PHOENIX — Players know they’ll get asked any number of funny, off-the-wall or bizarre questions during Super Bowl Opening Night, when hundreds of media members have access to every player and coach with the two teams playing in the Super Bowl.
On Monday during the Philadelphia Eagles session, a sampling of questions to linebacker Haason Reddick included: What would it take to get you to travel to the Middle East? Which city of the NFL teams you’ve played for has the best food? What is your favorite superstition?
To that last question, he had a quick reply.
“Nah, I don’t believe in superstitions,” he said. “I believe in God. I’m a man of God.”
Reddick has often expressed his faith before. He said he was “blessed by the Most High” and praised the “power of God” after a five-sack performance in a game for the Arizona Cardinals in 2020. It was that game that essentially propelled him on his way to becoming a Pro Bowler.
The No. 13 overall pick from 2017 barely had a total of 7.5 sacks in his first three years in the NFL. But those five sacks against the New York Giants helped him reach a career-high 12.5 sacks that season.
The lack of production in his first three years made Reddick a popular target for criticism. He tried adjusting from playing defensive end in college at Temple to being an inside linebacker at the pro level, but a move to outside linebacker in 2020 was the spark he needed.
But the Cardinals didn’t keep him after that season, so he signed with Carolina for 2021 and produced 11.5 sacks. But that contract was only for one year. He wanted to stay, but said this week that the Panthers “had other plans.” So he ended up signing a three-year contract with the Eagles — his childhood team. Reddick grew up in Camden, New Jersey, which is just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. And Temple is in Philly.
In his first year with the Eagles, Reddick recorded a career-high 16.0 sacks, which tied for second in the NFL and earned him his first Pro Bowl bid. He’s collected 3.5 more sacks in two playoff games. He also forced a league-leading five fumbles in the regular season, and then forced and recovered a fumble in the NFC championship win over San Francisco.
Haason Reddick has 19.5 sacks this season (includes postseason).
— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) February 3, 2023
On Monday night, Sports Spectrum asked Reddick what comes to mind when he thinks about the journey God has taken him on this season.
“I think He’s working through me, honestly,” he said. “Coming from Camden, New Jersey, who would’ve ever thought that a kid from Camden would be in this position? I don’t think you could get here without God. Truly, He’s been working through me and with me my whole journey.”
Reddick said his mom took him to church on Sundays when he was growing up, but he stopped going as he got older. However, when he suffered multiple injuries his junior and senior years of high school, he turned to God.
“That’s when I talked to God a little bit more, trying to figure out why these injuries happened to me and why do I have to go through these things,” Reddick told Sports Spectrum. “But being here right now in front of you, I understand why. It’s made the story that much better. That’s why I believe He’s been working through me.”
Reddick is a big reason the Eagles boast the NFL’s top-ranked passing defense (179.8 yards allowed per game in the regular season), which will be facing the league’s No. 1 passing offense in the Chiefs (297.8 yards per game). His ability to put pressure on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will likely factor heavily into the outcome of the game.
The Eagles and Chiefs take the field at State Farm Stadium at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday. A championship for the Eagles would cap a dream season for Reddick, the hometown kid.
When asked Monday for the lesson God has taught him this season, Reddick replied, “That through Him all things are possible at the end of the day.”
God will bless you in ways you never imagined. Stay patient
— Haason 7 Reddick (@Haason7Reddick) September 23, 2022
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