Jim Schwartz. (USA Today)
It’s not newsworthy when a coach innocuously forgets to mention a player during his press conference when discussing a position battle. But when Jim Schwartz named five corners competing for playing time and didn’t mention Eric Rowe, just a day after Doug Pederson did the same and said Rowe has experienced some “hiccups” this offseason, it seems the second-year defensive back out of Utah may not have as big of a role this season as people expected.
“It’s going to be fun to watch the corners compete. We have some guys that can cover; we got some guys that have a great opportunity here,” Schwartz said. “With the blend of veteran players, a guy like Nolan Carroll, who we talked about, [and] Leodis McKelvin. Some young guys that have some opportunities — Jalen [Mills] has done a nice job for a rookie so far; Ron Brooks is going to have an opportunity. You have guys coming off injury like [JaCorey] Shepherd, who’s been out here. I think it’s going to be exciting to watch those guys.” Read more »
JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Jeff Fusco)
We kicked off this series by looking at the offensive line, defensive line, wide receivers and linebackers. Now, let’s move on to the cornerbacks.
Projected starters: Leodis McKelvin and Nolan Carroll (outside), Ron Brooks (inside)
Reserves: Randall Evans, Aaron Grymes, Jalen Mills, Denzel Rice, Eric Rowe, JaCorey Shepherd, C.J. Smith, Jaylen Watkins.
This is the most interesting position battle the Eagles will have during training camp. I could’ve configured the projected starters list several different ways, and none of them would have been much more valid than the others. It’s impossible to say at this time who will play, or even who will make the roster, but it’s something we’ll follow very closely once camp commences. Read more »
JaCorey Shepherd and Eric Rowe. (Photo by Jeff Fusco)
Today’s question comes from reader Trey:
With all the different bodies at CB, who among the CBs do you think make the 53?
Good one, Trey. The cornerback competition promises to be packed with plenty of intrigue this summer. Leodis McKelvin separated himself from the pack and was a constant with the first team for Jim Schwartz during the spring, but did not have a steady partner at the other outside corner spot. (Ron Brooks got the most reps there, it appeared.) A starting job is still up for grabs.
There’s the matter of figuring out who will man the slot, and to your question, which young talent to hold onto. Plenty to sort through. To get a better feel for what management and the coaching staff is up against, let’s look at the corners on roster currently: Read more »
Leodis McKelvin. (Jeff Fusco)
As minicamp comes to a close and training camp sits six weeks away, one of the most intriguing position battles on the Eagles’ roster is cornerback. While Ron Brooks, Nolan Carroll, Leodis McKelvin, Jalen Mills and Eric Rowe all seem to have a legitimate chance to earn playing time, one player in particular has separated himself from the pack.
“Leodis has probably been the guy that’s really stood out the most to me,” Doug Pederson said. “He’s a guy that it seems like he’s making plays quite a bit, knocking PBUs and getting his hands on balls and doing the things that you expect from a veteran corner. He’s a smart guy, very athletic and [we’re] excited for the upcoming season with him.”
McKelvin’s teammates praise him for his intelligence and film study, with Rowe saying the presence of McKelvin and Brooks — both of whom played for Jim Schwartz in Buffalo in 2014 — have “dramatically” cut down his learning curve. McKelvin noted that he’s been able to work on his technique more during OTAs and minicamp because of his familiarity with the defense, especially when it comes to his footwork. Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Here’s what we saw during Day 2 of the Eagles’ three-day minicamp: Read more »
Malcolm Jenkins. (Jeff Fusco)
As you look around the Eagles’ defense, there’s clarity at most positions. We know the two starting tackles and three rotating ends; we know the pair of starting safeties; and we have a pretty good idea of who the starting linebackers will be.
But what’s unknown, and likely won’t be settled any time soon, is who will have what roles at cornerback.
“It’s not clear at all, and I think a lot of guys are jockeying for position,” Malcolm Jenkins said. “There’s a lot of depth and a lot of competition, and we’re just waiting to see who emerges from the pack.” Read more »
Darren Sproles. (Jeff Fusco)
Darren Sproles has missed all of the Eagles voluntary workouts, Doug Pederson said today.
As OTAs began this morning, Ian Rapoport tweeted that the Eagles received trade interest during the draft for Sproles, and that the running back is “staying away from OTAs until its [sic] sorted out.” Rapoport added that the situation isn’t “filled with frustration,” but Sproles is on the West Coast with his family.
Pederson, however, said the Eagles have no interest in trading Sproles, and the 32-year-old doesn’t want to leave Philadelphia. Read more »
Nolan Carroll and Malcolm Jenkins. (USA Today Sports)
Nolan Carroll has only spent two of his six NFL seasons as an Eagle, but his time in Philadelphia has had enough of an impact on him to where he just didn’t feel right leaving for Dallas.
Before re-signing with the Eagles on a one-year, $2.36 million deal, Carroll visited the Cowboys, but it wasn’t the most comfortable trip for the cornerback.
“It was just weird, man,” Carroll said. “Being here and playing here and knowing I played against those guys a few times, it just felt weird to be in that facility and see some of those players — guys that I’ve played against. I just felt like it wasn’t the fit right now. I felt like my fit was right here in Philadelphia.” Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
UPDATE: The Eagles confirmed the signing, and the Inquirer’s Zach Berman tweeted the figures.
It’s not inked yet, but Nolan Carroll plans on returning to Philadelphia on a one-year deal, according to a league source.
Carroll visited with the Cowboys last week but left without a contract. Philly and Miami were in the mix late, and the 29-year ultimately chose to re-up with the Eagles.
Carroll is recovering from surgery on his fibula and expects to be ready for OTAs. Read more »
USA TODAY Sports
The first wave of NFL free agency is over and things have slowed down both at One NovaCare Way and across the NFL. With the top of the priority list scratched off, the Eagles — like a lot of teams — are taking their time and looking for value within the remaining group of available players. But they’re not done. They still have some holes to plug and roster spots to fill before setting their sights fully on April’s draft.
Who might they be targeting? Some names to consider as we get ready for Round 2. Read more »