NFL Combine: Former Temple star Haason Reddick ready to open eyes

NFL Combine: Former Temple star Haason Reddick ready to open eyes

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's a good chance on April 27 that Temple's Haason Reddick will become a first-round pick just across the river from his hometown and in the city where his football career was given new life. 

"It's like I'm living in a dream," Reddick said at the NFL combine Saturday, "and I don't have to wake up."

You'll surely forgive Reddick for getting slightly poetic. His story is one that certainly warrants it. 

Reddick, 22, is from Camden, New Jersey, and went to Haddon Heights High School where he was a really good player; a safety at that time. But injuries to his right knee in his junior and senior seasons kept him off the field and left him without any game tape or hope of playing college football. 

He applied to two schools: Rutgers and Temple. He got into just one. But even then, he didn't think he would be able to play on the Temple football team. It's not that he didn't think he was good enough … it's that he didn't know he would be allowed. 

"I didn't know that you could walk on," Reddick said, retelling the story at his combine media availability Saturday. "I thought my football career was over after high school."

Really, it was just beginning. 

At the time, Reddick's father was "poking around," trying to see if there was any way to get his son on the football team. Luckily a guy named Francis Brown, who was a graduate assistant for the Owls at the time, was a family friend. Brown, who is now the defensive backs coach for Baylor, helped Reddick become a preferred walk-on at Temple. From there, Reddick was buried on the depth chart until Matt Rhule took over the program in 2013. 

Reddick became a contributor and then a starting defensive end before finally earning a scholarship before his redshirt senior season in 2016.  

Within a few short years, Reddick has gone from thinking his football days were over after limping off a high school field to potentially being taken in the first round of the NFL draft. 

"Of course I've seen it," Reddick said of the first-round buzz. "I don't try to pay attention to it, just because you never know what can happen. People rise and fall every day depending on what a team needs or what a team thinks about somebody. It's great to see those things. It's great to see that some people think I'm worthy of being a first-round draft pick. 

"Hopefully come draft time, that's what it is. But until then, I’m going to continue to work hard and approach every day with a dominant approach." 

This is an important week for Reddick, as it is for the other 329 combine participants. Do well and watch the draft stock soar. Mess up and watch it plummet. But if the trend from the last couple of months continues, Reddick will keep climbing up draft boards. 

"I'm very much a Haason Reddick guy," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said on a conference call earlier this week. "And if he tests well at the combine, I think he's going to come from nowhere to being, at worst, a second-round pick and perhaps a late first-round pick."

A big step for Reddick came at the Senior Bowl in January. It's there where Reddick was listed as a linebacker and got a chance to show he could play a new position against some of the best competition in the country. He was one of the best players on the field. 

The week in Mobile, Alabama, for the Senior Bowl was an important one for Reddick in his transition to the NFL. While he's lumped with defensive linemen at the combine, he's clearly projected to be a linebacker in the NFL. Some teams view him as an outside linebacker and some an inside. And he likes things about both spots. Ideally, he said, he'll end up with a team that uses him at both. But if he doesn't, it won't be a big deal to him, he said. 

"This whole journey has been nothing but hard work for me," Reddick said. "A lot of people think that because I'm here now, the hard work is over. The hard work for me is not over. I'm going to continue to work hard. I’m going to continue to make sure I have a prosperous career in the NFL."

As of Saturday afternoon, Reddick wasn’t sure if he was going to take part in linebacker and defensive linemen drills Sunday but was more than up for it if he got the chance. 

Reddick is hoping to run a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and said he has another bigger goal in mind for himself but wanted to keep it hidden. He said if he reaches the goal everyone will know. 

After all Reddick has overcome, it wouldn't be smart to bet against him. 

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

As the annual NFL meetings get set to kick off next week, the Eagles originally proposed four playing rule changes and a resolution that could have eventually led to bringing back Kelly green uniforms as an alternate option. 

But after getting feedback from the NFL's competition committee, the Eagles are withdrawing all but one proposal, according to league sources. 

The only one left would prohibit players from leaping over the line of scrimmage on kicking plays. For now, players are allowed to leap line as long as they don't make contact. That proposal, which the NFLPA has previously supported, seems likely to pass. 

That means the other three playing rule changes and the proposal to allow teams to wear helmets that would match their alternative jerseys won't be specifically discussed. 

Translation: No Kelly green jerseys yet. 

Among the 15 proposed playing rule changes the league released on Friday, teams were responsible for seven of them and the Eagles accounted for four of the seven. 

Just because a specific proposal won't be directly discussed, it doesn't mean that topic won't be discussed by the committee in Phoenix during next week's annual league meetings. 

For instance, one of the Eagles' proposals would alter the current replay system. While the Eagles' individual proposal won't be discussed, replays will be a topic of discussion during the meetings.

NFL Notes: Bears sign Mark Sanchez to 1-year deal

NFL Notes: Bears sign Mark Sanchez to 1-year deal

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears have signed quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is expected to back up Mike Glennon next season.

The Bears announced the one-year contract Friday. Chicago is coming off a season in which it went 3-13 and finished last in the NFC North.

The Bears cut quarterback Jay Cutler this month after eight seasons and the next day signed Glennon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a three-year deal.

Sanchez played in two games last season with the Dallas Cowboys, throwing for 93 yards on 10 of 18 attempts. He spent five of his eight seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets before going to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The former Southern California star has appeared in six playoff games. He was selected fifth overall in the 2009 draft.

Redskins: WR Brian Quick signs
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Redskins have signed former Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brian Quick.

The team announced the deal Friday morning after agent Patrick Dye posted a photo of Quick signing his contract on SportsTrust Advisors' verified Twitter account.

The signing adds depth to the Redskins' receiving corps after they lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency.

Quick, 27, is 6-foot-5 and gives Washington another tall option along with recently signed receiver Terrelle Pryor. Quick had 41 catches for 564 yards and three touchdowns last season with the Rams.

The 33rd pick in the 2012 draft, Quick has 105 catches for 1,499 yards and 10 touchdowns in 67 games over five seasons with the Rams. He missed part of the 2014 season with a shoulder injury.

Panthers: Jonathan Stewart signs extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Panthers have signed veteran running back Jonathan Stewart to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed Friday.

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman says the 30-year-old Stewart "is still playing at a very high level."

Stewart played in 13 games last season for Carolina and ran for 824 yards with nine touchdowns. He averaged 3.8 yards per carry.

Gettleman isn't worried about Stewart's durability, even though the team's former first-round draft pick has not played in a full 16-game season since 2011 and has missed 24 games the past five seasons with injuries.

Stewart, entering his 10th season, is Carolina's second all-time leading rusher with 6,638 yards and has scored 45 touchdowns rushing and six receivin

Colts: release veteran DT Arthur Jones
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts released defensive tackle Arthur Jones on Friday.

A six-year veteran, Jones was scheduled to cost the team $7.35 million next season. Indianapolis will save $5 million under the salary cap with the move.

Jones did his best work while with Baltimore from 2010-14. He then signed a five-year contract for a total value of $33 million with the Colts, but struggled in Indy. He appeared in 17 games and managed only 1 1-2 sacks and 53 tackles for the Colts.

He was plagued by a series of injuries and also served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancers.

Jones, 30, did not play in 2015 because of an ankle injury. He played in eight games last season, with 15 tackles.