Eagles CB Isaiah Rodgers avoided rust by focusing on consistency during his suspension

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 22: Philadelphia Eagles helmet sits on a cart during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagle on December 22, 2019, at Lincoln Financial Filed in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

While the hype of the Eagles’ secondary has been surrounding rookies Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean, there’s been another new Eagle cornerback that has flown under the radar since those additions. Isaiah Rodgers was signed by the Eagles last season after he was suspended due to gambling and then cut by the Colts. Many have speculated that he could be a key player for the Eagles in 2024 and he has fit the billing so far in OTAs.

When asked about the hardest part of being away from the game last year, Rodgers stated, “I’ll say just being away from a locker room, you know, that brotherhood feeling and just understanding that you know, I made a mistake and you know, I did my time and just being back around, you know, a great team and a great culture of guys and just finally getting a locker room environment back into my heart, it feels good.”

Rodgers’ time away only built up the expectations of his return but the reality of his return has been clouded by the thought of him being rusty after being away from the NFL for a full season. Well, the young corner is far from rusty and his discipline played a big factor in that. Isaiah mentioned, “I just kept my schedule as if I was still playing, you know, Sundays, I use it like a game day. So I do cardio, things like that. I take Tuesdays off as if I was still playing so I kind of still stay with the NFL schedule and just continue to work and just prepare for these moments.

He was later asked if he felt there were any changes in his game now that he’s back and he empathized that he feels “faster”. He went on to elaborate on that comment by saying, “I think that’s the one thing I can say. I worked on my speed this offseason and I worked on my hands. So I think just making plays on the ball is one thing that I definitely played a factor in throughout his offseason, just building up my speed”

Eagles “jumped the gun” to secure Rodgers

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 14: Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is pictured prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles on October 14, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

When Rodgers was released by the Colts, the Eagles made the quick move of giving him a home for when he returned after his suspension. Rodgers mentioned that the Eagles “jumped the gun” and so he did the same when they called. While he did reveal that Philadelphia was the only team that called, Rodgers was grateful to have a place he could call home when the suspension was lifted.

He was asked how it felt to have a team to come back to and how that thought helped him during his time away. Isaiah Rodgers states, “Just knowing that they were a team that wanted me, you know, despite the whole entire suspension, just knowing that I had a place that I can call home when the time came and it’s now. So I think just knowing that a team actually we’re willing to sacrifice which is holding me out and and just trusting and believing and I’ll continue to work throughout the offseason, no doubt come back and be a better player.

It helped put everything into perspective for the 26-year-old cornerback. He reflected on what he did and was asked what advice he would give to his peers when it comes to following the NFL’s policies. “Just really rules or rules, you know, and they’re there for a reason. So you break them you get to consequences if you don’t, you continue to be great. So I think there’s one thing that everybody should learn about.

He went on to further explain his comment after he was asked if he believes there is an understanding among his peers about these rules. Rodgers said, “I think if it’s not it should be. You know, I understand. So I gotta be that guy to let everyone around me know or people around the league to know that you know, even you might want to understand those rules or you’ll be in my shoes.”

Rodger is bound to be a standout weapon for the Eagles’ secondary. He’s in a crowded room at the moment but there’s a strong chance that the Eagles still find a role for him once the roster numbers start to dwindle. It’s safe to say that this group which was among one of the worst in the NFL last season could end up being the strength of the Eagles’ defense this season.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire