Philadelphia Eagles News

Trotter Fulfilled A Dream In His Eagles Return

In all of his years with the Eagles, linebacker Jeremiah Trotter always wanted to be the last player introduced out of the tunnel.

Of course, with Brian Dawkins that was never going to happen. Trotter received word from head coach Andy Reid that they would allow him to be the last one out of the tunnel before Sunday's win over Tampa Bay. It led to a lot of emotion for the beloved player and the fans.

Trotter did his trademark axe chop as his name was introduced and the 69,144 fans erupted into a raucous cheer. Trotter's return after not being in football was a successful one. Trotter recorded three tackles in 20 snaps and the Eagles derailed the Buccaneers 33-14 at Lincoln Financial Field.

"It felt like old times out there," Trotter said. "I went through a lot of emotions out there. I was a little more calm than I thought I would be. I stayed pretty calm all week. I didn't get much sleep last night, so I'm pretty sure I'll make up for it tonight."

The Eagles introduced Trotter and Omar Gaither out of the tunnel, but it was Trotter who got credit for the start since he was on the field for the first play of the game. Trotter was added to wield his 260-pound body in the line to stop the run game. But on that first play, Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Johnson threw an incomplete pass to receiver Michael Clayton. On the second play, Gaither came in and Cadillac Williams gained 2 yards on the ground.

"When I was in there, they were running and passing some," Trotter said. "They really didn't move the ball and I just took what they gave me. I had one missed tackle and I think I made one tackle. I was joking with (linebacker Joe) Mays, 'I think you made more plays than I did, and you didn't even dress.'""

Trotter knows that after being out of the game last season it would have been hard to immediately play at the level that has earned him four Pro Bowls in his first two stints with the Eagles.

"I was talking to (Michael) Vick and he said that he felt like he was going to come off the streets and hit the ground running but that's why it's the NFL, it's hard to do," Trotter said.

Trotter said the next step for him is to continue to absorb new defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's playbook. Trotter said that he was at the NovaCare Complex until about 9:30 PM each night last week studying.

"Surprisingly, the game wasn't fast for me. I was thinking about that during the week that the game was going to be too fast for me. It didn't feel fast, the game was slowed down. I just reacted. It'll come from learning the defense more and more and getting comfortable with the guys out there. The guys up front, when they ran the ball, they had them down before I could even get to them. If your defensive line is making a lot of tackles, that's a good thing."

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 6:25 p.m., October 11

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