He might have only been on the team for a couple of months, but Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is already worth his weight in Gold.
The Philadelphia Eagles are officially 6-0 after getting some long-awaited revenge on the Dallas Cowboys. It feels like a long time since the Birds were able to go into a matchup against their biggest rival with a real sense of confidence and aggression behind them, or at least a matchup where those traits weren’t knocked loose after a drive. Last night’s win wasn’t always pretty and it took some awfully gritty plays. At the end of the offseason, Howie Roseman traded for just the guy to add that tenacious spark to his defense and it may well be his most impactful move of the entire year.
That last part is quite a bold statement when you remember that Roseman also went up and traded for A.J Brown during the NFL Draft and put together one of the most explosive young rosters in all of football. But the acquisition of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has more than paid dividends over the opening 6 games of the season and last night was his biggest night yet.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is soaring with the Eagles
The former New Orleans Saint put together a career-first two-interception game under the primetime lights, with both picks coming at pivotal moments in the game. One set the Eagles up for an early score and the other came at the other end of the game, all but putting a bow on what had been a real grind of a second half, giving the team that needed jolt of energy to finish the mission.
It’s scary to think that CGJ is already soaring with the Eagles. He was traded to the Birds at the end of August, giving him just a matter of days to not only move to the City of Brotherly Love, but get acquainted with both his new teammates, a new defensive scheme, and a new position, all before being dropped into the deep end as an expected starter in week one.
“I am feeling better.” Chauncey Gardner-Johnson said of his transition to becoming an Eagle. “I am getting better at adjusting to the defense and playing with what coach tells me to play. Put your eyes in the right spot, read your keys, and go get the ball. I haven’t played the middle of the field in so long, so it feels good to come out onto the field like a hawk and go get the ball.”
You wouldn’t know that Chauncey Gardner-Johnson had an extended absence from playing safety. He spent the bulk of his time with the Saints operating out of the nickel, but it appears to be like riding a bike. So much so that he could even walk off into the locker room for an X-Ray on his left hand, come back, and arguably make the biggest play of the game.
Born to be an Eagle?
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson had always been known for being a talker, but he’s one of the few out there whose bite was just as vicious as his bark. Former Eagles had gotten themselves into hot water by biting off more than they can chew, but when you have a player as instinctive and aggressive as Gardner-Johnson, it just pumps up everyone around him. To say that he’s found a footing in Philadelphia would be an understatement.
“I am blessed to be there. I cannot say too comfortable, because once you get comfortable, you don’t get better. I think every day is a learning process for me. I still left some plays on the field. There is still a lot of stuff out there that I can fix and clean up, but being out there and adjusting to a new position is amazing to go out there and compete with 10 other guys and 52 other guys who love to win. It is amazing to me right now.”
Never forget that the Eagles traded late-round picks for the services of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in a trade that can now absolutely be described as highway robbery. The only real question left to ask is how long Mr Roseman waits until getting out his chequebook.