Elite NFL Coach Predicts Eagles Depth Chart, Calls Protection ‘Loaded’

Rasul Douglas


Rasul Douglas has been one of many few wholesome cornerbacks for the Eagles this season.

The Eagles haven’t even hit coaching camp, but their secondary already seems elite, possibly subsequent stage. Philadelphia may need one of the best crop of defensive backs within the NFL.

Rischad Whitfield, aka Footwork King, has been working with 4 cornerbacks on the common this summer time — veterans Rasul Douglas, Darius Slay, Nickell Robey-Coleman, plus undrafted rookie Grayland Allen — and the outcomes have been staggeringly good. The truth is, the famend Houston-based coach thinks the Eagles personal a championship-caliber secondary.

“The Eagles are loaded at protection. If there was ever going to be a 12 months for them to win the division or the convention or the Tremendous Bowl, it’s going to be this 12 months,” Whitfield instructed Heavy.com. “Simply the addition with [Darius] Slay and Nickell Robey [Coleman] … it’s go time. Go time. I do know what these boys can do.”

If anybody is aware of what they’re speaking about, it’s Whitfield. The kinesiology main from the College of Houston has been coaching elite athletes since 2010, a passionate passion he fell into after accidents ended his personal faculty soccer profession. He focuses on educating the mechanics behind the actions and depends on what he calls “The Octagon,” a maze of cones during which gamers should get low to the bottom and swiftly change path.

“I really feel like, whomever I’m working with, my identify is on the again of that jersey, too,” Whitfield stated. “I make certain, the best way I practice … I count on one of the best and I count on loads out of them.”

First, the largest false impression surrounding cornerbacks is that they must be quick. They don’t. They should break shortly and effectively off the road of scrimmage. It’s all about having disciplined toes, in line with Whitfield. As soon as they study the correct approach, he removes the cones and the muscle reminiscence prompts their toes and hips.

“There are receivers that aren’t that quick that beat corners on a regular basis, guys like Davante Adams and Keenan Allen,” stated Whitfield, who trains each of these elite receivers. “Factor is, all people thinks that cornerbacks should be quick however truly you don’t. Corners are doing all the pieces in reverse so the problem is all people tries to exit and draft quick corners however they aren’t quick-footed, they’ve undisciplined toes … fast hips are nice however receivers aren’t all the time working in a straight line.”

His strategies aren’t restricted to cornerbacks, both. Whitfield works with all totally different positions, together with guys like LeVeon Bell, Odell Beckham, DeAndre Hopkins, Rashan Gary, Kendall Sheffield, Mecole Hardman, Emmanuel Sanders and David Montgomery. His latest shopper is Eagles pass-rusher Genard Avery.

“He’s a beast. He’s an animal,” Whitfield stated of Avery. “Oh, he’s working with me now? Wait till you see him when he will get accomplished with me. They all the time go away transferring manner higher. If any individual can get there in three steps, I’m going to discover a solution to get them there in a single and a half steps.”

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Rasul Douglas ‘Locked In’ & Coming for Beginning Job

Whitfield’s eyes mild up when speaking about his latest prized pupil, Rasul Douglas. It’s not a matter of if he wins the beginning cornerback job reverse Slay, it’s a matter of when.

“He’s going to be the starter popping out of coaching camp,” Whitfield stated of Douglas. “In the event you watch Rasul, all people thought he was simply getting beat by pace. He actually wasn’t. He was getting beat earlier than the receiver turned on the pace. It was a footwork and leverage concern. His approach was good. His hips weren’t as fluid. We’ve been working so onerous.”

Douglas went right down to Houston on June 28 to start out his coaching, one which consists of two 1-hour, 10-minute classes on daily basis for a month. It’s essential to get the work in earlier than camp begins as a result of place coaches don’t take the additional time to mentor and repair errors. Gamers are combating for jobs at that time.

“I solely want a month. I’m like a blacksmith,” Whitfield stated. “These youngsters obtained expertise, I simply must take these expertise and put them beneath the fireplace and beat the irons off them and provides them again to them. Within the professionals, there’s not a lot educating happening.”

The very first thing Whitfield observed was that Douglas was too low in his stance, dropping his hips and bending on the waist. That’s a no-no in man-press protection. Now the fourth-year cornerback seems extra fluid and robust. And fewer prone to get beat on double strikes.

“I obtained him to the place his toes simply scrape the bottom,” Whitfield stated. “When he was taking part in man-press protection he was type of simply selecting his toes up. The child [Douglas] is lengthy and he can run. He’s an extended strider. He wasn’t transferring effectively. Earlier than any receiver can get into any route, they want launch separation. He was getting beat on the line.”

Not anymore. Whitfield believes he has molded Douglas right into a succesful starter — a far cry from a participant that was benched on the finish of final season and rumored to be on the buying and selling block.

“His thoughts is ready,” he stated. “If I had been the Eagles, I wouldn’t do away with him.”

Lions Idiots for Buying and selling ‘Finest Cornerback’ in Soccer

Slay is arguably one of the best cornerback in soccer, or on a shortlist of candidates on the very least. Whitfield beams with pleasure when discussing the three-time Professional Bowl participant who the Eagles acquired from Detroit for a third- and fifth-round decide. That blockbuster deal was freeway theft.

“Matt Patricia is a fu**ing fool. I’m not mendacity, that dude is an fool,” Whitfield stated. “I don’t assume folks perceive what you’re getting in Slay. He takes away a whole aspect of the soccer discipline and it makes all people else higher. He’s sensible. He acknowledges routes and patterns. He doesn’t get beat.”

Whitfield referred to Slay because the “finest cornerback within the NFL” at one level throughout a current dialog with Heavy.com, then backtracked ever so barely. Keep in mind, Footwork King additionally coaches the likes of Joe Haden, Richard Sherman, Xavien Howard and Kendall Sheffield. He has been coaching Slay for 3 years now.

“Let me let you know how good Slay is, wherever the No. 1 [receiver] is, that’s the place he’s going to be,” Whitfield stated. “Slay can play slot, outdoors, wherever the No. 1 goes. I don’t know why it’s taken some folks so lengthy to acknowledge that. I do know he doesn’t have 18 picks … however he’s actually, actually elite. I educated him on the Lions. He’s an enormous addition to the Eagles.”

Again to that championship-caliber Eagles secondary for a second. Whitfield already has the depth chart found out.

“If Slay is over there and you bought NRC [Nickell Robey-Coleman] within the slot, that’s a wrap,” he stated. “And Rasul goes to carry his aspect down as a result of Slay goes to make him higher, too. The Eagles obtained nothing to fret about, I promise you.”

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