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Nnamdi Asomugha

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All 22: What We Learned About the Eagles’ Defense

Here’s what I saw from the Eagles’ defense after reviewing the All-22 footage from this week. If you missed the post on the offense, click here.

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Plan For Nnamdi To Shadow Fitzgerald Aborted

Philadelphia Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha.Three different cornerbacks — Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Brandon Boykin and then Nnamdi Asomugha — took turns lining up over Larry Fitzgerald on the Cardinals’ first three plays from scrimmage. It was immediately evident that trying to contain the star receiver would be a group assignment.

That wasn’t the initial plan, however, as Asomugha laid out afterwards.

“We came into the week, I was going to shadow him,” said Asomugha. “We kind of had an idea, I think Coach [Todd] Bowles had an idea that that’s what they were figuring, so they were going to move him and put him in all sorts of different places. So we said let’s just let’s just stay on our sides and make sure that Boykin is at the nickel, keep Dominique on the outside. That was our plan, and they were able to do some things to take advantage of it.”

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Instant Observations: Cardinals 27, Eagles 6

Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid.Here are my instant observations from the Eagles’ 27-6 loss to the Cardinals.

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The State Of the Eagles’ Secondary

Philadelphia Eagles CB Brandon Boykin.Here’s a player-by-player look at the Eagles’ secondary, heading into Sunday afternoon’s game against the Cardinals. Note that the cornerback target numbers come from having charted opponents’ throws with the coach’s tape.

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Cheat Sheet: Eagles’ Defense Vs. Cardinals’ Offense

Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.Here are 10 things to know about the matchup between the Eagles’ defense and the Cardinals’ offense Sunday afternoon. We’ll go over the Eagles’ offense and Arizona’s ‘D’ in the next installment.

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All-22: What We Saw From the Eagles’ Defense

I had a chance to take a look at the All-22 footage again this week. Today’s post will focus on the Eagles’ defense, and Thursday’s will take a look at the offense.

Here are the plays that stood out.

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Ravens Sound Off On Replacement Refs

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco.After blowing a 17-7 halftime lead, the Ravens were not a very happy group following Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Eagles.

And at least part of their anger was directed at the replacement officials.

A couple plays, in particular, frustrated Ravens players. The first was the Michael Vick fumble that was overturned on the Eagles’ game-winning drive. It seemed that Vick’s arm was going forward as he tried to throw the ball away, but Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis didn’t see it that way.

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Under Ryans’ Direction, Eagles’ D Finishes Strong

With 1:55 on the clock, Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense took over from their own 20-yard-line.

Down 24-23, all they needed was a field goal. Their kicker, Justin Tucker, had already nailed a 48-yarder, a 51-yarder and a 56-yarder earlier in the game.

Many of the players who took the field for the Eagles’ defense were familiar with this situation. Last season, in five of the team’s eight losses, the Eagles had the lead going into the fourth quarter. And in the final 15 minutes of those games, they were outscored, 60-3.

But one of the players who wasn’t in Philadelphia last year is DeMeco Ryans. And while there are many reasons why the defense has come through at the end of the team’s final two games, the stability provided by the middle linebacker is certainly one of them.

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A Look At Castillo In Year Two

Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Juan CastilloFunny, Juan Castillo was the least talked-about man at the NovaCare facilities this week. While Marty Mornhinweg and Andy Reid and Michael Vick were taking arrows, and DeMeco Ryans and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were being praised, Castillo quietly slipped into the backdrop.

He offers so little at his press conferences, terrified of giving away anything that could help the opposition, that some reporters have given up on the exercise altogether, opting instead to visit the locker room in search of a more willing dance partner. So Castillo sits on stage in front of a modest gathering, speaks about exactly nothing for a few minutes, and then makes his way out of the auditorium and back behind the scenes.

After a year of public struggles and endless criticism, this is undoubtedly the preferred existence. A down effort against the Ravens will bring some of the heat back, but internally there is a sense that the situation has stabilized. The players have noticed a different Juan Castillo in Year Two, and it has had a ripple effect.

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Cheat Sheet: Eagles Defense Vs. Ravens Offense

Here are 10 things to know about the matchup between the Eagles’ defense and the Ravens’ offense Sunday afternoon. We’ll go over the Eagles’ offense and Baltimore’s D on Friday.

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All-22: What We Learned About the Eagles’ Defense

The NFL gave football geeks everywhere our wish this offseason, announcing it would release All-22 coaches’ film to the public (for a small fee, of course).

Unlike TV footage, the All-22 angles account for every player on the field on any given play.

I took a look at the coaches’ tape and came away with some new observations from Sunday’s Eagles-Browns game. We’ll start with the defense here and post offensive observations next.

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DB Review: How the Eagles Used Asomugha

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi AsomughaHere’s a player-by-player review of how the Eagles defensive backs performed Sunday against the Browns, after having re-watched the game. Click here for the review of the offensive line. And here for the review of the running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.

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Asomugha, DRC Flourish After Key Adjustment

Philadelphia Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha.It’s impossible not to be struck by the contrasts in styles.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with his hot pink-rimmed glasses resting a click south of  his green mowhawk, answering questions quick and casually. Nnamdi Asomugha the stall over wearing a button-down and tie, carefully digesting each volley before returning serve.

On the field, Asomugha is the tactician, each movement measured and with purpose. Rodgers-Cromartie more loose and reliant on recovery speed.

“We laugh at that,” said Asomugha on the whole Odd Couple element. “But it’s always been like that. Every team I’ve been on there’s been a different personality with the other corner, and you see that throughout the league. But you know, it’s like a marriage: oppostites attract, so I’m good with it. He’s good with it.”

The key similarity is that they are both press corners.

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Instant Observations: Eagles Vs. Browns

It was ugly, but the Eagles left Cleveland with a 17-16 win over the Browns. Here are some observations on how the offense and defense performed.

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Eagles Snapshot: CB Preview

Philadelphia Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha.Throughout the course of the week, we’ll be providing position-by-position previews of the entire Eagles roster. Click here to get to all of them. Today, we cover the cornerbacks, with a focus on how the Birds will use Nnamdi Asomugha.