‘Hiccups’ Leave Eric Rowe Playing Catch-Up

Doug Pederson explains why Rowe was "pulled back."

Eric Rowe. (Jeff Fusco)

Eric Rowe. (Jeff Fusco)

Doug Pederson did not mention Eric Rowe‘s name when asked about the competition for the starting cornerback spot opposite Leodis McKelvin. 

“I think there’s great depth there. I think with the addition of Jalen Mills brings some good competition there. You’ve got Ron Brooks sitting over there. Nolan’s [Nolan Carroll] coming off the injury, I expect him to fully compete at that spot. It’s going to be a position that we continue to look at, continue to evaluate throughout camp and it’s exciting to have so many guys at one position that you can really evaluate and make those roster moves,” he said.

What about Rowe?

“He’s another one that’s in the mix,” Pederson later added. “He’s part of that depth that we have there. Looking forward to seeing him when we put the pads on. Part of playing corner is how well and how physical they can be when you put the pads on, tackling and all that, and he’s a big kid that we look forward to seeing his progress this camp.”

Perhaps it was just an accidental omission, but telling nonetheless considering Rowe was a presumed starter by many heading into the offseason. The former second-round pick had his share of  ups and downs as a rookie but showed enough signs to at least offer a little encouragement. The 23-year-old, though, had a bumpy entry into Jim Schwartz‘s system this spring by the sounds of it.

“He’s learning a new defense, learning some new techniques this year from coach Schwartz’s ‘D’, and there were some hiccups in the road a little bit this offseason and he was pulled back a little bit,” said Pederson. “But you just want to see that growth and that development with any player on your roster. But the chance to come out here and compete and put yourself in that position, I’ve said this from Day One that competition is the best thing you’ve got going for you. I give credit to Howie [Roseman] and his staff for bringing in the guys now that we can have that type of competition and Eric’s one of those guys that you want to see compete on a daily basis.”

A long way to go before the Eagles kick off the regular season against the Browns on September 11, but it sounds like Rowe has some serious work to do to climb his way to the top of the depth chart between now and then.