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(ESPN)   Eagles sign a player who hasn't played organized football since 2010. Oh, did I mention he spent the past 4 years in the US Army, and won the Bronze Star as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan?   (espn.go.com) divider line 51
    More: Hero, American football, Philadelphia Eagles, Bronze Star, Army Rangers, Afghanistan, U.S. Army Rangers, students, wide receiver  
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1493 clicks; posted to Sports » on 05 May 2014 at 3:53 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



51 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-05-05 01:58:11 PM  
At least he's not a firefighter and a first round draft pick.
 
2014-05-05 02:00:58 PM  
Well, killing the NFL East offensive lines will help the Eagles but that's at least a fifteen yard penalty.
 
2014-05-05 02:17:56 PM  
Being an Army Ranger doesn't make you automatically good at football.

Granted, he did play for Army in college, although the years he was there, the team sucked (lots of 3-9 seasons).
 
2014-05-05 02:30:32 PM  
That guy is a beast.  I wondered what happened to him.

/go iggles
 
2014-05-05 02:59:21 PM  
so you're trying to say he stayed in shape?
 
2014-05-05 03:23:47 PM  
He's  6-foot-9 and 277 pounds.  That is a BIG DEFENSE LINEMAN.
 
2014-05-05 03:24:48 PM  
Publicity?
 
2014-05-05 03:28:29 PM  

browneye: He's  6-foot-9 and 277 pounds.  That is a BIG DEFENSE LINEMAN.


Now picture him as a tight end.  He's working on his 40 yard dash times.  This should be terrifying.
 
2014-05-05 03:57:45 PM  

BalugaJoe: Publicity?


A taller Jimmy Graham.
 
2014-05-05 03:58:21 PM  
"Hmm, four years in Afghanistan was tough, but I thought living there was actually too nice. Isn't there anywhere I could go that will really be horrible?"
"Hey Alejandro, you have a call.  Says he's from Philly."
"Perfect."
 
2014-05-05 04:01:03 PM  
Big deal, they combined two Mark Wahlberg movies.
 
2014-05-05 04:02:35 PM  

wxboy: Being an Army Ranger doesn't make you automatically good at football.

Granted, he did play for Army in college, although the years he was there, the team sucked (lots of 3-9 seasons).


Football requires so much depth any team can have an NFL caliber player or two on it.  I googled a random mock draft and it projected 2 first rounders that were on 4-8 teams last year.
 
2014-05-05 04:03:10 PM  

BunkyBrewman: At least he's not a firefighter and a first round draft pick.


Or drafted in the first round simply because he has "long arms".
 
2014-05-05 04:09:07 PM  

BalugaJoe: Publicity?


wish the guy luck but a pre-draft signing for a guy that hasn't played ball in 4 years, much less at the NFL period, just has "camp body" / "JAG" (Just A Guy) written all over  him.  let him be the real life tackling dummy for the 53.  but good luck dude!


12349876: Football requires so much depth any team can have an NFL caliber player or two on it.


The Tao Of Marv Levy:   "As an NFL coach, depth is greatest thing you can ever have.  Until you need it."

 /My other favorite Tao of Marv Levy is, "Marv, is this a 'must win' game?"  "What?  This a football game!  World War II, now, that was a 'must win'.  This is just football."
 
2014-05-05 04:12:49 PM  
while this is nice it still doesn't make up for signing the dog murderer
 
2014-05-05 04:15:35 PM  
I know Army doesn't pass much, but how did he play WR there and only have 500 yards and 5 TDs?
 
2014-05-05 04:19:47 PM  
Colts did this last year with Josh McNary.
 
2014-05-05 04:23:06 PM  

Farnn: I know Army doesn't pass much, but how did he play WR there and only have 500 yards and 5 TDs?


They still play the Wing-T at Army

They should have signal calls that trigger his PTSD.  "Blue 42!!! Blue 42!!!  Fallujah Fallujah Fallujah !!!! INCOMING INCOMING!!!! Al-Qaeda is Mike!!!! Ready.....FIRE!!!!"
 
2014-05-05 04:25:07 PM  
6'9" and an Army Ranger? Talk about a bullet magnet.

I kid . . . good luck to him and I hope he has a decent shot at the team.
 
2014-05-05 04:27:27 PM  
dudespaper.com
 
2014-05-05 04:32:37 PM  

Aarontology: Well, killing the NFL East offensive lines will help the Eagles but that's at least a fifteen yard penalty.


www.imfdb.org

/Ain't life a biatch?
 
2014-05-05 04:32:40 PM  

End_Of_Line: 6'9" and an Army Ranger? Talk about a bullet magnet.

I kid . . . good luck to him and I hope he has a decent shot at the team.


"Bigger people beat up little people." - Chip Kelly
 
2014-05-05 04:32:41 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: browneye: He's  6-foot-9 and 277 pounds.  That is a BIG DEFENSE LINEMAN.

Now picture him as a tight end.  He's working on his 40 yard dash times.  This should be terrifying.


OH GOD.

and you know he's not going to fold under pressure. He has been shot at, you think yelling at him is going to mess him up?
 
2014-05-05 04:44:40 PM  
Olympians "win" medals.  People in the service are "awarded" them, or so I have heard.
 
2014-05-05 04:47:10 PM  

ko_kyi: Olympians "win" medals.  People in the service are "awarded" them, or so I have heard.



one thing is for certain; although he's a hero, he was never awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honor.
 
2014-05-05 04:51:12 PM  

End_Of_Line: 6'9" and an Army Ranger? Talk about a bullet magnet.


Yeah, I'm wondering how this one avoided the friendly fire.
 
2014-05-05 04:54:30 PM  

Slackfumasta: End_Of_Line: 6'9" and an Army Ranger? Talk about a bullet magnet.

Yeah, I'm wondering how this one avoided the friendly fire.


Captains and corporals don't generally occupy the same real estate.
 
2014-05-05 04:56:56 PM  

browneye: He's  6-foot-9 and 277 pounds.  That is a BIG DEFENSE LINEMAN.


Holy s**t. O_O
 
2014-05-05 05:01:14 PM  
I expect he'll be good, but not great.

It's pretty easy to cut the legs out on a guy that big. A 6'4", 280 pound lineman won't be phased much by height. Seems like he'd be better suited to be a blocking TE. He will be pretty good as a DL, if they put him there. Overall it's a solid signing.
 
2014-05-05 05:25:52 PM  
Getting a Bronze Star isn't a football game there subby.  He was awarded it, I dunno if he won anything.
 
2014-05-05 05:28:21 PM  

you are a puppet: Big deal, they combined two Mark Wahlberg movies.


lololololol
 
2014-05-05 05:29:06 PM  

10up: Getting a Bronze Star isn't a football game there subby.  He was awarded it, I dunno if he won anything.


It's harder these days to respect the bronze star considering the people they've awarded them to

/though I'm almost positive it's legit considering he's a Ranger
 
2014-05-05 05:43:01 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: End_Of_Line: 6'9" and an Army Ranger? Talk about a bullet magnet.

I kid . . . good luck to him and I hope he has a decent shot at the team.

"Bigger people beat up little people." - Chip Kelly


True. However, being big does not guarantee an NFL roster spot. The fact that he made it through Ranger training (which I assume requires not just strength but agility) bodes well for him.
 
2014-05-05 06:01:53 PM  
Just one bronze star? What a wussy....


/sarcasm
 
2014-05-05 06:02:17 PM  
 
2014-05-05 06:11:45 PM  
Makes sense, the Eagles had a cheerleader who joined the army and served in Afghanistan.
Link
 
2014-05-05 06:14:16 PM  

iron_city_ap: I expect he'll be good, but not great.

It's pretty easy to cut the legs out on a guy that big. A 6'4", 280 pound lineman won't be phased much by height. Seems like he'd be better suited to be a blocking TE. He will be pretty good as a DL, if they put him there. Overall it's a solid signing.


Let's see how the dude does in camp. He's 25, was a decent player at a traditionally medicocre program, and hasn't played in four years. I think it remains to be seen if he's good enough to earn a roster spot, let alone be a big contributor. Dude looks slooooooow.
 
2014-05-05 06:25:11 PM  

JohnBigBootay: iron_city_ap: I expect he'll be good, but not great.

It's pretty easy to cut the legs out on a guy that big. A 6'4", 280 pound lineman won't be phased much by height. Seems like he'd be better suited to be a blocking TE. He will be pretty good as a DL, if they put him there. Overall it's a solid signing.

Let's see how the dude does in camp. He's 25, was a decent player at a traditionally medicocre program, and hasn't played in four years. I think it remains to be seen if he's good enough to earn a roster spot, let alone be a big contributor. Dude looks slooooooow.


A DL doesn't need to be all that fast. Same with a blocking TE. Heath isn't exactly a burner, but he's a monster sized guy and a damn good TE. If it wasn't for the fact that they (iggles) have Magnum P.I. as a TE, I'd lend more credence to the position swap, but, I could see it happening. He's too big to not consider it.

I agree with you about him being out of Football. That ranger time counts for something, though.
 
2014-05-05 06:42:02 PM  
Good luck Captain.
 
2014-05-05 06:47:47 PM  

you are a puppet: Big deal, they combined two Mark Wahlberg movies.


Ha!
 
2014-05-05 07:30:15 PM  

browneye: He's  6-foot-9 and 277 pounds.  That is a BIG DEFENSE LINEMAN.



Not really. That's about the average for a 4-3 defensive end. A tackle is going to weigh more than that. And since the Eagles are now running a 3-4, ends and tackles have to be even bigger to occupy space and keep the linebackers free to make plays.
He's right about the same weight as Trent Cole, who the Eagles have playing as a pass rushing linebacker.
That said, put this guy in on the goal line as a receiver, and if his hands are even decent, he'll make Gronk look like a college freshman.
 
2014-05-05 10:26:38 PM  
I thank him for his service.

Now that he's an iggle, I hope his legs fall off.
 
2014-05-05 10:35:45 PM  
Still rather have Chewbacca from the Star Wars draft.
 
2014-05-05 11:23:43 PM  

iron_city_ap: A DL doesn't need to be all that fast. Same with a blocking TE. Heath isn't exactly a burner, but he's a monster sized guy and a damn good TE. If it wasn't for the fact that they (iggles) have Magnum P.I. as a TE, I'd lend more credence to the position swap, but, I could see it happening. He's too big to not consider it.

I agree with you about him being out of Football. That ranger time counts for something, though.


Heath is a big boy but at 6'5" he doesn't even classify as a tall at TE in the NFL. I read a May 2013 article that had Toililo from ATL the tallest TE at 6"8" and he hardly set it on fire. I saw another thing that said the tallest player in the league at any position was 6'8" in 2013. That could have changed during the season last year I guess - I'm just wondering why there aren't any 6-9 dudes in the nfl at all. I mean you look at your average shiat mid-level college basketball game and it's like they grow on trees. Why the hell aren't there any 6-9 football players in the NFL? Sort of just talking to myself here. I wish the guy well but my gut says he won't be on a roster when the season starts. I think it's nice he did the ranger thing - he's undoubtedly fit as a fiddle but what all those dudes who make the jump say is that you cannot believe the speed difference. He was doing hard stuff to be sure, it just didn't have anything to do with football and that's a loooong time to miss for a dude who wasn't all-world to begin with. God luck to him.
 
2014-05-06 12:13:00 AM  

JohnBigBootay: I mean you look at your average shiat mid-level college basketball game and it's like they grow on trees


There aren't that many of 'em. And the ones that are tall aren't necessarily that athletic.

Which is why LeBron's really been the only NBA guy suggested as a NFL TE recently (hey, lemme take a huge pay cut to go out and give myself brain damage!).

/but yes, people WAY underestimate the athleticism of your average professional football player
//hell, there are people that keep acting like they could make the local AFL team's roster
///I think we're going to have to do a video series showing how not-close the average person is
 
2014-05-06 07:34:20 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: End_Of_Line: 6'9" and an Army Ranger? Talk about a bullet magnet.

I kid . . . good luck to him and I hope he has a decent shot at the team.

"Bigger people beat up little people." - Chip Kelly


As he learned last season after giving up a ton of yards after first contact...
 
2014-05-06 09:42:30 AM  
Guy has to much honor to be in philly. Im sure the p fans will take care of that by throwing stuff at him.  He will want to go back to a war torn country after being there for awhile.
 
2014-05-06 11:08:04 AM  
@JohnBigBootay - Center of gravity is the short answer. Longer - if you are tall, it is easier to knock you down so interior DL and RB are out. With a few notable exceptions, guys over 6'3" aren't very fast, so WR and DB are out. They usually have trouble with agility/quickness so OT is out. That leaves QB, LB, OG, and DE, but if a team wants an edge rusher, they have to be quicker than the OT, so that is a big maybe on DE and LB. Now you are left with QB and OG. That is in the pros. You can get away with being the biggest in HS and college, sometimes.
 
2014-05-06 11:11:30 AM  
Forgot to add TE to the final list.
 
2014-05-06 12:40:08 PM  

roc6783: @JohnBigBootay - Center of gravity is the short answer. Longer - if you are tall, it is easier to knock you down so interior DL and RB are out. With a few notable exceptions, guys over 6'3" aren't very fast, so WR and DB are out. They usually have trouble with agility/quickness so OT is out. That leaves QB, LB, OG, and DE, but if a team wants an edge rusher, they have to be quicker than the OT, so that is a big maybe on DE and LB. Now you are left with QB and OG. That is in the pros. You can get away with being the biggest in HS and college, sometimes.


Agreed. I think there are some inherent limitations when it comes to being that tall in football otherwise we'd see more 6-9 football players. So the dudes who pull it off would have to be exceptional in some other ways. It will be a great story if this guy pulls it off but I have my doubts.

/one day there's going to be a 6-9 receiver who is also as fast as lightning and he is going to kill it... maybe
 
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