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Marcus Epps

Getty Third-year safety Marcus Epps could play a vital role for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021.

Lost in the shuffle of what was widely considered a great 2022 draft was the absence of a new safety. The Philadelphia Eagles went heavy on defense — mainly at the linebacker spot — but failed to invest more resources in their secondary. That appears to be by design.

General manager Howie Roseman has showered love on returning safeties Marcus Epps and Anthony Harris on multiple occasions this offseason. The Eagles also have high hopes for third-year man K’Von Wallace. When Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay was asked to name his “under-the-radar player to watch” for the 2022 season, he didn’t hesitate. Slay name-dropped Epps instantly.

“For sure Marcus Epps. He got a lot of reps, been playing there a lot,” Slay told reporters. “He filled the role in real good, he’s always been ready, always been waiting for his time to come and this is his time. I know the work he put in, looking forward to seeing what he do.”

Slay was also complimentary of the young cornerbacks on the roster. With last year’s starter Steven Nelson gone — he inked a cheap deal in Houston — it’ll be up to unproven guys like Tay Gowan, Josiah Scott, Kary Vincent Jr., and Mac McCain III to push for the spot opposite Slay. The Eagles also have second-year corner Zech McPhearson itching to make his presence felt.

“He’s ready,” Slay said of McPhearson. “Like I said, we got a lot of trust in our room, a lot of belief. You know, we got a good coach [Dennard Wilson] that is very detailed, and I make it simple for them, just do your job at the highest of your abilities. Ain’t nobody asking you to do extra or extra more, just try and do your job the best way you can.”

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Devon Allen Impressing Eagles Teammates

Devon Allen is attempting to return to organized football after a six-year hiatus. The two-time Olympian has been busy setting track-and-field records, including a 2022 world-best time at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

Slay showed up to watch his newest teammate and enjoyed every blistering second. Literally. Allen ran the 100-meter hurdles in 13.11 seconds.

“I’m real big on supporting my teammates so, of course, I was going to show up,” Slay said. “Man, he’s fast.”

Slay joked that maybe he should trade in his football cleats for track spikes. He actually ran the 100 and 200 meters as a youngster at Brunswick High School in Georgia.

“That thing was lit. I kind of miss my track days,” Slay said of the Penn Relays. “That looked way more fun than playing in a [football] game honestly, that looked fun.”

Slay Comments on A.J. Brown’s Skillset

The Eagles’ blockbuster trade for A.J. Brown is still sending shockwaves around the NFL. Slay will have to cover the 6-foot-1, 226-pound receiver at training camp practices, something he’s looking forward to doing this summer.

He has never gone up against Brown, but the Pro Bowl corner knows he’s going to be tough to guard from watching the tape. The best comparison Slay had was Calvin Johnson, his former teammate in Detroit.

“I ain’t never played against him [Brown] but I been watching his film,” Slay said of Brown. “He’s aggressive, finishes through catches, runs through tackles. He’s like a running back when he gets the ball in his hands, makes all the contested catches. People kind of look at him like he’s big and slow but on film I ain’t never seen him get ran down yet.”

Source: Heavy

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