Football / Sports

Eagles' Bennie Logan beefs up

The 10 pounds Bennie Logan added this offseason beefed the Philadelphia Eagles' starting nose tackle to around 317-319 pounds, depending on the day.

Even though that is a little shy of the prototypical nose tackle's weight, the team is confident in Logan, a second-year lineman, and has pledged its support for him.

"Most people, when they picture a nose tackle, they picture a 330-plus guy, just clogging up the middle," Logan said. "But the way we play our defense, you've got to be able to run. And I don't feel I'd be able to run or do the things our coaches, in our scheme, require us to do. That's why I'm not 330, or put on that much weight."

When the Eagles selected Logan in the third round in the 2013 draft, he weighed 309 pounds. The Eagles made a commitment to Logan in October when they traded veteran Isaac Sopoaga, a 330-pounder signed to play in the middle of the defensive line.

Logan entered the starting lineup in Week 9, and the Eagles went on a five-game winning streak. He averaged 20 snaps in the first eight games of the season and 41.5 snaps in the last eight. The winning did not begin because of Logan, but the Eagles liked what they saw.

When general manager Howie Roseman was asked at the scouting combine in February about getting a bigger player for the middle of the defensive line, he gave an ardent endorsement of Logan. Roseman said Logan has the frame to hold 320 pounds and raved about his athleticism.

The Eagles' offseason moves served as validation. They did not sign a nose tackle in free agency. In the draft, they bypassed Louis Nix -- a prototypical 3-4 nose tackle -- when he was on the board in the third round. The team spent a seventh-round pick on Beau Allen, who could provide depth at that spot.

Defensive-line coach Jerry Azzinaro asked Logan to add 10 pounds after last season. Logan returned to Louisiana State, where he worked out and took classes. His weight swelled to 320 pounds, and he shed a few pounds to get more comfortable. Logan said he wanted to ensure he was "still quick and explosive," although he recognized the need for more weight.

"I'll be playing more snaps this year, that was the main thing," Logan said. "I wanted to put on weight to be able to sustain a longer season and try to see how things go."

There have not been issues with the added weight during the first two weeks of organized team activities, so Logan plans on keeping it for the season.

Logan said the added weight is not a by-product of January's playoff loss, when the New Orleans Saints rushed for 185 yards and 5.1 yards per carry. Their final drive included 28 rushing yards. All three rushing plays that netted first downs listed the same three words on the score sheet: "Up the middle." Logan did not think size was the issue on those plays.

"Definitely not," he said. "I could maintain my gap at 305, 300 pounds. ... It's not about size. It's all about leverage."

(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus