Monday, September 10, 2012

Eagles Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Puts On A Show


The Eagles defense particularly the secondary played well in the first game of the season.  They took advantage of rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden by pressuring him with their pass rush and for the most part covering his receivers.  Weeden, who was playing the first game of his career was definitely overmatched and didn’t seem to be comfortable in the pocket, nor sure of exactly about what coverages he was seeing.

The rookie finished the game with a 5.1 passer rating, while throwing for only 118 yards.  He completed only 12 of 35 passes, which was a 34.3 completion percentage.  The Eagles defense held the Browns to just 210 total yards and the Cleveland offense was only two for 13 on third downs.  Even more importantly they picked off four of Weeden’s passes.

The 28-year old rookie out of Oklahoma State made the mistake of trying to attack the Eagles best coverage guy, veteran cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on routes which were nothing but a foot-race down the sidelines.  It wasn’t much of a challenge for the former Tennessee State defensive back, who is faster than any receiver the Browns have on their roster. Weeden must have gotten a bad scouting report, which encouraged him to go after the speedy corner with go routes.

Mohamed Massaquoi did beat him early in the game with a simple go route, but Weeden overthrew the receiver on the play, which should have been a touchdown.  Rodgers-Cromartie got caught looking into the backfield which he does at times, but it makes no sense for wide receivers who are no where near as fast as he is to be trying to outrun him deep with straight go routes. For the rest of the game, DRC got his eyes out of the backfield and concentrated on the receiver he was covering.

The cornerback got in the hip pocket of two Cleveland receivers, mirrored them down the sideline, then picked off Weeden’s poor throws.  The passes should have been outside closer to the sidelines, but they were inside and made the interceptions easy for DRC.  On one of the picks he simply reached up to come down with the ball, but on the other, Rodgers-Cromartie used his 6’2″ height and tremendous jumping ability to leap up and come down with the ball with his arms extended, so he could catch the ball at it’s highest point.

Rodgers-Cromartie came to the game dressed in a pink suit with pick eyeglass rims.  The eyewear looked like the gear which LeBron James and for 76er Andre Iguodala had been sporting in the past basketball season, only the cornerback’s goggles were bright pink.  Thankfully for the Eagles, Rodgers-Cromartie plays better than he dresses.

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