Eagles DB coach: Brandon Boykin’s size gets exposed by bigger WRs


Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin led the team with six interceptions last season, despite only being in the starting lineup for two games. But while the Eagles love Boykin’s play, there are no plans to make him a starter in the base defense.

That’s because, secondary coach John Lovett says, the 5-foot-10 Boykin just can’t match up with bigger receivers on the outside.

“He did a great job there,” Lovett told the Times of Trenton. “His biggest drawback is his size. When you put him outside, he can get exposed because of that. Like I said, he did a great job inside, and we’re going to keep him there.”

The Eagles’ pass defense was shaky last season, and Lovett knows that needs to improve.

“We have to get better; we know that,” Lovett said. “We feel we’re adding the right pieces, plus what we have coming back, to do just that.”

Among the improvements, the Eagles hope, will be the addition of free agent safety Malcolm Jenkins, free agent cornerback Nolan Carroll and rookie defensive backs Jaylen Watkins and Ed Reynolds. But Boykin will be staying where he is: Playing well, but not on the outside against 6-foot-4 receivers.

44 responses to “Eagles DB coach: Brandon Boykin’s size gets exposed by bigger WRs

  1. Anybody who ever watches the Eagles can see this… Boykin is short, especially compared to Calvin Johnson/Brandon Marshall, so he isn’t gonna be able to cover those outside receivers.Boykin is a great slot corner anyway, and since that is becoming a more prevalent part of every teams offense, having someone who specializes in playing against slot receivers could be very useful.

  2. I’m not sure why a coach would make a comment like that. It’s like he’s practically telling teams to put a big WR in the slot or bump out their TE.

  3. Who was covering Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall in 2013 when they totaled only 7 rec. – 88 yards against Philadelphia?!?

    Philadelphia won both games.

  4. riflemanlax says:
    I’m not sure why a coach would make a comment like that. It’s like he’s practically telling teams to put a big WR in the slot or bump out their TE.
    Funny, that was my immediate thought; so now when playing the Eagles I move my #1 WR into the slot.

  5. Not an Eagles fan, but this size thing only matters for jump balls. It is about position and antipation more than anything. Just ask Pro-Bowler, Brent Grimes who is 5’9″ and came off a season ending injury. The trend for bigger and faster at all positions will never be equal to quickness and natural skill ability.

  6. i hate to agree with “Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands”, but he’s right. give me a tough corner with hip flexibility and explosive agility over a guy who meets some arbitrary height requirement. a 6’0″ corner (considered tall by most) is still giving up 4-5 inches to the likes of brandon marshall and calvin johnson, and will still lose a jump ball contest with them. technique is how you cover those guys, not just size.

  7. riflemanlax says:

    It’s like he’s practically telling teams to put a big WR in the slot or bump out their TE.

    I’m sure the other teams are fully aware of his size.

  8. this is why KC cut Flowers, and Flowers had 1 INT against Jacksonville last year and never even had a 6 INT season.

    its a new NFL, and soon enough every team will have a 6’3 corner, and a bunch of 6’0 and above guys, then the NFL will adapt as it always does and we will go back to more smaller quicker WR’s to combat these CB’s. the problem there though is that these CB’s are so fast at their size, that it is nearly impossible for a smaller corner to have the same impact or be drastically faster than a lot of these super athletes.

  9. Hey, Rifleman LAX. Opposing teams know as much about your players as you do…It is a brave new world with paid scouts, image recording technology and all kinds of modern contraptions!
    Amazing, aint it?…Still, I guess they could keep him in hiding until game time!

  10. boykins is a beast…..hes fast and knows how the coverages work….I can only see him getting better this year….and he was clutch last season!!!

  11. rabidboy says:
    Jun 30, 2014 9:42 AM
    riflemanlax says:
    I’m not sure why a coach would make a comment like that. It’s like he’s practically telling teams to put a big WR in the slot or bump out their TE.
    Funny, that was my immediate thought; so now when playing the Eagles I move my #1 WR into the slot.

    You guys actually think other teams didn’t already know this? Trust me, they already know all their match-ups and mismatches. If they didn’t understand this most basic stuff, they wouldn’t be in the NFL.

  12. if boykin is short at 5’10”, so is revis at 5’11”, and anyone who thinks he is too short to cover the tallest receivers in the game doesn’t understand the position.

  13. With all the big WR currently in the NFL, there is no use for a guy his size except for in the slot possibly. To be a super, top notch DB, you have to be six feet and above. Period. Just the way it is.

  14. Why would you take your best wr and play him in the slot if he’s not a slot receiver. They have a different route tree on the inside. Boykin can cover big receivers on slant routes and curls. You don’t see many jump balls to the slot receiver

  15. Nobody here seems to care the boykin hits like a linebacker, he could be in top 5 in tackle and hitting ability among DBs. He is the ultimate slot guy i can see him lighting up a running back on a draw play.

  16. Slot Corner is one of the most important positions in the league. Boykin is tremendous in his role. I hope to see him on the inside making plays for years to come.

  17. This whole article is an excuse. If you are good enough to play in this league you must be able to cover anyone no matter how tall. Prime example? Brent Grimes. The dude is barely 5’9″ and he locks down every WR in the NFL, gave up 0 TDs last year.

  18. Just pointing out the obvious. Tremendous slot corner though. Why mess up a good thing, I would keep him there anyway. Eagles “D” will be much improved this season. As long as the “D” improves a little and the offense performs the way they did last year, the Eagles should run away and hide from the rest of the division.

  19. The reason you can’t just put your big #1 receiver in the slot is because, in the middle of the field, Boykin being short isn’t a liability. The routes are different, spacing is different, the position is played differently (you get more help from LBs, from safeties, etc.).

    So if you want to take your big #1 receiver out of the area where he has the advantage (the outside) so that you can match him up against a guy who CAN be a liability when on the outside (but not the inside where he plays), go ahead. But you won’t be coaching for long because your results will be poor.

    For the same reason the Eagles put Boykin inside, #1 receivers go outside – it’s where they can maximize their abilities.

  20. Its the Eagles right to leave him in the slot. Just like its Boykins right to leave via FA as soon as his rookie contract is up to play for a team that allows him on the field more than 50% of the snaps.

  21. A 5’10” guy that can cover a 6’4″ like a blanket would make a QB throw a nearly perfect ball. 6 picks in limited time, I think he’s earned the right to show definitively whether or not a can play outside. Never hurts to put playmakers on the field, IMO.

  22. I guess I just don’t understand NFL coaching, b/c I would try to have my interception leader on the field as much as possible.

  23. The 6-6 Foles is dwarfing Boykin in that photo for sure.

    The NFL is all about finding a team’s weak player and exploiting it with favorable match ups. And the demand for taller CBs has never been more than today.

  24. If it’s not broke , don’t fix it.

    Boykin’s success comes from two things.
    1 – his ridiculous athleticism
    2- coaches putting him into positions to be successful.

    It’s working, leave it alone.

  25. What Brandon Boykin lacks in height, he makes up for with an incredible vertical leaping ability. The guy has trampoline-hops…probably the best on the entire Eagles team. He’s always been a ball hawk, and the timing on his jumps are impeccable. There’s not a sliver of a doubt in my mind that Brandon Boykin can get it done on the outside…


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