Jim Schwartz didn’t even know Cre’Von LeBlanc’s name until the Eagles were about to claim him off waivers earlier this season.
Now, Schwartz thinks the addition of LeBlanc, who has become their nickel corner, might have saved the season.
But Schwartz did remember one play from the Eagles’ butt-whooping of the Bears in 2017 when LeBlanc still played for Chicago. It came during the fourth-quarter of a 31-3 loss.
When the game was sort of out of hand and everything, you could tell what a competitor he was.
Here’s the play:
This was the Cre'Von LeBlanc play #Eagles DC Jim Schwartz referenced today. When he was still with the Bears last year, LeBlanc chased down Jay Ajayi in the 4th quarter of a blowout to force a fumble. Look how far he needed to go. pic.twitter.com/Qq9HBKFbjP— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) January 8, 2019
The score was 24-3 at the time with under 14 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but LeBlanc didn’t give up on the play. He came from the other side of the field to pop the ball free. It was the first — and still the only — forced fumble of his career.
Here’s what he remembers from the play:
It was like later on in the fourth quarter and (Jay) Ajayi had broke a big run. My M.O. is I’m a go-hard guy until the very end, the finish. I’m a big competitor. I hate losing. And I’m going to give it all I got, every play I’m out there. And when he broke, I just was like, ‘I got to get this guy on the ground.’ So I just wanted to chase him out there. And then he tried to stiff-arm Kyle (Fuller) and Kyle had his arm, was holding his arm, and [Ajayi] was trying to fight for more yards. I just came in violently with a Peanut Punch and knocked the ball out.
LeBlanc, 24, is an undrafted guy who has been working to find a place for himself in the NFL, so that’s kind of his reputation. He’s going to give it everything he’s got.
Unfortunately for LeBlanc, after he forced that fumble, Nelson Agholor was also hustling. Agholor jumped on the ball for a touchdown to put the Eagles up 31-3, which is how the game ended. So really, there were two hustle plays in one.
LeBlanc actually grew up three hours southeast of Agholor in Florida so Agholor already knew him in passing and faced him all game.
“When you think about it, when I was in the slot, I went against him all last year when he was in the slot,” Agholor said. “And he’s a competitor. For four quarters, he was never trying to get beat. He was fighting the whole time.”
After he was released by the Bears this September, he spent some time with the Lions. But when the Lions waived him in early November, the Eagles needed help in their secondary and claimed him. He’s made a huge difference since getting here.
He’s still not happy Agholor was able to jump on that loose ball last year.
“I was disappointed,” LeBlanc said. “It sucked, but I’m here now, so it is what it is.”
Yeah, he’s a competitor.
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