DeSean & DRC: Friends turned foes
The task of keeping DeSean Jackson in check is one of the scariest endeavors in football. His lightning-quick speed can be overwhelming.
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But when Jackson lines up Sunday against the Broncos, he expects to see a familiar face smiling back at him. Well, maybe not smiling. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is with Denver after spending two fruitless seasons in Philadelphia. The two still talk frequently, just not this week.
"I haven't talked to him," Jackson said. "I probably will mess around with him a little bit [later in the week]."
Jackson expects Rodgers-Cromartie to be the one assigned to him when the whistle blows.
"I'm sure he'll be on me," Jackson said of DRC. "He's a good friend of mine. We have a pretty good relationship. It will be a great opportunity for the both of us to compete against each other at a high level. He's a good player."
Rodgers-Cromartie is one of the fastest corners in the NFL. He ran a 4.29 in the 40-yard dash in 2008 at the combine. Believe it or not, Jackson was actually timed slower, at 4.35 seconds.
"Overall, he's a good corner," Jackson said. "One of the top guys at his position, with his speed, agility, quickness and things like that. I definitely have to stay on him and pressure him in a way where he feels threatened."
This won't be the first time the two stars have battled, either. Jackson beat DRC, then playing for Arizona, for a 62-yard touchdown reception in the 2008 NFC Championship Game. Of course, DRC got the last laugh as the Cardinals beat the Eagles in that one to advance to the Super Bowl.
"I'm very familiar with him," Jackson said. "It will be a very competitive battle, with us both knowing each other — and us being friends, too. We'll get after it."
Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis coached DRC in Arizona. He was impressed with him as a rookie.
"Very quick, explosive," Davis said. "Probably the best burst of any corner I've been around. Dominique as a young player was fun to coach and fun to be around."
Wolff poised to start
Eagles safety Patrick Chung missed a second straight day of practice as he deals with a nagging shoulder injury. Rookie Earl Wolff had been pushing Nate Allen for reps, but it looks like he could get the start if Chung can't go.
"Every week I prepare like I'm the starter, because you never know what can happen, even when you're not the starter," Wolff said.
Wolff received 43 snaps last week against Kansas City, against Allen's 60. Both coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Bill Davis said they evaluate the position on a day-to-day basis.
"He [Chung] took a big jump from yesterday to today," Davis said. "Hopefully every day is a jump. He's a tough man. If he can go, he will go."
Chung was the only Eagle to miss practice Wednesday. Jason Peters was a full participant despite playing with a dislocated finger.