Eagles offer second chances

Derek Landri lead the Eagles in 2011 with 8 tackles for loss. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

A lot has happened over the last year for defensive tackle Derek Landri. Last Aug. 3, he signed a one-year contract with the Eagles, after having started all 16 games for Carolina in 2010.

Exactly a month later, the Eagles released him.

A long month after that, during which Landri was out of football, the Eagles re-signed him. And, despite missing four games, he still led the team in 2011 with 8 tackles for loss.

Now Landri is the projected opening-game starter since Mike Patterson is sidelined indefinitely following brain surgery.

“Any time you’re not wanted on the business side, it upsets you,” Landri said. “And you don’t want to be put in that situation again.”

Landri has no worries about getting cut this year. Oddly enough, he’s also not alone among Eagles defensive linemen who have been released previously.

Fellow starters Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins were both cut at one point in their careers, as were backup defensive linemen Antonio Dixon, Phillip Hunt, Cedric Thornton, and Frank Trotter.

Landri, Babin, and Jenkins are half of the six projected Eagles starters who were released in their careers, joining left guard Evan Mathis, fullback Stanley Havili, and, technically, Michael Vick, who was let go by Atlanta.

As the Lehigh portion of training camp winds down, it may be natural for borderline players to worry about getting cut. But Landri says that wasn’t his approach.

“I never thought about [getting released],” Landri said. “I just went out there every day and I worked as hard as I could, and did what the coaches taught.”