NFL

Cre’Von LeBlanc Is the Hidden Key to the Eagles’ Super Bowl Hopes

Cre’Von LeBlanc quickly became a fan favorite in his first two years with the Eagles.

A dynamic cornerback who brought stability to Doug Pederson’s Eagles’ defense in 2018, LeBlanc is currently competing for a starting spot. The fifth-year defender looks like he’s found a home in Philadelphia.

That fact is a good thing for LeBlanc and the Eagles. LeBlanc is the hidden key to the Philadelphia Eagles‘ hopes of winning a second Super Bowl in four years.

Cre’Von LeBlanc is entering his fifth NFL season

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A playmaking cornerback at Florida Atlantic University, Cre’Von LeBlanc went undrafted in 2016.

LeBlanc spent training camp that year with the New England Patriots and even made a one-handed interception in the preseason. New England cut LeBlanc, though, and he signed with the Chicago Bears.

LeBlanc started nine of the 13 games he played in and recorded 44 tackles, two interceptions — including a 24-yard pick-six — and broke up 10 passes.

LeBlanc’s numbers dipped to 17 tackles, three breakups, and a forced fumble in 15 games (one start) during the 2017 season.

LeBlanc has played well since joining the Eagles

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Cre’Von LeBlanc spent three games with Detroit in 2018 before he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. That paring quickly became a perfect match.

LeBlanc had 24 tackles in eight games and cracked the starting lineup late in the year. LeBlanc had seven tackles, three pass breakups, and intercepted Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the NFC divisional round.

A Lisfranc sprain in his foot limited LeBlanc to eight tackles and two pass breakups in four games last year. He added another four tackles in the Eagles’ NFC wild-card game loss to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.

Cre’Von LeBlanc is the hidden key to the Eagles’ Super Bowl hopes

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Of all the players to call a ‘hidden key’ for the Eagles’ Super Bowl hopes, Cre’Von LeBlanc is certainly a surprise.

Philadelphia still has talented quarterback Carson Wentz, who finally stayed healthy last year. Young running back Miles Sanders returns after an explosive rookie year and Zach Ertz is still around at tight end.

Even on defense, LeBlanc isn’t guaranteed a starting job. But he provides stability and awareness to an Eagles defense that shares a division with veteran Dak Prescott and two young signal-callers in the Giants’ Daniel Jones and Washington’s Dwayne Haskins.

Philadelphia has struggled badly with injuries in recent years. LeBlanc knows that first-hand after he missed most of last season with a foot problem.

Having talented players like LeBlanc who can make an impact as a starter or off the bench is critical to winning a Super Bowl. Chiefs coach Andy Reid, Pederson’s mentor, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick have both successfully used that strategy over the years.

LeBlanc may not light up the stat sheet the way that other cornerbacks do, whether it’s in the interceptions or tackles department.

But in the end, playing whatever role the coaches ask and winning a Super Bowl ring probably means more than snagging eight interceptions on a team that goes 2-14.

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