Kelly, Roseman Offer Hints On Asomugha, Ryans

Philadelphia Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha.Chip Kelly was asked back-to-back questions Thursday afternoon about a pair of Eagles veterans.

In his first response, he offered up what seemed to be a ringing endorsement. But his second response failed to strike the same tone.

Kelly said he’s watched film from every game last season and was asked for his thoughts on linebacker DeMeco Ryans.

“Physical player, the leader of the defense in terms of getting guys lined up,” he said. “He really plays the game the way you want it to be played. And I think from listening to the people in the building, there’s a quality about him that you want to be around him.

“He’s another guy I spoke to briefly on the phone. He’s still not in the Philly area. When he gets in, I can’t wait to sit down and talk to him and get to know him a little bit better.”

In 2012, Ryans had more tackles for loss and more solo tackles than any defensive player during Andy Reid’s 14-year tenure as the Eagles’ head coach. He’s due a reported $6.6 million next season, but is only 28-years-old. Ryans would seemingly be the type of veteran that Kelly would value going forward.

And then there’s Nnamdi Asomugha.

The veteran corner turns 32 in July and is coming off a year in which he gave up too many big plays, missed too many tackles and struggled to the point that defensive coordinator Todd Bowles finally benched him in the season finale against the Giants.

Kelly was asked if, based on what he saw on film, Asomugha was a $15.5 million cornerback.

“I’m not a money guy, so I don’t look at guys… when I watch film, I’m just trying to look at what they can do, what schemes they’re in, trying to understand that,” Kelly said. “I don’t have the play-call sheet, so when they called something, what was the exact thing to do? But I’m looking at: Can a guy transition? Can he get in and out of breaks? Can he make plays on the ball? Can he tackle? When I look at guys, I don’t say: Is he worth this much or worth that much? I’m just trying to watch film.”

You might notice that nowhere in that response did Kelly say what he thought of Asomugha one way or another. So he was asked a follow-up.

“I’m just watching plays, so I’m not watching an entire game,” Kelly said. “So how many times was the ball thrown at him at the point of attack. It’s not where I’ve watched the game from start to finish and here’s the game. It’s just individual cut-ups of players. I may go back to watch one-on-ones from preseason camp just to try to get an idea of what players can do and can’t do. I don’t have his group of plays of how he played in game one to the last game of the season and kind of look at it that way. It’s very segmented.”

Well, what did he see in the individual cut-ups?

“I think Nnamdi has a skill set… that can play football,” Kelly said.

That’s it. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, if you ask me.

The Eagles are likely going to have to make decisions on players before Kelly even has a chance to coach them. Given Asomugha’s salary, the Eagles can decide to either re-structure his deal and keep him around, or cut him and be on the hook for $4 million.

General manager Howie Roseman, who was part of the group responsible for bringing Asomugha to Philadelphia, was asked what he saw from the cornerback in 2012 and whether he sees him being part of the team’s future.

“What we do during the 2012 season as a personnel staff and with the coaches is we evaluate weekly. So we’re grading every game as a personnel staff,” Roseman said. “We’re discussing with our coaches. And then at the end of the year, we’re writing up our team.

“We felt like we had a good sense of our defensive players and what they were contributing and what they could do going forward, depending on the scheme and what we were going to go with. And those are conversations that we have. We don’t tell our coaches what we think of our players when they come in new until they tell us what they think of them, because we don’t want to affect that. No matter what you do in this business, if someone tells you something about someone, it sticks in your head, so we want to make them have a fresh sense of it and get their impressions and then have a discussion.”

Once again, you might notice that Roseman didn’t say much of anything about Asomugha or his skill set.

Maybe it will turn out that the Eagles don’t see a bunch of other options they like at cornerback and they’ll eventually bring Asomugha back. But as of right now, the guess here is that he’s unlikely to be a part of the 2013 Eagles.

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  • PaoliBulldog

    Nnamdi, as they say in Addis Ababa — Abyssinia!

    • Luke Ivan


    • Johnny Domino

      Holy Haile Selassie, Dog

      • PaoliBulldog

        Dem Eagles got no Rasta spot for him no more!

        • Johnny Domino


        • theycallmerob

          send him back to the islaaaands

    • theycallmerob

      Way to go international. +1

    • Mr. Wu

      Nnamdi is Nigerian not Ethiopian dude. That’s like asking someone from spain how to make tacos.

      • theycallmerob

        Too hard to make a pun with Lagos, though.

        • birdpoop

          Nnamdi clearly demonstrated that playing corner is not as easy as stacking lagos, its much more constantinopled than that! (and by the way, woudl he be quicker if he dropped one redundant n from his jersey? Lighten-up, Lloyd !)

        • Johnny Domino

          My kid loves Legos, he can make all kinds of stuff with them.

  • jamie b

    Can you say “re-structure”?

    • GGeagle

      No…but can you say BYE BYE? I mean GM’s are spin doctors, but how much more telling do you need? They had no problem praising Demeco up and down about how awesome he is….yet they talk in circles avoiding saying anything about Nnamdi, who they been pressed about all day. Do youreallythink it would kill them to say Nnamdi wlll tell you himself he had a disapointing year, but we look forward to seeing how he bounces back in 2013 in a new system? Why was nothing like that said after being pressed about Nnamdi? yet they can get into all sorts of specifics about Demeco?
      Nnamdi is GONE!!! as it should be!

      • Phils Goodman

        If the Eagles weren’t weighing their options, Nnamdi would be gone already. He’s not.

    • limodriver27

      I don’t even want him restructered (sp?) (unless they can’t fill his spot with a warm body that isn’t afraid of tackling). Re-doing his deal tells him that the Eagles must have liked his play enough to want him back with a restructure. He hasn’t shown anything to warrant a new deal, and only shows that the FO is desperate to fill the hole. Put some promising young talent in there.

      • DLRJ

        That does, of course, require having promising young talent.

  • BrickSquadMonopoly

    Who even offers a mediocre 30 year old corner 15mil a year to begin with??

    • B-West

      Calling him mediocre is more than likely the benefit of hindsight. And the Eagles thought they were in the midst of a legit title window, so you are willing to eat the back end of a big money deal if you are acquiring a piece that can help you win a ring.

      • Alex Trebek

        correct, for $200! You get to pick the next category.

        • B-West

          I’ll take… The Dream Team offseason wasn’t as bad as people remember it…. Every one of those deals was team friendly. Cullen was essentially a one year deal that was then renegotiated to keep him around, and its still team friendly. Babin got very little guaranteed money. VY and Brown were one year deals. And they left themselves outs in the Vick and Asomugha deals. You have to pay to get talent (and make no mistake, at the time of their signings Vick and Asomugha were considered top tier talent), but getting them to sign deals that were riddled with out clauses was pretty savvy.

          • theycallmerob

            I couldn’t say it any better, but man….you sure are baiting the Howie haters.

      • DLRJ

        Totally agree. Back then, I don’t remember a single person saying,
        “Man, why on Earth did they sign that mediocre Nnamdi guy?” or “All in? But what about the salary cap implications three years from now!” And can you imagine the “Howie is cheap!” hissy fits people would have thrown if he said the DIDN’T sign Nnamdi because of 2013 salary cap implications? And yet even so, in the end they ended up remarkably un-hamstrug, so to speak, by a signing that can be called a miss in hindsight.

        In fairness, I’ve heard that some NFL scouts thought Nnamdi was on the decline when they got him, but who knows how reliable those reports are? From where I sat, he seemed like a good risk at the time. And incidentally, I believe Troy Vincent was an All-Pro from ages 30-32, so it’s not like signing a 30-year-old corner guarantees disaster.

    • Damien

      He was considered the 2nd best CB in the league by far that year… He was elite.

  • ThatNed

    If Nnamdi is even on the roster for the veteran’s minimum then it’s a colossal waste of money. Oh, and his attatude sucks. We have enough neer-do-wells in the locker room.

  • charlessmith

    the play call sheet is an interesting comment, at least to me. Wouldn’t that stay with the team? Maybe an arcane detail, but weird that he doesn’t have it (he obviously might not be able to decipher it completely since it was another’s systems calls).

    • D3Keith

      I read it more like he was just watching the cut-ups and not making an effort/caring what the playcalls were. I bet that stuff is in-house if Chip wanted it.

  • Adam

    I don’t have the play-call sheet, so when they called something, what was the exact thing to do? But I’m looking at:

    Can a guy transition? NO
    Can he get in and out of breaks? NOPE
    Can he make plays on the ball? NOT
    Can he tackle? NEVER

    • jshort

      I can’t understand why everyone is on Nnamdi, if it weren’t for his lack of effort we wouldn’t be getting the #4 pick. Also if you want one of the top QB’s next year pay him the 15 mil.:)

  • 1972

    i heard alot from nnamdi defenders this past season.Some even said they would move him to safety. great, a guy that cant tackle or play the ball in the air at safety… the mans skills have gone completely south, its over. Cut him today!!!

  • hillbillybirdsfan

    I managed to watch a pretty decent amount of Raider games on the Sunday Ticket and I was very excited when we signed him. I feel like there had to be some sort of undisclosed injury or mental trauma with this guy. The difference between how he played in Oakland and how he played in Philly is too large to chalk up to a bad scheme or crappy safeties. Even if you throw out plays given up on blown assignments, in one-on-one situations he consistently showed poor instincts and technique. He also went out of his way to avoid contact numerous times. He was never Ronnie Lott but he did used to stick his nose in there and use sound technique to wrap guys up. You might say he gave up because the season went poorly but the Raiders stunk the entire time he was there. I just can’t figure out what went wrong with this guy. Money aside he was just a bad football player last year.

    • birdpoop

      same thing happened to haynesworth in DC, when the wallet gets too heavy it’s hard to get up and go fast and … what ….me? ….tackle?

      • Phils Goodman

        With Haynesworth there were obvious underlying physical problems (chronically bum knee, couldn’t pass conditioning tests) to go along with his personality clash with coaches and lack of desire to play NT in a 3-4.

        • ICDogg

          trying to move him to NT was a crazy stupid move… equivalent to when the Raiders signed Sapp and tried to make a 2-gapper out of him.

      • JofreyRice

        I think as we get some distance, the Asomugha signing will pretty much be viewed the same way the Haynesworth signing was–one of the worst FA moves in the past decade. It’s so weird, because I never imagined Nnamdi would be that kind of player. I don’t really care at this point–I’m disappointed that it didn’t work out, but I just want him off the team.

    • Roasty

      Almost in complete agreement. I could be wrong but I thought I remember reading that in 2011 Asomugha was thrown at less than Revis that year and one of the lowest in the league. Yes, when he was targeted, he absolutely blew it but there is a lot to be said when you only average 1 to 2 targets per game. That means that most snaps, you are shutting down your opponent and doing your job. After that year, I thought everyone was given him too hard a time and that he would show those ball skills. However, after 2012 I lean towards your statement that there had to be something else that all of Philadelphia, fans and team alike, did not know about.

      • JofreyRice

        Yes, that’s actually true. According to Pro Football Focus, he was targeted 47 times to Revis’ 85. However, he gave up 29 catches on those 47 targets (including 4 TDs) versus Revis’ 35 on 85 (with 1 TD). Revis also had 16 passes defensed, and Nnamdi had 3. Nnamdi gave up a QB rating of 90, when throwing at him, Revis was a QB rating of 45.

        QBs throw at Revis, they just don’t have a lot of success.

        The thrown at stats seem like a way to justify an argument that Nnamdi wasn’t as bad as it appeared. That’s not a persuasive argument to me. He got torched deep, gave up completions on 3rd downs, and was a penalty machine. There’s also been several people who have reported that it was Asomugha that was the source of all the locker room comments about guys not trying, giving up, being selfish, not having heart. The guy can’t play and screws up the locker room. Get him off the squad!

        • Roasty

          Thanks for the follow up with actual stats and reasoning. I’m not trying to defend nnamdi by any means but i wasn’t ready to give up on him after the first year because the targets were encouraging and hoping he just had an off year playing the ball. Obviously i was wrong bc the man has been a disgrace. Wouldnt want him.playing this year even if he gets a eagle friendly deal, no point in putting a liability on the field instead of developing talent

  • aub32

    I hate to break it to most of you, but Nnamdi will be back. The team will see value in some of his performances and make him the #2 guy after a restructure. Now maybe he gets cut or traded after if he is such a bad locker room guy, but I don’t see the team just giving away 4 million dollars

  • ICDogg

    I doubt he’ll still be around for the season, but if Chip wants to see what he’s got in training camp, there’s no reason he shouldn’t. There is no rush to let him go.