By Jack Ryan

The Eagles open training camp Sunday in South Philly, and while most of the media focus will be on Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, Kiko Alonzo and Byron Maxwell, I’ll be concentrating on:

Vinny Curry!

Curry is 27 and in a contract year, and that spells trouble for NFL quarterbacks.

And I offer up the Eagles’ trampling of the Giants in October 2014 as an example.

Curry finished the game with two of the nine sacks he had on the season, and each of those showed off the slightly different ways in which he can be a handful for opposing lines. The first involved him turning a simple rip move to the outside into a bull rush. He really just shoved Justin Pugh back into the quarterback before dragging Eli Manning to the ground (above).

This is what makes Curry so valuable.

Philly’s defensive fronts are pretty nebulous. The Eagles play a lot of hybrids and ask most of their linemen and outside linebackers to lead position-less lives. Curry’s first sack came from a standard defensive end spot, but here, he’s ruining John Jerry’s life as a defensive tackle. It’s clear he has a natural bend back to the quarterback, which is a product of playing end but sets him apart as a tackle. My favorite part is that even when he gets pushed past the quarterback, the play doesn’t end. Pass-rushing snobs (like me) tend to discount effort sacks as proof of an edge rusher’s actual talent, but they really do count all the same. Justin Houston gets a bunch of them, and the Chiefs just gave him $52.5 million guaranteed.

Curry isn’t getting that much money, but when he hits free agency next offseason, I see him being the sort of intriguing option that doesn’t come along that often.

The Eagles already have a considerable amount of money tied up in their defensive front with Connor Barwin’s deal, Brandon Graham’s recent extension, and the need to keep Fletcher Cox around when it gets to that time.

Curry has already shown he can get pressure from just about anywhere, and although he probably doesn’t fit as well with a traditional 4-3 team, those teams are disappearing fast.

If he’s anything close to what he was last year, he’ll be a commodity come April.


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