DEFENSIVE Tackle Anthony Rush is a name that likely escapes most Eagles fans, but it shouldn’t. When I bring him up in conversation, people’s eyebrows knit together and you can see them mentally searching for the name. That’s sort of a travesty in a city THIS knowledgeable about football.
In 2019, The Eagles got a ton of press about our Practice Squad players stepping up and contributing towards us winning the NFC East. The names that always came up however, were WR Greg Ward, RB Boston Scott, and to a lesser extent TE Josh Perkins. DT Anthony Rush? That name always seemed to be written in invisible ink.
Once we lost DT Malik Jackson and DT Hassan Ridgeway, we started shuttling in bodies like DT’s Albert Huggins and Akeem Spence. Spence didn’t hold the point of attack worth a damn, and soon found himself off the team. Huggins came later, played a few games and then went back to the Practice Squad.
Rush was signed to our Practice Squad on October 21st. He was on the active roster and in a game on October 27th. Rush’s 9 tackles in 9 games didn’t tear up the stat page, but he was about as statistically productive as DT Timmy Jernigan, while possibly being better at stacking blockers vs the run.
Most importantly, Rush gave the Eagles a legit rotational player, which allowed DT Fletcher Cox to focus on his own area, and maximize his own effectiveness. Until that point Fletch had been over-extending himself, trying to help out guys like Ridgeway, Spence and Huggins. You could actually see him starting to wear down.
Rush however, doesn’t need a babysitter. He proved to be able to stack blockers, play on the other side of the line of scrimmage, and make solo tackles even when engaged. Rush allows Cox to be the guy we saw in the Seattle playoff game, because even when Jernigan steps out, there is a level of consistent play at the other DT spot.
Said plainly: Rush helps us maximize Fletcher Cox. ALL. THE. TIME.
Will we have that from Malik Jackson when he gets back? Can’t say for sure, but we have Rush already. Will Ridgeway be better at holding the point when he gets back? Dunno, but we already have Rush.
The combo of Cox, Jernigan, and Rush already works. If we can add to that, awesome! Just don’t dismantle it. Keep Rush on the active roster, and see if we can turn up the heat when get Jackson and Ridgeway back.