Linebacker Kiko Alonso is coming off his first season with the Eagles, one in which the 2013 PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year was a non-factor. Alonso expects better things in 2016 with recently hired defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz at the helm, writes Paul Domowitch of Philly.com.
Alonso’s agent, Steve Karic, says the 25-year-old is “very excited” to play for Schwartz, who coordinated Buffalo’s defense to a fourth-place ranking in 2014. Alonso was also a Bill then, but he missed the season because of a torn ACL and didn’t play a down under Schwartz. Still, he’s familiar with Schwartz’s defense.
“He spent the offseason in Buffalo that year playing in this defense. He went through OTAs and minicamp in this defense. He was in the meeting rooms all season long,” Karic stated.
Karic then added that Alonso “definitely can play” the Mike (middle) or Will (weakside) LB role in Schwartz’s scheme. Prior to Alonso’s injury in 2014, Schwartz planned to use him as a Will ‘backer in Buffalo. Alonso played on the inside under former Eagles D-coordinator Billy Davis in 2015-16 and totaled just 43 tackles in 11 games, rating an ugly 92nd of 97 qualifying LBs by Pro Football Focus’ standards (subscription required).
Elsewhere around the NFL. . .
- Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News believes the Chargers will end up in LA next season (Twitter link). He also shot down the notion (via Twitter) that talks between the Chargers and Rams have stalled. This comes on the heels of a Monday night report from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora that the two sides are “making progress.”
- North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz – who’s gaining steam as a possible first-round pick in the 2016 draft – has already met with nearly half of the league’s 32 teams at the Senior Bowl, tweets Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Two of those clubs are the Dolphins and Texans, Wentz told Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, respectively (Twitter links: 1, 2). With Ryan Tannehill in the fold, Beasley doesn’t expect the Dolphins to use the eighth overall pick on Wentz. However, if available, he could be a fit for QB-needy Houston at No. 22.
- Alabama MLB Reggie Ragland, one of Wentz’s fellow Senior Bowl participants, has spoken to the Ravens, Chiefs and Raiders so far, and he’ll also meet with the Packers (Twitter links via Wilson and Chase Goodbread of NFL.com). The probable first-rounder will play some OLB this week as a way to show off his versatility to prospective employers, reports Wilson (on Twitter).
- Foxborough, Mass., police arrested Patriots practice squad receiver J.J. Worton on Saturday and charged him with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 and over and one count of assault and battery, per ESPN.com. The Patriots didn’t comment on Worton’s arrest, tweets the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, who adds that the 24-year-old is unlikely to remain with the team. Worton, who signed with the Pats earlier this month, has an expiring contract.