Pederson on Avery: ‘We’ll Find a Role for Him’
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson indicated on Friday that the team would find a role for newcomer Genard Avery in Philadelphia’s defensive-line rotation.
"I think any time you make a move like that for a player, you have to try to find a spot to get him on the field and incorporate him into your -- whether it's offense last year with Golden Tate and obviously this year with Avery," Pederson said.
"But he's worked in. He's practiced this week and this."
Avery did not see significant time this season in Cleveland, appearing in just two games, registering just one tackle and no sacks this season after making 40 tackles and 4.5 sacks as a rookie in 16 games.
"Last year as a rookie he did some productive things," Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "He gave them some speed off the edge, was a productive sacker, he wasn't playing very much this year so it's hard to -- and they changed schemes."
The Eagles acquired Avery on Monday and released Bruce Hector, a defensive tackle they had brought with all the injuries at the position. Avery will be used as a defensive end with the Eagles, but he was being used as a linebacker in Cleveland, but Schwartz wasn't quire sure how he would be used initially.
"I don't know, we'll see where it goes," Schwartz explained. "But he is strong, he's not the tallest guy in the world, but he is sort of thick and strong and Brandon Graham is sort of the same way. He's not quite as heavy as Brandon, but the way we play those edges I think he can be successful in our run defense as well as pass, but all that's just -- we'll get him in here, get him up to speed as quick as we can and then best decide how to use him after that and excited to have him though."
Avery, 24, has only appeared in two games this season, in Week 2 and Week 8. A fifth-round pick by the Browns in 2018, he was productive as a rookie. But the Browns changed their defensive scheme, and Avery saw his playing time evaporate.
"I'm not sure why, I'm not in their clubhouse obviously, but we are excited to add him to our roster," Pederson said when asked about why he didn't play much this year, as opposed to his rookie year. "It gives us depth, gives us talent. He's a young player. He's explosive. We're excited to get him in and start working with our defensive line, [Defensive Line Coach] Phillip [Daniels], start to pick up [Defensive Coordinator] Jim [Schwartz’s] defense and see where he can best fit our needs."
Avery was a dominate collegiate pass-rusher who was known as a good blitzer. Who knows, maybe Jim Schwartz will let him loose - starting this Sunday.