Eagles want to reduce Ryan's snaps

DeMeco Ryans played 1,156 snaps last season for the Philadelphia Eagles.

It was the most snaps of any defensive player.

And that number must be reduced for the linebacker in 2014, according to defensive coordinator Billy Davis.

"We have to take reps off him," Davis told CSNPhilly.com's Reuben Frank. "He's a warrior and he had way more reps than he should have. We want DeMeco for the long haul this season, and so many times when you overwork a veteran -- and he takes great care of his body -- but it's a lot of games."

CSNPhilly.com reported that the only NFL players on the field last year more than Ryans were eight offensive linemen and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Ryans isn't concerned with the amount of snaps.

"I'm a competitor," Ryans told CSNPhilly.com. "It doesn't matter to me. I'm here to play. When it's time to compete, it's time to compete, but I think we'll all help ourselves a lot defensively not by not playing more reps but by playing better, playing smarter."

Davis and Ryans have had some discussions about playing time.

"Just (being) honest with him," Davis told CSNPhilly.com. "I've sat him down a couple times. DeMeco's a great man, and I've said, ‘Look, I know you want to be out there every down, everybody does. But I'm telling you right now that I'm going to work to get some ways to give you some relief to have you with us in Week 15 and 16, and he's great about it. He doesn't want to come off. But neither does Connor (Barwin), neither does Trent (Cole). None of them want to come off. But what we do as a team and collectively, when you're honest and explain why it is you want to do what you do, they're fine. They're all team players."

Ryans will turn 30 before the season and he believes the "sports science" program implemented by coach Chip Kelly has helped immensely.

"It helps a lot," Ryans said. "Being an older guy, you're able to come out here day after day and play hard, practice hard, because we know we're taking care of ourselves from a recovery standpoint."