PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Eagles brought in a lot of key players in the 2022 offseason that have made really big impacts. Right at the top of that list is Camden native and Temple University alumnus Haason Reddick.
The edge rusher had 16 sacks during the regular season, became a first-round pick for the Arizona Cardinals and was resilient after a rocky start to his NFL career – battling injuries late in high school, walking on to Temple and having to prove himself ever since.
Tim O'Donnell, Haddon Heights High School's athletic trainer, was there when Reddick was just a student persevering through his injuries.
He said Reddick is not all about the limelight and the attention and just wants to go out, play football and have success.
“He has just been an example that we can use to provide to these kids when they're discouraged,” O’Donnell said. “And it's real. It's a real-life example. It happened. It's happening. We are living his dream right now.”
The Eagles are the third stop for Reddick in his NFL career, after four years with the Arizona Cardinals and a season with the Carolina Panthers.
He dominated the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco with a pair of sacks, including one that forced a fumble and knocked 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy from the game.
And now, he’s heading to the Super Bowl.
Reddick said it's sweet being back in Arizona with a chance to win it all.
“My personal motivation is, man, just do whatever it takes to bring that trophy back home,” he said. “At the end of the day, I ain't really worried about much other than that.”
Pro Football Hall of Fame writer and analyst Ray Didinger said this run to the Super Bowl finally allows the Haddon Heights alumnus to get the attention he deserves.
"He's a guy that, as good as he's been, has always been kind of overlooked,” Didinger said.
“He was never a Pro Bowl player until this year and had never been to the postseason until this year.”
He said that getting the chance to play for a Super Bowl contender has tremendously motivated Reddick.
“In addition to coming home and being a local guy, it's all come together for him this year on a team where everybody has contributed,” Didinger said.
“It really has been a team effort, but some guys have stood apart from the others and he's one of them."
Reddick is the first player in NFL history to record 10 or more sacks in three straight seasons. He also had five forced fumbles, leading the NFL, and 26 quarterback hits this year.