Trades happen during the season and rarely do big names move in the middle of the season. The trade deadline came and went yesterday and not that many players were moved. The Eagles were light at middle linebacker with scheduled starter Stewart Bradley out with a torn knee ligament, and his replacements Joe Mays and Omar Gaither have been underwhelming. The Eagles even brought in retired player Jeremiah Trotter and gave him valuable minutes in the middle of the season. His coverage flaws have been evident. With Omar Gaither likely sidelined for a while by a foot injury, the Eagles completed a trade yesterday that brought them veteran linebacker Will Witherspoon from the St. Louis Rams.
Witherspoon now is joining a team with serious playoff hopes, leaving the 0-6 Rams behind. Witherspoon played this season under new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, a disciple of late Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, and so he’s already familiar with the Philadelphia system. Uncharacteristic for the NFL for any big name trades to happen, it might happen in the NBA or MLB, but not in the NFL. Note the beeps during the interview as his call waiting is going off. He took a call during the interview, maybe someone in his family congratulating him from getting out of St. Louis.
Will Witherspoon joined ESPN 101 in St. Louis and talked about being traded during the season, the shock of it and now being able to play with a playoff contending Eagles team.
Asked about his shot to go to a playoff contending team:
“We are professionals in this game. We are all players who have the ability to get the job done. I think one of the things we have to look forward to going out and playing week in and week out, I got a whole new….hold on guys (Note: He was getting too many call waiting beeps and took the call, very funny)
Asked if he was stunned or surprised that he was traded:
“It was a surprise, buts it’s understandable. It’s a game of business too. It’s not just a game of your ideas; it’s a game of what’s better for the whole. I think that both teams came to an agreement that’s it’s a beneficial situation for the two of them. For me it’s the ability to go perform again and like you said at a high level and with another team.”
Talked about going to a defense in Philly that is similar to the one he has played for:
“That’s kind of the good part of the transition. The harder past is getting to know a new locker room. How to talk to guys, laugh with guys, and joke with guys, getting in the whole scenario of how to deal with things. Know how to handle your teammates at different times and how to be part of that team”