Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie not catching on with Birds

Rodgers-Cromartie has been playing as the Eagles’ nickel cornerback.

The Kevin Kolb trade has widely been viewed as a heist — a king’s ransom of sorts —  for the Eagles.

They shipped away an expensive, sometimes tentative backup quarterback in exchange for a Pro Bowl cornerback. On paper, it’s a slam-dunk win. Unfortunately for the Eagles, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has largely underachieved through his first eight games here. Whether that’s because the coaching staff is using him wrong or he just isn’t as good as advertised is very much up for debate.

“I’m a way better cornerback than I’m playing right now,” Rodgers-Cromartie said after Monday night’s loss.

Rodgers-Cromartie has often been used as the team’s nickel corner, a position he isn’t used to playing. In Arizona, he played man coverage, lining up on the outside.  The transition hasn’t gone smoothly. And recently, Rodgers-Cromartie even admitted that he’d be much more comfortable playing on the outside.

“It’s not easy,” he said. “You have a guy that comes out who is usually a short, faster, swifter guy who has to in-and-out break on you and it’s hard to tell which way they’re going to go. If you have a quarterback that can make the throw, it’s very hard.”

The Eagles spelled Rodgers-Cromartie last week by bringing in Joselio Hanson, who is known as one of the better nickel corners in the league. The Eagles could fix their problem with a switch, but the coaching staff sounds reluctant to give up on the ex-Cardinal.

“That nickel position is a tough position because the receiver has a two-way go,” defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said. “We know in time, DRC will be the best nickel guy there is, because he has that kind of ability.”


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