The Eagles linebacker core is one of huge potential but that is also plagued by injury and inconsistency on the pass rush. Despite a recent change in pass rush effectiveness and Jordan Hicks having a huge rookie season, Kendricks and Alonso have spent a large amount of time on the sidelines whilst Connor Barwin has been a lot less effective than he was last year. The gaps have meant guys like Najee Goode and Marcus Smith have seen an increase in snaps, but there is one man who hasn’t..who really, really should.
Bryan Braman. Braman has played 185 snaps this season, 176 of those snaps have been on special teams. In the nine snaps he has played at linebacker, Braman has a sack on Drew Brees..
Special teams ace @50_Braman made a statement against Drew Brees earlier today! https://t.co/XPpl5iGcLz
— Philly Sports Network (@PhiladelphiaSN) October 12, 2015
an ALMOST incredible play in which he was inches away from blocking a Panthers field goal..
— LBCC Athletics (@lbccvikings) October 26, 2015
and has two tackles to his name .Brandon Graham in contrast has 24 tackles in 351 defensive snaps.. He may not be as effective as Hicks or have as much Defensive experience as Goode but surely Braman deserves more snaps than Marcus Smith? He’s big, powerful and is actually pretty fast, running a 40 yard dash in 4.74 seconds. But it’s the aggression and ruthlessness that the Eagles need coming off the edge. It’s an area they have struggled in all season and Braman could easily provide the urgency needed to hurry an already wobbly Quarterback against the Cowboys.
But Chip Kelly has constantly seemed to neglect this mans sheer dominance..signs were clear in pre-season just how impactful Braman could be.
— ON THE ROAD TO VICTORY (@chadwiechert) August 31, 2015
Whilst his presence on Special Teams is in no doubt needed, he could really add something to a linebacker core that has struggled in setting the edge until recently, even if it’s just for a few third down plays.
The sack on Drew Brees was the first sign, people were still sleeping on him after we turned peoples’ attention back to how impressive the tackles was. Braman then leaped over the line with no penalty given to be just a touch away from blocking a Panthers Field Goal. The man is a brute and Chip Kelly would be smart to work him into rotation with the likes of Goode and Smith. Braman has the lowest amount of Defensive snaps out of any Linebacker, even lower than Kiko Alonso who has been out since week two..that should really change.