LANDOVER, Md. — As Haason Reddick stood by his stall answering questions, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni came bounding through the locker room.
He couldn’t help himself.
“Told you he was close!” Sirianni shouted.
Yeah, he did. And he was right.
Through two games, the Eagles’ $45 million pass rusher didn’t have a single sack or QB hit, but Sirianni still said on Friday that Reddick was close to a breakout performance.
It happened in the Eagles’ 24-8 win over the Commanders on Sunday at FedExField.
Reddick, 28, finished the game with 1 1/2 sacks, 2 QB hits and 1 forced fumble. He was part of a wrecking crew defensive line that made Carson Wentz’s afternoon a living nightmare.
“You can never get frustrated, right?” Reddick said. “Sacks truly come in bunches. One week you could have none, the next week you could have two, three, four. You just never know when it’s going to happen. The only thing you can keep doing is continue to rush, continue to play as hard as you can and continue to ball out.”
Sacks really seem to come in bunches for Reddick. Including Sunday, he now has nine career games with at least 1 1/2 sacks, while he has just six games with exactly one sack.
This is a lesson Reddick learned during his time with the Arizona Cardinals from one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
“I learned that when I really started rushing back in Arizona, just talking to Chandler Jones,” Reddick said. “I learned a lot from Chan, especially the mindset when it comes to sacks. ... When things weren’t going (well) for me at first, Chan, he was like, ‘Hey, keep your mental strong, just keep going, keep working.’ And then next thing you know, I had five sacks against the Giants.
“That’s why I always say sacks come in bunches. I do my best when I don’t have a sack to not get down on myself. Just continue to come out and work. Because I could have a great game and not have a sack. People don’t understand.”
The Eagles as a team on Sunday sacked Wentz an incredible nine times. Brandon Graham led the way with 2 1/2, while Reddick, Fletcher Cox and Josh Sweat had 1 1/2 each and Javon Hargrave and T.J. Edwards each had 1 too.
It was a dominating performance for an Eagles defense that had just 29 sacks (second-lowest total in the NFL) all last season.
“It’s lovely,” Reddick said. “You want to see that. Anybody is having their way. We have a great D-line, a lot of talented guys. We just gotta keep going now.”
Sacks certainly aren’t everything. There are plenty of ways a pass rusher can change a game without tackling the quarterback to the ground.
But sacks are always better than pressures. That’s the goal for pass rushers, Reddick agreed. It’s why Reddick, who had 23 1/2 over the previous two seasons, got a $15 million-per-season contract to come to Philadelphia.
There’s that old saying: Get sacks, get stacks.
Reddick earned his money on Sunday. And he hopes this is just the beginning.
“Now that it’s here, like I said, they’re just going to start piling up,” Reddick said. “They come in bunches.”
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