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Marsh: Every Year Is Make Or Break For Me

Posted Jun 21, 2014

Curtis Marsh knows what it’s like to be overlooked in a crowded Eagles secondary. After he was drafted I the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Marsh saw the Eagles sign assemble a secondary that included three Pro Bowl cornerbacks (Asante Samuel, Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie). Before Marsh’s third season, the Eagles signed a pair of starting cornerbacks in free agency (Cary Wiilliams and Bradley Fletcher).

As a result, Marsh found himself on the outside of an overcrowded secondary and was waived during the final roster cutdown. But after a brief stint with the Cincinnati Bengals, Marsh found himself back on the Eagles last November. Now, after an offseason that saw the Eagles beef up the depth at cornerback with the signing of Nolan Carroll II and the drafting of Jaylen Watkins, Marsh once again faces an uphill climb.

“I feel like every year is a make-or-break year,” Marsh said following a practice during which he made an impressive interception. “Every year I’m out here, I’m competing. I’m hungry to play. My first couple years, there were guys ahead of me, Pro Bowl guys. Then last year we had a new coaching staff, new free agents come in. Every year it’s been a battle, so I’m just focused on competing. Every year is a make-or-break year, but I’m confident. I’m confident in everything I do and I just know it’s only a matter of time before it surfaces.”

Marsh’s goals remain impressive. After three seasons in the NFL, Marsh has yet to start a game. But that doesn’t deter his ambition.

“Going into the season, my number one goal is to make this football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, and number two is to contribute in as many possible ways as I can,” Marsh said. “Individually, my goals are to become a starter and to become a key component of the defense. Those are my goals and those have been my goals since I was eight years old. That’s always in my head.”

It has become a common refrain this spring to hear players and coaches discuss the increased familiarity in the team’s scheme entering Chip Kelly’s second season. For Marsh, though, scheme-stability is something he’s never really had. After converting from running back to cornerback at Utah State, Marsh entered the NFL during Juan Castillo’s first season as defensive coordinator. Castillo was then replaced by Todd Bowles during Marsh’s second season, after which the cornerback was charged with learning under Bill Davis.

“I’m familiar with the scheme and the defense and the primary concepts this year,” Marsh said. “It feels real good to have an understanding of the defense and it enables you to play without thinking and anticipate.”

Still, with what has become a loaded crop of cornerbacks, Marsh knows that he’ll have to stand out consistently during Training Camp to force his way towards the top.

“The biggest thing I’m focusing on is technique and competing,” Marsh said.” Every single play I’m just trying to compete. You get on film, that’s an opportunity to show the coaches I’m capable of being a starter in this league. So those are my goals.”

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