Eagles Notebook: Eagles' Wolff eliminating rookie mistakes

DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Earl Wolff has come a long way since the Broncos game when he was beaten by Wes Welker on this TD.
DAVID MAIALETTI / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Earl Wolff has come a long way since the Broncos game when he was beaten by Wes Welker on this TD.
Posted: October 21, 2013

EARL WOLFF has been placed in an unusual position for a rookie. The fifth-round safety out of North Carolina State started the season behind Patrick Chung on the depth chart. He did not play the first game at Washington. He got a few reps in the losses to the Chargers and Chiefs. Then he got thrown into the fire.

Chung had to sit out with a shoulder injury against the Broncos and Giants, pushing Wolff into the starting role. With Chung dealing with the balky shoulder again this week, it is unsure if he will be able to play against the Cowboys on Sunday. If he can't, Wolff will have to step in again.

"I think about it as going out and taking advantage of every opportunity that I do get," Wolff said. "Just coming in as a fifth-round safety, not many people thought I could do it. People that know me and see me play, and of course myself, I knew I could do it. I am just going to continue to go out there every day and compete at practice and make plays at practice that will allow me to make plays in the game."

Wolff has received criticism over the past few games for his mistakes. He realizes just what he is up against in his first year in the league.

"The first couple of games, as I was watching film, it was still kind of hard for me to go out there and work on formations," he said. "I would do it on film as I was watching it, but the first couple of games when I got on the field it was just like I didn't remember. It has been getting more repetition and getting more comfortable out there. I feel like I am tackling well and right now I am just trying to eliminate my mistakes."

His performances have gotten steadily better as the season has drawn on, and his teammates are noticing. He has 29 tackles in his five games.

"Earl has been good," Chung said. "Everybody makes mistakes. He's a rookie, he is going to learn. But he is doing good. He is flying around, making calls like he is the quarterback back there. That is very good."

Being the quarterback of the defense is something that Wolff is still working on. His transition from the college game to the pro ranks has not been a flawless one, but he is working out the kinks as he goes along.

Wolff said the biggest difference between NC State and the NFL is communication: "Knowing what you have every play because our safeties are sometimes communicating with the inside and outside linebackers, and the corners. Communicating every single play effectively.

"If you wait until the last second, then everyone is turning around, looking at you like, 'What do we got?' You have to be able to work out the formation, call the play and then you get set. That's my biggest problem, but I'm getting a lot better at it."

|
|
|
|
|