Eagles Wake-Up Call: DRC On Asante

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel are cut from the same cloth in a lot of ways. Both Florida boys. Both cornerbacks, obviously. Both funny, eccentric. Both playmakers.

In another set of circumstances, it would be no surprise if the two ended up being good friends. But the situation last year had the two prideful vets pitted against one another to a degree.

“Of course it’s going to start off awkward. Everybody wanted to be on the field,” said Rodgers-Cromartie. “But as time went on we started to open up to each other and talk a little bit.

“I’ll shoot him a text every now and then, saying ‘Man, I see you out there.’ But that’s about it.”

Samuel’s departure is directly connected to DRC’s arrival from Arizona via trade. Last season, Rodgers-Cromartie — with Samuel as the established left corner and Nnamdi Asomugha brought in to play on the right side — was forced to play out-of-position in the slot. The results were not pretty. Rodgers-Cromartie never adapted to life on the inside, Samuel spent the whole season feeling slighted and the defense disappointed overall. In the offseason, Samuel was dealt to Atlanta for a seventh-round pick.

Now he returns to Philadelphia wearing the red and black of the 6-0 Falcons. Rodgers-Cromartie mans his old position. Does that get the competitive juices flowing all the more?

“Not with me,” said Rodgers-Cromartie, who has three interceptions to Samuel’s one this season. “It might be on his end, but I don’t think like that. I’m just trying to go out and play ball, man.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

If you’re looking for a reason to be optimistic, Michael Vick is showing marked improvement against the blitz. Sheil uses the All-22 tape to illustrate.

Could Jason Peters return during the regular season? Andy Reid says there is a chance. 

Two days after saying he wasn’t talking, Danny Watkins talked.

Defensive ends Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham are trying to stay patient.

The linebackers talk about their new defensive coordinator.

 Fletcher Cox was fined for throwing a punch against the Lions. And Brian Rolle gets a workout.

If you missed our show this week, here’s a link to the podcast.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Andy Reid comes in at No. 3 this week on Mike Florio’s coaching hot seat list.

“This feels like  a game Andy Reid finds a way to win because he can’t afford to lose. He can’t afford to go to 3-4. He can’t afford another embarrassment, or he won’t be back for a 15th season.”

The top-5:

5)  Romeo Crennel
4) Mike Mularkey
3) Andy Reid
2) Pat Shurmur
1) Ron Rivera

Graham is the latest to speak about the defense’s predictability late in games under Juan Castillo. From CSN Philly:

“That’s what he talked about, not being predictable in the fourth quarter, because by the fourth quarter everybody knows what we’re going to do, and that’s how we get beat,” Graham said.

“I think Coach Bowles, it’s going to be fun to see what he’s going to be doing, because I think everything we run in practice we’re going to actually really run in the game.”

Sports Illustrated recently asked 180 NFL players to identify the most overrated player in the league. Tim Tebow (34 percent) was the overwhelming winner, followed by teammate Mark Sanchez (8 percent) and Tony Romo (8 percent). Michael Vick placed fourth, receiving four percent of the votes. Ray Lewis (3 percent) rounds out the top 5.

COMING UP

Practice today at 1:50. Todd Bowles will address the media today.

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