July 27th 2019. That was the date Orlando Scandrick first signed with the Eagles. He did so as a 32-year old slot specialist who had been in the league since 2009 and someone who could bring both experience and depth to a cornerback corps that’s usually light on both. By the time final roster cuts arrived, however, he was gone.
There was a strong belief he’d be back after week 2…but he had to wait a little longer than anticipated. The Eagles did come calling after a week 4 win against the Packers and Scandrick wasn’t going to let the opportunity slide.
In just 35 of 59 snaps, Scandrick recorded 2 sacks, a forced-fumble, fumble recovery, and a touchdown. Sent on blitzes throughout the game, Scandrick proved to be a new nickel weapon to play with.
“He’s a smart guy.” Doug Pederson said. “He times up the blitzes. Sometimes these guys can kind of slither their way through and get under blocks, and they’re quick enough to bend and edge the corner. This is who he is, and he’s a great addition. Glad we were able to get him back.”
At 5’10, it’s not hard to see why the Eagles liked Scandrick to begin with. He spent last year with the Chiefs, playing in 15 games and starting 7, tallying a career-high 13 passes defensed. Drafted by the Cowboys in 2008, Scandrick was a key contributor in the Dallas secondary for nine years, before an offseason stint with the Redskins and the aforementioned resurgence in Kansas City.
In a pinch, Scandrick is certainly a serviceable corner, his 443 career tackles and 76 passes defensed echo that. But what we didn’t expect was someone so dominant when crashing the pocket.
“He’s a smart guy.” Pederson stated after the win. “He times up the blitzes. Sometimes these guys can kind of slither their way through and get under blocks, and they’re quick enough to bend and edge the corner. This is who he is, and he’s a great addition. Glad we were able to get him back.”
Not only is he smart, but he fits the ‘Philly mold’. It’s something that also stood out to LB Nate Gerry, who funnily enough leads the Eagles in interceptions.
“It was funny because I was actually watching him and at first he got blocked and then he kept rushing, kept going and he made a play. I think that’s one thing that helped our rush today in general. The guys just kept going. We got a lot of coverage sacks today which was nice.”
Scandrick was adamant he was going to prove a point on Sunday, To prove he’s still got it, to prove he can still change the course of a game. He did exactly that with a violent rip of the ball on QB Luke Falk before sprinting all the way to the endzone for a touchdown. It was a remarkable play, but even more so given how recently he’d rejoined the team.
“I was just finishing the play and not being satisfied with the sack.” The star of the game said. “I wanted to finish it and the first thing towards finishing the play is forcing the fumble, then once the fumble is out, just to put points on the board as a defense. I’m so happy to be back. Like I said, it was a humbling experience just being at home for those four weeks. I’m just happy we won.
But where the Eagles could really use Scandrick, is as a leader. The secondary is young right now. Rasul Douglas is the oldest in the room (who’s healthy) and Craig James is playing in just his second game after tipping the game-winning pick against Green Bay. Emotions can run high, but the scrappy veteran in Scandrick will be keen to help keep them contained.
“It’s just one game. I’ll take 24 hours to enjoy it and I’ll be back in on Tuesday. I’ll watch the film, put it behind me and then look forward to the Minnesota Vikings and do whatever I have to do to help this team win again.”O
“It was great. I just stay even-keeled and not try to get too high. I’ve been in this league a long time. We will take this thing one game at a time and one day at a time. It’s one game that’s a W, and like I said, I’ll enjoy it for 24 hours. I’ll put it behind me after that, watch the film, correct the things that I messed up on and build on the things that I did well on.”
Whatever Scandrick’s role may be for the remainder of the season, it’s safe to say he made his presence felt on Sunday and is a valuable addition to a young and hungry secondary that will be facing the likes of Steffon Diggs, Amari Cooper, and Taylor Gabriel in the next three weeks. Keeping an even-keel will be vital, and Scandrick is the man who will lead by example as he did yesterday.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports