When news first broke of nose tackle Bennie Logan’s decision to sign with the Chiefs, the decision set off a flurry of reaction on social media from disappointed Philadelphia Eagles fans.
This was not lost on Logan, a third-round pick of the Eagles in 2013.
“The way I played, every time I was on the field — regardless of how I felt or if I was injured — I gave my all, and that’s one thing Philadelphia fans like, a guy that’s passionate about the team and goes out there and gives it their all,” Logan said.
“I was also very active in the community, doing things at the schools. So I was active, and a lot of fans saw I interacted with them, so that’s why a lot of fans were kind of upset I was leaving.”
But now Eagles fans’ pain stands to be the Chiefs’ gain, as the 6-foot-2, 315-pounder signed a one-year, $8 million contract Tuesday.
Logan, who turns 28 in December, is coming off a productive year in which started 13 games and recorded 24 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks and six quarterback hurries in 45.8 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps.
But while one might assume that his age and production might lead to a longer contract, Logan said he was OK with a “prove-it deal” in a market that hasn’t been terrific for defensive tackles.
Logan appears to be insurance for the Chiefs if 346-pound nose tackle Dontari Poe, a 26-year-old two-time Pro Bowler who has gone on at least four confirmed free-agent visits, doesn’t return to Kansas City.
“That’s just what we felt comfortable doing, just (to) prove yourself and what not,” Logan explained of his decision to sign a one-year contract. “Go in there and work hard and show the team what you can bring.”
Logan said he wasn’t told about how he’ll be used in Kansas City, but he did speak with general manager John Dorsey and has a favorable impression of the defense, which ranked seventh in points allowed and first in turnovers last season.
“Just watching them from past years, I know they’ve got a heck of a defense — a playmaker at every position,” Logan said. “They’ve got some guys on the end that can rush, they’ve got interior guys that can rush, they’ve got a heck of a linebacker group and their secondary has always made themselves known.”
Logan says his focus is to come in and not be the weak link. But given the Chiefs’ struggles against the run in 2016, they ranked 26th, and Logan’s well-established reputation for being a stout gap-filler, it’s hard to imagine him not being a helpful player.
“That’s my strength, stopping the run,” Logan said. “But I feel like I can rush the passer also. My numbers, as far as sacks go, haven’t been there. But this past year, I did a good job of getting to the quarterback before I got injured later in the season.”
This much is true. Logan posted career-highs in sacks and pressures in 2016, despite missing three games because of a groin injury during the middle of the season.
“I just realized it was more of a technique and adjusted to way offensive linemen were blocking me — it’s like a chess game, doing stuff to counteract what the offensive linemen are doing and always setting up another move,” Logan said.
But Logan’s primary move has been, and likely always will be, the bull rush, which has long been a traditional go-to for stout run stuffers who need to generate pass-rush pressure.
“Bull rush sets up everything,” said Logan, who also has an “arm-over” pass-rush move. “Bull rushing says a lot. You have to force your will upon a guy and let him know you’re there.”
Much in the same way he left an impression on Philadelphia fans over the last four years, though he’s optimistic for a new start.
“I enjoyed my time there, I think I left a great mark,” Logan said. “I’m just ready for a new beginning.”