Eagles defensive backs coach Cory Undlin spoke recently about the state of the team's cornerback position (see story).
Here are Undlin's remarks on several of the key figures in that cornerback group:
On Rasul Douglas
"I've liked him the whole time, from the combine. Spent a bunch of time with him at West Virginia. Had him on a top-30 (visit). Fortunate to get him there. Like his length, like his change of direction, like his mindset. The guy loves ball. Guy comes in every single day with the mindset to get better. He loves ball. He wants to talk ball all the time. He loves watching tape. I like where he's going. You guys have seen him in person, he's a big man. So the technique part of that is what we're consistently going to have to work on. It's hard to play that position out there and be efficient and create hard angles when you're tall. You've got to be able to bend, you've got to stay down, you've got to be able to be efficient with your upper body, not just your lower body. He's gotten a little bit better since he's been here. He's a good player. We've got to fine-tune all that stuff, but he's gotten better since he's been here."
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On Sidney Jones
"There's a lot that stood out on his tape. Competitiveness, effort, change of direction, ball skills, he can find it down the field, which is obviously imperative for us. I like everything about him. The guy's a good player. Great control of his body, violent in and out of his breaks, guy plays with his hair on fire. He checks off all the boxes. Smart kid, asks a lot of questions, which is exactly what I expected him to do. The difference in my mind between good corners and the ones that are not just good but like really good - great - are the ones that when the wide receiver stops, they stop. And when the wideout goes down and gets out, the corner, with a little bit of awareness and anticipation, can hopefully go down and hopefully match that angle and not have circles and all that other stuff. His ability to drop his body and get his feet in the ground and come out with violence and efficiency, it's special."
On Jalen Mills
"He's got a year under his belt, which is obviously huge. He's been in games, he's been in big games, he's played good in some games, he's played bad in some games. So the biggest thing would be whatever happens, wherever he plays, whatever his role will be this year, that there's a lot more good play than there is good and bad. He was a rookie last year, I'm proud of him for what he did, (but) he's got to play at a more consistent level and he'd be the first guy to say that. He's got a ways to go, like we all do, whether it's him or anyone else in that room, we've got a ways to go before we play that first game."
On C.J. Smith
"Both of them (Smith and Mills) are trending upward. Both getting better. They've both done a good job. Obviously, Jalen played a lot more than C.J., but C.J,'s doing a nice job as well. Once you've been here for a year, just the daily exercise of showing up every single day with the mindset to get better, once you have that, you know now you're not a rookie in that sense anymore, so they're different players in that way. I'm glad they're both here."
On Patrick Robinson
"Patrick's been, obviously I've never been around Patrick, and it goes down just like this. In the meeting room or on the field during individual drills, we're doing a drill, and as Patrick goes through and I coach him, then the next guy goes through and I coach him and the next guy goes through and then I turn around and Pat's over them coaching him. In the meeting room, showing a play on tape, going through the discussion, and then Pat says, hey I have a question about this, and I say, hey, you explain it how you see it. So he's been great. I've really enjoyed him in the room and he'll make us all better. The guy knows ball, he's played a lot … he gets the game. For players to hear it from me all day long, bang, bang, bang, but for them to hear it from other players, that's big. He's doing a good job. On the ground a few times early on, just in Phase 2 and early in OTAs, but you saw him get better. Changed a few things with technique but there wasn't a lot to change on him, but I like his quickness, the guy can run, he's smart. There's just certain things you don't teach, that you don't coach. He just sees it. He can see the formation, the splits, the alignments, who's on, whig's off, he gets the game. So that's obviously a bonus."
On Eric Rowe
"He got traded. That's it. I think it was they were thinking about trading a guy and they traded him. You know how this thing goes. Somebody needs a guy, the conversation starts, you weigh your options and you hope it works out. Traded him."