While plenty of fans are calling for Jalen Mills’ job, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz on Tuesday staunchly defended the third-year cornerback.
Mills is still the Eagles’ starting outside cornerback.
And based on these comments from Schwartz, don’t expect that to change anytime soon:
Yeah, I’m firmly behind Jalen Mills as a corner. One of the reasons we had a big parade on Broad Street was Jalen Mills. He’s played a lot like a 2-2 corner (this season), we’ve played a lot like a 2-2 defense, we’ve played a lot like a 2-2 team right now. There’s been inconsistencies all around, but it’s our job to help him through that. It’s his job to get out of that.
I’m firmly behind Jalen Mills. That guy has played a lot of good football for us and he epitomizes a lot of things we’re about defensively, toughness and competitiveness and ability to bounce back. And I’m confident he will.
From the time the Eagles drafted Mills in the seventh round back in 2017, Schwartz has always supported and defended Mills. So it shouldn’t be surprising to see him continue to defend Mills now after a few bad games.
So how can the team help Mills? Is that on the field or off the field with his confidence?
“Do you know Jalen?” Schwartz said about the cornerback known for his finger-wagging. “Confidence, we don’t have to worry about that. But I do think there’s a combination of scheme, technique, other things that go into that. That’s part of the position coach’s job, that’s part of the defensive coordinator’s job. Our guys play with a lot of confidence, we don’t have to worry about that with them. We just need to be more consistent.”
Schwartz repeated the same line when asked about individual players: They’re playing like a 2-2 player. That included Mills and Sidney Jones, who would be the top candidate to replace Mills outside. Schwartz pointed out the good and bad plays Jones has made.
Eventually, Jones is expected to be a starter for the Eagles. He was a first-round talent a year ago and is supremely talented. But as long as Schwartz is here, it’s going to take a lot more for Mills to get taken out of his role.