For whatever reason, Jim Schwartz didn’t want to mention the name of the game, so we’ll try to honor his request.
On Tuesday, Schwartz was talking about the new additions to the Eagles’ defense and the first person he named was Vinny Curry, who played his first six years in Philadelphia before joining the Buccaneers for one season. After getting cut by Tampa Bay, he’s back with the Eagles on a one-year deal.
“He really looks like he hasn't missed a beat from where he was when he last played a game for us,” Schwartz said, “which was in Minnesota.”
You probably remember the game in Minnesota. It was the last game of the 2017 season but was played on Feb. 4, 2018; ringing any bells?
Like he had in the 18 games prior, Curry started this one too. He played 44 snaps (58 percent) and had four tackles. The Eagles won. They got a trophy.
I’m trying to really, really take it to the next level,” Curry said this week. “To feel that feeling again, I’ll do anything in the world for it. I’m just working.
That game in Minnesota was the last game of Curry’s first stint with the Eagles. He parlayed his and the team’s success into a three-year, $23 million contract with the Bucs, but he never saw all that money. He was cut this February after just one season.
He called his time away in Tampa “just a long offseason, that’s all.”
When he re-joined the Eagles in March, the 30-year-old Curry said he had some other offers, but “home is home” and decided to come back to his favorite childhood team. With over $27 million in career earnings, Curry’s current one-year deal with the Eagles for 2019 is worth a modest $2.25 million. But it’s not about that right now. It’s about chasing that feeling he had after that game in Minnesota.
Curry will have an important role with the Eagles in 2019, but he won’t be a starter unless there’s an injury. He’ll be a rotational defensive end behind Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Until that 2017 year, Curry had never started a game in five NFL seasons, so this role won’t be anything new for him.
The Bucs didn’t make the playoffs last season, so Curry watched the Eagles’ two playoff games on TV from home like any other fan.
“I was at the edge of my damn seat like, ‘aahaahhh!!’” Curry said, letting out a yelp. “You know what I’m saying? … It’s good to be back with the guys and be back on this journey.”
The goal for the journey this season isn’t Minnesota. This year, it’s all about getting to Miami in February. That wouldn’t make for a bad vacation, but the Eagles and Curry are hoping it’s a business trip. To the Super Bowl (sorry, Jim).
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