DeMeco Ryans was on the field for 1,157 snaps last season.
Simple math will tell anyone that is a heavy workload for a linebacker.
Ryans will turn 30 before the 2014 season and it’s a natural question to ask about reducing his snaps for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“You tryin' to get me off the field?” Ryans told the Philadelphia Daily News. “I guess that's the question this year. OK. I guess that's the question everybody wants to ask. I'm still out here playing my hardest, giving the team what I have to go out and compete. I'm surprised at the question, but hey, that's what it is.”
Ryans never appeared to be bothered by the extra playing time, and pointed to coach Chip Kelly’s sports science program in terms of staying healthy all season.
“When the coaches understand how to take care of the players from that standpoint, it helps us as older guys be able to come out here day after day and really play hard, practice hard, because we know that we're taking care of ourselves with the recovery aspect,” Ryans told the Daily News.
Ryans had four sacks and two interceptions and was one of the vocal leaders on the Eagles’ much-improved defense.
He plans on leading by example again.
“First, it's your work ethic,” Ryans told the Daily News. “Guys see you in the weight room, how you work -- it's all about creating that 'I come to work every day.' The guys know what to expect from leaders. They don't get wishy-washy guys, (they connect with leaders) who come in and bust their butts every day. It starts there. And then, playing good, it always helps ... At this point, it's not about the rah-rah. Guys get paid to do their jobs, so they're expected to do their jobs.”