Homecoming Finally Arrives for Paul Worrilow
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Paul Worrilow had an opportunity to play for his "hometown" team last year but financial terms steered the University of Delaware product to the Motor City.
The pit stop turned out to be a productive one for the veteran linebacker in the form of $3 million from the Lions and a mulligan that got him back to the Delaware Valley as the Eagles' newest linebacker this week.
“I had my second daughter coming in April, so I had to make, financially, the better decision,” Worrilow explained at his introductory news conference at the NovaCare Complex. “Now I think I’m in a position where this is where I want to play, and I’m going to play here regardless."
Regardless means a one-year deal for the veteran minimum despite having better offers on the table elsewhere for the former walk-on with the Blue Hens.
“This is it for me,” he said. “Just driving by the stadium as a kid all the time, you look out and see the Linc, and that’s where I wanted to play. And it’s nice to be home around my family.”
Worrilow, who will turn 28 next month, mentioned watching soon-to-be Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins come out of the tunnel for the Eagles but admitted he never had the chance to actually attend a game until this past January when he watched Philadelphia play the team he broke into the NFL with, the Atlanta Falcons, in the divisional round of the playoffs.
“I remember driving up,” he explained. “I remember telling my wife, I’m like, `I hope this is my drive to work next year.’”
Indeed the short trek up I-95 will be his drive as Worrilow brings experience, versatility and special teams ability to the Super Bowl champions.
“They had a great year last year," Worrilow said. "This is a talented team. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this, especially in this city? Growing up (near) here I know how important it is for the Eagles to win, and that’s cool and something I want to be a part of.”
As for his role, Worrilow, who has started 52 games in this league, isn't concerned
“The league, it can be so unpredictable,” he insisted. “You can be at the bottom of the depth chart one week, then you can be a starter. So I don’t get too caught up in, hey, `what’s my role?’"
Worrilow has experience playing both inside and outside and will likely be penciled in as the backup to Jordan Hicks in the middle while also providing Dave Fipp with another "core four" coverage guy on special teams.
“I’m going to put my best ball out there," Worrilow said. "Be the best teammate I can be, and whatever that ends up being, I mean, I’m OK with it.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen