It’s safe to say that we have learned not to be surprised by anything that happens, especially in sports. So when the Philadelphia Eagles opted to deal wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round draft choice to the Buffalo Bills for two-year cornerback Ronald Darby, there were those who thought the price may have been too steep. And for the young defender, it was not easy leaving the organization that made him a second-round pick in 2015.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” said Darby to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“It was real difficult, but on to new things.”

On Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field against his former team, Darby made it look easy. And the talented defensive back could prove to be a huge addition for a defensive unit that made significant improvement this offseason.

Better Birds

During the final stages of the Chip Kelly Era, the Philadelphia Eagles defense tumbled badly. In 2015, only two teams in the NFL allowed more total yards per game. And no club in the league surrendered more yards per game on the ground. Hence not only the decision to hire new head coach Doug Pederson. But the Eagles made a significant move with the hiring of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. The Philadelphia defense jumped to 13th in the NFL in 2016.

This offseason, the team lost Defensive Tackle Bennie Logan to the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency. But there was more to come.

Veteran defensive end Chris Long signed on after a year and a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots. The Eagles traded for defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, used a first-round draft choice on University of Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett and recently added cornerback/safety Corey Graham.

The latter was also a former member of the Bills.

Filling a big need

This offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles lost a key member of their secondary as cornerback Nolan Carroll signed with the defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys via free agency. Along with Graham, general manager also added veteran Patrick Robinson to the cornerback corps.

But Ronald Darby is an upgrade over both players. He played and started 29 games for the Bills in two seasons. While he totaled only two interceptions, both during his rookie season, Darby managed to knock down a combined 33 passes in those contests. Combine the addition of the one-time Florida State product with the talent the Birds have already brought in this offseason and Schwartz’s unit is going to be a real problem for the opposition in 2017.