Monday, February 8, 2016

Can Sims help the Eagles' blitz?

The Eagles need to get more out of their LBs and DBs when Sean McDermott dials up blitzes next season. How does newcomer Ernie Sims fit into that equation?

Can Sims help the Eagles' blitz?

Can new Eagles LB Ernie Sims help with the blitz? (Michael S. Wirtz/Staff file photo)
Can new Eagles LB Ernie Sims help with the blitz? (Michael S. Wirtz/Staff file photo)

The Eagles made their selections in April's draft with the idea of getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks front and center.

At the media chalk talk event a couple months ago, general manager Howie Roseman even referenced the Giants team that won the Super Bowl, saying that they didn't have the best secondary, but could get to the quarterback.

While it would be great for the Birds to be able to rely on their front four to get that pressure, we all know this is still a blitzing defense.

So as we continue to monitor how the defensive line rotation is going to shake out, it's important to also keep an eye on the linebackers and defensive backs to see how comfortable they are when their number is called to blitz.

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Which bring us to Ernie Sims, who is likely to be one of the Birds' new starters on defense in 2010. The Eagles acquired Sims from the Lions in the offseason, and he got all the first-team reps at weak-side linebacker during last week's OTAs. He's also been one of two linebackers on the field in nickel packages.

I caught up with Sims for a quick Q&A last week. Here's what he had to say:

Q: How are you picking up the defense?

Sims: It's coming along pretty good. Like I said before, I needed to get as much information as possible so that during this next month, I can be studying and get ready for training camp.

Q: What's been the most challenging part?

A: It's just different terminology. The blitzes are pretty much the same, but just different ways to teach the coverages and everything. That's where I've got to improve.

Q: Were you asked to blitz a lot with the Lions?

Sims: Sometimes. Sometimes, not. Sometimes we called it, sometimes we didn't.

Q: Are you looking forward to blitzing more here?

Sims: Most definitely. I'm really excited about that. I feel like I can help the Eagles out a lot with my blitz game, and my cover game.

Q: What's the key to getting there when your number's called?

Sims: Speed. I was taught at Florida State, you gotta pull your ears back, like your hair's on fire and come with a vengeance, because you don't have a lot of time to get there.

Q: How does the pace of practice and the atmosphere differ between here and Detroit?

Sims: Practice is practice. We go out there, we try and get some good work in. We try to learn from our film study early in the morning. I feel like it's the same.

Q: What do you have planned for the next six weeks?

Sims: Continue conditioning. I want to come into training camp strong and fast, and I want to come in healthy. I'm going to stay in my playbook and try to learn everything I can.

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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at or by clicking here

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