When the Philadelphia Eagles faced the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, there was a question of whether Linval Joseph, who the team had signed only four days earlier, would play. At 34 years of age, Joseph hadn’t played in a training camp, nor in the first half of the season, and was waiting for a contender to pick him up for a stretch run.
But play he did, in a very specific nose tackle role over the center, and he was very effective clogging up the middle of the line, helping the Eagles fix their recently scrutinized run defense.
“He’s a big man, and he knows how to play blocks,” Jonathan Gannon said of Joseph on Tuesday. “He’s extremely effective with his hands. He’s explosive. He’s quick. He’s big, and he’s seen all those little different blocking schemes before.
“If you asked him how this team executes a power double, he’ll tell you. If you ask, hey, how does this team differ from this team with a power scoop, he’ll tell you. Hand placement, footwork, leverage, angles, he’s into the books too now, so he’s extremely intelligent. He’s a big, violent man and he’s played a lot of football and he knows how to play blocks, and he knows how he fits in and what he has to do to help the other guys make plays.
A look at Joseph’s play against the Colts on Sunday.
Joseph only played 26 snaps on Sunday, but his impact was felt. The Colts could not move him off the line of scrimmage when they doubled him, and he freed up teammates to make tackles for losses or for short gains.
He will continue to play a space-eating role along the interior Eagles’ defensive line while rookie Jordan Davis is on injured reserve, and beyond. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles play Joseph and Davis together, and how Davis grows as a player while also getting to learn from the 13-year vet along the way.
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports
Add Jimmy’s RSS feed to your feed reader