Before the return of Philadelphia Eagles CB Jalen Mills, who was out with a foot injury since last October, a lot of people in Philadelphia wanted another Jalen, Jalen Ramsey. However, Ramsey was traded to the Rams, and the Eagles decided to go with what they had in the secondary. Quite frankly, it probably was the right move.
While the Eagles lost to the Patriots 17-10 on Sunday, the defense played well, and with Mills and Ronald Darby healthy, the Eagles’ secondary has been stabilized. Before Mills, the Eagles’ defense was surrendering 24 points a game. In the four games Mills has played, the Eagles’ defense is giving up 18 points per game. It’s not all because of Mills, but his return has helped this team.
“Jalen is playing at a high level all across the field,” Eagles DC Jim Schwartz said on Tuesday. “He’s tackling well; he’s covering well. He’s up to the challenge of covering guys, and he brings us a lot of spirit and a lot of competitiveness and toughness.
“I think you’ve seen the level of defensive play increase since he’s been back. He’s always been a respected member of our defense and a guy that the coaches and players both have a lot of confidence in. He was down for a while. He worked really hard to get back, and I think all that hard work is paying off for him. I’m really proud of him.”
Even when he was sidelined, according to Schwartz, Mills was still engaged.
“Jalen has never checked out,” Schwartz said. “So, you could say, yeah, it’s surprising because it’s a tough thing to do, but I also recognize all the work that he’s put into it, and it hasn’t just been sit around for a year waiting for it to come back. He’s been actively engaged in every one of our meetings and every one of our game plans. Even if he wasn’t playing, he sits right over there, and he’s into the game taking notes like if he was playing. And that’s paid off for him.
“We’ve had other players, not just Jalen, injured players, but we’ve had guys on the practice squad that have been that way, and generally the guys that succeed are the guys that stay ready, so they don’t have to get ready, and Jalen certainly personifies that.”
The Eagles are finally healthy on defense, and it is showing. They are getting after the quarterback and the secondary is playing well. Philadelphia won a Super Bowl with Darby and Mills on the outside, so those guys are just fine.
Now, if the offense can join the party, maybe this team can get back to the playoffs in 2019.