Ronald Darby has something to prove after three straight injury-riddled seasons: 'I'm a great corner'
Darby is looking for a fresh start with the Redskins
Ronald Darby has been much maligned for his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, three seasons that were torn apart by injuries and subpar play after Philadelphia captured Super Bowl LII. While Darby was instrumental toward the Eagles having a top-five defense in 2017, he also was largely responsible for Philadelphia's pass defense ranking 30th in yards allowed in 2018 and 19th in 2019.
Darby knows he's a better corner than what he's demonstrated in Philadelphia and he's determined to show it with the Washington Redskins.
"I've got a lot more to prove due to the fact this is my second one-year deal and things like that," Darby said, via Rhiannon Walker of The Athletic. "My main focus is to take care of my body and stay healthy and go out there and make plays."
Health has eluded Darby from unleashing his full potential. A dislocated ankle sidelined Darby for eight games in 2017 and a torn ACL in Week 10 of the 2018 season sidelined him for the remainder of the year. The aftereffects of the ACL injury affected Darby in 2019, along with hamstring and hip injuries.
Darby had a poor 2019 season with the Eagles, as opposing quarterbacks completed 43 passes for 705 yards and threw for six touchdowns targeting Darby, who allowed 16.4 yards per completion. Those quarterbacks had an 116.8 passer rating when targeting Darby.
Those injuries are behind the cornerback, who insists he's 100 percent going into the season for the first time in two years.
"I'm good right now. I feel great right now, but it is tough coming off the ACL and then going right back into the season," Darby said. "Last year was tough for me. My main thing was I just wanted to finish that year without a major injury or nothing like that, so I could have a full offseason to train and take care of my body, and that's what I've been doing."
Darby signed a one-year deal with Redskins worth $4 million, as the 26-year-old figures to have a starting job at a cornerback spot that currently has Fabian Moreau and Kendall Fuller atop the depth chart. For Darby, 2020 is all about showing the NFL how good he can be.
"As the corner I know I am, I'm a great corner," Darby said. "I had to battle obstacles and stuff like that, and at the end of the day, whether you're hurt or good, you still got to go out there and perform. You can't always have excuses. I know that I can be the person that I am, that I've shown."
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