It’s safe to assume Terrell Edmunds will be a defensive starter for the Philadelphia Eagles this season. Free safety would seem to be the logical position, although the two safety spots should be interchangeable in new defensive coordinator Sean Desai’s system.
Either way, Edmunds is a playmaker who fills a legitimate need. The 26-year-old met with reporters on Friday afternoon to discuss what his role might be after officially inking a one-year deal with the Eagles. Spoiler alert, he isn’t sure. However, Edmunds did admit that he sat down with Desai to talk about the upcoming season. It was a short conversation, one that ended with a promise.
Eagles want versatility…
“Just stay versatile, stay playing as myself, stay trying to put everything out there in whatever hat he gives me,” Edmunds said. “That’s just the whole conversation that we had, really, that wherever he puts me, I’m going to go out there and give 110% and that’s something that I bought into and I told him he has my word with.”
So, yes, Edmunds walked out of Desai’s office without a clear definition of what he’ll be asked to do in 2023. But the real takeaway from their conversation was that versatility is the key. Which makes sense considering Edmunds did a little bit of everything last year for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He lined up all over the field, mainly as a box safety, but he saw snaps at free safety, nickel cornerback, outside cornerback, and even on the defensive line as a freelance blitzer. He’s a chess piece.
“I’m a versatile player, someone who is just going to go out there and give everything I got at whatever position the coach puts me at,” Edmunds said. “I’m going to go out there and give 110%. I’m just ready to work now. I’m excited. I’m ready to just go out there and put on for Philly.”
Perfect Fit: Embracing Culture and ‘Dawg Mentality’
Edmunds, a first-round pick out of Virginia Tech in 2018, spent his first five seasons in Pittsburgh. He was a vital part of the Steelers’ secondary who surprisingly graded out better than former Eagles starters C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps (via Pro Football Focus) in 2022. He is going to be a crucial part of what the Eagles do defensively, no matter where he lines up. Count on that.
“The next step? I guess you could say is just being an Eagle,” Edmunds said. “All old narratives can change because you’re in a new spot. You’re in a new spot, you got a chance to make a new impression.”
Perhaps the biggest impression he can stamp on the Eagles’ defense is his veteran leadership. The safeties and linebackers are young in Philly, something he can use to his advantage as a mentor and sounding board. More importantly, Edmunds has already picked up on the culture in the locker room. Nick Sirianni’s core values are palpable. He could feel the “dawg mentality” dating back to last year when he saw it up-close-and-personal at DeVonta Smith’s celebrity softball game in Allentown, PA.
“Learning about the culture of Philadelphia, about the Eagles and everything that the Eagles stand on, I think that’s something that I really fell in love with,” Edmunds said. “You know, just going out there and having that dawg mentality. Just putting everything out there on the line for the person beside you, and just playing together as one. I think that’s something that really drove me to come here.”
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire