Brandon Boykin followed up a tremendous Training Camp and preseason with a terrific game in the Eagles' 33-27 victory over Washington. Boykin played both on the outside and in the slot. The second-year cornerback made quite the splash to start his season.
With the Eagles leading 10-7 with 7:26 to play in the first quarter, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III dropped back to pass. He was looking for Santana Moss over the middle, but Boykin had other ideas, picking the ball out of the air for his first career interception.
"We were in underneath man, so I had inside leverage on Moss," Boykin said. "Our linebackers and defensive line did a great job of rushing, so RG III kind of felt uncomfortable. He was back there kind of near the end zone and he had to get rid of it. Once I saw the ball in the air, I had to make a play. It was a team effort really.
"Normally in the slot when you turn your head, the ball is already out and all you really have time to do is make a pass break-up. For me to actually see the ball leave his hand and be able to track it and get a jump on it before the receiver, that was good. You don't get that every day, so you have to take advantage of it."
Boykin was very happy with the way that first-year defensive coordinator Bill Davis called the plays for the Eagles, dialing up the pressure early and often. According to Boykin, Davis allowed the defense to play with the same intensity at which they practice – fast and physical.
"I thought it was great," Boykin said. "We came out aggressive. We did a great job of making RGIII feel uncomfortable in the pocket and making him run and test out that leg and that type of stuff. We came at them early and they knew that we wanted to be aggressive … remembering how they (beat) us last year, we wanted to come out and make a statement."
As the Eagles prepare for the San Diego Chargers, cornerback Bradley Fletcher's status is up in the air due to a concussion that he suffered Monday night. If Fletcher can't suit up against the Chargers, Boykin will be ready to move to the outside if need be.
"Whether I'm playing nickel or not, my responsibility doesn't really change," Boykin explained. "In practice I get reps at corner, at nickel, both sides, and everybody is switching and swapping. Whatever happens, everybody should be prepared because we get multiple reps every day."
San Diego boasts some tall weapons in their offensive arsenal, including receivers Malcom Floyd (6-foot-5) and Keenan Allen (6-foot-2), as well as tight end Antonio Gates, who stands at 6-foot-4. Standing at 5-foot-10, Boykin is constantly asked about being at a size disadvantage. As always, he responded to those questions by saying that he will be ready for whatever comes his way.
"Regardless of what your height is, the main objective is that you've got to go out there and get it done," said Boykin. "Every week, I'm going to face people who are taller than me. … That's not a challenge to me and I never look at it that way. I demand greatness out of myself as far as when the ball is in the air and going up against those bigger guys. I'm ready to take on the challenge."
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