After being signed on July 27th to battle in the heat of training camp and being cut on August 30th, the future seemed uncertain for Orlando Scandrick. But in putting in a monster debut for Eagles, Orlando Scandrick locked his spot on the team.
After “sitting on his couch” for 4 weeks, he got the call from Howie, as the Eagles were depleted at CB. It was time for the veteran to step in.
Not only did he step in, he earned the highest PFF grade of any defensive player this season with a ridiculous 97.4.
“He was able to step in on three days’ practice and go out and have a good performance, so he was ready when he was called upon…” Jim Schwartz said on Tuesday.
…There is a chance you’re going to be brought back at some time and you have to be ready; he was.”
He excelled in all facets of the defense
You probably remember that he straight-up robbed the ball from Luke Falk, right? Rumor is that Police still have searchlights out after that play, but Scandrick simply outruns everyone else on the field, taking the pigskin home for a touchdown in his Eagles debut. (fun fact, he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash back in the day).
“He is a savvy guy; smart football player; he’s been around.” Jim Schwartz told reported on Tuesday. “It was more scheme than just trying to accentuate what he’s good at because he did a good job in coverage in that game also, and I thought tackled pretty well for us also.”
” I would like to point out on that play, the coverage did an outstanding job on that. He wanted to go deep on that play and [CB] Rasul [Douglas] was in great position. Then he wanted to take the shallow cross and it was a zone blitz, and [DE] Vinny [Curry] was in great position. Then he wanted to go to Le’Veon Bell late, and we had a couple guys cover that. He really had nowhere to go with the ball, and that gave our guys time because they picked up the blitz.”
What stands out in the way Scandrick blitzes, is the fact that he doesn’t stop. Usually a DB will blitz full speed when unblocked, but whenever there’s contact, they will slow down due to a lack of pass-rushing moves.
Scandrick showed a terrific bend against the RT on his first strip sack. Subsequently, he displayed an even more impressive push-pull against a TE on his strip returned for a touchdown, but when he didn’t produce a sack, he still got to the QB:
Further, he played very well against in zone coverage, showing natural transition of his hips in turns, while diagnosing route patterns. Against Jamison Crowder in man coverage, he was really solid on routes across the middle, which is a tough task because 1) slot WRs usually have a lot of speed, and 2) there’s traffic. Scandrick did a really good job avoiding traffic and not losing a step on Crowder
The physical nature of his game against the run was a surprise to me – pleasant to say the least. The way he flat out drove back the LT on the toss in the last clip of the video above, while keeping balance to have the outside contain, is ridiculous.
Former enemy on the regular
32-year old Scandrick is no new face for the Eagles. For 10 years he was with the Dallas Cowboys, where he started 69 games and played in 125.
In 2018, he was with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he started 7 games and played in 15. He recorded a career-high 13 pass deflections that year, and PFF had him ranked with a good 70.2 coverage grade on the year, allowing a passer rating of 81.1.
What’s even more impressive, is that Scandrick gave up a mere 0.87 yards per coverage snap, which was the 15th highest among all cornerbacks in the league that year.
What to expect now?
Scandrick is on the team. There’s no doubt about it. He is not just going to get cut again now, considering the performance he put out there.
Cre’von LeBlanc and Avonte Maddox are still out against the Vikings, which naturally leaves Scandrick starting in the slot again. On sunday, he will have a chance to prove the Jets game was no fluke.
If he performs equally well in all facets of the defense, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be the starter moving forward. Or should i say: Be the Patrick Robinson of the 2019 Eagles.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports