Pittsburgh Steelers fans want to see their own team make a move before the trade deadline comes and goes—and the majority of them would seem to prefer that they be sellers rather than buyers. Dispense with a quarterback or two, maybe a wide receiver, and stock up for next year. At least in theory.
Their opponent for the day has taken the opposite approach. They made a sizeable trade to bring in edge rusher Robert Quinn, another member of Cameron Heyward’s 2011 NFL Draft class. While he has just one sack so far this year in seven games with the Chicago Bears, he had 18.5 just a year ago and doesn’t seem to have fallen off a cliff.
He merely adds to what the Philadelphia Eagles already have, of course, as a luxury acquisition likened to the Los Angeles Rams adding Von Miller last year. They already have Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave. This wasn’t a need, it was a want.
“His addition adds another good player to the system, amongst a group of guys that can already get after the passer”, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said late last week of the addition of Quinn. “Then you add another guy, and that’s just more fresh legs coming after the quarterback, which to me is one of the most important positions in football”.
The Eagles as a team have 17 sacks on the season through six games (coming off of their bye week right now), which does place them in the top 10 in the league even without adjusting for per-game numbers to account for teams having played a mixed number of games.
Bringing a new face into the locker room in-season always has potential complications, particularly if that player had no idea nor particular desire to be traded, which seems to be the case with Quinn. But Sirianni trusts that he has the locker room for it.
“You know what the best part of the process is?”, he asked rhetorically. “Having the guys in the locker room that we have, the culture that we have that that’s what we care about, is connecting and getting to know our guys, coaches to players, players to players, players to coaches”.
The Steelers will presumably be the first ones to find out what Quinn can bring to the Eagles’ defensive front as a part of a deepening rotation for one of the hottest and most talented teams in football. He may be on the fading end of his career, but they don’t need him to be the Defensive Player of the Year. They just need him to create pressure when he’s in the game.