Eagles

What's behind Ronald Darby's 'horrible' play of late?

What's behind Ronald Darby's 'horrible' play of late?

Ronald Darby regrets his mini Twitter rant Tuesday morning when he said he was ready to block "half way fans." 

He even apologized (see story).

But the reason Darby was "in his feelings" was that he didn't think he had a very good game against the Giants. Sure, he had a huge interception in the first half, but he was roasted and picked on by Eli Manning for much of the afternoon. Darby said it was one of the worst games of his career. 

"It was horrible," he said. 

On Thursday, Darby admitted he "sort of" overlooked the Giants' receivers but didn't want to use it as an excuse. In fact, Darby wasn't willing to use anything as an excuse. Not switching sides. Not his health. Not his relative unfamiliarity with the Eagles' scheme. 

Darby, 23, actually echoed what his defensive coordinator pointed at as the problem. Jim Schwartz said technique issues have been his problem. 

After joining the team Aug. 11, Darby didn't have a ton of time with the Eagles when he dislocated his right ankle in the season opener in Washington. Based on how gruesome that injury looked at the time, it's pretty amazing Darby has even been able to play at all this season. Since returning, he's played 93 percent of the defensive snaps in the last five games. 

But in those last five games, Darby has been far from a dominant corner. According to ProFootballFocus, he's given up 24 catches on 40 targets for 309 yards and a touchdown, with that one interception. 

How close is he to 100 percent? 

"Right now, I feel I'm as good as I'm gonna be," he said. "That don't make no excuse for nothing. I'm out there playing, so I need to play at 100. Even when you're not feeling 100. I'm not the only person out there not feeling 100."

After Darby went down in the opener, Jalen Mills took over at the team's left cornerback. That means Darby has returned on the right side, which he admitted was awkward at first, but has become more familiar. 

The Eagles traded Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick to get Darby this summer and they need him to play well in these playoffs. Rookie Rasul Douglas played well while Darby was out, but Darby gives the Eagles their best chance at success. 

What's the next step after a "horrible" game against the Giants? 

"Move on," Darby said. "That wasn't the first time I played bad before. We play corner. There can be games where you cover tight on somebody and they make a catch on you and it could go like that the whole game. It's just how the position is." 

Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

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Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

The Eagles are scheduled to have a pretty boring Day 2 of the draft this year. Because after they pick at No. 32, they don’t have another selection until the 31st pick of the fourth round. 

That means 98 players will be taken between the Eagles’ first and second picks. And they’ll have to watch other teams pick that entire Friday (Rounds 2-3) without them … unless they make a move. 

“We’re not looking at it like we’re sitting out on Friday,” Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman said. “We’re going through our draft process looking at every scenario. When we get to Friday, we get to Friday.” 

Even if the Eagles don’t make a move, they’ll be plenty busy on Saturday, the final day of the draft. They have two fourth-round picks and one pick in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. 

Eagles personnel head Joe Douglas showed up to his media availability with a stat ready to go to illustrate the importance of Day 3. 

“We’re excited that we have five picks on Saturday,” Douglas said. “When you look at the Super Bowl, there’s 22 starters that were third-round picks or lower. Of those 22, 18 of them were fourth-round picks or lower. So 18 starters in the Super Bowl this year were fourth-round picks or lower, including six of them that were undrafted free agents. We choose to keep the glass half full.” 

Douglas is right on all those stats — 22 of 44 starters in the Super Bowl were drafted in the third or lower and 18 of them would be considered Day 3 picks. Not bad. 

Here’s how the Super Bowl starters broke down by round: 1-10, 2-12, 3-4, 4-4, 5-3, 6-3, 7-2, UDFA-6. 

The Eagles accounted for seven of the 18 players who were drafted in the fourth round or later, so the Patriots were the ones who found even more value late in drafts. And of those seven, just three were original Eagles — Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jason Kelce and Jalen Mills. 

Of the six undrafted players who started in the Super Bowl, two were from the Eagles — LeGarrette Blount and Rodney McLeod. Neither was an original Eagle, but the Birds also relied heavily on running back Corey Clement, who was an undrafted rookie last season. 

With a dearth of high draft picks, it would make sense if the Eagles attack the undrafted market following the draft, but Douglas thinks it won’t be as easy as many might think. 

“You would think because we’re coming off a Super Bowl, we don’t have a second or third round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft,” Douglas said. “But my experience coming off a Super Bowl, it’s sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster because agents and players have a perceived notion that it’s going to be that much tougher to make the team. I think that’s going to be a challenge. I think that’s going to be a challenge for us and we know it and we’re going to attack it.”

The Eagles in recent years have shown a willingness to pony up significant money to entice undrafted players to sign with them and if Douglas is right, they might need to do it again to land some this year. 

Either way, the Eagles know how important Day 3 and beyond can be. So when they’re bored on Day 2, they don’t plan on losing focus. 

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

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Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

The Eagles gave Nick Foles a little raise on Friday, reworking the Super Bowl MVP’s contract, a league source confirmed. 

Basically, the Eagles are rewarding Foles after he helped the franchise win its first-ever Super Bowl a few months ago. 

Foles, 29, is still entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, but the new deal also includes a mutual option for the 2019 season, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The mutual option will still allow Foles the possibility to test the free agent market next season, but could leave the door open to a possible return beyond this upcoming season. 

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network first reported the revised contract, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and “several millions in incentives if he’s the starter and hits various benchmarks,” according to Rapoport. 

That part makes a ton of sense. If for some reason Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in 2018 or if he goes down again, Foles will have a chance to earn what might be closer to starter money. 

Foles was set to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $7.6 million on the contract before Friday’s renegotiation. 

Wentz and Foles grew very close last season — third-string QB Nate Sudfeld too — and have both been very selfless in a situation that would be awkward for many others in the league. But both have been incredibly selfless throughout the entire process. Just this week, Wentz admitted he had to fight jealousy but was truly happy for his teammate and friend, who became the Super Bowl hero (see story)

Earlier on Friday, Foles tweeted out this photo with his wife and daughter from the NovaCare Complex. That’s a $2 million smile.