Talented Eagles CB Seems Upset About Lack of Playing Time

Cre'Von LeBlanc

Getty Cre'Von LeBlanc spent three productive seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles mostly as a nickel cornerback.

The Eagles were supposed to have the two best slot cornerbacks in football. Problem is, only one is playing.

Nickell Robey-Coleman saw 41 defensive snaps in Week 2, the third-most number among Philly corners. Cre’Von LeBlanc? He saw just three total snaps. Look, LeBlanc lost the nickel corner job in camp — to be fair, he didn’t get many opportunities with the first team — and never complained about it. In fact, the 26-year-old had to deal with briefly being cut on Sept. 6 and not being told about it. He returned one day later, with no hard feelings.

On Monday, LeBlanc took to Twitter to seemingly express some frustration on his lack of playing time. The undrafted kid out of Florida Atlantic was under the impression he’d see looks in nickel packages, maybe even a few snaps on the outside as he did during his breakout 2018 campaign. It hasn’t panned out that way for LeBlanc and he wondered aloud when all his hard work is “gone pay off.”

“We sort of always viewed Cre as just a nickel, even though against the Giants a couple years ago he had to go and play outside corner for almost a whole half and really did well for us,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said on Sept. 8. “But in his career, NFL career, he’s really been more of a nickel slot. We moved him around a lot and we like his versatility. We think he can handle a lot of different roles, and we’re comfortable with him outside.”

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Robey-Coleman’s Job to Lose in Philly

Instead, LeBlanc has been out-snapped by Robey-Coleman 82-13 through two weeks. The ex-Rams standout is arguably the best slot corner in football, although he struggled a bit on Sunday against his former team.

He has now surrendered nine catches for 102 yards (nine targets), plus eight first downs and one touchdown in two games. And opposing quarterbacks have a 150.9 passer rating against Robey-Coleman, per Thomas R. Petersen. Again, it’s early in the year.

Schwartz talked about the differences between the two corners at the end of camp, calling Robey-Coleman the quicker player and LeBlanc the stronger one. The defensive coordinator indicated that their usage might depend on the matchups from week to week, with LeBlanc serving as the fourth cornerback.

But Los Angeles deployed a dizzying array of wide sets and constant movement in Week 2. LeBlanc couldn’t get off the bench or break a sweat.

“Those guys are both a little bit different depending on the matchup we would have in a game if we got to having to use a fourth corner, we would be able to match it,” Schwartz told reporters on Sept. 8. “Cre is a little bit bigger, stronger, and Robey has probably got a little bit more quickness, a little bit smaller. But it does give us the ability to be able to handle in-game injuries and things like that.”

Just something to consider moving forward. There’s no doubt that both players are uber-talented and need to see the field.

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