Philadelphia Eagles

Ronald Darby is more than just speed ... but he is 'crazy' fast

Ronald Darby is more than just speed ... but he is 'crazy' fast

New Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby is more than just a speedy cornerback. 

It's just that his speed really stands out. 

"It's crazy," said Eagles safety Terrence Brooks, who was teammates with Darby at Florida State. "The guy is so damn quick, it's crazy."

Two years ago, when he was a second-round pick of the Bills, Darby ran a 4.38-second time in the 40-yard dash at the combine. It was the second-fastest time for a defensive back that year. 

On Saturday afternoon, the day after the Eagles traded for him, the 23-year-old corner said he's even faster now. 

So what would his 40 time be today? 

"Right now in a 40?" he said. "I know for sure, low 4.3, high 4.2."

Darby, aside from excelling in football, was a track star in high school. He was a member of the USA medley relay team that won a gold medal at the 2011 World Youth Championships in France. Darby took bronze in the 200-meter race with a time of 21.08.

So Darby doesn't just have speed. He has world-class speed. 

"That's the first thing you notice about him," said Ron Brooks, who was Darby's teammate in Buffalo in 2015. "He's a fast guy. He doesn't really get ran by on a lot of routes. He runs pretty much with the fastest receivers. He's going to be a good addition for the team."

Even if Darby does get beaten by receivers, he has the wheels to recover. And for the safeties on the team, they'll feel more comfortable trusting a corner with that recovery ability. 

While Darby is known for his speed — and rightfully so — he made it a point Saturday to make sure people know he's more than that.  

"Everybody knows me for my speed," he said, "but I'm willing to come up and tackle and just play aggressive. Get to the ball, make plays."

In fact, it was actually Darby's physicality that Terrence Brooks brought up first when asked about his college teammate. 

Brooks, who is known as a hard-hitter, said that physicality was something instilled in the secondary while both were Seminoles. 

"The kid's physical," Brooks said. "He likes to play in the run, get down there and get nasty. He's tight in coverage, he doesn't shy away from contact." 

As fast as Darby is on the field, he's going to need to be pretty quick off it. He doesn't have a long time to pick up a new defense. 

He arrived in Philadelphia on Friday night after the trade and has less than a week before the Eagles' next game Thursday. Darby walked out for practice but was unable to participate. (By the time practice started, in Buffalo Jordan Matthews had yet to take his physical, which was needed to complete the trade.) 

If Darby is able to practice Sunday, that would give him three days of practice and a walk-through before Thursday's game against his old team, the Bills. Head coach Doug Pederson said he's hoping to give Darby some reps, although they're taking it "day by day."  

Pederson said with Darby's understanding of the defense, it should take him just a couple of days to be ready to go, especially because things are simple right now without game-planning for specific offenses. 

Even Darby admitted that as a cornerback it shouldn't be that hard to catch up. 

"I mean, he's playing man (coverage)," said safety Jaylen Watkins, who was teammates with Darby briefly in Buffalo in 2015 and knows him from their days as rivals in college. 

"We brought him over here to play man coverage. And everything else, we'll help him along the way. I think the biggest thing for us is finding man corners and he has that ability. He was born with it. At the end of the day, man is man and we'll teach you everything else."

The story with Darby is in 2015, his rookie season, he had a great year. He had 21 passes defensed, two interceptions and was named to the All-Rookie team. 

He simply wasn't as good in 2016. Darby said he still made plays last season but didn't finish them as much as he needed to. That's what he needs to work on this season with the Eagles. When asked, Darby said he feels like he has something to prove to himself and fans. 

One thing is for sure: the Eagles are going to need him this season. Aside from their obvious weakness at cornerback before the trade, the Eagles are in a division with receivers like Odell Beckham Jr., Dez Bryant and Terrelle Pryor. And it'll likely fall on Darby to shut them down. 

"This division's got a lot of great receivers, but I feel as though I should do great," he said. "Just go out there and compete." 

After Darby exited the NovaCare Complex in his new all-black Eagles sweatsuit and green bucket hat alongside Brooks, he walked over to injured second-round pick Sidney Jones and the two had a long chat. They eventually walked closer to the field and watched the beginning of practice together. There's a chance the two are the Eagles' starting cornerbacks in 2018.  

The Eagles have some young talent at cornerback now. Jones and Rasul Douglas are 21. And with two years already under his belt, Darby is still just 23. He said it's "exciting" to hopefully be building something in Philadelphia. 

"There's a lot of talent," Darby said. "The future is looking bright." 

Dimitri Patterson injures 2 police officers trying to flee court room

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AP Images

Dimitri Patterson injures 2 police officers trying to flee court room

Former Eagles cornerback Dimitri Patterson injured two police officers while trying to flee during a family court hearing on Tuesday, according to police, via The Miami Herald.

Patterson, 34, appeared in Lawson E. Thomas Court Center when he was ordered by the judge to be taken into custody. At that time, he tried to run out of the door and tackled a female officer who fell and hit her head, while another officer suffered a wrist injury before Patterson was taken into custody.

The female officer was taken to the hospital but later released.

This isn’t Patterson’s first brush with the law. ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported in 2015 that the Miami native was charged with felony child abuse.

Per police reports obtained from the incident, Patterson met his ex-girlfriend at Aventura Mall on Aug. 1, 2015, for a custody exchange of their 1-year-old child when an argument ensued over child support payments.

“While placing the boy in the back seat of the car, Medina told Patterson to calm down, warning him that she wouldn't allow him to take the child,” Cimini reported.

“Patterson ‘grabbed her around her neck and threw her to the ground,’ according to the incident report. ‘While this occurred, [Medina] was holding [the boy]. This action caused [him] to fall also and hit his head.’”

Court records show Patterson was eventually acquitted for culpable negligence and battery.

Patterson spent time with the Redskins, Chiefs, Eagles, Browns, Dolphins and Jets during his eight-year career. With the Eagles in 2009 and 2010, he appeared in 27 games (nine starts) with 50 tackles, four interceptions and one sack.

Patterson was last with the Jets in 2014 but suspended indefinitely by the team after leaving without contacting the organization. He was released a short time later and retired.

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

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USA Today Images

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

NEW YORK -- The NFL Players Association has appealed Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over the league's conclusion that its 2016 rushing leader injured his former girlfriend in three separate incidents last summer.

The union said Tuesday it will represent Elliott "to ensure that the NFL is held to its obligation of adhering to principles of industrial due process under the collective bargaining agreement."

The NFL suspended Elliott last week after a yearlong investigation into an Ohio domestic violence case that prosecutors declined to pursue. Elliott's attorneys blasted Commission Roger Goodell's ruling, saying the league "cherry-picked" evidence to reach its conclusion.

A hearing with Goodell or an arbitrator will be scheduled within 10 days with a decision "as soon as practicable" after the appeal is heard, according to the labor agreement.

The Cowboys open the regular season Sept. 10 at home against the New York Giants.

Panthers: Davis signs 1-year contract extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thomas Davis won't have to worry about ever playing for another NFL team.

The Panthers have signed the 34-year-old veteran outside linebacker Thomas Davis to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season. The deal is worth $6.76 million and includes $3 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team doesn't release financial terms of contracts.

"I'm extremely excited. Everybody knows how I feel about being a Carolina Panther," Davis said in a team release Tuesday. "This extension solidifies me being here for the rest of my career, and I'm excited about that. Now I'm totally focused on winning a Super Bowl."

Davis' contract was set to expire after this season. Some blamed general manager Dave Gettleman's handling of extensions for Davis and tight end Greg Olsen as the reason he was fired earlier this offseason and replaced by interim general manager Marty Hurney. Olsen has two years left on his current contract but is seeking an extension, too (see full story).

Raiders: Lynch says teammates ‘proud’ of protest
NAPA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch isn't shedding anymore light on his decision to sit during the national anthem before the Oakland Raiders' first exhibition game.

Lynch declined to comment on why he chose to sit down Saturday night while the rest of his teammates stood during the anthem before a game in Arizona against the Cardinals.

That left his teammates to answer for him on Tuesday after the team returned for its first practice since that game.

"I'm proud of him," tight end Jared Cook said. "I think it's awesome. Everybody has points of discussion after what happened in Charlottesville just the night before. I think it's important for men in our position to step up and speak on unnecessary situations we find ourselves in as minorities in this country. That's why I'm proud of him" (see full story).

Jets: Whitehead out indefinitely with broken foot
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Lucky Whitehead has a broken foot and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday that Whitehead was injured during practice Monday and it's uncertain whether he will need surgery. Bowles did not know if Whitehead will be out for the year, saying only that it'll be at least "a little while."

Whitehead, who was on crutches during the team's indoor practice, appeared to be the top contender to serve as the Jets' primary punt and kickoff returner.

The injury is the latest in a string of bad news for Whitehead, who has had a strange summer. He was waived by Dallas last month following a shoplifting incident that turned out to be a case of false identity. New York claimed Whitehead off waivers on July 26.