Rowe Responds to Eagles Snub
(973espn.com) - Eric Rowe wasn’t good enough to crack what turned out to be one of the worst cornerback rotations in football but he was just fine in Foxborough.
Rowe is part of a New England Patriots defense one step away from Super Bowl LI and the second-year player addressed the Eagles strange decision to move on from him after just one season in the program, one Howie Roseman discussed earlier this month at his season-ending, state-of-the-Eagles press conference earlier this month.
Roseman claimed the Eagles traded Rowe because the front office and coaching staff had already determined they were not going to give Rowe an extension, even though that had two more seasons to mull that over.
The Wilmington News Journal's Martin Frank caught up with Rowe in Foxborough in advance of the AFC Championship Game against Pittsburgh this week and the former second-round pick thought Roseman’s explanation was just as strange as the rest of us.
“That’s a long time away," Rowe said. "If that’s the reason, that’s really, really weird. You know, it’s whatever. If he thinks that, then I guess that’s what it was. They’re thinking way down the line.”
It was no secret to anyone attending the Eagles OTAs that defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz wasn’t high on Rowe and he was quickly buried on the depth chart.
Schwartz tends to like corners who show a bit of swagger and the understated Rowe wasn’t his cup of tea but giving on on a kid with that skill set when your CB depth chart reads Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks and Jalen Mills seemed specious at the time and proved to be exactly that.
"That was frustrating, just kind of like thinking, 'What am I doing wrong?'" Rowe said. "Yeah, I made mistakes, but everybody makes mistakes. I'm not making bad mistakes. I'm making plays. Why am I sliding down? That was frustrating times.”
Of the 115 cornerbacks rated by ProFootballFocus.com this season, McKelvin was the Eagles’ top corner at No. 73 while Carroll finished 95th and Mills was dead last. Brooks didn’t play enough before being injured to be rated but was on pace to finish 105th.
Conversely, Rowe finished 56th in New England while playing 43 percent of the Pats’ defensive snaps and is again regarded as an ascending player.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen