Second-round pick Eric Rowe is quickly learning the way of life in the NFL. After injuries to members the Eagles' secondary, the rookie has been thrown into extended game action, something he was not expecting so early in the season.
This past weekend, Rowe played substantial snaps after Byron Maxwell left the game in Washington following the first series with an injury. However, the rookie was prepared, an attribute that served him well.
"My focus was on special teams because that's what I'm starting on and then all of a sudden, first series (Maxwell's) running out. I got to hop right in," Rowe said. "It kind of took me by surprise because I didn't expect him to get hurt like that, but preparation wise, I was ready.
"The only feelings I had were just anxious and nervous getting out there and playing a good majority of the snaps for the first time. But, that's just something that you always have to prepare in the week of practice for."
Similar to Rowe, linebacker Jordan Hicks has also taken on an increased role due to team injuries. It's something that the two rookies are adjusting to as they try to learn as much as possible to adjust to this level of play and help their team.
"The people above us kind of went down one play, now they're just throwing us in," Rowe explained. "That's kind of a big thing, but you've got to be prepared for it. Off the field, we hang out a lot. I say I spend about equal time with him and Denzel (Rice). At times, we'll go to the basketball court and just shoot, or I think a couple times me and Jordan went to the driving range to play some golf. Off the field, we have a nice bond, almost like a college-like setting."
As the season progresses, Rowe will be working to further progress. He's on the east coast for the first time and in a new city, but that won't hold him back. He wants nothing more than to help the Eagles get on a roll moving forward.
Also on the Eagles Insider Podcast:
Three-And-Outat 2:00 Enemy Intelat 31:02 Game Timeat 38:07 Mailing It In at 48:11
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Each week, Fran Duffy and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell take an in-depth look at the X's and O's of team strategy and philosophy. In this week's episode of the podcast, the two discuss the tough loss to Washington and also preview what is to come this week when the Eagles return home to take on the Saints.
Sitting at 1-3, this Philadelphia team has started the season much differently than many had thought it would. However, Cosell explains that the NFL is unpredictable. Anything can happen.
"Do the Eagles have the ability, theoretically, to turn this around quickly? I've seen it happen many times in the NFL where teams that look like they are terrible all of a sudden start playing well for any number of reasons," Cosell said. "And, in fact, I really believed that if they had won the game against Washington, even with all the concerns that still cropped up, that could have been a season-defining game."
A loss to Washington was tough for the team to swallow, but Duffy and Cosell both pointed out the Eagles' defense in the matchup. Duffy believed it played well, overcoming a number of early injuries.
Already without Kiko Alonso, Cedric Thornton and Taylor Hart, the Eagles finished the game without Brandon Bair, Mychal Kendricks and Byron Maxwell. The injuries meant bigger roles for players who usually don't see as much time on the field.
"You had injuries all over the place on defense," Duffy said. "There were guys that played more snaps than they'd ever played at any point in the season. So, the way that they played in that game, I know that everyone will remember that 90-yard drive, but I thought it was a great performance by the defense.
"You have to give a ton of credit to that whole defensive line because going into the game. You're missing your third and fourth defensive linemen. You're losing Ced Thornton. You're losing Taylor Hart. Then in the early part of the first quarter, you lose Brandon Bair. For a unit that was on the field for 86 snaps, on that defensive front you had Fletcher Cox. You had Bennie Logan. You had Beau Allen and Vinny Curry. That's it."
Looking ahead, the team now has its sight set on New Orleans. Cosell and Duffy highlighted the Saints' defense, explaining that although it's young, they believe it may take some chances when going up against this Philadelphia offense.
"It's a defense that will probably have its ups and downs. It probably is a defense that you can attack, but again, they can also get you because I think the key thing is Rob Ryan will see who he's playing against each week," Cosell said. "All you can do, as I said earlier, is look at the film up to this point, and clearly he's going to look at an Eagles offense that's struggling in just about every area. I think he's going to be a little more aggressive maybe than he might otherwise be."
Also on the Eagle Eye In The Sky Podcast:
Two-Technique with Beau Allen at the 25:18 mark
Saturday Scouting with Marc Weiszer at the 27:47 mark
To hear Duffy and Cosell's analysis week in and week out, be sure to subscribe to the podcast here.