Hargrave is ‘Ready to Eat’ in Eagles’ Defense
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - There is one thing every defensive lineman has in common, they all like to get after the quarterback.
From that standpoint, Javon Hargrave is thrilled to cross the Keystone State from west to east and morph from two-gap nose tackle in Pittsburgh to one-gap three-technique in Philadelphia under Jim Schwartz.
“What the Eagles play is made for defensive linemen,” Hargrave said in a conference call on Monday, days after signing a three-year $39 million deal, $26M of that guaranteed, with the Eagles. “I think every defensive lineman wants to play in this system.”
Schwartz is fond of calling his line the engine of his defense and Hargrave is projected to settle in next to All-Pro Fletcher Cox. On paper that should give the Eagles one of the best interior pushes in the league with the talented Malik Jackson and the recently re-signed Hassan Ridgeway also mixing in to offer new defensive line coach Matt Burke the ability to come at opposing offenses in waves.
"I feel like I’m back home with the dogs and ready to eat,” Hargrave joked. “... I know [Cox is] going to get most of the attention. That’s going to help me. I don’t know if he’s going to share his secrets, but hopefully, he shares his secrets and helps my career.”
As for the kind of player Cox will be teaming with, Hargrave is excited to get back to a more aggressive approach he showed in college at South Carolina State.
"I just get off the ball, get up the field,” Hargrave said when discussing his skill set. “That was kind of what I was known for in college and that’s just something that really fits me. I want to show I can do it.”
Hargrave enjoyed his time with the Steelers but quickly made the decision to move on once Philadelphia showed significant interest.
Back in 2016, the Eagles had significant interest in Hargrave during the third round before ultimately settling on Isaac Seumalo at No. 79 overall. Hargrave went 10 picks later and spent four years working his way back into the Eagles’ mindset.
“I called my family and friends and said, `I think I have a chance to go to the Eagles,' ” Hargrave reminisced of the pre-draft process. " ... It didn’t work out but worked out this time. I’m happy to be here."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espsn.com and SI.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen