Numbers or not, Vinny Curry an absolute beast

USA Today Images

Numbers or not, Vinny Curry an absolute beast

The normally affable Vinny Curry hasn't done many interviews this year.

"When you guys come in, I walk out," Curry said with a laugh. "I just wanted to keep my head down this year and work hard and do my job."

Curry has done his job quite well, even though the sack numbers might not show it.

Since about the midpoint of the season, Curry has been an absolute beast. His playing time has increased, his production has increased, and in the postseason wins over the Falcons and Vikings, he's played some of the best football of his life.

"Trying to make an impact on every game," Curry said. "Playoff games, like Dawk says, your level has to go up. You got to tap into something you ain’t never tapped into.

"One more left. I’m excited to see what’s on the next level."

Curry is playing more than at any point in his six-year career. His playing time has gone from eight percent as a rookie in Andy Reid's final year to 26, 32 and 35 percent in three years under Chip Kelly and Bill Davis to 43 and 56 percent the last two years under Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz.

But over the last seven games, that figure has increased to 63 percent. And in those seven games, Curry has a remarkable 26 quarterback hurries.

The Eagles' defensive line is playing lights out right now, and Curry has been in the middle of all of it.

“I’m a starter," Curry said. "That’s the difference everybody’s seeing. I’m a starter. Last year I just wasn’t healthy, I wasn’t myself. Was trying to fight through things, and I understood that.

"This year, just worked hard all offseason, came in and just do your job. And look where we're at."

Where they're at is one win from a parade.

Curry, who had never started an NFL game before this year, started all 16 this year for the NFL's fourth-ranked defense. It was a huge step for the former second-round pick out of Marshall.

More than anything, it showed that Curry finally had a coaching staff that believed in him.

"To be a starter on a defense like this means so much to me," he said. "I worked my ass off this offseason, and there's nothing I want more than one more win and see these fans to go buck wild."

Curry is one of only six players remaining on the active roster who played under Reid (injured Jason Peters would be the seventh).

It's been an up-and-down career for Curry, who had 9.0 sacks in 2014 but just 9.0 in three years since. But in this case, the sack numbers don't tell the true story.

Curry has been a difference maker this year, especially down the stretch.

"This moment right now right here … what’s today’s date?" Curry said. "The 25th? The 25th, bro! It's Jan. 25 and we’re still playing football. That means everything. That means everything.

"Just goes to show you how special this is. Doug has been coaching his ass off. What we have here is so special. I've never seen chemistry like this before. Everybody hangs with each other on and off the field. It’s crazy. To see the closeness, it’s ridiculous (see story). From the youngest guy on the team to the oldest guy on the team."

Curry grew up an avid Eagles fan in Central Jersey, so he knows exactly what all of this means to Eagles fans.

And just imagine how much it means to him.

"This year Doug made a thing … 'Are you committed or are you half-way into it?'" Curry said. "You’ve got to be committed or you’re not going to be here. Check your ego at the door.

"We have a defensive line rotation, and that’s what it is. Just make the plays count when you’re in there and have fun. You’ve got to be committed. It’s not a one-man sport. It’s all about the team.

“It feels great. It’s forever. My No. 1 thing was work my ass off this offseason and just be accountable. The rest will take care of itself.”

Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

USA Today Images

Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

The Eagles are scheduled to have a pretty boring Day 2 of the draft this year. Because after they pick at No. 32, they don’t have another selection until the 31st pick of the fourth round. 

That means 98 players will be taken between the Eagles’ first and second picks. And they’ll have to watch other teams pick that entire Friday (Rounds 2-3) without them … unless they make a move. 

“We’re not looking at it like we’re sitting out on Friday,” Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman said. “We’re going through our draft process looking at every scenario. When we get to Friday, we get to Friday.” 

Even if the Eagles don’t make a move, they’ll be plenty busy on Saturday, the final day of the draft. They have two fourth-round picks and one pick in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. 

Eagles personnel head Joe Douglas showed up to his media availability with a stat ready to go to illustrate the importance of Day 3. 

“We’re excited that we have five picks on Saturday,” Douglas said. “When you look at the Super Bowl, there’s 22 starters that were third-round picks or lower. Of those 22, 18 of them were fourth-round picks or lower. So 18 starters in the Super Bowl this year were fourth-round picks or lower, including six of them that were undrafted free agents. We choose to keep the glass half full.” 

Douglas is right on all those stats — 22 of 44 starters in the Super Bowl were drafted in the third or lower and 18 of them would be considered Day 3 picks. Not bad. 

Here’s how the Super Bowl starters broke down by round: 1-10, 2-12, 3-4, 4-4, 5-3, 6-3, 7-2, UDFA-6. 

The Eagles accounted for seven of the 18 players who were drafted in the fourth round or later, so the Patriots were the ones who found even more value late in drafts. And of those seven, just three were original Eagles — Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jason Kelce and Jalen Mills. 

Of the six undrafted players who started in the Super Bowl, two were from the Eagles — LeGarrette Blount and Rodney McLeod. Neither was an original Eagle, but the Birds also relied heavily on running back Corey Clement, who was an undrafted rookie last season. 

With a dearth of high draft picks, it would make sense if the Eagles attack the undrafted market following the draft, but Douglas thinks it won’t be as easy as many might think. 

“You would think because we’re coming off a Super Bowl, we don’t have a second or third round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft,” Douglas said. “But my experience coming off a Super Bowl, it’s sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster because agents and players have a perceived notion that it’s going to be that much tougher to make the team. I think that’s going to be a challenge. I think that’s going to be a challenge for us and we know it and we’re going to attack it.”

The Eagles in recent years have shown a willingness to pony up significant money to entice undrafted players to sign with them and if Douglas is right, they might need to do it again to land some this year. 

Either way, the Eagles know how important Day 3 and beyond can be. So when they’re bored on Day 2, they don’t plan on losing focus. 

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

USA Today Images

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

The Eagles gave Nick Foles a little raise on Friday, reworking the Super Bowl MVP’s contract, a league source confirmed. 

Basically, the Eagles are rewarding Foles after he helped the franchise win its first-ever Super Bowl a few months ago. 

Foles, 29, is still entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, but the new deal also includes a mutual option for the 2019 season, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The mutual option will still allow Foles the possibility to test the free agent market next season, but could leave the door open to a possible return beyond this upcoming season. 

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network first reported the revised contract, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and “several millions in incentives if he’s the starter and hits various benchmarks,” according to Rapoport. 

That part makes a ton of sense. If for some reason Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in 2018 or if he goes down again, Foles will have a chance to earn what might be closer to starter money. 

Foles was set to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $7.6 million on the contract before Friday’s renegotiation. 

Wentz and Foles grew very close last season — third-string QB Nate Sudfeld too — and have both been very selfless in a situation that would be awkward for many others in the league. But both have been incredibly selfless throughout the entire process. Just this week, Wentz admitted he had to fight jealousy but was truly happy for his teammate and friend, who became the Super Bowl hero (see story)

Earlier on Friday, Foles tweeted out this photo with his wife and daughter from the NovaCare Complex. That’s a $2 million smile.