Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — The Eagles need help rushing the passer this year, and what better expert to get than pass rusher extraordinaire Kevin Greene to impart some wisdom on the Eagles’ edge rushers?
Greene, who is third all-time in NFL history with 160 sacks, tied for second all-time with three career safeties and third all-time with 26 fumble recoveries, is at Eagles’ training camp for three days, after seeking out and calling good friend and Eagles’ defensive coordinator Billy Davis.
“It feels good to be a part of Philadelphia for a couple of days and try to impart some wisdom on some of these young kids,” Greene said. “I called Coach Billy a few months to inquire about a potential opportunity to come and show some of the things I learned playing this position. He said ‘KG, hang on, let me talk to Coach [Chip] Kelly,’ and called me back and said we have you coming in for three days at camp. Of course, I’m grateful for Coach Kelly letting me come in and be a part of it, and Coach Davis for asking for me.”
Greene said he’s been teaching the Eagles’ outside linebackers some of the things he did as far as defeating offensive tackles on the corner over a 15-year NFL career that merits Hall of Fame consideration. He said his stress has been on pass rush fundamentals, technique and possibly above all else, the will to get to the quarterback.
“I like them, every one of them has a good motor and working hard,” Greene said in reference to the Eagles’ outside linebackers. “I really like the atmosphere. [Marcus Smith] brings a big skill set to the table and I’ve been whispers sweet nothings into his ear every chance that I can.”
Greene also addressed the current state of outside linebackers, as opposed to when he played. He broke down the position to three separate phases: rushing like a 285-pound defensive end; ability to cover like a strong safety; and play the run hard at the point of attack.
“Things like that will also be consistent with a 3-4 outside linebacker,” Greene said. “You have to do all three phases of the game equally.”
While coaching for the Packers, Greene received a lot of credit for developing Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews into the terror he is today.
“Clay obviously had a real nice skill set and all I had to do was polish an edge here and there off that diamond and eventually he’s start shining,” Greene said. “Marcus, for as big, fluid and athletic he is, he can be a fine player.”
Greene said his most important message to the Eagles’ outside linebackers is to always establish “the violent, physical nature of the game up front from the get-go. That’s the number-one thing. Kick his [expletive].”
It seemed as if the Eagles absorbed everything Greene was dispensing.
“It’s unbelievable to have [Greene] here for three days, he’s one of the best to ever do it,” Eagles’ outside linebacker Connor Barwin said. “To have him here and pick his brain and hear the way he talks about rushing the passer, dropping in coverage, two-gapping, all of that stuff, it’s really invaluable. There’s a lot of stuff. I’ve been doing this three, four years at outside backer, but there are two or three things he’s pointed out to me in the last two days that I’ve never been coached up before and I can see it helping me in today’s practice.”
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