Step aside Jalen Mills. Rasul Douglas is the new public enemy #1 on Eagles Twitter.
All season long Eagles fans have called for Douglas to get playing time as starting corners Mills and Ronald Darby have played up and down all season.
The #FreeSul campaign got their wish on Sunday Night as Douglas started on the outside against the Cowboys.
The results did not totally destroy the brand….but it certainly didn’t help it.
To the film room we go.
Douglas didn’t have a good game by any stretch of the imagination. But he also didn’t play bad enough to believe he is the next Bradley Fletcher like some have him set to be.
On this play Douglas does a good job of staying with Cooper in the end zone, keeping him close to the sideline. Good leverage and he put himself in a position to make a play on the ball if it came his way.
Douglas has been strong in the red zone this year.
When Douglas plays up, he has more success when jamming at the line. It allows him to use his length and stop receivers from opening him up. Here, Douglas does a good job of bumping the receiver who stumbles and can’t gain any separation.
Gallup couldn’t create any separation from Douglas who once again does a nice job tying up the receiver.
Douglas didn’t have a great day when it comes to tackling but a lot of that came from hesitation and getting caught in the wrong spots. On this play Douglas reads Prescott going to the out route at the 50 and closes in to make a great open field tackle. When he wants to be, Douglas can be a very forceful tackler for a CB.
More examples of that tackling ability when Douglas takes the right angle and shoots to the ball.
Douglas shows a lot of patience against Amari Cooper on this play. Cooper tries to turn Douglas inside but Douglas doesn’t bite and runs toe to toe down the sideline, keeping Cooper on the outside with little room to work with.
Despite showing some positive signs, Douglas didn’t instill confidence in fans that he could replace Darby who most likely won’t be in Philadelphia after this season.
There were too many plays were Cooper manipulated Douglas’s hips to go wherever he wanted them to.
In a previous play shown Douglas did a good job not quickly biting on Coopers first step. This play was a different story as Cooper turned Douglas outside and then cut inside into the end zone. Luckily Dak Prescott isn’t Carson Wentz or this might be a touchdown.
Two more examples of Cooper beating Douglas with a good sell on his first cut. Cooper once again gets Douglas to commit outside with his hips while making another move inside. It is tougher for Douglas to get caught in these situations as he doesn’t have the quick footwork and hip movement to recover as well as someone like Sidney Jones or Avonte Maddox.
This was a brutal play for Douglas. On this screen, Douglas has a responsibility to protect the outside. Instead, he stays inside and has no shot of getting back to his spot with blockers already set up. Truthfully it looked like Douglas had cinder blocks attached to his feet. He didn’t move his feet and was badly out of position. Gotta fly to the ball.
Blame should go to Douglas for his play, but Jim Schwartz shouldn’t get a pass either. A coaches job is to put his players in the best position to succeed. Douglas isn’t the most athletic corner and he needs reps to grow his patience and route recognition.
Schwartz knowing that, should have allowed Douglas to get his hands on receivers at the line so he could better position himself to make plays on the ball and stay with receivers.
The way Douglas was getting turned inside-out with these first steps, Schwartz should have adjusted his gameplan. Instead, Dallas moves the chains on a crucial drive late in the game because Douglas gets put on ice skates.
Once the NCAA leader in interceptions, Douglas has a knack for making plays on the ball when he is in the right position.
The coaches have to do a better job of getting him in positions to make those kinds of plays in man coverage which West Virginia rarley used with Douglas.
Against excellent route runners like Amari Cooper (and Michael Thomas coming up), his weaknesses can be exposed.
When he was able to get his hands on Cooper or play off in man or zone, he was much more effective. That should have been the game plan all night long.
With Darby out for the season after tearing his ACL, Douglas is going to get 7 crucial games to prove he can be a starter in 2019.
It wasn’t a great first step against Dallas but it wasn’t a catastrophic performance that has sealed Douglas’s fate.
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Are the Eagles and Carson Wentz about to get a deal done?
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How many “elite” QBs are there?