Haason Reddick wreaks havoc for Jaguars on turnover-packed day for Eagles

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With a hoarse roar greeting him from Eagles fans seated near the North Zone, Haason Reddick stamped and pointed at the grass at Lincoln Financial Field while simultaneously shouting, “This is my town!”

Moments earlier, Reddick had positioned himself above the right tackle as a standing pass thrower. On the snap, Reddick executed a slide, threw his blocker and effortlessly threw Jawaan Taylor to the ground. It was hunting time for the Camden native and Temple elder.

Reddick used both arms to forcefully smash quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was held desperately in the middle of the pocket. Later in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, Reddick fired Lawrence again to cement the Eagles’ 29-21 victory over the Jaguars.

The Eagles are the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL, and Reddick leads the league with three sacks of tape. His two forced fumbles were part of a five-turnover outing from the defense.

“Haason stopped here, and he’s just right Philly,” 13-year-old veteran Brandon Graham said. “It was just a homecoming party for him today. I’m so happy because it’s just the beginning for him.

In March, Reddick signed a three-year contract worth $45 million in free agency. He was considered one of the team’s biggest off-season additions alongside star receiver AJ Brown. While Brown got off to a flying start — Brown tied his career-high in receiving yards in Game 1 of the season — Reddick needed a few games to fully acclimate.

READ MORE: A closer look at the use of new Eagles rusher Haason Reddick in Jonathan Gannon’s scheme

But the 28-year-old linebacker marked his arrival in loud fashion in Week 4. Reddick tallied two sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, with his final turnover in walk-out mode. According to the team, he is the first Eagle since at least 1950 to have two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in a single game.

His impressive performance was deemed necessary given the early struggles of the defence. The Jaguars took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Eagles didn’t give up. The Jaguars wouldn’t score again until 7:26 into the fourth quarter, when the Eagles already had a two possession lead.

“It shows who we are,” Reddick said. “Nobody hesitated, nobody flinched. [We knew] we had them. We must continue to insist on the details, so that we can rally behind games like this. We knew we always had a chance to dominate the men in front of us.

Upon arriving in Philadelphia, Reddick jumped to the top of the depth chart. The Eagles regularly deploy him as the starting rusher on the other side of 2021 Pro Bowler Josh Sweat. Reddick has lined up mostly on the left side, but he’s by no means cemented in a role. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon also occasionally used Reddick in coverage.

“I was comfortable,” Reddick said. “I’ve said it many times. [Gannon] I always ask myself, ‘What am I comfortable with?’ Everything you see me doing on the field, I’m comfortable. It’s up to me to go out there and execute it at a high level.

Sunday showed that Reddick is best used as a traditional pass thrower. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound weapon (Reddick prefers to call himself that rather than being strapped to a position) has a nonstop motor, and he often wins one-on-one clashes with his hands. rapids that were on display during his two sacks of Lawrence.

“He does everything for us,” linebacker TJ Edwards said of Reddick. “He can play in space. It can be very dangerous by rushing the setter. It was good to see him make games. He does it every day in practice. He’s a real leader for us too. He was this guy since he’s been here.

READ MORE: Eagles remain unbeaten as Jalen Hurts and top defender Trevor Lawrence

Throughout the winter and spring months, Reddick trained primarily at the athletic facilities in Temple. But when the Eagles started their offseason program, he wanted to get to know his new teammates. He became a regular at the NovaCare complex, and Reddick’s work ethic quickly rubbed off on others across the building. Reddick’s eagerness and determination surprised even 11-year-old defensive tackle and team captain Fletcher Cox.

“He’s been really good to us,” Cox said. “The first time he came here, I came here for a week in the offseason, and me and him worked together. It was such a good workout that we ended up training together for the whole week.

“You can see how hungry he is, how badly he wants to win, how hard he works in everything he does. It shows now.

The Eagles’ next opponent happens to be the Arizona Cardinals, the team that drafted Reddick ahead of the Eagles in 2017.

“A lot of people don’t have the ability to come home and play,” Reddick said. “I jumped on it…I’m just happy to be able to come home and play in front of some of the people who watched me grow up. Really, being home, where I grew up, is a beautiful thing.

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