is in a really, really good place. He's happy, having signed a 1-year contract extension that keeps him with the Eagles through the 2016 season. He's "on schedule" to be on the field in Training Camp, recovering from the torn Achilles tendon that ended his 2014 season on November 2.
"It's a great feelling," Ryans said on Monday. "I did some football moves for the first time today during rehab, some shuffling, backpedaling ... basic stuff but a big step forward for me. I hadn't been in cleats it a long time. It felt great. It's all coming together. I'm really excited."
A two-time Pro Bowl and AP All-Pro selection, Ryans leads the Eagles in tackles (390) since being acquired by the team in a trade with the Houston Texans during the 2012 offseason. The unquestioned leader of the Eagles' defense, Ryans started the first 40 games of his Philadelphia career prior to suffering the season-ending Achilles injury late in last season's win at Houston. It was his second Achilles tendon injury, the first coming when Ryans played for the Texans in 2010.
On Monday, the Eagles agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension with LB DeMeco Ryans. Look at some of his top moments as an Eagle ...
"It means a lot to me knowing that they value me enough to extend my contract for another year," Ryans said. "I appreciate the organization so much for having that faith in me and for the training staff to have me working so hard and being on track. They believe in me and what I can do, and I'm excited to have the chance to get back on the field and play my kind of football."
Ryans, 30, has recorded 390 tackles, five sacks, four interceptions, six passes defensed and one fumble recovery since joining the Eagles in 2012. He established career highs in tackles (177), sacks (four) and interceptions (two) in 2013, while helping the Eagles' defense hold their opponents to 21-points-or-less in nine consecutive games during the middle of the season.
Originally a second-round selection of the Texans in 2009, Ryans spent the first six seasons of his career in Houston, setting a franchise record with 637 total tackles while earning Pro Bowl (2007, 2009) and All-Pro (2007) accolades with the team. He was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006 after starting 16 games and leading all rookies in tackles with 156 takedowns, adding 3.5 sacks, one interception and a forced fumble.
"After you have this kind of injury, you always wonder what's going to happen," Ryans said. "I knew the situation. I had a serious injury and I had one year left on my contract. You look around the league and most of the time when veteran guys are coming off of injuries, things are not in their favor. It's a really huge blessing for me to kind of go against the odds knowing that I'll be coming back.
"I'm very pleased with where I am. Monte Wong in the training room and Q (Quadrian Banks) and Keith (Gray) in the weight room are doing an outstanding job with me. Everything is right on schedule and I'm feeling really good. Definitely, I'm there for Training Camp.'
A native of Bessemer, Alabama, the 10-year veteran is the founder of the DeMeco Ryans Foundation, which aims to create innovative programs that provide access to educational, recreational and healthy living initiatives designed to positively aid in the development of youth.
Ryans and his wife, Jamila, reside in Philadelphia and have one son, DeMeco Jr.