Devin White, Zack Baun Emerging As Starting LB Duo for Eagles in 2024

Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is utilizing an unexpected starting duo at linebacker during mandatory minicamp.

Following the departure of T.J. Edwards in 2023, the Philadelphia Eagles struggled to find consistency at linebacker last season. Philadelphia’s lack of talent at the position proved to be a major weakness when opposing offenses attacked the middle of the field.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman understood his plan at the position failed last season. Therefore, Philadelphia added several veteran linebackers this offseason, including Devin White and Zack Baun.

Eagles LB Devin White Embracing a Fresh Start in Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s biggest LB addition this offseason was signing White, the former All-Pro, to a one-year deal. And after a frustrating final season in Tampa Bay, he’s ready to move forward and embrace a fresh start with the Eagles in 2024.

“That was my first time being in a business situation, and I don’t think I handled it well,” White said when asked about his contract year in Tampa Bay. “I handled it more like a lawyer than what I should have been — a football player. And now I’m back to being a football player, smiling and being a light around the building.”

Although White struggled to play well in his final season with Tampa Bay, it’s refreshing to see him admit his mistakes both on and off the field.

Still, it’s rare that a 26-year-old former All-Pro linebacker hits the free agent market and settles for just a one-year deal. Yet White is clearly betting on himself in 2024.

White surely understands that the Eagles have had trouble at linebacker in recent years. He’s off to a fast start in Philadelphia, as he has consistently lined up with the team’s first-string defense, showing flashes of his speed and impressive coverage ability.

Zack Baun Excited To Play New Role for Eagles

When the Eagles signed Baun at the start of free agency, many expected him to play outside linebacker for Philadelphia. Considering that he’s primarily played on the edge both in college and in the NFL, it was certainly a reasonable assumption to make.

Yet, since the Eagles opened up practice to the media, Baun has strictly played inside linebacker in Vic Fangio’s defense. In fact, Baun has seemingly surpassed Nakobe Dean as the first-team LB alongside White.

With the Miami Dolphins last season, Fangio had a lot of success using Andrew Van Ginkel in a similar role. Ironically, Van Ginkel and Baun were actually college teammates for two seasons at Wisconsin.

MORE: Brandon Graham Explains Eagles’ Late-Season Collapse, Points to Coaches

Van Ginkel began last season as an inside linebacker in Fangio’s defense before making the switch back to the edge following several injuries at the position. Now Baun will attempt to make a similar transition and could lean on his former teammate while doing so.

“No, I’ll hit him up this summer because I know people see us as a very similar player,” Baun said when asked if he has had any communication with Van Ginkel. “He did play inside as well, people don’t know that. But I’ll hit him up this summer and just pick his brain a little bit.”

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