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Sean McVay: Eric Weddle's role will be determined by how he feels physically

January 14, 2022 09:22AM
[theramswire.usatoday.com] Sean McVay: Eric Weddle's role will be determined by how he feels physically

Cameron DaSilva
January 14, 2022 5:57 am PT
Just before their most important game of the season, the Los Angeles Rams added a 37-year-old safety who has been retired for almost two years. It was a bold move to sign Eric Weddle ahead of Monday’s playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, but the Rams are confident he can help them in the postseason.


How much he plays is still to be determined, of course, considering he’s just days into his second tenure with the Rams. Sean McVay has no concerns about Weddle’s knowledge of the defense or the mental aspect of his game, but he needs to see that the veteran safety is still physically capable of covering, making tackles and helping the defense.

McVay told reporters Thursday that Weddle’s role will be determined by how he’s feeling physically and the personnel packages that the Rams use on defense.

“It’s just physically how he’s feeling. I trust that – for the amount of time that he’s accumulated experience over the course of his career – he knows his body,” McVay said of Weddle. “He’s always been a guy that takes care of himself. Can you simulate playing the type of speed and things like that? No. But he’s fresher than he has ever been at this point in his career probably too. You look at the toll that the amount of games takes on these guys’ bodies throughout the course of the season. In a lot of instances, it’s more asking and trusting that he can provide the feedback on how he’s feeling. This isn’t something that you’re going to throw him out there and ask him to play a handful of snaps. We’re figuring out what that role is. He’s already had a good, positive impact and influence on our building just these last couple days. What that role is on the grass is kind of something that we’re working through. That’s partly going to be how he’s physically feeling and where he fits based on the different personnel we want to utilize.”

McVay said he and Weddle have kept in touch over the last couple of years since the safety’s retirement. McVay considers Weddle “a close friend” and as excited as he is to have him back in the building, it was “more some of the coaches … on the defensive staff” that initiated things with Weddle.

There were obviously other options out there, but the Rams chose to go with Weddle because of how quickly he could pick things up and the experience he already built within the Rams’ locker room in 2019.

“It’s the familiarity,” McVay said. “Some of the things are, the perspective, the leadership. We are still figuring out what is that role that he’ll have in the game, but his presence and him being around is really beneficial – not only for myself but for his teammates. Just the respect that he’s garnered over the course of his career. So, there were a lot of layers to this, but also you’ll see a guy that’s taken great care of himself and we’ll see what that looks like.”

Weddle was making calls and checks in his first practice on Thursday and said he didn’t make a single mistake. That doesn’t mean he’s going to wear the green dot as the defensive signal-caller, but he would probably excel in that role after handling it during part of the 2019 season, too.

McVay is excited to see what he can do in order to help the Rams in their upcoming game against the Cardinals.

“For a guy that takes good care of himself, so smart, so conscientious, can bring such a good positive vibe coming in here,” McVay said. “What his role is, we’re working through that right now. It’ll be to be determined, but it’s been great having Eric back around. I love Eric. A lot of guys were excited to see him. And that was kind of what went into the decision-making. We called him and I said, ‘This guy’s crazy enough to probably think about that.’ And he certainly is.”
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