BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Youth may be the most the most written and reported word from Eagles Training Camp this season. But for the Eagles new-look offense, leadership is most important.
For head coach Andy Reid, it’s virtually back to ground-zero. His franchise quarterback is gone, his pro-bowl running back in San Francisco and his biggest playmaker is just 23-years-old.
But Reid doesn’t panic, in fact, he is seemingly excited to start what he stopped short of calling a second career. A rejuvenation, certainly.
On the defensive side of the ball Stewart Bradley is back to lead the defense and fill some of the void Brian Dawkins left two years ago. But on offense finding a leader isn’t quite as simple.
Sure, Kevin Kolb is the obvious candidate. A coach’s son, a quarterback and a student of the game, who in his three years in Philadelphia has done everything he can to learn everything he can so that, come September 12, he can begin his journey toward winning that one game that can forever write him into the city’s history.
But when you look for someone to share the burden of offensive leader with Kolb, finding your guy isn’t quite as easy.
Desean Jackson stands out on the field, but his fun-loving attitude takes him out of the discussion. Brent Celek, the veteran tight-end is another option, but he tends to be quiet and just play.
Leonard Weaver described himself the same way. When I asked him if he thought he may be taking on more of a leadership role this season, he didn’t exactly welcome the task.
“I’m one of those guys who’s not going to talk as much,” Weaver said. “But I’m just going to go out there and show them my work and kind of let it show off for itself. “
When Weaver does say something, though, people listen. And leading by example isn’t such a bad thing either.
No one can deny Weaver’s tremendous work ethic and his drive to be the best. “I hate mistakes,” Weaver said. He wants them kept to a minimum – by himself and his teammates.
Offering Weaver a three-year extension was only a further indication that the Eagles like him. They brought him in as a true fullback, mostly someone to do the lead blocking, but every time he got the ball in his hands, he made it worthwhile.
Still, Weaver doesn’t expect anything to be different. He’s willing to accept whatever role the Eagles give him.
“No, I really don’t [see my role changing],” Leonard said. “Unless [Coach Reid] calls my number more. That’s what I look forward to, if not, hey, I’m going to still do my job, block, and do what he tells me to do.”
Be it silently or not, Leonard Weaver will be one of the offensive leaders on this football team. The only thing is to Leonard, it’s just part of his job, a job he takes very seriously.