Al Golden may have left Temple for Miami, but the former Owls coach brought Jaiquawn Jarrett down to South Florida with him.
No, Golden didn't physically transport his former safety along with him. That would be hard after the Eagles selected Jarrett in the second round of the NFL draft Friday night. But Golden did bring something much more important as attempts to turn around another college program. Golden brought along tape of Jarrett's fundamentally-sound tackling.
“We did a high school development tape a few years ago and he’s all over that tape which means every high school in America saw it because we did it for the NFL," Golden said Saturday by phone. "On our tackling teach tapes that we show down here at Miami he’s all over it. They call him ‘The Clinic.'"
Eagles coach Andy Reid had some strong words of praise for Jarrett after the Eagles used the 54th overall pick in the draft on the Brooklyn-born 21-year-old.
"You’re getting a very explosive hitter; one of the more intimidating, if not the most intimidating safety in this draft," Reid said. "When you talk about people who can come up and smack you, he’ll come up and smack you."
Reid went on to compare the 6-foot, 196-pound Jarrett with former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins. The Eagles have lacked an intimidator on defense since Dawkins left two years ago.
“He’s the best tackler that I’ve been around in my 21 years as a player and a coach," Golden said. "I’ve never seen anyone tackle like he does in the open field.”
Reid and Golden, of course, have good reason to tout Jarrett. He does come with some questions, most notably in relation to his cover skills. One NFL evaluator who watched a lot of tape on Jarrett said he's definitely one of the better tacklers in the draft, but that he has a lot to learn in coverage.
"I think that’s a fair assessment," Golden said. "We didn’t utilize him in that capacity as much. That was more of the defensive philosophy and the style that we played. Certainly he’s going to need to improve that just as he improved his tackling, just like he improved his knowledge of the defense, just as he improved his Cover 2."
The Eagles may be able to cover Jarrett's cover deficiencies if is indeed to start the season at strong safety. Free safety Nate Allen is considered much better at covering receivers than he is at coming up and stopping the run.