Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry look to lock down starting jobs as Eagles take on … – The Star-Ledger –

Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry look to lock down starting jobs as Eagles take on ... - The Star-Ledger -

Brandon Graham is on his way to becoming the starter
next season Al Bello/Getty Images

The Eagles sent a strong message to the players and fans when they
released Jason Babin this past week

The future is now.

By releasing Babin, the Eagles will now get a chance to see what
their possible defensive ends of the future- Brandon Graham and Vinny
Curry- can do when they take on the Dallas Cowboys tonight on Sunday
Night Football.

Graham and Curry might not have the financial investment in them that
Babin and Trent Cole do- or did in Babin’s case- but the Eagles have
invested high draft picks in them, banking that they can develop into
every down players for this organization.

Based off of his strong play this season, Graham will go into next
season penciled in as one of the Eagles starting defensive ends.
Graham has 16 quarterback hurries in just 101 snaps against the pass
this season, meaning he gets to the quarterback close to 20% of the
time when the QB drops back. Graham’s strong play against the run this
season is a big reason the Eagles felt comfortable releasing Babin and
moving to Graham right now.

If everything goes to plan for the Eagles, the team would like to
start Curry alongside Graham in the near future. Andy Reid finally
gave Curry a chance to get on the field and play last week against the
Carolina Panthers. Curry responded with a very solid game despite
seeing limited playing time. Curry was on the field for just 22 plays,
only nine of which were against the pass. Still, Curry nearly brought
down Cam Newton for a sack and showed good hustle against both the run
and the pass.

Potential, high draft picks, and quarterback hurries are not going to
guarantee Graham and Curry become the next starting defensive ends,
however. As good as Graham has looked this season, he still has just
1.5 sacks. Yes it has been a down year for the entire defensive line,
but Graham is going to have to start turning those QB hurries into
sacks very soon if he wants to get another deal from the Eagles. The
same can be said for Curry. It was good to see Curry get to Newton
last week, but it would have been better to see him take the Panthers
quarterback down.

Much like Nick Foles, Graham and Curry have a golden opportunity in
their hands. With strong play over these last five games, both could
go into next season as the starters. The Eagles have already put the
plan in place for Graham to start by releasing Babin. If a new coach
comes in and the rebuilding begins down at the NovaCare Complex, it is
not far fetched to think that Cole could be next if Curry can show he
is a capable replacement.

Of course, talk about Graham and Curry being the future is just that-
talk- until they go out on the field and produce. Both have gotten off
to a good start but still need to show more to complete to turnover at
defensive end. The path is in place, the young duo just need to take
advantage of it.

That starts tonight in prime time against the Cowboys.

Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks
Related topics: brandon-gra

Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry look to lock down starting jobs as Eagles take on ... - The Star-Ledger -

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