According to Bill Davis, Eagles starting cornerback Bradley Fletcher isn't going to be benched any time soon. When asked if Fletcher is going to remain a starter moving forward, Philadelphia's defensive coordinator responded with a firm "absolutely." Davis did say, however, that Fletcher was very closed to being benched on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
"He had a bad start. It wasn’t going well," Davis admitted. "A lot of corners have a lot of outs. They don’t keep fighting and battling. I’ve got a lot of respect for Fletch and how he responded. I was watching him close. Wait one more, what do I do, do I make a move? And you watched him come out and play in the second half. He made those same plays that beat him in the first. He was on it and played the ball. His press was better. He got better and fought through it. And he’s a mentally tough human being. I was very impressed with the way he played."
To say Fletcher had a rough game would be an understatement. Pro Football Focus marked him responsible for seven receptions on 12 targets for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He also committed a penalty in the end zone at one point and missed a tackle that would have forced a fourth down. It was just a terrible game.
To expect the Eagles to make a change at this point, however, is relatively pointless. It's clear they don't view Brandon Boykin as an outside cornerback and Nolan Carroll II has mostly been used in the dime package. Even if those player did move outside, Fletcher would still be on the outside when the team shifted to their nickel and dime line-ups.
As said on Sunday, the Eagles starting cornerbacks are what they are. They're not flat out terrible; they're capable of some above average performances. But they're not good either. They're up and down. They can handle their own against lesser quarterbacks. They get exposed against really good quarterbacks. It is what it is.
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, there's just no in-season change that's going to make a difference. The answer to their secondary issues isn't going to be found in the middle of the season. This is an issue that can really only be addressed in the off-season during free agency and the draft. Until then, the Eagles will live and die with with they have.
Watkins to Safety
In other Eagles secondary news, rookie defensive back Jaylen Watkins now taking practice repetitions at safety. Watkins played both cornerback and safety in college at Florida but has only been practicing at corner with the Eagles.
Watkins moved to safety because the team placed second-year defensive back Earl Wolff on injured reserve and signed cornerback Roc Carmichael. Watkins has been active for three games this season but has only played on special teams.