Eagles’ Rasul Douglas Turning Heads, Training with CB Guru ‘Footwork King’

Rasul Douglas

Getty Eagles CB Rasul Douglas is rumored to be on the trading block.

Rasul Douglas knows this could be his last shot to win a starting job in Philadelphia. He’s investing all his resources to take full advantage.

Douglas, the former third-round pick out of West Virginia, has been working with renowned athletic trainer Rischad Whitfield in Houston in an effort to improve his conditioning and footwork. Known as the “Footwork King” in NFL circles, Whitfield is a kinesiology major who trains some of the best in the business. His enviable client list includes top cornerbacks like Xavien Howard, Darius Slay, Richard Sherman and Joe Haden.

Add Douglas to that list as the two began an intensive program this spring. On Monday evening, Whitfield posted a short video of Douglas running through a series of agility and footwork drills. He captioned it with: “Back on the CB grind – Day 2.” Douglas immediately re-tweeted the shout out from his personal Twitter account.

There had been rumors back in April that Douglas was on the trading block, including one unconfirmed deal that would have sent the 24-year-old to the New York Jets. It never happened and Douglas has a legitimate shot to compete for a starting job in Philly after taking a pay cut in the offseason. He’ll be up against Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones for the slot opposite Darius Slay.

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Douglas Registered Zero Snaps in Playoff Loss

Douglas went from a presumed starter heading into the 2019 season to a player who saw his snaps incrementally decrease as the season went on. Jones beat him out at training camp and he never fully recovered.

Douglas, who has the ability to move over to safety, was healthy for all 16 games last season and made six starts as Jones and Maddox battled injuries. However, he recorded zero interceptions on the year after picking off five passes in his first two seasons. Despite playing on 583 total defensive snaps in 2019, the Eagles chose not to put him on the field for a single defensive snap in the wild-card playoff game versus Seattle.

Oddly, Jones never saw a snap in that one either and the team went with just three cornerbacks in the loss: Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Jalen Mills. Eagles GM Howie Roseman gave an evasive answer on why at his end-of-year press conference.

“I know there are a couple positions here that are a focal point, and I understand the reason for that,” Roseman told reporters. “I think that we’ve got to get with our staff and decide kind of what we’re going to do going forward … that’s an important position. You see it, when you have a guy who can really kind of take over and take one side of the field, but those guys are hard to find. They don’t grow on trees.”

Whitfield, aka Footwork King, Trains Elite Playmakers

Meanwhile, Douglas’ new trainer is the real deal. In addition to coaching up star cornerbacks, Whitfield works with some of the best players in football. Period. Odell Beckham, LeVeon Bell, DeAndre Hopkins, Marcus Johnson, Emmanuel Sanders are all clients, along with promising rookies like K’Lavon Chaisson, Grant Delpit and CeeDee Lamb.

He opened Blitz Football Camp in 2013 and it soon earned a reputation as a “hotbed for improving next-level football talent,” per Pro Football Network. Whitfield credited Instagram for putting eyes on his innovative methods.

“Instagram is what got me everybody,” Whitfield said. “That was where people started seeing my work.”

Whitfield’s own football journey ended prematurely after an injury-riddled freshman year at the University of Houston. Needing a fallback plan, he focused on kinesiology — the study of the mechanics of body movements — and set his sights on personal training.

“I don’t know, there’s just something about it,” Whitfield said, via Pro Football Network. “The [defensive backs] coach that I had at the time, he was really big on movement. He used to stress the importance of cone drills, and how the ladder works your feet.”

If Douglas can get his footwork right in time for camp, there’s still a chance he has a future in Philly. Perhaps a long and bright one starting opposite another Whitfield client: Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay.

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