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NY Jets’ Haason Reddick given hefty praise by Eagles EDGE

Haason Reddick, NY Jets, Eagles
Haason Reddick, New York Jets, Getty Images

Eagles edge rusher Nolan Smith heaps massive praise upon New York Jets’ Haason Reddick

For players entering the NFL, one of the biggest boosts to their morale can be veteran teammates taking them under their wing. At times, these master-padawan relationships can go the route of Anakin and Obi Wan in “Star Wars” (just look at Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre with the Packers). Other times, a true bond is formed, and that seems to be the case with the New York Jets’ Haason Reddick and his former Philadelphia Eagles teammate Nolan Smith.

Smith was selected 30th overall in the 2023 NFL draft. There, he joined a loaded Eagles defense that included Reddick. And despite Smith not providing eye-popping numbers as a rookie, he acknowledged that Reddick played a major part in his development on a personal and professional level.

When asked about the arrival of former Jets edge rusher Bryce Huff to the Eagles, the second-year player did not hesitate to shout out his mentor.

“Bryce is an amazing guy, so is Haason,” Smith said. “I learned so much from Haason, so if you trying to get me to say something bad about [No.] 7, I love 7 to death cause he gave his all to me. He taught me things from here that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life.”

Reddick saw the comments made by Smith and responded in kind to his protégé.

“Much love 3,” wrote Reddick. “Do your thing this year.”

Reddick’s arrival to the Jets didn’t come without controversy. Many believed that the front office made a mistake by letting Huff walk in free agency. Whether the team should have tagged Huff or made cap space through other means, Jets fans did not want to see a homegrown talent leave. However, fans should be looking at the player “swap” in an entirely different lens.

Since 2020, Reddick’s 50.5 sacks rank fourth in the NFL. He’s one of two players (along with Myles Garrett) with 10 sacks in each of the last four seasons. And despite age concerns (Reddick will be entering his age-30 season in 2024), the Jets’ new edge rusher has only missed one game in his NFL career. Yet, his elite on-field production may only be half of the value he’ll bring to the Jets.

New York’s edge rotation will feature two young players in Jermaine Johnson and Will McDonald. If the Jets’ veteran is able to establish a connection with Johnson and McDonald the same way he did with Nolan Smith, he can set the wheels in motion to turn them into apex predators in 2024. If that happens, the sky’s the limit on the Jets’ potential this season – and a Super Bowl appearance might not be out of the question.

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