Asomugha a symbol of early Eagles struggles


Eagles fans are wondering when “Nnamdi Asomugha, shutdown cornerback” will arrive on the scene.  Asomugha may be wondering if he chose a team that knows what he can do well.

Asomugha struggled against the 49ers on Sunday and hasn’t made an impact with his new team.  He played well against Vernon Davis in man coverage, but gave up a big 38-yard catch to Michael Crabtree late in the game.  Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes Asomugha has “looked lost” when he plays zone.

Michael Lombardi of breaks it down further:

“Asomugha plays more zone than man. In fact, if the opponent lines up in slot formation away from Asomugha, he becomes the free safety in the middle of the field. Not where Asomugha wants to be, or where he plays his best,” Lombardi writes.

Give Asomugha credit for facing the music after the game and trying to explain what went wrong.

Still, that attitude won’t quiet the criticism in Philly.  The Eagles were called an “expensive mistake” by Phil Sheridan .

Asomugha and his teammates get their chance to change the narrative in the next two weeks in Buffalo and Washington.

98 responses to “Asomugha a symbol of early Eagles struggles

  1. You need to change the name of this site to EFT- Eagles football talk. At least talk about a winner. Pathetic.

  2. Told a lot of eagles fans on this board how they are not going to be able to buy their way to a championships….ah well…the “dream team” is getting unraveled.

  3. As the late great Brett Favre has stated “talent doesnt win championships, chemistry wins championships”…That is my last Favre reference for the rest of my life……………..WHODEY…how bout that darn GINGER

  4. While it would be easy to be like “LOL ‘dream team’ LMAO overrated blah blah,” I seriously can not understand why in the world the Eagles have Asomugha playing so much zone.
    Aso and DRC are strictly man-corners and you would think with an OL coach turned Defensive Coordinator that it would be simpler, easier, and more effective to run a more man based scheme. Let the defensive front put pressure on the quarterback and make them try and beat your top-flight CBs man-to-man.
    Now that won’t solve the putrid run defense and pitiful linebacker play, but it’s a start.

  5. No way? You mean forcing a guy to play a zone defense after he played man 95% of the time for eight years is struggling? Why is it only raiders fans saw this coming? I wish he wouldve retired a Raider.

  6. Meanwhile, Jonathan Joseph has two interceptions and would have had TWO special teams TD’s yesterday if not for penalties (neither of which had any impact on his potential TD).

    Go Texans!!!

  7. Our starting Free Safety, Nate Allen is still recovering from injury last year and his backup is playing well, but is still a backup. We let our beast of a Strong Safety Quentin Mikkel (bad move) in favor of Jaquawn Jarrett who is supposed to be Dawkins like who just isn’t ready yet.

    We really don’t have anyone to play Safety and since Asomaugha is a team player and played Safety at Cal he is stepping up.

    I guess that is the thought process. I can’t really defend it as I know if we still had one of Jim Johnson’s guys we would at least be using our cover guys and our useless in cover or against the run lb’s would be blitzing nonstop. Say what you want about McDermott but his defense did come up big last year when it counted most and slowed Aaron Rodgers enough to give us a chance at the end of the game.

  8. SO many owners don’t get the … “you need a team and not just a player” concept.

    The Packers get it. The Patriots get it.

    Have they not been paying attention to Dan Snyder since he bought the Skins?

  9. Reid put together a terrible roster this season. All the blame falls on him. He cut good linebackers and is now starting garbage. He traded Kolb. Signed Vick long term. He made terrible moves and now he is paying the price. Laurie should be furious.

  10. I can’t believe people in the media are surprised by the Eagle’s struggles. Have you not payed attention to what Snyder was doing on an annual basis and how that worked out for them? Finally the Redskins wised up and started doing things the right way and look, they are 3-1 despite having Rex Grossman as their QB.

    This isn’t baseball. You can’t buy championships simply by spending money on big names. Football is more about continuity and chemistry as a collective, not building an “all-star” team of guys who haven’t played together. Ignore your offensive line and your defensive front seven (their LBs are terrible) and it doesn’t matter how many big names you sign.

  11. i still fear the eagles more than either the boys or the soon-to-be-falling skins. im a giants fan….and thus far, not one team is in the nfc east has been very impressive. im hoping the bills and the skins can keep the losing going for the eagles. 3 losses, even this early in the season, is far from insurmountable in this mediocre division.

  12. If the team isn’t taking advantage of his shutdown ability by making him play some OL-coach’s idiotic scheme, that’s on the team’s management, not on Nnamdi. They knew what they were getting and what he could do. So rather than have him do THAT, they outsmart themselves (seeing a pattern, Andy Reid?) by trying to make him do something else.

    Any other Eagles fans sick and tired of Andy Reid and his misfitting of players and assistants?

  13. I don’t for one second think Asomugha’s skills have fallen off. I think he is playing in a crappy defense that doesn’t let him do what he does best.
    Who’d have thought an offensive line coach wouldn’t know the first thing about defense.

  14. nflofficeadmin says:
    Oct 3, 2011 3:15 PM

    Redskins 2.0


    True. Except the eagles win playoff games. The Redskins not so much the last 20 years.

  15. I bet he misses Oakland where they schemed their defense around his abilities.

    I’ll double down and bet he misses having an actual defensive coordinator coaching him.

    Hey coach K from Duke isn’t too busy right now…..maybe we can have coach up our Line Backers or maybe look into helping to draw up some plays for the O. What do you mean its not the same thing????!!!! Both sports require using a ball!!!!!

    Castillo should have switched to become a position coach on the defense before taking over the defense (at the very least). I hate to hate on the guy but the truth is that his lines haven’t been very good over the years as you can see Kolb’s concussion or our inability to convert short yardage. I guess we got Mudd and instead of firing him we gave him as the head of the D. Why you would do that after spending so much on toys is beyond me.

    Good luck to whatever offensive line you end up coaching next year coach.

  16. Why would the Eagles acquire a shut down corner and make him play zone? Isn’t that an Oxymoron? You can’t shut anyone down if you are in zone coverage. He’s in the wrong scheme!!

  17. This is again the result of Andy Reids arrogance and ignorance..

    He take argueably the best man-cover CB in the league and makes him play zone…. wtf..
    That like taking a Ferrari out 4wheelin…

    man up on the edges and let this guy shut down the best WR on the field.

    it dont matter how much money they spent, they spent it in the wrong areas.. this team is weak right up the middle. thats where you win games. right up the gut..

    Andy is soft

  18. Someone needs to explain to me how the Eagles are “buying a championship” when the NFL has a salary cap. Anyway, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the Eagles problemns. Two words, Andy Reid.

  19. ididntsaythat says:
    Oct 3, 2011 3:24 PM
    He should have gone to Dallas where Rob Ryan knows exactly what he can do!!!
    This has got to be the best post today. 🙂
    Not only does Rob Ryan does know what he can do, he also says stuff that don’t make sense.

  20. He should have gone to Dallas where Rob Ryan knows exactly what he can do!!!


    He’s doing fine right where he is. Having his career ruined by an offensive line coach telling him what to do, but hey, he got paid. He knew what he was getting into.

  21. This is what confuses me about some players and some teams. He is clearly, and has been, a shut down cover corner who plays man. The Eagles knew that, and Nnamdi knew the Eagles play primarily zone. I especially put this on him, why would he choose the Eagles when they play zone? Did he simply go with the highest $ amount?

  22. The Eagles defensive coordinator has to go…today. They need to coach to their players strength. Their defense seemed lost and a big part of that is coaching. Ego check time for Reid.

  23. Hail to the Redskins. The First Place Redskins. The Redskins with a two game lead on the Eagles. The Redskins who now have two weeks to plan for how to beat down the Eagles. Ryan Torain, Helu, Hightower, Cooooooooooley, Davis, ‘Tana will be running/catching right up the middle all day. Kerrigan and Orakpo will finally put Vick out of his misery.

  24. He is no Bust u basehead, he should have stayed with oakland none of the loser that bash him said any crap when when he was a Raider!!!

  25. still doesnt take away the fact that the Raiders are dumb for letting him walk. the Raiders could be 4-0 if Asomugha was still there.

    i love that Al Davis is inadequate.

  26. “He couldn’t even wear Revis’s high school cleats !!”

    Please. Revis holds almost every single play he’s not nearly as good as Rex Ryan and the media make him out to be.

    Anybody who watches the Eagles knows coaching and an unbalanced defense (good d-line and secondary but horrible Lb’ers and S) Juan Castillo was hired by Andy to run the defense because he liked him personally he was an OL coach for 20 years why would anybody think he would utilize Nnamdi correctly.

    The dream team stuff is pathetic PFT creates so much hatred towards certain teams and players and taking advantage of one offhand comment by Vince Young the backup quarterback is another example of this.

  27. This defense has been mostly a failure. It has shown some bright spots but when depended on hasn’t made the stops it needs to. It’s not like Dallas where the offense spotted the Lions 14 points. The twenty point lead was lost entirely by the defense. I think the issue is not really realizing the personnel you have and instead trying to force your scheme with players it won’t work with.

  28. While he has been badly, badly misused in Philadelphia, I feel like the symbol of early Eagles struggles is more their offensive line getting blown up every play or their linebackers doing very little of anything positive.

  29. How freakin awesome is this??? The Eagles are a doormat. It couldn’t happen to better fans. Year after year, they come on here and talk about how great they are and year after year, they fall woefully short of any meaningful result. Poor, poor Iggle’s fan. Their story is so sad. There’s always next year.

  30. Rex Ryan would have used him perfectly. He chased the money and now he’s stuck. But he’s in Philly (big movie town) so he’s set for his post football acting career.

    Go Jets!

  31. One would think that with all the time Nnamdi spent contemplating, genuflecting, mulling and studying where to sign (err…who would pay the most), he would have said to himself….the Eagles play zone and I suck in space.

  32. Love Nnamdi, but did he not ask what type of system he was going to run or did he simply chase the biggest payday possible? When used properly he is a dynamic playmaker in the prime of his career. Seems to me that ultimately the blame for him being misused falls on his own shoulders.

  33. after a summer of hype, I was really looking forward to seeing the Packers destroy the Eagles in January. Doesn’t look likely.

    Other teams are working w/ less talent, but finding ways to plug their guys into positions that set them up to make the most of their abilities. Just the opposite in Philly.

    When I read last spring that they’d moved their offensive line coach to DC I was baffled. Castillo has experience on that side of the ball — was DC at Texas A&M, but that was ages ago. He’s been an offensive coach since 19-freaking-90. Who makes these brilliant decisions in philly?

  34. @ dallassux
    when’s the last time the eagles won a playoff game?? theyve gotten knocked out in the first round for the past several years! and its just like an eagles fan to be satisfied with just making the playoffs and winning a game or two.

  35. freebird2011 says:
    Oct 3, 2011 3:33 PM
    Revis wouldn’t look good in a zone either.

    No, actually when Rex plays a zone coverage, which albeit, is only a few times a game, Revis is just as good as he is in man to man.

  36. Great acquisition/Bad scheme and defensive playcalling. It’s that simple. Any team would love to have Nnamdi but most teams would actually find a way to use him. The failure of the Eagles comes down to one thing–promoting an offensive line coach to defensive coordinator and giving up too soon on Sean McDermont, a bright young aggressive student of the game and mentee of the late great Jim Johnson. You dont give up leads in three consecutive games no matter what your personnel looks like on defense. If my 6-year old son was playing MLB there’s no way you can let a team score over 20 points in 1 quarter. Castillo=failure

  37. No, actually when Rex plays a zone coverage, which albeit, is only a few times a game, Revis is just as good as he is in man to man.

    Yup – he grabs jerseys and holds equally well regardless of what type of defense he’s in.

  38. As a Niner fan, having watched Nhamdi in the bay. I know he is a excellent player. The Eagles issues arent with Nhamdi. Its with that joker Juan Castillo masquerading as if he knows anything about defensive football. The pass to Crabtree, Crabs went in motion, Nhamdi had safety help, Crabs got in between the coverage then juked both of them (Nhamdi 2x). I’m not saying it wasn’t Nhamdi’s fault for not tackling. But when its obvious all you need to do with him is have him press and lock down the opposing teams #1, He can do that, time and time again. You have him playing off coverage.

    And the people who are saying Nhamdi took the money… I’d be hard pressed to believe that the Texans/Jets/Niners wouldn’t have offered him more if they believed they actually had a shot at him.

    Eagle fans, You have Washburn on your staff. The quicker you make Castillo disappear, the sooner your season will resemble anything but a nightmare…. Frankly even a HS coach could tell you, If you want to play a wide 9 front, then you better have some LB’s/Safeties capable of stuffing the run. Your defense resembles the doughnut Rex Ryan ate yesterday, With a big whole right in the middle.

  39. Nnamdi sucks. Just like :Haynesworth sucked in Washington. Welker sucked in Miami. Moss sucked in Oakland. Brees sucked in San Diego.

  40. Somebody wake up Reid and tell him Nnamdi wasn’t, isn’t and won’t be a playmaker, he is only a shut down corner and that’s it.

  41. For what possible reason are all these Jets fans so quick to bash the Eagles, did you see that Jets meltdown last night, ouch! The Eagles have a better chance of turning the ship around than the Jets.

  42. Eagles should consider trading if its not working out.. don’t keep a high salary player if you aren’t seeing the returns in your scheme… See Shanahan/Albert H. It’s best for everyone.

  43. You missed your chance with Dallas or the Jets Nnamdi. Not saying the teams are better, but you would have been more of a star on one of those teams. Their defenses are better suited to your style of play. You got punked by your agent who was in bed with Howie Roseman. Now you’re stuck dude. No one will ever give you another huge contract at your age, especially after the Eagles F you up. I hope the extra 6 million over 5 years was worth it. You’ll become a forgotten player in Philthy.

  44. jakek2 says:
    Oct 3, 2011 3:57 PM
    One would think that with all the time Nnamdi spent contemplating, genuflecting, mulling and….


  45. I don’t get why everyone is surpirsed teams like Philly, Dallas, and NYJ being disappointments today.

    First of all they talk the most before the season starts, whether they are america’s team, pre-season superbowl champs, or the dream team.

    Its called hype and while 1 maybe 2 of those teams will make the playoffs. They were all overrated before this season.

  46. The eagles need to put nhamdi in man coverage along with Samuels and figure it out from there cause clearly there secondary is not gelling !!!

  47. PFT should just post one story entitled “Your team is overrated, just deal with it” that stays on the front page all season, that way we don’t have to listen to Jets and Eagles fans chirping away on every other posting.

  48. Square Peg, meet, Round Hole.

    As others have stated, Nnamdi has been in a man scheme his entire career. And he worked his butt off to become the best at it (I consider Aso and Revis to be even in ability). But, he simply has not been a good fit in a zone scheme.

    As a Raiders fan, I saw this same thing happen first hand when DeAngelo Hall came to Oakland. Only with MeAngelo, he was a zone guy ONLY. He was flat out horrible in man.

    But, for Philly fans… there is plenty of hope with Aso… and it rests on Aso’s character and ability to morph. Nam’s came out of college as a Safety and Al Davis decided he was going to be a man coverage CB. It took three years for Asomugha to make the transition. Trust me, it was a rough transition. He was terrible his first three years. Most Raiders fans wanted him to switch back to Safety. But once he got it… the rest is history.

    So… I think he’ll get the zone coverage down, and become a dominant player again. Just gonna take time to re-wire him. He has the work ethic, character and smarts to get it done.

  49. most over rated player in football. the only reason why defenses didnt throw his way in oakland is because the corner on the other side of the field was usually god awful. why would they throw his way.

  50. Nnamdi is used to playing man all day in Oakland so in scheme suitable for a corner like Asante where zone is used, a shutdown corner would have more responsibility than to be on an island all game. Give it time Philly.

  51. There is no doubt Eagles team has some talent…. But this is what you get when ‘OL coach turned Defensive Coordinator’ runs the defense.

  52. As a Raider fan.. I know this.

    Nnamdi is a beast in man coverage.

    Zone? Not so much.

    Let the man play what he is good at if you really want to take advantage of him.

  53. It is strange, I thought the Eagles played a lot of man to man because they liked to blitz so much and it would cater to his strengths. Why on earth if you have three of the best cover corners in the game on one squad that you can trot out at will would you not play man to man?

    I must not know enough about Football to be able to figure that one out.

  54. Nnamdi should have stayed in Oakland and finished what he started. The Eagles knew Nnamdi was a bump and run man to man corner. I bet both are reconsidering this arrangement.

  55. If these reporters had done their homework, they would have remembered Asomugha saying in the preseason, “I want to do some freelancing in the backfield”. That is why some of these schemes were drawn up for him. I’m not sure if he’s capable of doing that and if not, I HOPE he goes back to man to man coverage.

    Andy Reid drives me crazy sometimes with some of the things he says and does, but I can’t see him allowing this to continue. (AGAIN I HOPE)

  56. The intelligence level on the comments section of this website is absolutely sickening. Hey, all you “Dream Team” bashers that seem to be convinced that all of the Eagles’ signings were a mistake: who would you have signed instead? Our roster is at 53 just like everyone else’s. Who would you not have signed?

    Would you have re-signed and paid barely-better-than-mediocre Quintin Mikell for the asinine 4 years, 28 mill that the Rams shelled out for him? How’s that working out?

    Would you have brought back Stewart Bradley, who has looked AWFUL since tearing his ACL in 2009?

    That goal line debacle aside, raise your hand if you wouldn’t want Ronnie Brown and Vince Young as your BACKUPS for barely more than the veteran minimum. Raise your hand if you would be furious to see your team spend the money on a world-class cornerback.

    The issue isn’t the signings (which all still make sense at 1-3), it’s the coaching and drafting. Interestingly enough for the Eagles, it starts and ends with one man: Andy Reid.

    Reid has never invested in the linebacker position, and is accountable for this joke of a defense, since it was his call to fire McDermott and promote Castillo. Andy is behind the $100 million dollar Vick investment coupled with absolutely no effort at all to protect that investment with a serviceable offensive line, except using a first round pick on a 26-year old that hasn’t seen the field yet because the kid can’t hang.

    There are coaches that have been hired, won Super Bowls, and been fired in subsequent years during Reid’s tenure. Despite mediocre game-day coaching and play calling that hasn’t changed a bit since day one, Reid gave us a few really great years in the early to mid 2000s, but time is up. Fire this man.

  57. This is the most ridiculous story that I have read this football year. Nnamdi is the man and he proved that day in day out when he wore the silver and black.

    The problem in Philly is that the team has no chemistry and they have an OC for a DC, plus Nnamdi is a Man to Man corner not zone.

    Anyways if they don’t want him we’ll take him back in Oakland…..

  58. Nnamdi isn’t the problem. This is a bad team right now an nobody knows how far the rabbit hole goes. Andy Reid led teams are a lot of things but they dont give up 4th qtr leads and they don’t get behind too far early. There are a lot of talent on D. There’s a lot of talent on Offense. Neither play well together in a disciplined while intense style of play. No blood in the water except theirs. Too many egregious mistakes that show how they have players that are looking for another to make the play. AR has been outside himself for a long time. He once looked for average choir boys and had far better results on a “REALITY” team.

  59. gpete1962 says: Oct 3, 2011 3:25 PM

    He couldn’t even wear Revis’s high school cleats !!


    Really? because last time I checked Revis is just a few weeks removed from being beat from post to post by Dez Bryant and Austin. Revis looked like he was still wearing his high school cleats himself. This coming from a Niners fan. Revis = overrated…… Asomguha = signed with the wrong frickin team, and no the jets wasn’t the right team either.

  60. radzyfsu23 says:
    Oct 3, 2011 5:35 PM
    most over rated player in football. the only reason why defenses didnt throw his way in oakland is because the corner on the other side of the field was usually god awful. why would they throw his way.

    Ok even as a Niner fan I have to come to the defense of Stanford Routt. He’s pretty solid. He’s no Nhamdi, but starter material. You just sound bitter because your D-Coord couldn’t hang in the UFL

  61. Aso makes one bad play in coverage and he looks lost? What about the other 59 he was on the field for?

    To everyone lining up and applying for Andy Reid’s job: Good luck because it’s harder than it looks from your couch.

    The Eagles will right the ship and make playoffs. Guaranteed!

  62. TJVO27: WELL SAID, and to all the experts on here ALL corners better be able to play man and zone defenses otherwise they are receivers that cant catch.

  63. suhnum1fan says:
    Oct 3, 2011 3:46 PM
    biggest bust signing in NFL history? possible

    Hello? If you are talking about corners the most recent one has to be (M)ate Clement? Namdi is bot bust the birds just don’t know how go use him. Coach Ried you still have Samuel and DRC. Please trade namdi to Oakland. If coach Davis can release d. Hall after 4 games after guving him a 7yrs 70m contact then you can afford to try namdi to Oakland and at least get a draft pick!

  64. Should have taken the fat check from the Jets, where he’d be allowed to play man 99% of the time. The Jets record couldn’t be worse with Nnamdi instead of ACro, so they’d still be in better shape than the Igles.

  65. Aso playin zone for the Eagles is like D’angelo Hall playin Man to Man when with the Raiders..both better in their respective schemes but not anything different..

  66. keeponhating says: Oct 3, 2011 3:20 PM

    No way? You mean forcing a guy to play a zone defense after he played man 95% of the time for eight years is struggling? Why is it only raiders fans saw this coming? I wish he wouldve retired a Raider.

    Nnamdi is a throwback, a true bump and run CB who uses his long arms and power to jam receivers, and then shadow them in their routes.

    He’s as smart as they come though, so I know he’ll pick it up soon.

  67. When Castillo goes, and someone comes in who knows how to use him and does just that, you’ll see what Nnamdi is capable of. He doesn’t want a pay day, he wants a ring. The entire Oakland secondary is lost in zone. Anytime they give up a big play in the secondary through the air, garentee is a busted zone. They’re horrible at zone. Press coverage and his reciever disappears. Love Andy Reid but thats on coaching and scheming all the way. mhalt99 may have a point is all I can make of it.

  68. No, BeastMode92, that’s on GMing. You don’t sign someone (Pro Bowler or not) to change your entire system to fit the one new player. You sign the player that fits your system.

    Having Samuel and DRC (not sure what style he is), it seemed a bit of overkill for them to grab Nnamdi. The Jets had a system that fit him and a second CB that is a liability as often as he’s an asset. I believe Rob would have used him as Nnamdi Island in Dallas, too. But the Eagles stepped up to pay him more to go there, with both team and player undervaluing the importance of the system.

    The Eagles still have a chance to recover and maybe Nnamdi winds up approaching his man-to-man value in this zone system, but they both made a mistake. Seems like the Eagles’ money would have been better spent on linebacking anyway.

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