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In his return, Eagles' Orlando Scandrick played like he'd never left

Frank Fitzpatrick, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Football

Listen to Orlando Scandrick answer a few questions and you understand how in nine days the Eagles cornerback managed the head-spinning transition from his couch to significant playing time in Sunday's win over the New York Jets.

The 32-year-old exudes a Zen-like calm. He speaks slowly and thoughtfully, his voice -- and likely his heart rate – rarely fluctuating.

"My goal," he droned Tuesday while assessing his first game as an Eagle, "was just to continue to make plays and continue to execute my assignments. My goal is to carve out a permanent role on this team."

The fact that he not only survived but played extraordinarily well -- two strip-sacks, a touchdown on a fumble recovery, and coverage that limited the Jets' Jamison Crowder to just two catches for 10 yards -- was one of Sunday's biggest surprises.

"He's a savvy guy," said Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, "a smart football player that's been around. He did a good job in coverage ... and I thought tackled pretty well for us also."

The cornerback-depleted Eagles signed the veteran Scandrick in July but released him in training camp's final cut a month later. A day after Avonte Maddox was hurt in Green Bay, he was re-signed. Nine days later, as the third corner against the Jets, he was on the field for 35 snaps.

 

His 44-yard scamper into the end zone with a ball he stole from beleaguered Jets QB Luke Falk produced the final points in his team's 31-6 victory. It came, unsurprisingly on one of the 16 blitzes -- on 36 pass plays -- Schwartz called.

"I came off the edge," Scandrick recalled. "They actually had it blocked up. I could have probably had a better pass-rush there. But the quarterback held on to it thanks to the coverage."

The Boise State product, now in his 12th NFL season and with his fourth team, said the down period between camp and Week 5 was spent working out and spending time with his children.

Once he got back to Philadelphia last week, he re-immersed himself in a defensive system he learned this summer.

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