Reddick ready to cap 'crazy' storybook journey in Super Bowl


PHOENIX — Whoever wrote the script for Haason Reddick deserves a raise.

And that’s not lost on him.

“This week I had time to reflect on the journey and how I got here, man, it’s all crazy for real,” Reddick said to NBC Sports Philadelphia this week. “Then getting picked one pick before Philly in 2017, ended up out here (Arizona), to leave, end up with the Eagles, only to come back here and play a Super Bowl. It’s crazy. Really crazy.”

Reddick, 28, is a Camden, New Jersey, native, who played high school football at  Haddon Heights, college football at Temple and eventually returned to Philly this past offseason as a free agent. He’s had the best season of his career and is now one win away from immortality back home.

And he gets that chance in the city where he was once called a bust.

Doesn’t get any sweeter than that.

“You’re talking about playing for a Super Bowl in the same stadium for a team that basically let me go, man,” Reddick said. “And there’s no hard feelings about that. That’s what it is basically. I’m just glad I’m in this position and I’m glad it worked out this way. Because, man, is it a full-circle moment.”

To make the story even better, the Eagles this week have been practicing at the Arizona Cardinals’ facility. Reddick said the whole facility in Tempe is just how he left it in 2020.


Heck, when his teammates couldn’t figure out how to get the jets going in the whirlpool, Reddick walked in and hit the button immediately. You can can picture them cocking their heads, “Ohhhh, that’s how it works.”

“Oh man, it’s kind of weird, honestly,” Reddick said. “Knowing that you’re not on the team but you’re in the same facility that you spent your first four years. It kind of feels weird. It brings up a lot of old memories and times there and stuff like that.”

The Cardinals drafted Reddick in the first round back in 2017; like he said, it was pick No. 13, one before the Eagles drafted Derek Barnett. But they drafted him as an inside linebacker and played him out of position for most of his time in Arizona.

It wasn’t until 2020 when Chandler Jones got injured and Reddick asked to be moved before he was able to shed that bust label. He had 12 1/2 sacks in 2020, then went to Carolina for a season and had 11 sacks. And this year, he had 16 in the regular season and is up to 19 1/2 in 19 games, including the playoffs, for the Eagles.

And it was Reddick’s big strip sack on Brock Purdy in the NFC Championship Game that really helped punch the Eagles’ ticket to Phoenix.

Reddick finished fourth in Defensive Player of the Year voting, it was revealed on Thursday night, and probably should have been higher.

This is actually Reddick’s second trip back to State Farm Stadium this season. The Eagles played the Cardinals in Week 5; Reddick had a sack and a QB hit. During that trip, he and Brandon Graham talked about the chance they’d be back in four months.

And now it has happened.

“We got to talking like, ‘How crazy would it be just to come back and play for a Super Bowl and then your (old) team gotta watch it? The team that left you out to dry.’ Damn, I know he on cloud nine and he’s trying not to mess it up this weekend,” Graham said.

“I’m like, ‘I don’t think you will, man.’ You just gotta stay being you, being who you are, enjoying the whole process. Because it’ll be over before you know it. But just make sure that you stay focused like you been and you should come out victorious.”

If that happens, Reddick will get to hoist the Lombardi Trophy where his career started. And with his hometown team. That would be a fitting end to a storybook journey.

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