THE Eagles aren’t getting as much out of CB Rasul Douglas as we should be. Part of the reason is that Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz has repeatedly tried to use Douglas as an every down, man-to-man Corner. That’s not who Douglas is, though. And if the team is going to get his best football, they have to put him in better positions.
Some sportswriters in Philly don’t think Douglas can play FS. However, when FS Rod McLeod needs a breather, I’d like to see Douglas get time back there. Actually, that’s where I’d want to see him for about 80% of the field. Once we hit the red zone, then I’d like to see him slide over to CB.
When Douglas first got to Philly, sometimes he was used as a CB, and other times as a FS. Even early on, he showed good instincts and an understanding of what opposing offenses were trying to do. At 6’2” 209 he more than has the size to be dominant at either position, but he’ll always lack an important CB trait.
When he first got here in 2017, his tackling was
That made him risky to play at FS. However, in 2018 DT Fletcher Cox called him out over it. Douglas took it to heart, and worked to vastly improve his technique. Today (for a CB) he is an excellent tackler. He also aggressively sniffs out Screens, and routinely blows them up in the backfield.
The issue with him at CB, is that he doesn’t have the wheels to cover top-end speed. Which is a shame because he has excellent ball skills. He can be a problem when he can turn a catch into a contested one. In fact, if he isn’t in “chase” position, throwing the ball in his area comes with a ton of risk. No mater who you think you are.
While an absolute burner may get a step on him on long routes, no one is going to run away from him inside the red zone. That becomes an area where he can be used on the edge. Long arms, height, and ball-skills give him the tools to generally make opponents pay, without exposing him to poor odds. You’d need an excellent throw to beat him.
Douglas starting at CB in Cover-2, Tampa-2, or Cover-4? You might squeeze a Pro Bowl or two out of him. Given deep help, he’d make life hell underneath. However, in a Cover-1, or Cover-3 system, he’s just not a down-in/down-out guy. I really like him. I’ve rooted for him from the jump, but he just isn’t a starting CB in our current system.
However, in even in our Cover -1/Cover-3, he’d make a receiver’s life difficult, as a red zone CB.