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Schwartz is Excited About His Safeties, Jenkins and McLeod

RodneyMcLeod1On the first play of the seven-on-seven pass period today at the Eagles practice, safety Rodney McLeod walked up on Birds wide receiver Nelson Agholor then blanketed him down the sideline and gave him no chance to catch the pass thrown by quarterback Sam Bradford.  I had to look twice to see who was covering him.  McLeod is a safety not a corner, but you couldn’t tell it on that play.

This is one of the reasons new Birds defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz couldn’t avoid celebrating his talented safety tandem of McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins before they’ve even stepped on the field together in a pre-season or regular season game.

These guys are two Pro Bowl quality players.  They’re both in the peak years of their career and Schwartz is going to take advantage of their skills.  Each of them is talented in addition to being tough, smart and driven.

“I’m sort of violating my rule of judging too much into this time of year, saying linemen need the pads on before we can judge, rookies let’s not judge yet,” said Schwartz. “But both [Jenkins and McLeod] are veteran players. And you can see that right away that both are multi-dimensional. They communicate very well, cover a lot of ground. They can blitz, they can play man (coverage), they can play zone. I’d be very surprised as the year went along if they’re not one of the better safety tandems in the NFL. They’ve been very impressive so far.”

I also agree with Schwartz on his evaluation of rookie defensive back Jalen Mills.  The young man has good size for a corner.  He does a good job of playing man to man out of a press technique.  I watched him do a good job of competing for the football in the seven-on-seven work.

“It’s a little too early to put anything on him”, Schwartz said. “He’s been impressive so far, but we haven’t really even started yet, to tell you the truth. He’s got a lot to learn and his head is probably swimming a little bit.   But what he has shown, he’s a very good athlete.  He can play the ball and he’s comfortable being on an island.  If you were check marking things for corners, those would be three near or at the top.”

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Posted by on May 24 2016. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Secondary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Comments for “Schwartz is Excited About His Safeties, Jenkins and McLeod”

  1. when St Louis was on TV, I never paid McLeod any attention, unsure what to expect. Birds paid him a lot of money so they must of liked what they saw on video.
    It seemed the birds were forced to play Malcolm Jenkins at CB most of the year in 2015 with Chris Marogos playing safety early and Ed Reynolds playing safety late in the year during nickle and dime packages. Wonder how Jim Schwartz uses these 2 safeties when nickle and dime packages are required.

    • zero good point there and one i try to make to all the fake gm’s on here– watching a football game on television it is next to impossible to evaluate a player — the way the camera focuses on who has the ball its tough to get an evaluation type of read on guys– the camera in the sky however tells no lies…. unless you are evaluating players on the 22 its next to impossile.

    • Word around NFL Circles is that Safety McLeod was one of most sought after Free-Agents this past Off-Season… Teams like the Ravens,Redskins,Giants,Steelers,Chargers and Raiders were all very interested in him but that the Eagles went after him hard and fast with a very strong Financial Package right out of the gate though..

      On a Side Note, Whatever happened to everyone’s “Free-Agent got to Have” , Safety Jarius Byrd from a couple of Seasons ago who has been a complete Bust and constantly Injured Player for the Saints who have regretted signing him, just like I stated back in 2014.. He’s been so unreliable and unproductive when he has played that the Saints had to Trade back up into the 2nd Round costing them a 3rd and 5th Round to do so, to Draft Safety Vonn Bell from Ohio State to groom to replace Byrd by 2017

      90% on here were screaming for Jarius Byrd .. I said Stay away from Injury Prone Players like Him who were Overrated to begin with.. Byrd had known ailments with his Foot, Ankle,Knee & Neck … No Way Jose…

      In Terms of how Schwartz will utilize his Safety Tandem…
      On Passing Downs, Malcolm Jenkins will likely line up vs the Top TE’s the Eagles Face or even Slot WR’s while McLeod plays a more true “Free-Safety and roam/patrol the Deep Middle (similar to what the Chiefs do with Eric Berry and the Seahawks do with Earl Thomas)

      A lot will do How Well can the Outside CB’s Cover (Can Rowe,Carroll & McKelvin) handle playing outside on an island or will they need (Cover 2) protection with a Safety over the Top..

      I can see maybe a Jacory Shepard in the mix as an Outside CB with Jalen Mills seeing Time as the 3rd Safety behind Jenkins/McLeod
      and then there is DB Brooks also to play the SLot/Nickel Role

      All in all, the Eagles Secondary will have lots of Versatility and Flexibility on their Roster and it may be the most Talented and Deepest Group the Eagles had had in a few Years from Top to Bottom

      One thing that Schwartz will do that former DC Billy Davis would never do.. and that’s Blitz with Secondary Personnel…

      This Defense will be very Fun to watch as the Season comes together and may be way ahead of this Eagles Offense which simply is not very Talented at the Skill Positions and has no real “Playmakers” outside of 33 Year Old Darren Sproles.. They will have to be more methodical in their Approach and Game Plans where as the Defense should be able to be very aggressive from the get go which is the trademark of DC Jim Schwartz, balls to the wall to the backfield .. That’s what he brings and Coach’s ..
      Of course, these are my opinions and we’ll see how it plays out but the competition in the Eagles Secondary (at CB/SLot CB/Nickel CB) is going to be one of the highlights of Summer Camp..

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