By Joseph Santoliquito
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jim Schwartz, the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, had left Buffalo by the time cornerback Ron Darby arrived to the Bills in 2015, but Schwartz is getting a fast familiarity with the 5-foot-11, 193-pound third-year player and feels the new addition to the Birds’ secondary can pay dividends.
Asked how he plans on fitting Darby into the Eagles’ scheme, Schwartz said, “Young player, skilled player. Got some experience for a young player. I mean, two years he’s started a lot of games. He’s an outside player for the most part. We’ve just got to get him up to speed as quick as we can and see the way it shakes out. But excited to have him.
“Well, we were just trying to get him out there. It’s tough when you come in and you’ve got one day to try to get up to speed, and there were a couple signs of that where we had a miscommunication. It really wasn’t a miscommunication, it’s just he’s not up to speed on a lot of the calls. But we tried to limit it, mainly a lot of man-to-man just so it would stay that way. Hard to really say. I mean, I’m watching all 11 guys on defense. You guys are only watching one. You’ve got to admit, that is the only one you guys were watching, right?”
Schwartz didn’t rule out the possibility that he would use Darby as a shut-down corner, though he did stress that it would depend on things like size, speed and scheme will be factored in. What Darby’s addition will do is increase the competition level among the cornerbacks.
“I definitely agree with that,’ Schwartz said. “I think it does elevate the level of competition. I think that obviously it adds talent to the defense. But how it all works out, it’s going to be our job over the next three weeks. Just like today, it’s not a finished product. Obviously, it’s his first day, but he’s got some catching up to do in our scheme. But it’s exciting to have him.”
Asked if likes Darby one side more than another, Schwartz replied, “He’s played left. But in training camp this year he’s been playing right. You guys know we like to flip our guys through training camp just in case you need to move a guy to match a particular receiver. So we’ll see him through training camp both at left and right. I think as a player he can play both.
“We looked at all of his plays. We took his whole body of work, not just what he did against an individual team. Teams change so much that what you have one year might not be what you have the next year. I mean, just throw this at you, what if one of our opponents was doing that with Jordan Matthews?
“All of a sudden he’s not here, and then all of the sudden you’re left-handed or whatever. But we considered his whole body of work and liked what we saw there. Had a really good rookie year, last year had a little bit of up-and-down. But he’s a young player, he’s a talented player, and we’re excited to have him.”