Kiko Alonso has been a healthy surprise for the Eagles so far contributing much earlier than expected during OTAs. Acquired in the questionable deal that sent LeSean McCoy to Buffalo, the former defensive rookie of the year told reporters that he was participating in everything that was asked of him.
“I honestly didn’t think I’d be doing this much,” Alonso said, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’ve just been going on how I feel, and it’s feeling really good.”
Alonso was also practicing without a brace on his left knee, a knee in which he tore his ACL back in July. The practice went smooth even without the brace another sign that Alonso could be returning to form in 2015.
“I feel comfortable without it,” Alsonso said of the brace. “I never really liked wearing (it).”
Alonso was the star inside linebacker for Chip Kelly during his days at Oregon, now the third year pro will look to repeat success in the city of brotherly love. While Alonso knew what he was getting into when he heard the news he would be joining the Eagles, the fast pace practices still caught him by surprise.
“I knew what to expect, but I definitely thought I’d be more in shape, but I was wrong,” Alonso said. “I remember when I was in Buffalo, I was like I can’t imagine going against the Eagles and that pace. Because if you don’t practice like that and you go, it’s brutal.”
The Eagles could potentially have a dominating linebacker core with Mychal Kendricks and DeMeco Ryans rounding out the starting lineup. Alonso will have to continue to impress to earn his spot as Brad Jones, Najee Goode, Emmanuel Acho and third-round pick Jordan Hicks remain viable options as well. Eagle fans will have to hope Alonso can remain healthy during 2015 to make the LeSean McCoy trade pay off.