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Falcons sign DE Steven Means

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Steven Means was the Eagles last cut

ByJeff Kerr Sep 2, 9:35 AM
 

 

Steven Means has proven his value to the Philadelphia Eagles time and time again. Means has emerged as a fan favorite over the years because of his hard work and ability to challenge the Eagles offensive line, which has All-Pro tackles Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, every practice

Means deserved to be on a 53-man roster somewhere, but not in the role the Eagles had him in. He was good enough to play as an active defensive end on 31 other NFL teams, instead of a game day inactive on the Eagles. Releasing Means was a tough call for the Eagles, but Philadelphia did him a favor.

Means deserves to play somewhere. The Eagles are giving him that opportunity.

"Steven was the last cut, and I think because of what he means as a person and a player, (it was) really hard. Hard one," said Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman. "Again, I think for us, as we get going here, you have to think about where we are from a roster perspective and where we are on the 46 and what we need to give our coaches the best chance to win this week and the weeks going forward.

"We're deep at some positions that are hard to find, and at the same time, it doesn't make it any easier. Incredible person, a guy who's meant a lot to us on and off the field, and (it was) a tough one."

The Eagles need at tight end and middle linebacker did Means in. Philadelphia will likely be without in Week 1 due to a knee injury that kept him out the second half of the preseason. The Eagles couldn't go with just two tight ends heading into the opener, so they needed to add a fourth tight end to the roster for that first game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Josh Perkins was the beneficiary of the need, making the initial 53-man roster.

Philadelphia also has a middle linebacker in Jordan Hicks, but needs a quality backup in case Hicks needs a breather or goes down (Hicks had his season end to injury twice in his three NFL seasons). In came Joe Walker, a good special teams player and capable backup to Hicks at middle linebacker.

The Eagles could use an extra linebacker with Nigel Bradham missing the opener due to a suspension. Walker deserved the nod.

Philadelphia was stacked at defensive end and added Michael Bennett in a trade and Josh Sweat in the draft. Chris Long decided to postpone retirement while Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett were under contract. If the Eagles didn't need more depth in other areas, Means would be on the final roster.

That's the cruel nature of this business. Means will bounce back and make another NFL roster and contribute as more than a game day inactive.

The Eagles did his career a favor, even though Means deserves to be on the team. The Super Bowl champions are immensely talented...cutting means was a result.

https://247sports.com/nfl/philadelphia-eagles/Article/Steven-Means-Eagles-last-cut-121339038/

Edited by lostnmexico

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53 snaps last year, 36 the year prior, so yea...small sample size.

Drafted by the Buccs in 2013.

OVERVIEW

Means -- who started 43 games for Buffalo -- played defensive end for the Bulls, but translates to outside linebacker in the NFL. A disruptive force as an edge rusher, Means had 6.5 sacks in 2012, 2.5 sacks in 2011, 4.5 sacks in 2010 and a team-high five sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2009.

 

Eagles signed DE Steven Means to a one-year extension through 2018.
27-year-old Means has bounced around the league since entering as a 2013 fifth-round pick by the Bucs, but the Eagles' coaching staff loves his potential to bring heat off the edge as a rotational player. On the depth chart, Means will open the season behind Brandon Graham, Derrick Barnett, Vinny Curry, and Chris Long. 

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usa_today_10508709.0.jpgBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Means is no stranger to anxiety when the roster cuts come rolling in. Since entering the league as a fifth round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013, very little has been handed to him. I’m sure that sits just fine with Means, who after bouncing from the Bucs to the Baltimore Ravens and now the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, has worked himself into a position to make the roster again.

At 6’3” 263 pounds, the 27-year old defensive end that celebrates a birthday in a couple weeks has kept his job by thriving in the preseason. From 2016 to 2017 he racked up a total of 28 pressures. When given a chance at regular season action last year, Means rewarded the Eagles with a sack in Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys.

More important than his production to this point has been his leadership qualities.

 

One thing you notice about Means, is how much you see him coaching up the players around him. Mike Mayock relayed a story about how Means was schooling Jordan Mailata on what he saw in Mailata’s set that spurred him to take an inside track on a pass rush. Not only is this a sign of a mentor, but it also highlighted Means’ technical knowledge and fast processing speed. The Eagles have used Means on the scout team and the value he brings there is unquestioned. He’s tasked with setting up and executing his rushes in practice like the player the opposite offensive tackle will face that Sunday and by all accounts he does an excellent job in that role.

With the 2018 preseason in the books, Means has again showed why he’s worth keeping around not just for his leadership, but for the quality of his play. Heading into the week 4 game against the New York Jets, Means ranked tied for 5th in pressures (11) according to Pro Football Focus. Among defensive ends with at least 30 snaps, he ranked 4th in pass rush productivity. It’s an understood and necessary qualifier that Means takes a healthy amount of reps against second and third stringers, but the technique and traits he displays on film are impressive nonetheless.

 

His snap anticipation, first-step quickness, power in his hands and understanding of leverage flash consistently in the run and pass game. He’s only gotten better over the years, adding more knowledge and moves to his toolbox.

The tough question for the Eagles becomes, with the emergence of rookie fourth round selection Josh Sweat.. is now the time to move on from Means or is his development going to lead to more meaningful regular season snaps soon? He turns 28 in a couple weeks and is facing a loaded depth chart to wade through. With Means on a one-year contract, Howie Roseman just may decide it’s time to cash in on his investment.

Means is garnering attention from around the league, including our friend Sosa Kremenjas from Turf Show Times.

If Means were to be shopped, what compensation would he garner? A fourth round pick? A fifth? That’s unknown but what is known is that there’s a premium on solid edge play. Personally, I want to see Means make this roster and have a chance to make a meaningful contribution for the Eagles in 2018. If the snaps aren’t available, perhaps it would be best for Means and the team to do what’s best for each other’s future. Means is a great locker room guy and a solid player that can make an immediate contribution on a lot of teams. All he needs is a chance.
Edited by lostnmexico

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So let me see if I understand this correctly. We lose our starting safety, EVERYONE knows there is a starting safety that can be had for cheap, but we go and sign a DE???!!! Guess I should expect as much 

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25 minutes ago, athell said:

Not that I am expecting him to come in and register double digit sacks...just...context...

Why provide context when it's so much easier to jump to conclusions?

Obviously not a stud pass rusher but clearer they saw something and if there's a team that could have to cut a quality d-lineman, the Eagles qualify.

vitaman, Ergo Proxy and athell like this

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I do not expect this guy to be some phenom but if nothing else he seems to have traits that DQ/MM/TD like and he has not been able to really do a lot while in the league.  I am hopeful.  We need another pass rusher.  We have quite a few inside guys who we can throw out there but none are a real concern snap to snap.

rounz and quickzero like this

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29 minutes ago, birdsincebirth said:

So let me see if I understand this correctly. We lose our starting safety, EVERYONE knows there is a starting safety that can be had for cheap, but we go and sign a DE???!!! Guess I should expect as much 

Reid is suing the NFL. It was never going to happen. 

gkgrimes likes this

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