Eagles

Greg Ward still learning wide receiver position after great college career at quarterback

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Greg Ward still learning wide receiver position after great college career at quarterback

Greg Ward threw more touchdown passes in college than Carson Wentz and had a higher career passer rating than Nick Foles. 

These days, his job is catching passes, not throwing them. 

It’s quite a transition from big-time NCAA Division 1 quarterback to NFL wide receiver, but at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, the former Houston Cougar knows where his future is.

Ward spent all of last year on the Eagles’ practice squad, learning the nuances of a new position and figuring out how to think like a receiver instead of a quarterback. 

He looked surprisingly polished at wide out in training camp, caught nine passes for 63 yards in the preseason and then spent the season focusing on getting better.

“I still haven’t 100 percent gotten the position,” Ward said after a recent rookie camp practice. “I always feel like I can get better, always feel like I can learn something new, feel like there’ll always be something to improve on. 

“Last year was a big year for me. Just learning a new position, learning football period, learning from Alshon (Jeffery), Torrey (Smith) and Nelson (Agholor), it was a very important year for me.

“Just gathering every bit of information I could watching those guys practice and watching them in games and then learning how to apply what you’ve learned to your game.”

Ward never did get a chance to play, but he said he felt himself getting better as the year went along.

“Everybody wants to play,” said Ward, who led Houston to a Peach Bowl win over No. 9 Florida State in Atlanta at the end of his junior year. 

“You’re a competitor, that’s why we all do this. But I was humbled and thankful just to be on a Super Bowl team. Just to be in the NFL period. Some guys aren’t able to play football at all. I’m just grateful to be on a football team. 

“But this is not the end of my story. I am going to get out there and I am going to play.”

Ward was with the Eagles during their postseason run and he was there in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl.

He used every moment, every day, as an opportunity to improve. Even if nobody could see it happening.

“The biggest thing I learned was just being patient, just being humble,” he said. “Our team last year, there was nobody that was selfish. Nobody who thought they were bigger than anybody else. I learned patience and the importance of doing extra. Getting extra work, studying more, watching more film. That’s what it takes to win a championship.”

The Eagles have quite a crowd at wide receiver, with Jeffery, Agholor and Mack Hollins back, Wallace and Markus Wheaton in the fold and guys like Bryce Treggs, Shelton Gibson and Rashard Davis all also in the mix.

But Ward doesn’t concern himself with the numbers.

“The next step for me is to separate myself,” he said. "As a competitor, especially coming from being undrafted, you have to separate yourself. You have to be different. 

“You have to catch whoever’s eye it is, head coach, position coach, catch everybody’s eyes. They have to see value in you. That’s where I am right now. Trying to separate myself.”

How long will it take?

“I’m leaving that up to God,” he said. “I know I’m putting in the hard work and I know one day it will pay off. I know that day will come.”

Back with Eagles, Vinny Curry had other offers, but ‘home is home’

Back with Eagles, Vinny Curry had other offers, but ‘home is home’

It’s safe to say Vinny Curry is pretty happy to be back in Philadelphia. 

Right? 

“Hell yeah,” said a giddy Curry on a conference call with Philly reporters Thursday afternoon. “Super excited!” 

After one year in Tampa Bay, the 30-year-old Curry on Thursday signed a one-year contract to return to the Eagles. According to a league source, his one-year deal is worth $2.25 million and he can earn another $1.25 million in incentives. It’s quite a different contract than the last one he signed with the Eagles and the three-year, $23 million deal he signed to join the Bucs last offseason. 

But this wasn’t all about money for Curry. 

He wanted to come back. You could feel his excitement on the other end of Thursday’s conference call. 

In fact, Curry was reportedly offered more money to join the Giants, but came back to the Eagles instead. 

Definitely had a couple different offers on the table, but home is home. This just felt right. This felt like the right situation. I think it was just time for me to be back in Philadelphia.

Curry was drafted by the Eagles in the second round back in 2012 after he grew up in Neptune, N.J. as an Eagles fan. But the real reason he wanted to come back to Philly was because of his teammates. Even though he said he had a good time during his one season in Tampa, he missed his teammates in the Eagles’ locker room. He said they’re like brothers. Curry, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham — minus last year — have played together since 2012. 

But things changed during Curry’s year away. He started every game during the 2017 Super Bowl season, but it is expected that he will come back to the Eagles this year as a rotational player, playing both defensive end and defensive tackle. Graham and Derek Barnett will be the starters at defensive end. 

“When it comes to the role, whatever the team needs me to do, I’ve always been that guy,” Curry said. “You guys know that. Whatever the team needs me to do, I’m going to do it. I don’t have an ego at all.” 

Curry even joked he would play receiver if the Eagles asked. When he was told the Eagles likely won’t ask him to do that, Curry agreed and joked he has “feet for hands.” 

The Eagles cut Curry after the 2017 season because of his contract and Curry on Thursday said he understood why they did it. It’s in the past, he said. Curry was cut for the second straight year when the Bucs parted ways with him this offseason to save $8 million in cap space. (This also means the Eagles won’t lose out on a comp pick by signing him.) 

Last season, Curry played in just 12 games thanks to a high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 6 that left him in a hard cast. But Curry is healthy now and is ready for spring practices. 

Was it a good decision to bring him back? 

Sure, why not. Curry is 30 now and maybe he’s never really lived up to his potential, but he’s a solid player who knows the defense and isn’t making a lot of money. For a rotational piece along the line, Curry makes plenty of sense. 

And he’s really happy to be back. Now, he just hopes he can figure out a way to get his No. 75 back from Josh Sweat. 

“We’re working on that,” he said. “We’re definitely working on that. Hopefully, I’m back in the 75.”

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Source: Eagles bringing back Vinny Curry on 1-year deal

Source: Eagles bringing back Vinny Curry on 1-year deal

The Eagles are bringing back defensive end Vinny Curry, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Philly.com first reported a deal was close. 

The one-year deal is worth $2.25 million and Curry can earn an extra $1.25 million in incentives, a league source said.  

Curry, 30, played six years for the Eagles before joining the Bucs last offseason. But Curry made it just one year into his three-year, $23 million contract before he was cut by Tampa Bay. The move saved the Bucs $8 million in 2019 cap space. Since Curry was cut, he won't affect the Eagles' compensatory pick formula. 

Bringing back Curry will help provide the Eagles some depth at defensive end. The plan is to start Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett, but then there isn’t much depth. Second-year player Josh Sweat is unproven. At least Curry will give the Eagles a veteran defensive end for the rotation. 

Chris Long, 34, is under contract, but has been non-committal about his future. The Eagles would still like to have him back. 

In his six seasons with the Eagles, Curry played in 84 games with 23 starts. He had 22 sacks in an Eagles uniform, with nine of them coming during the 2014 season. He never had more than four sacks in any other season. 

Curry, who grew up as an Eagles fan, was taken by the Eagles in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft. 

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