Eagles-Bucs: Vinny and Beau Bring Championship Pedigree to Central Florida
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - When Vinny Curry and Beau Allen left Philadelphia it wasn't to join E.F. Hutton, the stock-brokerage firm famed for its advertising tagline: "When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen."
The equivalent to E.F. Hutton in the NFL, however, is having a ring on your finger, something Tampa Bay's Ryan Fitzpatrick explained when talking about what Curry and Allen have meant to their new teammates in Central Florida.
"Obviously coming from a Super Bowl champion, you tend to listen a little more to some of the things coming out of their mouth," the veteran quarterback explained on a conference call with Philadelphia-area media on Wednesday. "They’ve been nice additions for us. Not just on the field, but what they bring into the locker room as well.”
You can't keep everyone when you win the Super Bowl and Curry and Allen, both key contributors in Jim Schwartz's vaunted defensive line rotation, turned out to be two of the more high-profile losses for Philadelphia in the offseason, Curry more of a salary-cap casualty and Allen via the free-agency route.
Both landed with Tampa Bay and are listed as starters as the Bucs try to copy the Eagles' rotation system up front.
“Those two could not be better team-first guys,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. “Part of that whole deal of us having a good training camp and practicing harder are because of guys like Vinny and Beau setting the tempo every day. They come to work every day and are serious about football. They’re just great guys. They’re the kind of guys you’d like to go have a beer with.”
Curry and Allen learned that kind of worth ethic from players like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham and are now paying it forward to a new group which includes some significant talent like Gerald McCoy, Jason Pierre-Paul and rookie first-round pick Vita Vea.
McCoy, in fact, is the Buccaneers' best player, an interior defender that can wreck a game according to both Mike Groh and Doug Pederson.
“(McCoy) is physical, athletic, definitely pushes the pocket,” Pederson said. “He's a great pass rusher. Quite honestly, he can wreak havoc and so we have to make sure we take care of him. Also, JPP (Pierre-Paul) is there; he's a tremendous end. We obviously know who he is from playing against him when he was with the Giants. And then having two of our former players there. So I think we kind of understand this D-Line a little bit. They are athletic. They are speed rushers, good challenge for our offensive line again.”
The Bucs defense obviously wasn't great in Week 1, a 48-40 shootout win over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints but Curry did record s sack.
Neither Curry or Allen wanted to reminisce with Philadelphia reporters this week, preferring instead to keep it all-business with the Tampa Bay preparing to host the reigning Super Bowl champions so Fitzpatrick took the baton.
“They’ve been, from day one, they kind of stepped in just with their infectious personalities," Fitzpatrick said. "... There’s a professionalism about them."
For the first time, the Eagles are on the wrong side of that professionalism.
"Man, I love those guys," All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. "After [the game] we are going to be friends but we have some business to take care of first."
Allen's presence may force Schwartz to change some of things he normally does up front, according to Brandon Graham.
"Beau is smart. He knows everything we do so we might have to switch up a few things," Graham said.
"It's something we take into consideration," Eagles coach Doug Pederson added. "The other thing we take into consideration is that they have to focus on their job. And two great players that we owe a lot of credit and gratitude for helping us win a championship last year, but they're focused on their jobs, too.
"We keep it in mind. We just have to execute and be sort of mindful of when they're in the game. But there will be some things that we have to change up just because they know the terminology up front; try to help give ourselves an advantage."
Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks, meanwhile, noted familiarity is a two-way street.
"They know us but it works the other way as well," Brooks said. "We really don't worry about that kind of thing. We are just worried about our own business."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen