December's first full week began for most of us with some leftover feelings about a humbling Week 13 Philadelphia Eagles loss. We tried to shake it off. Eventually, we were able to. Once we did, thoughts turned to adjustments that needed to be made, particularly changes involving the defense's second level.
Philly got their guy. Photos of Shaquille Leonard emerging from that famous black SUV popped up on the Birds' social media accounts. He had arrived with a smile, and he was ready for action.
Wednesday's practice served as a walkthrough. The Birds moved things indoors on Thursday for the second session of Dallas Cowboys Week. As you might imagine the new guy earned a few looks.
Feast your eyes. Only Heaven knows when we will see a three-time All-Pro linebacker in an Eagles uniform. Fingers are crossed this way. We're really hoping this works.
Shaquiile Leonard figures to play versus Dallas. Expect a better looking Eagles linebacker corps.
If he's close to being the player that he once was, Shaq Leonard should help stabilize a suddenly-shaky linebacker unit. There's no reason to believe that he won't play on Sunday Night Football versus the Dallas Cowboys. That's why he's here, right?
Leonard arrives in the City of Brotherly Love having been waived by the Colts on November 21st and signing with the Birds on December 4th. He appeared in 70 regular-season games with Indy with 68 starts. He notched three more starts during three postseason games.
653 total tackles, 15 sacks, 12 interceptions, 32 pass breakups, and 18 forced fumbles were the results of his efforts. Those numbers include the three postseason contests.
Leonard, Zach Cunningham, and Nicholas Morrow figure to hold things down as the members of the second level's rotation on Sunday Night Football. That's music to our ears. Send a few text messages. Tell a few friends. The new guy appears to be ready to go.
The Eagles linebacker unit figures to look much better in Week 14 than it did versus the San Francisco 49ers less than a week ago. That we can promise you if we don't (or can't) promise you anything else.
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Update: Shaq Leonard switches his jersey number on Friday.
The Eagles held onto hope that, after releasing Christian Elliss, he'd clear waivers and return. That didn't happen. Six teams put in a waiver claim to acquire him. He landed with the New England Patriots.
With the number 53 jersey available, Leonard has claimed it for himself. He figures to wear his old digs on Sunday.