When the Eagles acquired two-time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans, they were not only getting a player who has been dominant as a 4-3 middle linebacker, but they were also getting a leader.
Ryans earned the nickname "Cap" because of his longtime stature as one of the team captains. Ryans was named the team's Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2011 for his comeback after an Achilles injury ended his 2010 season. The news Tuesday evening caught plenty of people off-guard, especially those who used to call Ryans a teammate. Texans defensive ends Antonio Smith and J.J. Watt were in the NFL Network studios to talk about the success Houston had last season. But while they were there, they learned of the Ryans trade.
"DeMeco by far and away (is) the most respected guy on the defense, our leader. He's a guy that everybody turns to especially when things are going tough," Watt said. "It's tough to see him go, but at the end of the day what can we do? He's obviously going to go play great football for the Eagles."
Smith bluntly said that he was "not in agreeance with" the move.
"It's a big surprise to me. I don't know what is going on at this moment but DeMeco is a great player, a leader. He's going to be an asset to each and every team he plays for," he said. "Our defense is going to miss him. That's all I can say about it."
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