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Why Eagles’ Nick Rallis thinks Eric Wilson has grown since leaving Vikings


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Why Eagles’ Nick Rallis thinks Eric Wilson has grown since leaving Vikings

Today 6:30 AM
Eric Wilson

The Philadelphia Eagles signed former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson in free agency.

Eric Wilson spent most of his time in Minnesota in the background.
Accomplished linebackers like Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks set the tone for the Vikings’ defense, while Wilson, a former undrafted free agent, carved out a role on special teams and in sub-packages. Wilson didn’t need to be a vocal leader because he had Kendricks and Barr to lean on.
Now, as one of the few veteran linebackers on the Eagles’ roster, Wilson has taken a step forward in the leadership department. Linebackers coach Nick Rallis, who spent the past three years with Wilson in Minnesota, saw the difference during the offseason program.
"I’ve seen Eric really project into a great leader since being here,” Rallis said Wednesday. "Back in Minnesota, he was in a room where he had some older guys with him. He definitely led by example, but he was the younger guy. Now coming in, he’s actually one of our older linebackers. He’s done a phenomenal job of taking guys along and helping lead.”
Wilson can take what he learned from Kendricks and Barr and apply those lessons to Davion TaylorShaun BradleyPatrick Johnson and JaCoby Stevens. Wilson, who is set to play WILL and MIKE linebacker, can now direct traffic on defense as his mentors did before him.
After signing a one-year deal with the Eagles in March, Wilson can make the Philadelphia defense his own.
"He adds value to your team because he’s talented,” Rallis said. "He loves football, he works hard.”
Rallis has watched Wilson take younger teammates like Taylor and Johnson under his wing. He’s shown them how to study and progress within the defense.
Along with Alex Singleton and T.J. Edwards, Wilson is one of the few linebackers with legitimate experience on defense. His word carries weight in the room.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker is coming off a career season, as he produced 118 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions last year. He’s worked his way up from afterthought to starting linebacker, and now he’s looking to take the next step in his development as a potential captain.
Rallis sees Wilson putting in the work to lead the charge this season.
"He’s always in the building, he’s always working hard,” Rallis said. "He just sets the tone for, not just the linebackers, not just the defense, but the entire team.”


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