Dannell Ellerbe set to make Philadelphia Eagles debut versus Seahawks

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: Levine Toilolo
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: Levine Toilolo /

With Philadelphia Eagles middle linebacker Joe Walker listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game, their fans may get their first look at Dannell Ellerbe in an all-white Eagles jersey.

There are guys who have played in Jim Schwartz‘s scheme the entire time he’s been the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles who are still adjusting to some of the complexity. Then, there’s middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. He’s been on the team for a grand total of about three weeks.

Ellerbe owes his roster spot, primarily, to Jordan Hicks being lost for the season. He’s spent time on both the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins roster. Miami placed him on injured reserve on July 25th of this year and released him on August 25th. There he sat in football limbo until the Eagles gave him the call on November 12th. His addition was the result of Philly’s need to provide depth at linebacker for themselves.

Now, with Joe Walker listed as questionable, he may be forced into action on Sunday night.

Is Ellerbe ready?

Those of you who are concerned about whether or not Ellerbe’s ready to step in won’t have your feelings echoed by the nine-year veteran. He brings Super Bowl experience to the Eagles roster, having won Super Bowl XLVII with the Ravens. Throughout his career, he’s racked up 368 tackles, 10.5 sacks and three interceptions. He’s also forced three fumbles. He appears to be confident about being able to contribute if the Eagles need him to play.

Here’s what he had to say on the possibility of playing.

"This will be my third week here and I’m still learning, but they’re shortening my package of plays. I’m pretty sure I’m not getting the full package, but, whatever I have to do. It just comes down to getting on the field and getting into a groove. Watching film, you’re going to be able to see what (the Seahawks offense) is doing. The biggest thing for me is the terminology. It’s totally different from what I’m used to. I feel like I’d be good if I get into the game. Can I stand here and say that I know everything? No way. Hell no, but, I like the scheme. It’s been working so far."

Here’s a word from the coach.

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Eagles head coach Doug Pederson echoed what Ellerbe had to say in some of his own comments. In his words, Ellerbe is ‘still kind of getting the pieces of the defense together’. Philly employs more nickel formations than the base 4-3 sets.

Much of that is due to the fact that so many teams utilize three-wide receiver packages. That being said, there’s a chance the Eagles may include Ellerbe a little more, but there may not be a ton of activity for him.

Coach Pederson said it this way. “When you look at Joe’s productivity, he’s about 12 to 15 snaps a game in our base defense right now, so it’s not a lot, and we don’t do a ton schematically in our base. He’s still picking up some of the nuances of that, and we’ll see where he’s at again on game day.”

Philly’s game against the Seattle Seahawks isn’t too far away.