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Robert Saleh has high praise for Eagles' FA pickup Bryce Huff

The Eagles signed Bryce Huff this offseason and his former coach thinks he'll be a good fit in Philly.

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Robert Saleh knows what people say about Bryce Huff — that all he does is rush the passer.

What’s wrong with that?

“Bryce, elite, elite pass rusher. He closes games,” the Jets head coach said at the NFL’s annual meetings on Monday morning. 

“People want to say that all he does is rush the passer but all Mariano Rivera did was close 9th innings. So he’s a pretty darn good pass rusher and he’s going to be good for Philadelphia.”

The Eagles this offseason signed Huff to a three-year contract worth up to $51.1 million and they want him to rush the passer.

Of course, they’ll ask more of the soon-to-be 26-year-old edge rusher than the Jets did in recent seasons. They’ll be paying him like a starter and they’re going to expect him to take more snaps because of it.

In 2023, Huff played a career-high 480 snaps, which amounted to 42% of the Jets’ defensive snaps. After just 7 1/2 sacks in his first three NFL seasons, Huff had 10 last year and for the second straight season, Huff was among the league leaders in win percentage rushing the passer. 

Saleh on Monday said he expects Huff to get a lot more playing time in Philly. That’s a natural expectation for a guy who is getting paid $17 million per season. How does Saleh think Huff will handle those extra snaps.

“He’ll be great,” Saleh said.

It’s worth noting that while Huff played 480 snaps last year, the Eagles’ two starters, Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat, played 862 and 828 snaps, respectively. Sweat will definitely be back in 2024 but Reddick's future is very much in the air; it seems likely he'll be traded at some point this offseason.

Huff joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis in the 2020 offseason and he earned his spot on the roster, then earned his spot in the rotation and then earned a big free agent contract on the open market. Earlier this offseason, Huff said that being undrafted is something that will stick with him for his entire career.

“He’s earned a lot of playing time,” Saleh said. “He came in as an undrafted free agent. Obviously, his first year, we weren’t here. The following year, he remade his entire body, earned a little bit of playing time, had some injury. The following year, got a little bit more playing time. And then last year he really came on. His playing time increased every single year. 

“He’s really taken it upon himself to find ways to improve in the run game. I think he’s done that. I expect him to get a lot more playing time in Philly.”

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