DRC: "My effort could have been better"
The Philadelphia Inquirer Blog - Eagles
DRC: "My effort could have been better"
Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie admitted that his effort Sunday in the Eagles' loss to the Bills could have been stronger, especially on a slant pass in which he appeared to shy away from tackling.
"I was supposed to attack," Rodgers-Cromartie said Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex. "I was confused on the call. I was thinking something else and by the time the play happened he was already inside. I'd say my effort could have been a little better on that."
Rodgers-Cromartie's hustle has been questioned by the media and fans after the last two games in which he has appeared to have given up on certain plays. Did his coaches point out his error?
"They got on me, but that's all part of criticism," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "I know what I did was wrong and corrected it."
Rodgers-Cromartie also said that he's still trying to find his way as an Eagle and as the defense's nickel cornerback. He's not the only defensive player to be going through an adjustment period after a major overhaul on that side of the ball just over two months ago.
In Arizona, Rodgers-Cromartie played strictly on the outside. When the Eagles acquired him -- along with a second-round draft pick -- from the Cardinals in exchange for quarterback Kevin Kolb Rodgers-Cromartie was penciled in as the right corner opposite Asante Samuel.
But a day later the Eagles stunned the NFL when they signed All Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Just like that Rodgers-Cromartie was demoted. Even though there were some rumors that the Eagles were going to trade Samuel, it never happened and Rodgers-Cromartie stayed in the slot.
He hasn't complained once about the move in public.
"You got Nnamdi and Asante -- they're proven guys, older guys, veterans, know the game well," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "So all I can do is just learn from them, get better and when the time comes just be ready."
That doesn't mean that learning a new position hasn't been difficult. Rodgers-Cromartie has more run-gap responsibilities than he ever has and has also had to get used to playing without a sideline as a border.
"It put a lot of things in perspective for me," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "I understand the change with the guys we got. So basically it's not get down on myself and [have a] pity party."
Rodgers-Cromartie has had the opportunity to play some on the outside, although that isn't how it's always been written up. He said there are times during the game when the Eagles are in their nickel package that he and Asomugha will decide on the field to switch spots.
"We have that leeway," Rodgers-Cromartie said.
Andy Reid denied an ESPN report that the Eagles had offered Eric Mangini a defensive consultant position.
"That's not true," Reid said.
Mangini, the former Brown and N.Y. Jets head coach and Patriots defensive coordinator, currently works for ESPN.
There was an earlier ESPN report that Reid had mulled over bringing in a consultant by next week's bye to assist defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Reid was asked if he had offered anyone a consultant gig.
"I didn't offer it to anybody," Reid said. "That was all fabricated. ... I wasn't in touch with anybody. Nobody. Nothing. Zero."
Jason Avant addressed the players exclusively following a team meeting today at the NovaCare Complex, several Eagles said.
The team's 1-4 start prompted the wide receiver to speak up with Sunday's game at Washington looming. A loss against the Redskins would likely put the death nail into the Eagles' season and possibly Reid's future with the franchise.
Reid said the Cullen Jenkins had a triceps strain, but that he expected the defensive tackle to play Sunday. Jenkins was helmetless at the start of practice, as was defensive end Juqua Parker, who re-aggravated his high ankle sprain.
Safety Jarrad Page had a stinger Sunday vs. the Bills and will be limited Wednesday. Reid said that Kurt Coleman and Jaiquawn Jarrett would take Page's repetitions in practice.
Reid also said that defensive end Trent Cole (calf) and tackle Jason Peters (hamstring) would not practice. The coach has said that it would be a stretch for both players to play against the Redskins.