Eagles' cornerbacks aren't about to back down from Julio Jones

From ESPN - January 12, 2018

PHILADELPHIA -- Julio Jones is the kind of wide receiver that can strike fear into opposing defenses. Hes 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, with the production to match his Herculean physique.

The Philadelphia Eagles are tasked with dealing with Jones on Saturday when they host the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field in a divisional-round playoff matchup. They plan to approach the challenge with uncommon bravado. Theyre not overly concerned with Jones jumping over their heads to make a catch or beating them clean off the line for a big play.

Nothing scares me. Cant have no fear at all, said cornerback Ronald Darby, who was acquired by the Eagles earlier this season specifically for occasions such as this. Every receiver can do the same thing he can -- catch the ball and score.

Jones just does both with more regularity than the normal receiver, and often in more spectacular fashion. He had four plays of 40 or more yards this season. The Eagles still insist they arent afraid to play Jones physically at the line of scrimmage despite his size and speed.

They say theyve seen that technique work this season, most notably by New Orleans Saints rookie Marshon Lattimore.

You can if youre a physical corner. Weve seen that. Weve seen corners this year, like Lattimore and a couple other guys, who have challenged him at the line of scrimmage, veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins said. If they can hold up to the physicality, they will do well with it.

It may be easier said than done. Despite the aggressive play by the likes of Lattimore, Jones had five catches for 98 yards and seven receptions for 149 yards in two games against the Saints this season. The only saving grace was that Jones didnt find the end zone in either contest.

You have to know how to play different receivers in different ways. But you can press," Darby said. "Go back and watch film. A lot of people press. [Lattimore] from the Saints did it. A lot of people get up in his face. You just have to know what comes with it. [Mess] up, and its going to be a big play.

The Eagles played against three of the top 10 receivers this season. They held Arizonas Larry Fitzgerald and Kansas Citys Tyreek Hill to under 55 yards. They allowed San Diegos Keenan Allen to catch five passes for 138 yards.


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