Meet the Eagles: Jon Ritchie

Each day leading up to training camp, EaglesInsider will profile an Eagles starter, to get you ready for the season. Today, we'll take a look at Jon Ritchie, an off-season acquisition brought in to replace Cecil Martin. Ritchie has been to the Super Bowl with the Raiders and looks to be an upgrade at the fullback position for Philadelphia. When combined with Duce Staley's running abilities, Ritchie's presence as a receiver out of the backfield will yield a lethal combination of backs.

Jon Ritchie has spent his entire five-year career playing for the Oakland Raiders. A native of Pennsylvania, Ritchie is coming home and finally putting on the uniform of his favorite childhood team. If Ritchie can be the player he was last season in Oakland, and throughout his professional career, then the Eagles may just have the best pair of running backs in the NFC East.

Ironically, Ritchie caught his first NFL touchdown, on Monday Night Football, against the Denver Broncos in 1999, and could catch his first touchdown as an Eagle, on Monday Night Football, against Tampa Bay in this season's opener. Between those possible milestones, Ritchie has built quite a career, and a reputation as a hard-nosed player who isn't afraid to sacrafice his body for the team.

Often seen on television with a bloody forehead, Ritchie does it all to ensure that his halfback can get into the endzone in goal line situations. But that's not all the Eagles new fullback can do. In five years, Ritchie has amassed 1026 receiving yards off 129 receptions. That's pretty impressive for a fullback.

Overall, Ritchie will be an improvement over Martin. The Westcoast offense is built around the fullback position, and the Eagles finally possess a back that defensive coaches have to game plan for. Ritchie will not be the type of player who becomes a major weapon in the offense, but the fact that coaches need to plan around him, gives the Eagles a whole different dimension on offense.


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