When Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas needed to play better, Fletcher Cox became his number one motivator.
Who do we thank for making the Philadelphia Eagles young and inexperienced secondary playing better? Is it defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz? Or maybe it’s the defensive backs coach, Cory Undlin? As it turns out, it might’ve been defensive tackle, Fletcher Cox. At least, for Rasul Douglas it was. As an acting captain, Fletcher Cox took matters into his own hands when it came to leadership, and Rasul Douglas made sure to listen to what his veteran captain was saying.
Lately, Douglas has looked solid. So solid that he legitimately needs to be viewed as a potential starting candidate at cornerback on the outside next season. Unless of course, the Eagles decide to move him to safety. But that’s an entirely different story though. Right now, Douglas is thriving in his role outside, but it wasn’t always like that. At first, Douglas looked pitiful. He wasn’t the same ball-hawk that we saw last season when he filled in for an injured Ronald Darby.
Douglas needed to upgrade his game somehow, and it turns out that Fletcher Cox’s words of encouragement are what helped him turn it all around. During the first matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, Douglas was struggling.
He wasn’t covering that well, and he was missing tackles at a high rate. Fast forward to the final stretch of the regular season and Douglas has led the Eagles defense in tackles for the last three games, which helped clinch the Eagles a spot in the playoffs for the season.
Fletcher Cox gets the credit for being a leader
"“First start against Dallas, I knew I kind of missed a few tackles,” Douglas said. “Fletch came up to me and he tapped me on the chest and told me, ‘Man, we need all of you. Make some tackles, make some sure tackles,’ and I was like, ‘You’re right.’ And then I just started improving on it and made sure every chance I had to make a tackle I made it.”"
According to Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Rasul Douglas credits Cox’s words of encouragement for his 360 turnaround. That’s excellent news considering that Cox has been one of the Eagles five permanent captains for the year.
Last season when the Eagles decided to throw the captains patch on five guys and Cox was excluded as he didn’t win the teams vote. This season though, Cox fills in the first star on that patch as he clearly improved his leadership role in the locker room. And with Douglas talking up the veteran tackle after his much-improved stretch, it only proves that the team made the right decision by throwing Cox into one of the captains chairs.