Philadelphia Eagles talk: Can Haloti Ngata become a vocal leader?

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 01: Haloti Ngata
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 01: Haloti Ngata /

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata may be one of this season’s surprises for the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s also, surprisingly, becoming one of the mentors and vocal leaders.

Here’s an understatement. Newly-added Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has been around for a while. He played for Brian Billick while with the Baltimore Ravens. No we’re being serious. He did.

After Billick came a new head coach, former Eagles special teams coordinator John Harbaugh. Somewhere in there, he crossed paths with current Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas, then a member of the Ravens’ personnel department.

When you think of it in that vein, it shouldn’t be any wonder why so many former Ravens have traded purple for midnight green recently.

Did Philly invest too much in Ngata?

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For most of Ngata’s brief stint in Philly, we’d be wrong to say there’s been a ton of excitement. Prior to landing in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’, Ngata spent three seasons with the Detroit Lions.

His final stint ended with a season-ending injury, and just like that, talk began that Ngata’s best days were behind him and the market for his services had evaporated.

As you’ve probably learned by now, Joe Douglas and Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman are anything but conventional. ‘The Birds’ lost Beau Allen in the offseason. Elijah Qualls is a bit of a project. Timmy Jernigan is recovering from surgery. That leaves Fletcher Cox as the lone certainty Philly has at defensive tackle.

With the questions the Eagles had at defensive tackle, Ngata was signed to a one-year deal. We won’t act like anyone sounded the trumpets when the deal was done, but here’s the thing. If Jernigan can get healthy, that relegates Ngata to situational duty.

He doesn’t have to be the Ngata of old. He just has to answer the call when he’s pushed into duty.

The Eagles have taken chances on guys who were trying to put injuries behind them, and it went well. Think Patrick Robinson. Might Ngata be another nice surprise. We’re also finding out the veteran’s becoming a bit of a mentor and a vocal leader in the locker room. That may not be news to some of you, but it’s always seemed as though he was a quiet and humble guy.

Here are a few words from the man himself:

Video courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles’ official YouTube page

Welcome to Philly Mr. Ngata. What may be the deepest defensive line in all of football should be fun to watch.