The Philadelphia Eagles came to terms with veteran linebacker Jatavis Brown on a one year deal Saturday. The team finally addresses a position on defense that needs a ton of help. The question is: Will Jatavius Brown be able to fill the void at outside linebacker?
Who exactly is Jatavis Brown?
Jatavis Brown is a four year NFL veteran formerly of the Los Angeles Chargers. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 NFL draft. Brown is undersized for a typical linebacker at 5’10, 227lbs. Brown brings quickness to the position. He ran a 4.44 40 yard dash at his pro day. He’s more of a hybrid player that Eagles coaches seem to like in their defense.
Brown had a fantastic rookie season compiling 79 tackles (8 for a loss), six passes defensed, and 3.5 sacks. Those statistics awarded him a place on the All-Rookie team. Jatavis Brown seemed poised for a breakout in 2018. He started ten games during the season and recorded 97 tackles, 5 passes defensed and a sack. Unfortunately, he suffered an ankle injury that ended his season.
The 2019 season is a year that Jatavis Brown would like to put in the rearview mirror. He fell out of favor with the coaching staff. Brown went from playing in 62% of snaps to 10% on defense. He became more of a special teams player playing in 50% of those plays. One contributor to the lack of playing time might be the missed tackles. He missed 16 tackles in 2018. The change of scenery could be very beneficial for him as he looks for a new beginning in Philadelphia. The potential is there for Jatavis Brown to be a key contributor on the Eagles defense if he takes advantage of the opportunity.
Low Risk, High Reward
Howie Roseman’s motto of the linebacker corps in recent memory has been Low risk, high reward. Look at the free-agent signings the last few years: Corey Nelson, L.J. Fort, and Zach Brown, to name a few. None of which are still on the football team. There’s a revolving door at the linebacker position, and it’s time to establish some stability at the position.
The truth of the matter is that Howie Roseman, Jim Schwartz, or management, don’t value the Linebacker position at all. The organization will look for low profile players to step in and make a name for themselves on the football field. Let’s hope that Howie Roseman acquired a diamond in the rough by the name of Jatavis Brown to stabilize the linebacker group of the Philadelphia Eagles.