MIAMI GARDENS, Florida – Eagles linebacker Kyzir White saw something developing in the backfield. Running back Boston Scott had just passed to quarterback Jalen Hurts. With his four years of NFL experience and hours of film studies, White fired into the gap created by the offensive line, meeting Scott and stopping him for minimal gain.
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Whether it’s saves like this in Thursday’s practice at the Baptist Health Training Complex or trap interceptions in preseason games and practices, White relied on his instinct and his studies to make him a complete linebacker. White said he made those plays because of the work he did off the court.
“I watch a fair amount of movies,” White said. “What works for me is not to overdo it. I look at the playbook and I study, I take a lot of notes and I meet my coach several times. I ask a lot of questions, maybe too many sometimes, but I feel like you have to go through trial and error, come here to practice, go through bumps and bruises, make mistakes but in learn lessons, come back the next day trying to master everything.
Last year for the Chargers, White had 144 tackles, one sack and two interceptions. Among linebackers who played at least 313 cover snaps, White received the 14th-highest rating from Pro Football Focus. But the Chargers, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2018, allowed him to become a free agent, and he agreed to a one-year contract with the Eagles.
He knows this season will be a year of proof if he wants the long-term deal that eluded him.
“I feel like I did everything I needed to do last year,” White said. “I had a great year. If you look at the numbers and turn on the movie, I couldn’t have done anything different that would have changed my situation. The Chargers didn’t like me and I thought I had a pretty good year. … It’s a business. Things happen, but I won’t cry about it. The Chargers gave me the opportunity to follow my dreams when they drafted me. I didn’t Only good things to say about them. I just look in the mirror and say, ‘Get better so it never happens again.'”
White is expected to become a free agent at the end of this season, but says he won’t worry about having to prove himself again.
“I’ve been in this situation before when I went to college, and I’ve been in this situation before when I was in West Virginia,” White said. “When I had an average junior year, I had a year to shake things up, and I was coming off a broken foot. I know what the pressure is like. I’m going to come here and do what I do. better.
White can play a unique role because he can line up at all three linebacker positions, has shown he can be a productive blitzer and pass thrower, and can be effective at obvious pass coverage.
Last year, opponents attacked the Eagles with crosses and seam routes as the defense gave up the most receptions (107) and touchdowns (14) to tight ends in the NFL. White’s ability to shut down those routes could help the Eagles improve in those areas.
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Chris Franklin can be reached at [email protected].