"If you do not try then you do not do, and if you do not do then why are you here?"
This is the quote tattooed on Eagles' undrafted free agent Myke Tavarres, a rookie trying to make the 53-man roster as a linebacker and special teams contributor.
"In high school I used to wrestle," Tavarres, an Oregon native, said. "My coach, before every match he read this quote and it got me through everything."
Tavarres is an interesting professional football player. He didn't think about playing in the NFL until midway through his senior year. Partially because he was focused on academics, and partially because of where he played — for the Incarnate Word Cardinals.
"Honestly I wasn't even worried about the NFL when I got to Incarnate Word I was just focused on getting my degree and finishing school," he said. "Toward the middle of the season I heard I had a pretty good shot at making the NFL so I decided to go for it."
Tavarres first attended Arkansas, and clearly showed he had SEC talent. However a friend convinced him to transfer to the tiny Texas school where he shined in the classroom and on the football field. All he's thinking about now is showing he belongs in the NFL.
"I am versatile," Tavarres said. "My goal on special teams is to be the first man down there and not just to make the play but to make the tackle."
As Doug Pederson mentioned when he spoke to the media Wednesday, the battle for a spot as a linebacker is competitive. But the multi-faceted skills of Tavarres on special teams could punch his NFL ticket.
"We have three starters with Nigel [Bradham], Jordan Hicks is coming back ready to go and Mychal Kendricks," Pederson said. "Joe Walker has also done a great job this offseason to position himself as a backup. We will continue to moniter the position and upgrade if we can but I am very impressed with all of these players, the rookies, in the offseason."