Looking for leadership and production at linebacker, the Eagles acquired DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans in March 2012. There was a dose of skepticism about the deal, even though Ryans had been to two Pro Bowls before he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2010.
Contending teams don't often part with all-pros unless there's a reason. The Eagles learned that lesson the hard way in the past.
But in his second season with the Eagles, Ryans is validating the Eagles' end of the trade by pushing to make his first Pro Bowl since 2009.
"This is the level I was playing at," Ryans said. "It's fun being back at that level, being able to make plays."
Ryans, 29, is not especially boastful. His claim echoes what has been said elsewhere in the organization, from the locker room to the coaching staff to the front office. Ryans ranks fourth in the NFL with 89 tackles and is second in solo tackles with 71. He also has two sacks and two interceptions, and is a major reason that the Eagles ...