After spending millions on former Seahawks Byron Maxwell, the Philadelphia Eagles have seemingly been left with their pants at their ankles. Maxwell’s struggles, as well as the delayed development of rookie Eric Rowe—who has shown signs of the potential the Eagles drafted him for recently—have forced defensive coordinator Billy Davis to adjust accordingly. He may not need to flip too many players around if he merely handed more playing time to a proven veteran.
In these first few games of the season, Davis has used starting safety Malcolm Jenkins as the slot corner in nickel packages. Having faced receiver corps of the Falcons Cowboys, and Redskins, the Eagles defense has played Jenkins almost as much as a slot corner as a safety. Instead of playing Chris Maragos in Jenkins’ safety spot for nickel, Davis ought to give E.J. Biggers a chance at slot corner.
Coming out of college in 2009, Biggers was touted for his aggressiveness and physicality. This attribute stuck with him throughout his time in both Tampa Bay and Washington, and would be useful if he were to play slot corner for the Eagles. Though he lacks speed compared to other defensive backs, Biggers is able to hold his own with his jams at the line, and a haul of veteran experience to help him read routes.
Most importantly, playing Biggers is worth a try for a backfield that was lit up by the Redskins on last week’s final drive. Byron Maxwell has been sucking wind and limping around for a few weeks now. If Maxwell truly is injured, or if his poor play continues, its worth a try giving Biggers a bigger role (no pun intended) at the outside corner spot as well.
With Maragos, Rowe, and, to some extent, Nolan Carroll all a bit inexperienced, Biggers provides the knowledge and veteran presence that might add some stability to a wobbly defensive backfield.