For media and the fans, it was also the day that the Eagles would be forced to tip their hand on what they planned to do with their trio of all star corners.
After warming up, the Eagles defense took the field for install. Asante Samuel lined up at his usual right cornerback position, with Nnamdi lined up on the left. It is very clear from watching the Eagles today that when they play two cornerbacks, it is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who is going to be the odd man out.
When the team went into dime and nickel packages, Nnamdi moved inside as Rodgers-Cromartie lined up on the left. Nnamdi lined up next to Trent Cole on the left side, showing blitz every time he was their. On some plays, he ran in and on others, he dropped back into coverage. Juan Castillo moved Nnamdi inside on a number of plays, as it was clear he has all kinds of ideas of his new defensive toy. Making things even better for Castillo is Nnamdi’s willingness to experiment, as he even lined up in the backfield for some plays.
Opposing offensive coordinators are going to be staying up at night worried about where Nnamdi will be. The Eagles wealth of cornerbacks allow them to take the best one in the game and move him all around. Nnamdi’s size makes him an ideal fit to line up and show blitz, and he will be able to get in quick and get his long arms up in the air. When he has to drop back, he has the size to cover tight ends.
Although Rodgers-Cromartie did not line up as a starter, he was on the field a ton. The former Arizona Cardinal might just be the best athlete on the team, as he did not get beat down the field once during the morning practice. His speed and size, in addition to his long arms, allow him to make the play even if he is a step behind.
While Nnamdi and Rodgers-Cromartie moved all around, Asante Samuel was on the right side the entire practice. It makes sense to keep Samuel their, as he has shown is he a turnover machine from that side. In addition, he really can’t move inside as the other two can, as he lacks the size to play their.
Overall, the Eagles showed one thing this morning: that if they get a lead on a team, it is going to be near impossible for opposing teams to throw on this defense and catch up.