By Sarah Berkowitz
Welcome to the NFL, Eric Rowe!
“Man, this league is no joke,” Rowe told CSnPhilly.com after theEagles’ 24-18 loss to the Jets in the preseason finale.
The rookie cornerback had a shaky game – and really a shaky week including the third preseason game in Green Bay last Saturday.
But you have to remember that Rowe played mostly safety in college and has been asked to play both outside and inside as a cornerback in the Eagles’ defense.
“I had a couple bad plays,” Rowe said after the game, “but, I mean, first preseason, I feel like I’m definitely gonna get better from this. I’m not even really trippin’ about it.
“Talent-wise, it’s all the same, but now I figured out it’s about your mentality,” he said. “That’s how you get the edge over people: mentally. Now that I know that, now I just gotta work on it.”
That said, Rowe will face two physically gifted receivers in Atlanta on Sept. 14 in the Eagles’ season opener. Julio Jones might be the NFL’s most talented receiver, and Roddy White has years of experience outmuscling corners on the island and in the slot.
“That’s a big test, a big jump,” Rowe said of the impending Atlanta game. “I’ve been watching those guys (Jones and White) for the last couple years and now having a chance to go against them, it’s a big test to see am I ready. Not really talent-wise, but mentally. They’re great receivers, but you can’t go out and be scared of them.”
“He got beat at the line quick one time, but one thing about Eric, he may get beat or have a bad technique or a bad down, but he really rebounds well,” Billy Davis said. “He comes back up the next play like the last one didn’t happen. That’s a good thing for a young guy.
“I think it’s good that they go through some of these growing pains and stumble a little bit. It keeps their edge sharp. They keep working and know they have a long way to go.”