The latest edition of the BGN Exclusive Interview series features a man who plays as hard as his name sounds: Eagles cornerback Roc Carmichael.
The Eagles signed Carmichael off of the Texans' practice squad earlier in the year. He mainly contributed on special teams but then had a chance to shine when Eagles starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher went down for two weeks with an injury. Carmichael made his first start and deflected some key passes in the Eagles' win over the Packers. When Fletcher returned from injury, Carmichael resumed his main role on special teams, but has also seen limited time on the field as a slot and dime corner.
John Barchard of BGN Radio had the chance to chat with Carmichael one on one to get his thoughts on the Eagles heading into a big Week 16 match-up against the Chicago Bears. Below is the full transcript of the conversation:
JB: Roc, how are you doing my friend?
RC: I'm doing alright boss man, just trying to stay out of that cold.
JB: How many winter jackets did you buy since you came here?
RC: I bought three, actually. I went to The North Face store and went crazy. I wear North Face everything, everyday. Everybody's like laughing at me but I love it. Warm, feels great.
JB: Nice man, well we're glad to have you here in the city and playing for us. The Bears game gets flexed out to a Sunday Night Football game, and it just so happens you're going to be making your first start in the slot* and by the way you're going up against one of the best receiving corps in the league. No big deal, right?
RC: It's a great opportunity for me man. I'm really going to approach it like the same way I did going into Green Bay, where I was playing on the outside, and going into the Redskins game, where I was also on the outside. I'm going to approach it the same way. It's a great opportunity to go play ball and have fun. Try not to worry so much, because you gotta enjoy it. When you get your shot, enjoy it. As far as making plays and wanting to do this and that, it's natural. We're NFL professional plays, everyone wants to make a play. For me, I just want to go out there and have some fun and see what I can do.
JB: So what kind of gameplan would you have in your head to maybe neutralize one of these guys? Obviously you don't want to come out and tell us what Billy [Davis] is planning on the other side of the ball, but when you see guys like Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey and they're making big catches and these are big tall guys, what are you feeling going into that?
RC: I'm excited, man. That means they're going to get the ball [thrown towards them]. Even if you're in tight coverage against them, the quarterback is still going to give them a chance to make a play on the ball. So it's going to come down to who's going to make the play. They definitely have the size factor in both of those two receivers, but it's still football. We're all pros. We're pros for a reason. It's going to be a challenge. I'm going to go out there and challenge them.
JB: If you're looking up at the scoreboard on Sunday afternoon and see that Dallas loses somehow to the Redskins, does that add a little extra juice that now that this [game] is for the division? Is there any more kind of amped feeling that will come across you and the whole Eagles squad?
RC: No, not really. We have Dallas next week anyway. We want them to win so that they can feel good coming into [Week 17]. We want the pressure to be on us to bring a win back to Philly. Either they win or they lose, we still have to prepare for them the next week. So we'll deal with that when that comes.
JB: Only because it's been such a big topic this week, and you play such an important role on special teams, you know the constant criticism of Chip Kelly going for the squib kicks against Minnesota, he never really adjusted to anything. What are your feelings come out of that? Did you feel that it was working or it was more on the team for not executing the game plan properly? What did you feel about all that stuff?
RC: No, we executed the game plan well. Just like we plan for guys on offense or defense, we plan for their returners in this game on the special teams side. We didn't kick it to him. [Cordarrelle Patterson] was averaging about the 28, we gave it to him with an average of the 32 or something like that, so we gave up 4 yards. We knew that going into the game we were going to do that. That was the game plan. I think we did what we had to do on special teams.
JB: Cary Williams comes out and says this week that the Minnesota loss "helped us, some of us were on our high horse." Do you feel kind of knocked down from [the loss] and did you get the sense that the team was smelling themselves a little bit? [Do you guys feel humbled?]
RC: It does [help]. You would rather take that loss and feel that pain now than lose two weeks from now in the playoffs. It's good to have that taste in your mouth heading to the playoffs so that you don't want to lose again.
JB: Absolutely, I feel the same way. I think a lot of us do. It's better to have the loss now and carry the rest of the momentum into the playoffs. We're really excited as a city to get behind you guys.
JB: You know what's funny, I read somewhere during the season, when first cuts came out with the Texans, did you decide to go back to the [Texans] practice squad and stay on? I heard the Eagles were trying to sign you. Is that just some weird rumor stuff?
RC: That's some rumor stuff. When I got the opportunity to make the [active roster in Philly], I came right over.
JB: We're glad you're here in Philadelphia my friend. You play the game with such emotion and we're all rooting for you to have a great game against Chicago. Anything you want to say as you're going out here?
RC: Thanks for the opportunity. Let's get this win on Sunday.