A year removed from a playoff loss in the wild card round, the Eagles made a determination to rejuvenate their secondary.
Since free agency began, the front office has given major emphasis to the defense by adding key players like Will Parks, Darius Slay, and Nickel Robey-Coleman.
Today, I was joined by safety Will Parks, who talked about what it means to be an Eagle and what his expectations are for this season.
Here’s what he had to say.
Q: For someone who grew up in Philadelphia, what’s it like getting to rep for the team you rooted for?
A: “Growing up and seeing the history, and the championship culture the Eagles developed, it’s an incredibly fruitful oppurtunity for me. Obviously I have to work hard for it, but the oppurtunity here is the best one out there.”
Q: When you heard that the Eagles were interested, did you consider playing elsewhere or were you determined to stick to your home roots?
A: “The oppurtunity here was terrific. I’m on a 1-year deal so I have to prove that I’m the best in the world. There was a lot of interest from other teams, but the Eagles offered me the same range of money, and the defense that’s designed here is going to allow me to take it to another level.”
Q: You talked about the Eagles having a great defensive scheme. When you were drafted by Denver, you had the chance to play under the Wade Phillips defense with players like Chris Harris Jr. and Aquib Talib? How did that impact you and the kind of player you are today?
A: “I love talking about those guys. Those guys helped me get to where I am in my career by a long shot. I feel like that’s one of the best situations I could have been placed in. Being a young guy, going into a locker room with those guys alone, whether it be Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, or Dereck Wolfe, just overall a defense that was coming off of a Super Bowl win, I think that was one of the best things to happen to me. Their attitude and mentality reflected on me as a 6th round pick, and helped me grow as a player.”
Q: Just like the veterans in Denver helped you grow, how do you plan on taking the young players on the Eagles, like K’Von Wallace, under your wing?
A: “I definitely plan on doing it with the same philosophy. Considering who I am, I’m passionate, I love the game, I definitely want to be an asset for those young guys. Watching Wallace’s highlights, that kid can definitely play football. With all of the guys we have on defense, I think we can be the best secondary. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but the sky’s the limit for us.”
Q: You guys have plenty of chances to prove yourselves against great offenses like the Ravens, the Cowboys, and the entire NFC West. Who do you guys want to face the most?
A: “There’s no particular team that I have marked down. I’ve played a lot of great teams in my career, and honestly, with all of the teams on the schedule, we’re just looking to take it one game at a time, one practice at a time, because that’s how some of the great teams do it. They don’t look too far ahead, too far back, they just live in the moment, so we’re looking to do the same by going on runs and overcome any adversity we face. ”
Q: Playing in the AFC West, you’ve played some great teams like Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs twice a year. How has that improved your game?
A: “I’ve been on a top-10 defense all four years, as well as a number one secondary. We’ve seen some great offenses like the Chargers with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, the Chiefs, the Raiders with Derek Carr, and we were still a top rated defense. Every game was close, every game was competitive, and at the end of the day, it’s the National Football League, that’s what it’s about.”
Q: You play hard every play and every down. What’s your message to Philadelphia about who Will Parks is and what kind of player you are?
A: “Philly, Will is coming in with energy, with spirit, and with hard work mentality. I don’t like mistakes, so when I make mistakes, I work my hardest to fix mistakes. I’m ready to come in and do anything I can to help win a championship. I’m bringing swag, and I’m definitely excited to get started and get this journey going. There’s a lot of work to put in, but I want you guys to know that we’re coming hard.”
One thing if for sure from talking to Will; he’s a competitor who’s going to make this an awfully scary defense next year.
I wish Will the best of luck for this season, as I know that I, along with the entire city of Philadelphia will be cheering hard for the North Philadelphia native.
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