Offseason Makeover Likely For Eagles’ Secondary

Early on during today’s press conference, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was asked about potentially making personnel changes in the Eagles’ secondary.

“We have possible lineup changes, and people compete everyday,” Bowles said. “There are no spots set in stone. We’re playing our best guys. If there was somebody that was stepping up to play better, they would be playing.”

Bowles didn’t mean it as a slight on the Eagles’ depth, but his comment spotlights the team’s lack of young talent at cornerback and safety.

You probably know the numbers by now, but just in case you need a refresher, opposing quarterbacks are completing 75.2 percent of their passes and averaging 9.7 yards per attempt against the Eagles in the last five games since Bowles took over. They’ve thrown for 13 touchdowns and no interceptions.

“There’s not one thing to point to,” said safety Kurt Coleman. “Sometimes it’s somebody just thinking somebody’s going to be there, and they’re not. We’re on two different pages. It’s inexcusable at this level.

“Bottom line is it’s players being able to do their job and relying and trusting other guys to be able to do their job. I think the trust factor’s there. It’s just, we’re on two different pages. You saw that in the Washington game and you saw it last week.”

In the summer of 2011, the Eagles looked like they were in good shape in the secondary. They still had Asante Samuel and added Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha. They had just spent a second-round pick on Jaiquawn Jarrett and still had Nate Allen.

But times have changed.

At cornerback, Samuel’s in Atlanta. Rodgers-Cromartie is only 26 and the most talented of any of the Eagles defensive backs. But we’ve seen in the past two seasons why the Cardinals were willing to part with him. To put it bluntly, he’s an inconsistent player and a poor tackler.

As for Asomugha, he’ll be 32 at the start of the 2013 season and has a reported cap hit of $15.3M. The Eagles could restructure his deal or lose $4M and cut him.

Brandon Boykin has been up and down, but he seems to project mostly as a nickel corner. And Curtis Marsh, a 2011 third-round pick, is a complete unknown. He’s played a total of 18 defensive snaps this season.

Safety is a giant question mark as well. In addition to Coleman and Allen, here are the safeties who have seen action the past two seasons: David Sims, Colt Anderson, Jarrett and Jarrad Page. In other words, it’s not like the Eagles have a bunch of young talent they are waiting to develop. Allen and Coleman could be backups in 2013, or they could be gone altogether.

Priority number one this offseason will be finding a coach to replace Andy Reid. Priority two will be deciding on a quarterback. And after that, the Eagles will have to figure out how to fix a secondary that appears to be broken.

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  • Ty

    Finally… Kurt Coleman should never have been starting. Nate Allen has been a big disappointment this year too. Im still kinda of wishing we would have gotten Earl Thomas. Also , while I like Fletcher Cox , I really wanted Mark Barron this year too. Might as well start David Sims , if nothing else , he is a much better tackler than KC42.

    • Brian

      Barron was picked ahead of Cox…

  • Beavis

    Funny, but back on Sept. 30, I thought to myself: ‘Dawk looks like he could still play.’

  • JofreyRice

    so many holes…no young talent pushing any of these guys because of Howie’s draft failures…going to be a rough patch for the next couple of years.

    • JOhnGiam

      all these holes will take atleasdt 2 offseasons to fill. My 2 year strategy:
      Offseason number 1 post Reid era:
      -nO qbs available via FA or Draft. Foles is playing sorrounded by Garbage, do not want to see a 5 year Merry go round of qb’s…We know that the QB answer isnt out there this year. So what you do is you try to solidify as many other holes as possible, give foles a sorrounding class so you can better evaluate him next season. If he isnt the answer, we go get one in next years draft which seems to be much better.
      -Since we arent getting a QB, we use our #1 pick on Manti Teo, and give ourselves a natural young leader, and a MONSTER LB core of the future: Manti at Sam, Meco in the middle, Kendricks moved to WIL which he is better suited for anyway
      -SAFTIES! 2 of them!!! No one will ever tell you that Nmandi or DRC played good this year, but I cant help but to wonder how they would look if they werent playing with the worst safety tandem in the NFL, by far THE WORST! Secondary not only need great players, but great players who play as a coordinated unit. That cant happen when both your safeties bite on every single play action fake. If you were to tell me, look we have holes everywhere..Nmandi and DRC will get another chance next year, but they will be playing with 2 above average safeties, and we will fill a bunch of other holes, I would say OK!
      -DESPERATELY NEED a number 1 BIG OUTSIDE reciever to play opposite of Desean! I move Macklin into the slot and give him 1 more year to prove that he should get a longterm deal.
      A Guard for the Oline! I dont even want to keep watkins as a back up! Thank you howard Mudd for making us draft a senior citizen, canadian, Fireman , who fancied himself a hockey player until 2 years ago because you liked that he was strong, played angry and had BIG WRISTS? Thanks again! The only mean streak Watkins has showed is when he is arguing with Mudd. Our Oline is terrible right now, but since we have holes everywhere and cant fill them all, I invest in a guard, some more reliable backups, and I bring back all the injured starters for 1 year, minus watkins and see how they all return from injury before I start investing in Lineman

      • JohnGiam

        Offseason #2 in rebuilding plan
        -if foles doesnt prove he is the future in year 2 with a much better cast around him, then the #1 priority of this offseason is a QB
        -If any of the returning injured Olineman prove that they cant return to an acceptable form, time to adress the line.
        -If DRC and Nmandi are still busts next year playing with adequate safeties, time to address corners. Nmandi is up there in age, so even if he plays well next year, we still need to replace him with a top young talent
        -Brent Celek has to go! I had enough. Either he has digressed, or he is injured. Problem with that excuse is that he is always injured. I would like to adress it in year 1, i forgot…Im just not sure we have enough room to upgrade at TE also in the offseason post reid year 1…so I will list it for year 2. I would have Benched celek WEEKS AGO, and gave Harbor a shot!

  • I was a big fan of Nate Allen when we got him, but man, he’s been kind of terrible. Coleman on the other hand has been REALLY terrible. I don’t think he’s a starter and I’m beginning to wonder if Allen is as well.

  • daytoday

    start david sims instead of coleman….in that saints game he was flying around and making plays as the game went on

  • F_Andy

    This team is in shambles. Reid really screwed it up and is leaving it in a horrible mess.

    • JofreyRice

      You sure it was just Reid? What if one of the guys that’s screwed the team up is in charge of finding the new coach & rebuilding the talent-poor roster?

      • JohnGiam

        Howie Roseman is a turd, but Im not blaming this Mess on him. Actually, since he took control, I think we have had one of the best drafts of Reids tenure. If it were up to me, I woulda fired Roseman yesterday, but I have much bigger fish to fry then Roseman right now. First draft that I didnt say..WTF? after a weird selection that the world knew would not pan out. At the end of the day, Howie isnt a football guy, so I will always want to see him lose his job!

        • Johngiam

          This offseason will be a very scary time to be an eagles fan. We literally have holes everywhere. Its a complete and utter mess. This wont be a quick offseason turnaround like the niners when they got Harbaugh. its gonna take us atleast 2 offseasons to fix this mess. Im just hoping that our next coach isnt a gimiky one. I hope he is a coach who respects the game of football(yes running the ball is part of the game), and respects all the positions on a football team. If I ever hear a coach tell me that Linebackers arent important, or that we can slide by going into a season with a punt returner like greg lewis, I will have a mental breakdown. Go tell the defensive coordinator of the niners (who would be at the top of my eagles coach wish list if it werent for his age) that linebackers arent important. Every single position/Unit can be used as a weapon with good players that play together like a coordinated unit. I also cant bear to watch coaches with zero common sense, who believe that they are outsmarting everyone. Its one thing to be dumb, but to be really dumb and consider yourself a genius….well thats like George Bush type of Dumb! My 12 year old brother can do a better job of clock managment then Reid simply from playing Madden. And this is a guy who has been payed MILLIONS to coach for 14 seasons, who still makes insanely ridiculous mistakes in managing the clock. Believe it or not, I was an Andy REID SUPPORTER from day 1….all the way til about the detroit game of this year. If you told me to fire read last summer, i would have argued with you and defended Reid to the Death. This is too much to stomach even for the biggest Reid supporter….He has got to go!

  • T

    The 2010 draft was 4 months after Roseman was promoted. What if Andy really controlled that one, and 2011 was Roseman’s first stab at leading it, and he learned his lessons? If that’s the case, and the 2012 draft is any sign of what’s to come, maybe he’s the right guy for the job.

    • southy

      You could also say in the 2012 draft Howie learned from past years and changed his philosophy a bit- he certainly said it. Not to mention he’s a CapU wizard. I have no issues with him staying.

  • JohnB

    Don’t agree with the empty-cupboard view espoused by many here. We have more talent than many teams, just need a few new pieces and coaching staff. Totally agree about DBs, esp. Coleman, who’s progressed from mediocre to bad to abysmal in less than two seasons. His very presence is an indictment of the whole Reid regime, and they should be escorted out of town together, at gunpoint if need be.

  • GG

    Both of the safeties make horrible reads and Coleman has perhaps the worst judgement of any safety I’ve been watching in recent history. He comes in for tackles, puts his head down and either completely misses the ball carrier or slams into his own teammate. Guy is terrible. I’ve always rooted for Allen but he isn’t a starter either. Both of the safeties should go.

  • Al P

    At least Sims seems to want to tackle…

  • jon h

    I’m not a huge college football fan, so wondering if you guys are planning on doing an article that identifies the positions the eagles need (you have been doing that) and the players we should watch during the upcoming championship and bowl games. So, who are the top safeties and CBs we should be watching?