As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, you get used to the NFL media and personalities not recognizing the talent on the team. One of those talents who has been flying under the radar this season is linebacker Nathan Gerry. If you would have asked me at the beginning of the season what to expect I would have said "he’s just another depth piece." I will be the first to admit I was wrong, as he has been having a solid season in his first season as a starter; I'll go as bold as to say one of their best linebackers this season. I know that’s not hard to beat the linebacker position, it's not a strength for the Eagles right now. Letting Zach Brown go shows how much confidence they had in Gerry, who is going to let his game do the talking instead of his mouth.
Gerry was drafted late in the fifth round in 2017, and had to convert from safety to linebacker when brought to Philadelphia. He has been slowly getting more and more playing time as his career has progressed, and this year thanks to thin depth at the linebacker position, he was forced into a starting role. Gerry has certainly taken advantage of that. This year he leads the Eagles in interceptions with two. Gerry also managed to return one of those two for a 51-yard pick-six against the New York Jets (it was the first pick-six for the Eagles since Patrick Robinson in the 2017 NFC championship game against the Minnesota Vikings). Against the Dallas Cowboys this past weekend, Gerry was pushed to take a lead role on defense thanks to Nigel Bradham's absence. He ended up leading the defense with seven tackles and four tackle assists.
Though Gerry is playing better than he has throughout his career, the Cowboys game also showed one of his flaws, which is easily biting the bait with play-action plays. He was exposed on one of those plays which led to a wide-open touchdown from Dak Prescott to the tight end Blake Jarwin for a one-yard touchdown.
This is a play that fooled literally the entire defense, but it appeared that Gerry was the last leg of the defense, and that would have been his man if he didn't bit so hard on the fake run.
What Gerry lacks in speed he makes up for by using his determination to be all over the field and always near the ball. He gets that trait from being a safety back in college, when he was a real ball hawk with 13 interceptions at that level.
Sure, he can work on not taking the bait so easily, that will come in time as he enters his prime. The fact is each year he has been improving and each week he is making the best of the time he has been given on the field. His will power is what coaches see in him and is why they are allowing him to stay on the field often. He may not yet be at pro-bowl caliber, but teams are going to start to learn his name. He may be under the radar, but he is showing up on the field more and more, proving that he is an asset and will continue to grow into being a solid linebacker.