Looking For Mr. Right – DRC

Posted: June 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Tags: | 41 Comments »

The Eagles need a right CB.  Now that we know free agency is going to include 4-year players it is time to start talking about the targets.  I’m going to begin not with a free agent, but someone who might be available via trade.

I don’t think we’ve had much media speculation on this, but a few wise Eagles fans have come up with the notion of dealing Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals for CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DRC from here on) and a pick.

The Cardinals drafted Patrick Peterson back in April to be their elite shutdown CB.  They hoped to pair him with DRC to give them a really good duo.  Peterson has great potential.  DRC was good as a rookie and played really well in 2009, but fell off last year.  He’s still a very gifted CB and the Cards thought they might be set for years.

The Cards know they need a QB.  Their passing offense was brutally bad in 2010.  They had an arrogant attitude about the retirement of Kurt Warner and thought they could get by.  Nope.  Now they must be aggressive to solve the situation.  They’d love to trade a 2012 draft pick for Kevin Kolb, but that won’t do the Eagles any good this year.  You wonder if the Eagles might try to pry DRC away.

The move would make some sense.  He had a down season in 2010.  His tackling was poor and he didn’t show any sense of urgency.  When the offense is down, the defense must rally.  See the 1991 Eagles for example.  DRC seemed to know 2010 was a lost season and played as such.  Not a good way to go about things.

I watched a couple of games last night to check out DRC.  He is still a very talented player who could be really good in the right situation.  He has good size at 6’2, 182.  DRC is one of the fastest DBs in the league and he can run with just about any receiver.  He mainly played press in the games I watched.  He’s not a real physical bump and run guy, but can be hands on at times.  Often he just plays close and runs with the receiver.  He has the recovery speed to make up ground when he does get beat by a receiver.  There are times when he still gets burned, but that recovery speed gives him a fighting chance when other corners would be toast.

DRC isn’t limited to man coverage.  I was impressed with his awareness, something that is critical for zone coverage.  He showed a good feel for releasing his receiver to another DB on combo routes and then picking up the receiver who came into his area.  Some guys are lost in this type of situation.  DRC communicated with his teammates and looked comfortable in zone.

DRC has very good ball skills.  He has good hands and can pluck the ball when it comes his way.  He’s got 13 picks in 48 career games.  He tracks the ball well in the air.  You’ll see him on some downfield routes go up and play the ball like he’s the receiver.  You want CBs that are aggressive and go up for the ball.  DRC can play off in coverage.  He then uses his speed to break on short throws.   DRC has 61 pass deflections in his career, an excellent total.

Here are some Youtube highlight clips.  #1.  #2.

So what is the downside?  His tackling is bad, especially so in 2010.  You have to remember that his idol is Deion Sanders.  Deion even befriended DRC back in the pre-draft process a couple years back.  That’s great when he needs coverage advice, but not so much when he needs tackling tips.  DRC gets thrown at an awful lot for a guy with his ability.  And it isn’t like he’s playing across from some elite CB.  Teams are willing to go after him.  DRC will make them pay at times, but no one is scared of him.

Would he fit the Eagles?  Yes.  DRC played both sides in Arizona.  Being the RCB here would be no problem.  He’s got the size and speed we’d love in a RCB.  He likes to press, which is also something we need.  He can play man or zone.  We don’t yet know exactly what Juan Castillo will do with his secondary so having a guy who can do both things is a good way to go.

DRC could have a bounce-back year in 2011 and turn out to be a steal or he could be inconsistent just like 2010 and drive us all crazy.  This move has definite risk, but the upside to DRC makes it real intriguing.  He has the potential to be an elite CB when he’s playing his best.  We saw that at times in 2008 and 2009.  I think putting him back on a winning team and making him part of a good defense would bring out the best in him.  I’m sure some fan will joke about our troubled defense last year, but Arizona’s was far worse – 30th in scoring, 29th in yards allowed.

I would absolutely be willing to make a move for DRC.

* * * * *

A few people asked about Greg Toler, the CB who played opposite of DRC at times last year.  He looks like a talented young player, but wouldn’t be the answer to our problems at RCB.  I think we’re looking for a better player.  I’m not sure that Toler would be a substantial upgrade on Trevard Lindley.

* * * * *

Someone in the comments asked about the possibility of Dawk being cut by Denver and coming back here.  I’m sure Andy Reid and Castillo would be open to that for one year.  Beyond that, they want Jaiquawn Jarrett and Nate Allen on the field.  Dawk is very much a descending player.  Right now there is some speculation in Denver that Dawk could be the #3 Safety for them.  If he were cut and brought here, Dawk would have to win a starting job.  We love the guy, but at his age nothing is given to you.

Someone asked about our DTs and their contracts.  We are in a tenuous spot with them.  Mike Patterson is signed through 2037 (or does it just seem that way?).  Dixon is entering his 3rd year here so we’ve got another year with him.  Laws and Bunk are the guys we will be making decisions on.  Both guys want to start, here or elsewhere.  They need to play well this year to impress the Eagles and other 4-3 teams.

One note about the backup QB discussion…remember we are talking about backups.  Matt Hasselbeck should be a terrific backup.  Jake Delhomme could be a good backup.  Same for Marc Bulger.  You don’t want these guys as your primary starter because they’ve each got issues, but as backups they’d make complete sense.  Jeff Garcia flopped as a starter in 2004 and 2005, but was a very good backup for us in 2006.  A.J. Feeley flopped as a starter, but was a good backup for us in various years.  Big difference in what you see in a starter and backup.  The targets we’re talking about are descending players, but they can function well in the right role.  Don’t hold them to an overly high standard.

Someone asked about Detroit QB Shaun Hill as a possible target.  I think he’s a very good backup, but don’t think he’s a free agent this year.


  • http://Website Netherman

    DRC vs. J. Joseph? I am doubtful we go after Nnamdi, but i would love Joseph and possibly Haynesworth if Washburn signed off on it. Then get the best deal you can get for Kolb.

  • http://Website Netherman

    Btw think you had typo in para 4… cb = qb?

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    Thanks for the tip. Fixed it.

    Jonathan Joseph is up next to be studied. I’ll post his notes tomorrow or in the next few days.

  • http://Website GermanEagle

    I would be happy like a little kid on Xmas if we end up getting DRC! In fact the scenario of DRC + a pick for Kolb would be better than spending the world on Aso, provided we get a high pick from the Cards.

    Do you think the Eagles can pull off the trade involving a 2nd rounder?

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    I think it is possible. Cards desperately need a QB. The presence of Patrick Peterson may make DRC expendable.

    Peterson will get a big deal when he signs. DRC is ready to enter his 4th year. Do Cards want to pay him big bucks?

    Very possible scenario. All this is just fan speculation, but does make a lot of sense.

  • http://Website mcud

    If Toler isnt good enough for us to pair with Asante, then why would AZ be comfortable pairing him with Peterson and trading DRC to us? If I am the Cards, I offer a #1 next year for Kolb. If the Eagles insist on more, then I would shift my focus to a guy like Kyle Orton, and draft your next QB in April. In fact, I might look at Orton BEFORE I start offering 1st rounders or players like DRC for Kolb.

    Just trying to look at it from the Cards perspective.

  • http://Website Ken

    I actually have very little interest in DRC. It’s not so much him as a player, but him vs. possible FAs.

    #1 He’s not a good use of our “Kolb Value” Why trade for DRC(with a 1st round contract) and maybe a 3rd when you can get a 1st,3rd, and sign a FA CB.

    #2 With a FA he is your for however long you sign them. I get the feeling that Cromarties tend to greatly voervalue themselves and he seems like a guy who could be difficult to re-sign. Obviously this is a much lesser issue, but could be a waste to have him for only a year or 2 and watch him walk.

    Bonus reason…His tackling. What is the point of drafting Jarrett because we lack physicallity in our secondary to team him up with the worst tacking CB duo in the league?

    I’d take Johnathan Joseph, Brent Grimes, Nnamdi, or even Richard Marshall over him. And if we want a DRC type of player we should just sign his cousin and get better draft value for Kolb.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    @ mcud…

    Cards can’t wait for 2012 draft. That QB would then take time to develop. They need an answer now.

    Orton is a possibility. For some reason, NFL teams seem down on him. Honestly, I’m not sure why.

    Cards may not be willing to deal DRC. They may stick with him. On the flip side, this is the Bidwills we’re talking about. Kolb would take a contract extension. That could be DRC’s money, so to speak. They may want to deal him to limit payroll.

    I still can’t believe the Cardinals were so careless about QB last year. Nothing they do will surprise me, short of ignoring QB altogether. That would be grounds for the NFL to seize the franchise and send Graves, Whisenhunt, and Bidwills to Siberia.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    @ Ken…

    Eagles like DRC a lot prior to the 2008 draft. They spent quite a bit of time with him. Could be that they like him more than the FAs. I don’t know that for a fact. Just speculation.

    I’ll watch tape of Joseph and offer some notes.

    DRC’s tackling is poor, but we want him to cover, not hit. JJ and Nate Allen are the physical guys.

  • http://Website CVD

    why do i never here Brent Grimes mentioned. he is a pretty good corner, he is small (just how we like them) but he is pretty good. and he is a free agent. he is also from philly. i would be happy with him and hanysworth, or grimes and charles johnson

  • http://Website Ken

    Tommy, I know you’re not necessarily saying this is what you want the Eagles to do, but I am just curious on how you think teh Eagles would look at this.

    How much better would DRC have to be than the available FA to make that trade worth it?

    We spent all last offseason debating the value of trading McNabb. Most agreed that Kolb would be serviceable and the draft picks could be used to strengthen the team around him. It would also benefit us for the long term as we’d be bringing in younger players.

    Isn’t that a similar way of looking at DRC? The Eagles may really like DRC, but is he so much better than the other options that he is worth giving up the potentially very high draft pick?

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    RE: Brent Grimes

    Didn’t think he’d be a FA initially. Now he does become a potential target.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    @ Ken…

    That’s a point I’m sure the Eagles will consider. They also have to think that will Kolb, the Cardinals become the favorites in the NFC West. That pick could be 25 instead of 5 or 10.

    A lot of this boils down to who the Eagles want and who they think fits well from a style/talent/scheme/age/salary standpoint.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    That should read…”with Kolb” and not will Kolb.

  • http://Website Brian

    I tend to agree that I would like the Birds to sign a free agent CB and then get max value for Kolb, which hopefully would include a first rounder.

    I don’t love the uncertainty of DRC, but more important I would love to follow the Patriots model where they seem to have two first rounders every year, even though they don’t typically use both. In fact, I think that’s the plan. Use one of the first rounders (preferably you get a high one from your trading partner), then flip the second one for a first rounder the next year, and maybe more (e.g., a mid-round pick in the current draft). Rinse, wash, repeat.

    The Eagles did it a few years ago, but traded the second for Peters, which was also a good use of the extra pick.

  • http://Website GermanEagle

    I know everyone (even Dave S.) looks good on a youtube highlight video, but oh boy, DRC has got some ball skills! Very good hands as a CB, sometimes you even couldn’t tell if he’s a CB or a WR…

    Just imagine him and Asante picking off 20 passes next season.

    When is the lockout over again?! ;)

  • http://Website CVD

    Tommy

    about grimes. i would think he would be a target for the eagles, but dont know too much about him. curious as to what u think about him. also curious to see what you think about charles johnson from carolina, another free agent.

    i would love the eagles topick up a corner and an impact dlineman. i would be ok with the dline if graham was coming back for game 1, but without him i am a little worried. plus its not every year u have a shot at stud corners and stud dlineman. this was the perfect storm for the eagles, spent no $$ last year, dumped $$ a ton of money, and two years of free agents.

    by the way Tommy i love ur work

  • http://Website eagles nut

    Grimes isn’t going to be unrestricted even if they go back to only 4 years of service required. He only has 3 accrued seasons and is entering his 4th year. The first year he came out he didn’t play in the 6 required games to accrue an official season.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    Thanks for the update, eagles nut. Good work as always.

    RE: DL

    I’ve got some thoughts to post on the DL and the offseason. I’ll get to them. I’m focused on CBs for now.

  • http://Website Midnight Greenville

    I think DRC makes the most sense for both AZ and the Eagles, if they end up being the teams involved in a Kolb trade. Trading a 1 for Kolb will get them a lot of criticism; trading DRC and say, a 2 or 3 next year, will be much more palatable to their local fans and media. Likewise, I don’t think trading Kolb only for future picks makes a lot of sense. You don’t weaken your QB situation in a year where you’re poised to make a SB run, especially with an injury prone starter, and not benefit during the year you’re making the run.

    And, I know it’s crazy and never gonna happen, but I still would love to see them convince McNabb to be the backup here. Logically, it makes more sense for him to do that than take over as a starter for a marginal team. Minnie seems committed to Ponder. SF seem committed to Kapernick. Not sure what Seattle’s thinking, but you don’t hear about McNabb as a candidate there. What other starting job would be better for “5″? If he came here, he might start a few games, might help get a ring, and could be the feel-good story of the year. I know no one thinks it could happen, but hey, he was working out with the Birds today…

  • http://Website Ryan

    ESPN 980 in DC was talking about Kolb for DRC and a 3rd as soon as player movement is allowed

  • http://twitter.com/cliphord Cliff

    As the very first comment said: DRC vs. Joseph.

    That’s what it comes down to for me. Who do we like more? Can we sign Joseph as a FA and still get good compensation for Kolb in a trade?

  • http://Website cvd

    pretty sure grimes was drfated in o7

  • http://Website cvd

    grimes played 07, 08, 09, 10. he will be unrestricted

  • http://Website cvd

    maybe i should have read ur entire post, haha. wow i didnt know they had that rule. so you have to be active for at least 6 games? so say someone like sapp, we have him for 4 more years?

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    @ cvd…

    Good rule of thumb…if eagles nut or shlynch says something, they are usually right.

    The same is true for mcud, except when he disagrees with me.

    I try to be wrong on a regular basis. I don’t want to be known for brains and beauty.

  • http://Website San

    How comfortable would you be with Eric Wright, Richard Marshall, or Chris Carr as our RCB?

  • http://Website Name

    Games spent on IR count toward an accrued season.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Tommy Lawlor

    2008-2010 Grimes was a full-time Falcon.

    2007 he was on Practice Squad until he got called up and played final 2 games.

    That should mean that he’s not a FA until next year. He’s only got 3 accrued seasons under his belt. 2007 doesn’t help him.

  • http://Website Davesbeard

    He’s a restricted free agent with a first rounder tender even with the 4 year rule I.e. not gonna be an Eagle.

  • http://twitter.com/cliphord Cliff

    Maybe Arizona can throw in Steve Nash and Gortat!

  • http://Website CVD

    thanks fellas, i got it. man i cant belive i never heard of that b4.

  • http://www.10inchandroidtablet.com Chris

    Toler doesn’t yet have the experience to put back in the secondary with another rookie. I’ll be very surprised if Arizona is willing to give up DRC.

  • http://Website Cole

    I think Tommy has some inside scoop on this one.

  • http://Website Green Machine

    I know this is something of a crazy proposal, but what if the eagles traded Kolb and their own first (or another pick) for Patrick Peterson. While it would go against the eagles penchant for hoarding picks (something I’m a big fan of) it would give the eagles a cb compared to nndami but nearly a decade younger. This becomes an even more attractive idea once you consider that with the new CBA, a rookie wage scale is quite likely so signing him would be much cheaper than it typically would be to sign a top 5 pick. As far as salary cap is concerned, he would be much less costly than nndami as well.
    Its atypical for a team making a run at the sb to depend so heavily on the success of a rookie, but I don’t think there are too many of us who think that Peterson is anything less than an elite player ready to step in and contribute immediately.

  • http://Website 3Five7

    Tommy, big fan of your work. Hardly ever on PE.Com anymore. Just BGN, Bloggin the Beast and here.

    I feel that J.Joseph would be the best of the bunch for our right side, (obviously excluding Namdi) but DRC could be great for us. I would not have felt that way about him last year though. His poor tackling would have killed us, at least Hobbs wasnt afraid to lay the wood. This year is different because of the simplified overall defensive scheme, the new DL philosophy (which should pressure the QB more often) and the emphasis on the re-learning of fundamentals…. for CB’s: proper tackling , offensive reads, reactions, and commitment to your own specific assignment. DRC has all the physical tools you could want and he is not far off the mark from taking a huge leap to becoming an elite type CB. Put him on this team and he could make that jump this year. Now understand that anyone playing opposite Asante will get many extra balls thrown their way, and DRC does have good ball skills already…. fast as hell …. with a nice set of hands….. hmmmm…. yeah, i think this could work out nicely for us. You know what, go ahead wrap him up and let me get a 2nd or 3rd rounder on the side. I’ll meet you at the register.

  • http://Website D3Keith

    Good to know re: Grimes. And re: eagles nut. Is he someone we should know from another blog?

    DRC is so oft-discussed among die-hards we forget this is a new option to the mainstream. They are treating this like first-time speculation.

    Re: DRC vs. a first-round pick. I think at 25, DRC is young enough to give us several useful seasons, which a draft pick would … and we know he can play and play now so he’s more of a sure thing and a quicker return than a draft pick would be.

    Not to mention this would be the 2007 first-rounder we used on Kolb/Bradley/Celek (or whoever it was) panning out even further for us.

    =========
    Unrelated

    “He showed a good feel for releasing his receiver to another DB on combo routes and then picking up the receiver who came into his area.”

    This was one of my favorite things about playing corner, even as a small-time, sucks-at-tackling stick figure … there was a mental element to passing people off between zones but also physical, and if you time it right and the QB isn’t paying attention you can jump right in front of a pass on one of those “he never saw the guy” throws.

  • http://Website D3Keith

    mcud,
    re: “If Toler isnt good enough for us to pair with Asante, then why would AZ be comfortable pairing him with Peterson and trading DRC to us?”

    Because they need a QB more than a second top-notch QB.

    If they feel they can get by with Toler and add a QB, why wouldn’t they?

    If their choice is Kolb/Toler or Skelton-Hall/DRC, still makes sense from their perspective.

  • http://Website D3Keith

    Although it makes sense for the Cards to go after Orton for free if they think he’s almost as good as Kolb, who they’d have to pay for.

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