Despite the uncertainty during the offseason, Marcus Epps, the Philadelphia Eagles’ fourth-year cornerback, came into training camp eager to compete.
And after the secondary coach, Dennard Wilson created a role for him in 2021, Epps, 26, is ready to take on more leadership in the Eagles’ secondary this season.
“I’ve got a lot more confidence out there,” Epps said. “I feel like these first few days, I’ve been flying around. Like I said, I’m just trying to keep building on that every day because I haven’t arrived by any means, and I know that. I’ve still got a lot to learn.”
Marcus Epps can be a difference maker
He may still have a lot to learn, but Epps knows that to be a consistent threat in the secondary, he needs to keep impressing the defensive minds on the Eagles’ coaching staff. And that is something he has already done quite well.
“What I look for in a safety is reliability,” defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said. “He’s very reliable, smart, tough and he has got a very unique skillset that you need to play safety in the NFL today.”
Epps appeared in all 16 games last season, and he notched 62 total tackles (39 solo and 23 assisted), a career-high in both departments. He also played 48% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps, which is a career-high, as well.
More than anything, however, Epps looked more confident and comfortable when playing his role in the secondary. And that confidence has carried over into training camp.
“I just feel a lot more comfortable,” Epps said. “The game has kind of slowed down for me. Now I’m thinking more of what the offense is going to run, situational things like that.”
Confidence and comfort, for Epps, are good signs. And in the NFL, with the way the safety position is always changing, Epps evidently has all the tools to succeed sooner rather than later.
And when you consider Epps’ new role on defense and the pieces around him, it’s clear he has everything needed for a breakout season in 2022.
Feature image via Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.