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Imperfect Beginning For Rodgers-Cromartie

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has had a whirlwind three-and-a-half months. Since being traded to the Eagles from the Arizona Cardinals compensation for quarterback Kevin Kolb, he's had to learn a new position; he's covering slot receivers extensively for the first time in his career. Despite starting 43 games in the three previous three seasons, the four-year veteran is stuck behind repeat Pro-Bowl players Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha on the depth chart.

Most importantly for the Tennessee State-alum, his new team is having difficulty putting notches in the win column. That frustration continued Monday night, when the Eagles lost 30-24 to the Chicago Bears.

"Losing this game to the Bears is going to make it very tough for us," said Rodgers-Cromartie. "We need to stay focused and just keep working to get to where we need to be.

"We got a lot of praise before the season, this secondary group in particular. We clearly have the potential to win ball games, but potential doesn't win you games; execution does."

The Eagles' secondary certainly didn't execute the way it had hoped to Monday night, giving up 30 points to Chicago's offense. The key, said Rodgers-Cromartie, was on third down, on which the Bears converted seven of 14 tries.

"We couldn't get them off the field," he said. "It seemed like they converted on third down every time they needed a play whether it was a run or a pass. Their quarterback, Jay Cutler, found ways to take advantage of the weaknesses in our zone to beat us. We were outplayed in every phase of the game."

Statistically, the 6-2 cornerback is having his most disappointing season as a pro. Through eight games, he's notched just four pass deflections, after posting 17 in 16 games last season. For the first time since his rookie season, he's failed to intercept a pass through the first half of a season.

"This was our eighth game. It's way too late to make excuses," he said. "I know I can play better. I'm a way better corner than what I've shown thus far. It's just not going that way."

Rodgers-Cromartie is hoping not only to turn his own game around with a half a season left to play. The fourth-year corner is hoping to see the entire team start to begin to live up to their awesome potential and compete for a spot in the postseason.

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