Aug 032011
 
New Eagles DT Anthony Hargrove

New Eagles DT Anthony Hargrove (photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

With Mike Patterson out for the time being after suffering a scary seizure this morning, Brodrick Bunkley traded to some NFL team somewhere (maybe), and Trevor Laws tweaking a hip flexor in drills today, the Eagles are suddenly looking a little thin at defensive tackle.  But in this new era of Eagles largesse, that’s no longer a problem.

The Eagles signed not one but two defensive tackles today, Anthony Hargrove and Derek Landri.

Hargrove, 28, has played with the Rams, Bills, and most recently the Saints.  For his seven-year career, he has 16.5 sacks and 306.   Undersized a bit at 6-3, 272 pounds (though likely heavier) but quick and strong, those numbers could have been even better if not for Hargrove’s constant battle with addiction and substance abuse, a problem that nearly ended his career.

After originally being a well-regarded talent coming out of Georgia Tech, going in the third round to the Rams as a defensive end, Hargrove saw his life get derailed due to drugs.  He missed the entire 2008 season due to a suspension for failing multiple drug tests.  Luckily, he seems to be past it.

“Daily, he recognizes this opportunity,” Saints coach Sean Payton said regarding Hargrove. “When that happens, there’s more of a reward or gratification in what you do than the second-round pick who comes into the league. In other words, it’s a good story, and it gives you confidence in the human spirit and what someone can change in their life despite the mistakes they’ve made prior. It’s easy to be proud of a guy like that. He’s had to battle and fight, and I think it’s a good message.”

He was also viewed positively by his Saints teammates.

“Everybody knows his stories, his ups and downs, and what we appreciate is the fact that he’s really changed his life,” said Saints defensive end Will Smith. “He’s a better person and a better player for it. … We watch out for each other, but mostly probably him. We know he can be on edge sometimes, so we try to do our best to help him out as much as we can. He’s always on edge. Everybody cares for him so much that they don’t want to see him doing something he’ll regret.

“For the most part, he’s a stand-up guy. Everybody always has that feeling that you’ve got to watch out for him every now and then.”

Last week, NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks described Hargrove as having “…an outstanding blend of size, strength and quickness, and plays with a non-stop motor. He wears down opponents with his relentless style, and he’s versatile enough to play in any system.”

If Hargrove can bring those skills and his renewed commitment to the Eagles, he may end up being more than just camp depth.

Landri, 27, was originally drafted by Jacksonville in the fifth round of the 2007 draft.  Playing mostly as a reserve, Landri was cut by the Jaguars in December of 2009.  He was claimed by the Panthers and started all 16 games for them in 2010. They went 1-15.

For his career, Landri has 82 tackles and six sacks.  He became an unrestricted free agent this offseason.  He’s likely no more than just depth for camp.

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