Shareef Miller doesn’t spend much time working on his spin move. He even admitted he doesn’t really like spinning.
He might have to change that view.
“I gotta keep working on that,” Miller agreed after Thursday’s preseason game in Jacksonville.
Because in the second quarter against the Jaguars, Miller used a spin move to perfection on third down to take down Gardner Minshew for his second sack of the preseason.
“Coaches always say, when you get the quarterback depth, then counter back with a spin or something like that,” Miller said. “That’s what I did. I don’t really work on spin. I don’t really like spinning. I just felt it and I did it and it worked.”
In his second taste of NFL action, Miller played 33 snaps on Thursday night and turned in an impressive performance. He had 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB hits and 2 TFLs.
When the Eagles used the last pick in the fourth round to draft Miller — a local product from Northeast Philly — out of Penn State, expectations were tempered. For a while, it seemed like he would not be ready to contribute in his rookie season. It even seemed like Miller was a candidate for a *wink, wink* injury and a trip to IR for a redshirt season.
It might be time to rethink that stance.
In practice and now in the preseason, Miller just keeps getting better and making more plays in both the pass and run game. And on a team with questionable defensive end depth, that’s a welcome sign.
Miller has noticed a change in himself too.
Yeah, I’m more comfortable,” he said. “It’s slowed down for me. I can be myself.
It’s not just Miller who has looked good this summer. Fellow defensive end Daeshon Hall — formerly a Panthers’ third-round pick — is off to a white-hot start in his preseason, leading the NFL in sacks, TFLs, QB hits and forced fumbles. And then there’s Josh Sweat, a fourth-round pick last year who has been quieter in these preseason games, but has had a ton of hype around him going into 2019.
The development of these three is an important one for the Eagles.
Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett are going to start at defensive end in 2019. Vinny Curry is also a known commodity off the bench. But there was — and probably still is — plenty of reason to question the Eagles’ DE depth after that. Remember, the start of the 2018 season saw Michael Bennett and Chris Long coming off the bench; both those guys are gone.
Now, the free agent addition of DT Malik Jackson makes the fourth defensive end spot less important because he’ll be on the field on third downs, but there still should be at least a minimal role for that fourth edge rusher no matter who wins the job.
And Miller is spinning his way into the mix.
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