Jim Schwartz looks to be getting the old gang together. First up,Leodis McKelvin, a cornerback who was just dropped by the Bills. He officially signed a two-year deal with the Eagles.
The Birds picked him up to fill the vacancy opened by the trading of Byron Maxwell to the Dolphins. They will likely need to create more depth, and should think long and hard about re-signing Nolan Carroll. But McKelvin is a good start.
“Why Philadelphia? I am familiar with the defense,” the 30-year-old cornerback said in an introductary press conference Tuesday. “Ifeel confident on the defensive side. I feel good with the defensiveline we have here, we have some young talented linebackers who can runfrom sideline to sideline. We have some guys in the secondary — we have a Pro Bowl guy in Malcolm Jenkins. It will be great to play with these guys.”
McKelvin had his best season as a pro under Schwartz in 2014. In 60 career games he recorded305 tackles (258 solo), 12 interceptions, 56 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in Buffalo.
A former No. 11 overall pick, McKelvin adds speed and can counter the deep threat. He can also return kicks, but told the press Tuesday that he wasn’t sure whether that would be part of his role.
“I love to have the ball in my hands,” he said.”We have [Darren]Sproles here who is a great punt returner, I will go out there and do my job it depends on how things work.”
Stephen Tulloch, a free agent linebacker who has twice played under Schwartz, is one of the top defensive free agents on the market and if Tuesday was any indication, he could be a free agent acquisition Wednesday.
Tulloch would fit in well with the Eagles, their scheme and personnel. A group tha McKelvin says is perfect to play in the 4-3.
“With the 4-3, we are a better fit for it,” the corner said, “and Jim is going to come in and give us the recipe for becoming a great defense.”