PHILADELPHIA — Before Friday morning’s training camp practice, Eagles rookie Elijah Qualls wrapped athletic tape around his left wrist and scribbled two simple words on top of it with a black marker: “inside hand.”
Qualls said he’d been struggling to use his inside hand to get leverage as a pass rusher. Eagles coaches want the sixth-round defensive tackle to employ that technique, but because Qualls mastered a different style of play during his college career at Washington, he wasn’t accustomed to pushing off with that inside hand to maneuver past offensive linemen.
So, he wrote those words on his taped wrist and glanced it before every play Friday.
That’s a strategy Qualls has implemented in training camp as he aims to carve out a role in the Eagles’ defensive tackle rotation. He said he writes on his wrist a short reminder of one — and only one — specific technique he wants to improve on before every practice.
“It’s about getting better at one little thing everyday — that’s all I can do,” Qualls said. “You can’t take on everything at the same time, or else you’re not going to get any better. “
Qualls said he feels like his patient approach has paid dividends through the first five days of training camp, but he also conceded Friday that he’s careened into speed bumps as he adjusts to defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s 4-3 scheme.
As an all-Pac 12 performer at Washington, Qualls starred at nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. He was often responsible for attacking specific gaps or shadowing one offensive lineman in an attempt to keep blockers away from the…
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