May 17, 2019
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas was thrust into a major contributing role late last season after starters Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby both went down with injuries.
The former third-round pick, considered a ball hawk during his college days at West Virginia, had been stuck in a reserve role until he got that opportunity. The Eagles' pass defense improved down the stretch as the team made an improbable push into the playoffs.
In fact, the ankle injury Douglas suffered during the NFC Divisional round game against the Saints, forcing the inexperienced Josh Hawkins onto the field, was among several that left the Eagles vulnerable as the game progressed.
With Darby returning on a one-year deal and Mills expected to be back from injury, it's unknown whether Douglas will have a legitimate chance to push for a starting role in 2019. The team is fairly loaded with young talent at cornerback, including Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones (also returning from injury) and Cre'Von LeBlanc.
A photo uploaded to the Eagles subreddit shows that Douglas, 24, has been hard at work this offseason. The results are undeniable.
Looks like Rasul has been working hard this offseason! Hopefully he has a breakout season from r/eagles
Troy and Chico, whoever they are, have done marvels to push Douglas into a more athletic form. True, that doesn't inherently make a player great (rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was overhyped because of his abs and fell in the draft), but it's definitely not hurting Douglas. That kind of transformation doesn't happen without a better diet, too.
It's a good sign for the Eagles' secondary that there's a high competitive drive to get on the field. Douglas is clearly taking his conditioning seriously — it's a much better look than Mills getting cited for a nightclub fight — and will aim to capitalize on his strong finish to last season. He'll be someone to watch closely as the offseason program approaches.