Everything happens so fast in the NFL and that's something Robert Quinn has become accustomed to in his 12 seasons. He was a Chicago Bear just the day before and then, in an instant, he was traded to the Eagles and on Thursday morning he landed in Philadelphia, whisked into Center City to take his required physical examination, drove to the NovaCare Complex, and, just an hour or so later, was on the practice field with his new team.
"I told everyone I want to come in, do my part. They've been rocking and rolling before I got here, so I don't want to mess anything up," Quinn said. "I just want to add whatever I can to help make this team better and basically stay out of the way."
The Eagles traded a 2023 fourth-round draft pick to Chicago on Wednesday to acquire Quinn and, well, here he is. Quinn adds veteran experience, tons of production, leadership, energy, and every intangible you can think of to a team that has overhauled its defense and is looking for more. Quinn adds to the mix at end along with Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick and a host of pass rushers Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon can unleash at any given time.
Quinn also adds a jolt of energy to a locker room already on 11 (on a scale of 1-10, Spinal Tap fans) in the juice department.
"It can do nothing but help us to bring in a talented player like that who has been in the league longer than most of us. He will come in and help and join the party with us," defensive tackle Javon Hargrave said. "We met at the Pro Bowl (in 2022). He's a workaholic. When a lot of guys weren't going to go extremely hard, he was one of the ones trying to take it there. I knew from then that he's extremely serious about this and goes extremely hard.
"What's he got, 100-plus sacks (102 to be exact) in his career? Everybody knows Robert Quinn and what he brings. He's a great pass rusher, so we were surprised but we are happy to have him."
Said linebacker T.J. Edwards: "I think everybody knows kind of what he's done, so it's just adding more pieces to the puzzle and we're excited to get him in here and working right at it. This kind of move shows that we're trying to keep on building. We're excited, we're improving our team, and we just want to keep rolling at the pace we've been going on. We know we have to have good practices and get him up to speed. He's a vet in this league and he knows how to get acclimated. I'm not even worried about that. I'm just excited that he's here and looking forward to getting him on the field with us."
Quinn was on the field on Thursday with the hopes that he can play Sunday against Pittsburgh at Lincoln Financial Field. He's been in the league for 12 seasons, so adapting to a new system as a defensive end won't be too much of an issue. And the Eagles have their arms open and their game plans ready to help him pick up on any of the nuances the defensive coaches ask of their players.
With his heart beating just a bit faster, Quinn is here, with a 6-0 team and a defense that is already among the best in the league. He only adds to the puzzle.
But first, the three-time Pro Bowl selection knows it all starts with getting in the playbook.
"That's the main thing I'm concerned about," Quinn said. "Like I told the guys, they created this record before I got here. I just want to come in, do my part, and that starts with learning the playbook. I need to make sure I have that down pat so they can trust me when I get out there."
More pass rushers, more pass rushers, more pass rushers. Isn't that a huge part of defense in this game? Create havoc. Impact the quarterback. Force turnovers. The Eagles have a league-best 14 takeaways in six games and adding Quinn gives them more depth and options and pure punch in the pass-rush game.
The defense knows it. The locker room on Thursday was buzzing.
"We get another vet, someone who can pick it up right away. I'm quite sure he'll play this week. He just bolstered us up even more. They gotta pick and choose who (is) the hot guy, who not the hot guy. You know what I'm saying? You can't just key in on one guy. I'm excited definitely to have him," Graham said. "It gives you a spark, if you look at it that way. I feel like he is somebody who can definitely help us. We did lose DB (Derek Barnett) this year and we've been trying to fill that void. Make every rep count. That's what it's about. Just make him feel comfortable and get ready to work."
Work, work, work. Quinn is now officially on the crash course to learning the Gannon Scheme, so it's going to be quite a ride for the next few days leading to Sunday. But for a guy who has been around the NFL and who hasn't tasted the team success he wants, being an Eagle in this winning environment with so much around him is going to be worth every bit of the work.
"When I come to work, I just try to work my tail off and perfect my craft because it's not given to you," Quinn said. "You got to come in every day. Coaches say don't get complacent thinking you got it cause you did it one time. You got to keep practicing and perfecting your craft each and every day."